14 thoughts on “How Should I Act? What Should I Say? How Should I Be?

  • August 13, 2017 at 2:55 pm

    This is exactly what I need to learn–and I’m 69 years old! I retired in an area where I’ve never worked or belonged to any organization, so I feel like the new kid in school and go through what Stephanie and Matt did wherever I try to fit in. I really want to get involved, but I get panicked about making a good first impression. Since I have no set obligations to be anywhere or do anything, I usually just hang out at home, keeping in touch with friends from past locations via social media. I know that I need more real human contact, but my inability to take the first step has me paralyzed. I’m going to use this process starting tomorrow morning. Thank you so much for giving me the steps to take.

    • August 13, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Way to go Marcia! I’m quite sure it will work for you. Take care!

  • August 13, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    This literally plagued my childhood family they were so nervous, so anxiety prone etc. It was gut wrenching.

    They either over compensated to an intense degree or completely retreated in social situations. They could not seem to relax or find the middle ground.

    I was taught just about every dysfunctional method to interact with other human beings that you could possibly imagine. This of course made me feel a bit nervous in social situations as well.

    However as a child I swore that I would not become like ‘the family’ had taught me to become.

    My solution was this: Treat others with sincere respect until they disrespect you then act accordingly.

    In other words I treat others in a sincerely friendly manner until they prove they should be treated otherwise.

    There is an old saying “Nice guys finish last” I decided long ago to change that saying in my mind to this “Nice guys DONT finish last. Pushovers do”

    Dont be a pushover. Be a genuinely decent human being and youll do fine far more often than not. Also be certain your idea of a pushover is a healthy one or that could cause a whole host of problems.

    Also if you find yourself in a crowd that treats genuinely decent people with contempt leave that crowd behind! and never look back. I always did.

    This was and has been one of my rules. Id rather be lonely than spend my precious time with a crowd of abusers.

    These rules have made my life much more enjoyable socially than my family could have ever dreamed of experiencing.

    I hope it helps others just a little bit. I know this subject is far more complex than what Ive described here however these methods helped me immensely so I feel it is my duty to share them with others.

    Wishing you all the very best!

    • August 13, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Joe you have figured out so much all on your own. Keep up the keen observing and all will be well for you!

  • August 14, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Thank you for this informative article. I’ve never heard of CEN until now. I will remember to listen to my child’s emotions so that she can grow up confident and able to positively engage with others.

    • August 14, 2017 at 9:10 am

      That is good to hear Cris. Your child is lucky.

  • August 14, 2017 at 11:50 am

    Good article, thank you. I especially liked how you talked about coming from your real self/personality/feelings vs. looking at yourself like an observer, wondering what should I do, how should I act, etc. That makes a lot of sense to me. I get that difference. It’s helpful just to have that distinction in mind.

    My trouble is that when I’m my real self, I don’t necessarily come across in the bubbly, happy, humorous ways that appear at the end of the article. Coming from your real self/personality/feelings can make for a bumpy road, sometimes.

    Anyhow, good article. I’ve read your book and appreciate your insights.

    • August 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Dear Ed, thank you for making that excellent point. I didn’t mean to imply in the article that everyone would act like Stephanie or Matt if they were their true selves. I do believe that whoever you are, if you are connected to your essence, your emotions and your true responses, it will work far better than trying to produce what others expect or need.

  • August 14, 2017 at 2:59 pm

    Thank you Jonice. Some of this was instinctual and some of this was the result of reading works like your own. If it werent for people like yourself dedicating their lives to assisting others emotionally I would not be here. Self help has been a God send! Thank you sincerely for the work that you do.

  • August 16, 2017 at 10:30 pm

    Thank you so much for the article I can totally relate to both stories as I’ve recently had a lot of parties and just took a job as a project manager of a business. I look forward to your emails. Since reading your book I’ve made so much progress in and my life, job, relationships and even a tiny bit of my eating habits 🙂 (I’m only 2/3 of the way through and then I’ll have to start again as there is so much there to internalize in “Running on Empty”

  • August 28, 2017 at 4:19 pm

    This article describes me exactly. I am so disconnected from my feelings, I don’t even know what my true self is. I had no idea that everyone doesn’t feel like Stephanie and Matt. Maybe I should buy “Running on Empty”, but I’m afraid I would have no idea how to implement the suggestions.

  • August 29, 2017 at 11:32 am

    I found Running on Empty easy to read and extremely validating. I would suggest buying it and try reading a little at a time. If its to much for you emotionally leave it in your night table a read more another night. I’ve bought mine about 8 months ago and i’m only 2/3 of the way done as I read it slowly and when i’m emotionally ready for it.
    Running on Empty is a book that has changed my life for good. I have a few friends of mine that have grown up in a CEN 3friends of mine who are therapists agree that Dr. Webb books is a must read.

    Wish you lots of luck on your journey

    • September 6, 2017 at 11:59 am

      Thanks. I sent for the book.


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