The Art of Giving and Receiving Praise

Posted by Pam Young

Mar 7, 2016 9:06:07 AM

Praise 101as_seen_on.jpg

Giving and receiving compliments is truly an art that needs to be practiced if you want to become proficient at it. Praise is such a beautiful way to spread joy.

Do you like praise? When you get a compliment how do you react? Do you say something like, “Oh, this ol’ dress? I got it on sale ten years ago,” or do you accept the compliment gracefully? Do you love to give honest compliments and look for positive things to say that are true not only with your friends and family, but with strangers too?

Have you ever given a compliment to a friend and received no reaction? One time I raved about something to this guy who was responsible for doing a great job and I received no reaction; not a thank you, not a smile, nothing. (I’m glad I don’t give compliments to receive positive feedback.) I had to assume he was embarrassed and didn’t know what to say or perhaps he’s not comfortable with giving or receiving compliments. I guess I could ask his wife.

If you're like my friend and you want to improve on the art, I have a great idea for you; start complimenting yourself. Praise yourself when you do well, when you stick to your resolve and when you do the right thing especially when it’s a hard thing to do. Have you notice how interesting it is that often the right thing to do is hard to do? What a life lesson though. When you look back, those decisions to do the right thing when it was very difficult have always been filled with blessings. For instance, my decision to end a relationship that meant the world to me at the time has returned to me such power and joy that it tickles me to think the decision was so hard to make in the first place.


Looking for Praise in all the Wrong Places

I remember when I was losing weight for the Mouth Trap book, I wanted praise from Terry. When I didn’t get it, I had to think about it andMouth_Trap_lo_carb realize he’s not a complimentary person. He’s not critical either and I think the two must go hand-in-hand. The other thing I had to figure out was why do I need a compliment from him? I realized I really don’t. My opinion of myself is enough.

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Articles, Happiness, Relationships

20 Ways Being a Little Organized Makes Life a Joy

Posted by Pam Young

Dec 30, 2015 6:00:00 AM

You'll be shocked at how getting organized just a little will add great joy to you and your family because:

1.   You do 50% less work

2.   You know where everything is

3.   You keep appointments

4.    You’re on time

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: On Being Organized / Disorganized, Organization, Happiness, Relationships

Stop Your Family's Unconscious Clutter NOW!

Posted by Pam Young

Sep 14, 2015 5:31:34 PM


Family members don't pick up after themselves? This FREE game will stop that!


I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: De-Cluttering, Family Games, Habits, Relationships, de-junking

Loving Myself is the Key to Loving Others

Posted by Pam Young

Jun 1, 2015 6:00:00 AM

In his breath-taking book Many Lives, Many Masters, Dr. Brian Weiss M.D. (a renowned and highly reputable psychiatrist) said, "The steady day-in and day-out pounding of undermining influences such as a parent’s scathing criticisms, could cause even more psychological trauma than a single traumatic event. These damaging influences, because they blend into the everyday background of our lives, are even more difficult to  remember and exorcise.

A constantly criticized child can lose as much confidence and self-esteem as one who remembers being humiliated on one particular, horrifying day. A child whose family is impoverished and has very little food available on a day-to-day basis might eventually suffer from the same psychological problems as a child who experienced one major episode of accidental near-starvation. Those day-in and day-out poundings of negative forces have to be recognized and resolved with as much attention as that paid to the single overwhelmingly traumatic event."

I loved what Dr. Weiss said and I’ve realized, because of my daily attention to Nelly my inner child, I've been able to neutralize the day-in and day-out poundings of the past by becoming aware of her against the background of my daily life that’s going on now. When we shine our attention daily on the inner child, and confront negative feelings in the moment, 

using love, understanding and compassion, we can almost be like our own psychologist helping ourselves to remember and exorcise the source of negative experiences from the past.

Loving yourself is NOT a selfish notion!

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Relationships

6 Ways to Perk Up Life with Surprises

Posted by Pam Young

May 27, 2015 6:30:00 AM

Do you like to be on the receiving end of a surprise?


A “little” surprise is like being outside on a chilly, spring morning without a coat when the sun pops out from behind a big cloud and warms your back. Like Mother Nature executing one of her random acts of kindness. Here's a trio of daffodils getting their little backs warmed. Just getting this photo from my photographer husband was a little surprise that made me smile!









Most people don't like those big deal birthday bombshells where you walk into your house and the whole neighborhood yells “surprise,” or those horrid surprises on your credit card statement, right after Christmas. 

This blog is about the times when your husband comes home from work with a single rose for you or your child surprises you by doing a chore you didn’t ask him or her to do.

If you thought to yourself, ‘Ha, Carl’d never come home with a single rose for me,’ or Jenny wouldn’t lift a finger if I didn’t ask her to, maybe you need to ask yourself when was the last time you surprised Carl or helped Jenny with a chore?

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Happiness, Relationships

2 Keys to Finding Peace. What we All Want!

Posted by Pam Young

Mar 11, 2015 1:12:23 PM

Getting rid of clutter leads to finding peace within.

Years ago I wrote about being mindful of the interrupting thoughts that come up when you’re doing boring housecleaning jobs like folding laundry or vacuuming and dusting. Using “make the bed” as an example of a boring job, I set my stopwatch and began making it, ready to catch that first mental interruption.  Six seconds in, the thought came, ‘there’s pie in the refrigerator.’

In the course of the four-minute job, my mind came up with 17 suggestions of other things to do! Here’s a similar result from Debra Biddle Linn, one of my readers:

Pam, I did the experiment of starting a boring job and seeing how quickly my mind was interrupted by wanting to do something else. I was folding laundry, the whites. I suddenly wanted to go online and find some T-shirts and order them for my husband to replace some of the old holy ones he has. I made myself stop those thoughts and keep going. Then I thought of a trip some friends went on recently, and wanted to go look online and find information about a tour for ourselves. (Stopped that one too). I think it will really help to start becoming aware of how my mind acts when doing routine housework.

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Happiness, Relationships

Daylight Savings Time? It's why you are a SHE!

Posted by Pam Young

Mar 5, 2015 5:30:00 AM

It’s Time to Do it Again!

I hope when I’ve finished “venting” this’ll turn out to be a happy blog, but no promises. 


When I set out each morning to write my blog for the day, my main goal is to be lighthearted and joyful and to fill my screen with words that uplift and hopefully bring positive joy and inspiration to those of you who have graciously given me your email. I can’t do that today! I’m sorry in advance. I guess once in a while a guy just has to let negative thoughts eke out.

First off, I feel just like a cow in a herd of Holsteins who’s been thoughtlessly following the herd. At least in my scenario, I’m an American cow with rights guaranteed to me by the Constitution. I’d almost rather be cow, because if I were, I wouldn’t have to pay any attention to the issue I’m going to write about… Daylight Savings Time (DST).

I should really love DST because if it weren’t for it, my sister and I would not have written Sidetracked Home Executives: from pigpen to paradise. We were stuck in a motel in eastern Washington, because we missed our flight due to the time change. Flights went our every three days, so we were held hostage in a very creative way. Knowing us, we would never have been focused enough to start writing that book. It would have been an eternal down-the-road project, but in that three days, we wrote three chapters and as they say, “the rest is history.”  

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Happiness, Relationships

3 Vital Keys to Getting Organized

Posted by Pam Young

Mar 4, 2015 7:00:00 AM


Key # 3 Plan of Action

Now that you’ve got the first two keys to being organized (if you didn't get a chance to read them just click on them here  Part ONEPart TWO ),  making a decision to do it and becoming committed to that decision for the right reason(s), the third key is a plan of action. 

The simple plan is in 3-Ds:

Declutter, Delegate and Do it!



Just like Flylady says, “You can’t organize clutter,” the sooner you get everything out of your house that doesn’t make you feel good, the better. On the subject of what makes you happy, here’s a good exercise to try.

Pick a room, any room and focus on one part of that room like a shelf or table; something that’s holding stuff. Pretend the room is on fire and in your mind, make a note of what you’d take with you (pretend you only have about 10 seconds because the flames are leaping at you and threatening to swallow you up).

As I wrote this I looked atshelf2 a shelf in my office and discovered about five things on it that would   not   be worth saving. I'll get rid of them.

Putting your stuff through the fire test will help you sweep your home clean of the stuff that doesn’t make you happy. 



I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Organization, Habits, Happiness, Relationships

6 Benefits to SHEs for Speaking Less and Listening More

Posted by Pam Young

Feb 4, 2015 6:30:00 AM

My mouth gets me into more trouble than any other hole in my body.

That’s the very first line in my book The Mouth Trap: the butt stops here! Thank goodness we only have one mouth. How many times have you wished that you didn’t say that, or didn’t eat or drink that?Pam_Young

I’m sure there’s a legitimate reason why we were made with one mouth and two ears, instead of the other way around. Maybe there’s a clue here to the ratio of use. What if, just for today, we listen more than we speak? How do you think you’d feel tonight when you go to bed?

We’ve been blessed with the precious gift of speech, but this gift (as with every gift) can be abused and come back to bite us. Balancing speaking and listening will serve you in great ways. I’m suggesting we use our mouths half as much as we use our ears (just for today).

Here are 6 benefits to speaking less and listening more. At the end of my blog, I’ll share how I stopped nagging as a young, single mom of three children ages 4, 9 and 12.

     1.   Accomplish more

 As long as your goal is to make your world a better place, doing will always beat speaking unless you’re Oprah. When your focus switches from talking to doing a household chore, you’ll accomplish so much more. When you speak less, you naturally do more. If you could hush up for five minutes a day, in a month you’ll have given yourself two and a half hours of quiet action time. Just like a picture is worth a thousand words, so is a hug, a home-cooked dinner, a clean bathroom, fresh laundry and a hundred other acts of love. home_cooked_dinner

      2.   What’s important shows up

You’ve got a smart phone, so who’s the smartest, you or the phone? You’re the smart one if you limit your use to what serves you and uplifts you. Information overload created by the Internet is a choice. You get to decide how much of your time is going to be spent on the Internet or yakking on the phone. The next time you start to call someone, ask yourself, “Is this really important or will I be talking just to hear my own voice?” If it isn’t important or you miss hearing your voice, hang up and write a thank you note to someone you love and as you write, say the words out loud. thank_you_note

      3.   Reduces stress

Think of something you can do with your family, in silence. See what happens if you and your mate go for a walk without talking or watch the sunset without comment or eat a speechless meal. Terry and I play a card game with friends that involves dealing many different hands starting with each person getting one card up to one hand where each person gets 13 cards. One of the hands is declared a silent hand and no one is allowed to speak until the next deal. It always ends up in laughter and it’s usually a woman who breaks the silence!

I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Happiness, Relationships

Save Your Marriage with Hors D'oeuvres

Posted by Pam Young

Jan 29, 2015 4:00:00 AM

Men love hors d’oeuvres!

That’s because hors d'oeuvres send a chemical message to the male brain that tells the animal there’s food ready to eat, NOW. My husband Terry told me that when he smells the aroma of food cooking, his nose is unable to decipher when that food will be ready to eat. A plate of hors d’oeuvres, on the other hand, goes straight into the blood stream, assuring the organism that everything is going to be alright. Now you might ask, “Why do you think men like hors d’oeuvres more than women do?” Well, women like hors d’oeuvres too, but they don’t need them like men do. When I fix dinner I’m hors d’oeuvring through the entire cooking process. Many times I’ve hors d’oeuvred myself into a bloated stupor before I’ve sat down to the dinner table.

Have you noticed men are weird when they’re hungry (especially tall ones)? I learned that early in my marriage to Terry. When it was dinner time he used to always be ravenous and, quite frankly, I didn’t like him when he was that way. He was six feet, three inches of uncontrollable hunger and he’d drive me nuts!

He didn’t act mean or cranky like some men do; he just acted like he’d skipped his meds. He’d sort of be a combination of Kramer (in the sitcom Seinfeld) and Barney Fife (in The Andy Griffith Show) on speed. He’d dart around the kitchen trying to get closer to the pending meal. He’d find difficulty concentrating and our kitchen just wasn’t big enough for both of us, when he’d be famished.

A famished man definitely acts differently than a famished woman. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Swanson didn’t think to name their large portioned TV dinner, Hungry Woman Dinner, even though an average lady can put one away with no problem. No one addresses the idea of a hungry woman because, quite frankly, we never are. That’s because we snack. From the time we are youngsters; we spend more time in the kitchen and therefore have more access to food than men do. If we work outside of our homes we carry with us a snacking pattern gleaned from generations of female snackers. I would bet that more business women have snacks in their drawers at work than men do. And men don’t have purses (a natural snack sack) to tuck treats. 



I Hope You'll Want To

Topics: Tools for Moms, Relationships

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