Communication skills for the crazy

To the Self-Righteous People Who Need a Pat on the Back

by Bill Brenner June 21, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

I’ve mentioned before that kids today are addicted to accolades, that being told how awesome they are has become more important than actually achieving anything. It’s time to be fair to the kids and admit it’s not just them. We adults are just as bad — maybe even worse. Mood music: Armed with Facebook and Twitter accounts, we adults have the power to communicate like no other time in the past. And a lot of us use them…  [Read More]

Living in the Precious Present (If You Can Find It)

by Bill Brenner June 6, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

One of the basic traits of someone with OCD is an inability to live in the moment. Learning to do so is one of my big projects at the moment.   I’m better at living in the precious present than I used to be. I can remember being a kid, always daydreaming about the future: what I’d look like and how cool my life would be if I were thinner, the clothes I would wear,…  [Read More]

Dealing With People: A Business Survival Guide

by Bill Brenner March 23, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

From my perch in the information security industry, I’ve seen a lot of people come and go. The best rise to the top of their companies. The worst are crushed beneath the boots of others in what can be a high-stakes, high-pressure field. Many fall in the middle: They have had soaring success and painful setbacks. Those who manage to bounce back do so because they have learned a thing or two about dealing with…  [Read More]

When Listening Is Better Than Giving Advice

by Bill Brenner March 15, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

Sometimes when I’m going through a rough patch or just having a ridiculously annoying day, I need to vent. To do so productively and thus feel better, I need a good listener around. Unfortunately, people these days don’t want to listen. They have a big megaphone that is the Internet, and they can’t bear not to use it. So they take to social media and give advice. Mood music: In saying that, I realize two…  [Read More]

When Sarcasm Is Mistaken as a Cry for Help

by Bill Brenner March 7, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

A couple weeks back I caused a bit of a stir on Facebook with this comment: Many times this past year, I’ve questioned how the hell it is that I’m still sober, given all the dramatic challenges I’ve faced. Today is one of those days. I got a ton of comments from people offering advice, sympathy and everything in between. I was partly grateful because it showed a lot of people give a shit about…  [Read More]

What Shutting People Down Says About You

by Bill Brenner February 18, 2016 Communication skills for the crazy

I’m someone who believes in full, frank communication. It’s essential for plans running smoothly and people not misunderstanding each other. There’s a certain personality type that gets in the way of that every time. And it makes my blood boil. Mood music: It’s the person who shuts you down when you broach a subject they don’t want to talk about. They put up their hand and start rattling off a litany of reasons they’re brushing…  [Read More]

Nothing Brings Out the Self-Righteous Like a Terrorist Attack

by Bill Brenner November 16, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

Whenever we see terrible things like the ISIS attacks in Paris, something happens on Facebook: Many people become experts on religion and politics, and still more people get anal when people don’t observe a tragedy exactly as they would. Terror attacks bring out the best in some people. In others, it brings out self-righteous tomfoolery. Mood music: Whatever your political and religious beliefs, the attacks prove that your agenda is the correct one. One guy posted…  [Read More]

Starbucks, Christmas and Misguided People

by Bill Brenner November 11, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

This is from the “people need to get a life” file. It will be my only statement on this uproar over Starbucks’ red coffee cups. My faith is well documented in this blog. I go to church just about every Sunday, and my family is heavily involved in parish activities. To me, the “War on Christmas” rhetoric has always been a stupid distraction — just another thing for people to get whiny and self-righteous about. This…  [Read More]

How to Be Kind Without Being Pwned

by Bill Brenner November 9, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

Someone once told me that being kind to others is a great weapon against depression. Be good to others and you’ll feel better yourself. There’s truth to that. But I’ve also discovered that kindness must be delivered in blunt and unpleasant forms sometimes. Mood music: My idea of kindness was always to be nice to people and do things to help them feel better. A lot of the time that was good enough. But there are always…  [Read More]

Out of Facebook F**ks to Give

by Bill Brenner October 9, 2015 Communication skills for the crazy

When I look at some of the posts I wrote just a few years ago, I realize how much my outlook on a lot of things has changed, especially when it comes to Facebook. My opinions have evolved through my experiences since writing those posts. People who read those posts should see that a writer’s views can evolve and mature — or devolve. Mood music: “Me and My Facebook Unfriend Finder“ This post describes how…  [Read More]