It’s my birthday! (Toolbox talk to self)

1-13412918_10153998366711622_2330988250306413740_nYup, Old Mamasan turns 44 today. That’s old enough to know better and young enough to do it anyway.

Facebook is overflowing with best wishes for my b-day, and I love it. The Norwegian recipe for potato salad that I posted today is running high in the statistics, as I knew it would; Norwegians love food! My boys are taking me out for some fine dining tonight. The phone is ringing off the hook with family and friends wishing me happy b-day.

And I love it! I love the attention! And that should be enough, really. But no. This is my b-day, and if I want to diverge from my regular posting schedule, then I will. And if I want to ramble, then I will. I actually am going to treat myself to this one post that might not fit into my other content all that well. It’s about me doing something for myself. It’s about self-love! (I honestly believe that more people should do something for themselves more often, I believe that would heighten the general happiness-level in the world!)

1-13435388_10153998364971622_4411160549827707725_nAs those of you who have read my blog are aware; I have a Nerd, I call him Sir Nerdalot. Because he Nerds. A lot. Part of being a Nerd, besides shooting things in the face on the computer, is usually intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, a Nerd can be dumb as a friggin’ brick on some topics, but they are usually very, very smart on topics that interest them. My Nerd is doing really well in his area of expertise, and he is going for it! And I support him. I admire people who dare to take a chance, who dare to pursue a dream. My Nerd is a true inspiration to me. (And he’s handsome to boot! SCORE!)

I have, partly through feedback from this blog, partly from Sir Nerdalot and real-life friends, had so many confirmations that I can write that I am actually starting to believe it. So why settle for a stupid blog, when it is a book that I want to write?

Not that I know anything about the fine art of book-writing. But I’m not gonna let that stop me. What I don’t know, I can find out. I also do not know what this book will be about, or what genre, but that’s irrelevant. All I know is that deep down inside of me, there is a book that needs to be released through my fingers. I’ll just have to sit down and write. “Just do it” like Nike says. Or to quote a great athlete who recently passed away:

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

– Mohammad Ali

Having worked for the travel industry and later the oil and gas industry (both on- and offshore) it’s quite embedded in me not to take risks. Not to mention having lived for 8+ years in a rather hostile environment at Svalbard where polar bears roam the streets and weather can go from bad to catastrophic in less than 2 seconds. Play it safe and stay alive.

But we are not talking about that kind of risk, are we? Let’s analyze, what are the risks I am facing in writing a book? Yup, let’s do the Toolbox Talk:

  • Writing a shitty book. Well even a shitty book is a book, and my goal would have been reached. The next book just has to be less shitty!
  • Not finishing. Well that would be a problem for my self-esteem. But there might still be an opportunity for a lesson-learned in that. Not finishing one book does not mean that there will not be a next book – a book that will be finished.
  • Neglecting the blog. Not likely. I’m too much of an attention whore to neglect this fine venue of attention. I might decide to cut back a tiny bit, at least for a period, but not anywhere near the point of neglecting.
  • Not getting published. Then I self-publish! Unless it’s a shitty book. Then I won’t.
  • Giving in to fear of failure and not even start. And that is where I have been up til now. Totally unacceptable!

Conclusion: Seems to me that I have nothing to fear but fear itself. And we can’t have that, now, can we? Fact is, people write books all the time! So why can’t I? The Bloggess has done it.  Meg Sorick has done it. Now, Old Mamasan will do it! I want to be my own Superhero.

I will end this ramble now, content in knowing that a decision has been made. I will wish myself a Happy Birthday and repeat my inspirational mantra (two simple words that might not look as all that, but holds immense meaning for me):




Technique against trolls and bullies

Last night I wrote about Internet Trolls in this post: Trolls from the Sagas to the internet, and in the comments I got the idea for this post by my dear Blogfriend Singledust (Go on, click her name and visit with her, you’ll have a good time I’m sure! I always enjoy my visits on her blog)

nettrollBeing trolled, bullied, harassed and generally badly treated can do great damage to your psyche, in some extreme cases the target ends his/her life. Every blog and article out there will tell you that the best way to handle trolls is by not feeding them, and I disagree. Because – the most extreme trolls will not stop even when not fed! And even if you quietly ignore them, they can still have a tremendous effect on your self-worth, your self-esteem, your psyche. BUT YOU CAN CHANGE THAT! (You might be so run down that you need professional help, and this post must under no circumstance be seen as a cure or as professional treatment at all. And if you are living in an abusive relationship; get out now! Get help! Get protection!)

As we all know, changing another person is impossible. But we can certainly change how we perceive that person. We can change what effect this person have on us! We can effectively stop the negative effect they have on us! And it’s not even hard. It’s quick. It’s free. And you can do it right now! This whole process will not take more than five minutes of your time, but you need to be somewhere where you can play sound, or put on a headset.

And no, this is not a holistic, homeopathic, supernatural, voodoo mumbo-jumbo thing, it is an effective psychological technique, and it cannot harm you in any way. In fact this is a Paul McKenna technique. OK, here goes:

  • Close your eyes, and envision your bully/troll/harasser, see them before your inner eye. If you have no image of this person, then just make up one in your mind, and make sure you associate it with the bully.

  • Take a quick stock on how this bully makes you feel.

  • Close your eyes again, and envision your bully once more while you listen to the following soundtrack (concentrate!):

  • Take a new stock on how this person makes you feel. I bet your perception of this person changed already.

  • This technique can also be used against annoying people, but I strongly advise against using this on your boss. Breaking out in full belly laugh every time you see your boss might turn out to be counterproductive in salary negotiations…

FB_IMG_1437030560112Depending on how deeply this person has affected you, you might have to repeat this technique. Just as it takes time to get run down, it also takes time to build yourself up again. What you are doing with this technique is to change the association you have in your mind of this person. It won’t stop them – but it will stop them from having any effect on YOU. When they no longer have an effect on you, you will finally be able to see just how ridiculous they are – and thus you enter a positive spiral. The more they troll, the more ridiculous you will perceive them. And the more ridiculous they are to you, the less of an impact they have on you. See what I mean?

FB_IMG_1435292714399Now to STOP a troll from trolling – that is harder. If you expose and ridicule, you might be perceived as a troll yourself, so if that is your chosen method, be very wary of your audience. Also dishing it back can be a double edged sword. One would think that a bully would be prepared to get a few stingers back, but the thing is – they are usually not! A boy that bullied me when I was a teen had the hurt written all over his face after I pointed out his slight speech impediment and told him to learn how to speak properly before ever speaking to me again. Was that mean of me? Undoubtedly. But it was effective. Years of bullying stopped by that one little sentence. All the teachers’ tactics about ignoring the bullies and turning the other cheek – that didn’t work. I say you hit them smart, you hit them good, and you hit them ONCE. Know your bully, learn their weak spot, and use it.

irritatedAnother method I have good experience with is flooding. In a facebook group we rounded up all the active, positive users and we had a good go at our regular Troll. Everything the Troll wrote was picked apart by 20 users, and everything the Troll said was ridiculed by 20 people all at once. The Troll was not able to keep up at all. We never attacked the troll PERSONALLY, but we did attack his utterings. It was quite entertaining to see that the Troll’s inputs became more and more desperate by every entry. After a communal effort of 30 minutes, the Troll lurked away with its tail tucked in between its legs. We never saw him again.

Yes, my methods might be mean, but in a world where people are bullied into suicide, I say it’s them or us. Make sure you seek help if you feel the troll is posing a real threat to you and/or your loved ones. There are some sick f***s out there, for sure!

I will also take the opportunity to point out that someone disagreeing with you does not make them a troll. It is when they go off topic and attack you personally, and dish out random crap they have dreamed up in their sad, lonely minds, they qualify to the Troll title.

I think the most important thing to say to everyone that are the target of bullies and trolls, is that it is not your fault! You do not deserve to be treated badly! The bully/troll will try to make you think that you brought this on yourself, but that is a lie! There is only one to blame here – and that is the bully/troll! Not you! You are awesome!