Simple Rules for Happiness

Dr. Hollenbach's Simple Rules for Happiness

Photo of a keyhole with the accompanying key attached to a tag reading "Happiness".

When someone criticizes you,
accept it if it’s right and ignore it if it’s wrong.
There’s no reason to flip out.

The way your family was when you were little is not the way the world is now,
but you probably still assume that it is.  Don’t.

Be a good person and choose one as your partner.
Insist on this for both of you.

Agree with other people 80% of the time, disagree with them 20% of the time.
The 80% makes them like you, the 20% makes them respect you.

Many people are attracted to dominant persons, who then treat them badly.
If this is you, look for someone who is strong rather than dominant.
Dominance is ‘I control you’, strength is ‘I control me’.
Strong people are harder to find because they’re quieter and less obvious,
but you will find them even more attractive.

Tell people who care about you how you feel.
They don’t have telepathy.

Tell your boss what your boss wants to hear.
If it’s not what you want to say, send out resumes.

Compromise with people who are cooperative;
assert yourself with people who are dominant.
Both will respect you.

Hold the person you’re attracted to accountable.
Don’t give them a pass because they’re hot.

Anger wants to punish, hatred wants to destroy.
Hesitate when you feel anger, stop yourself when you feel hate.

Don’t sleep too little, don’t eat too much.

Shame is when others think you’re bad; guilt is when you think you’re bad.  
Separate them and do what you think is right.

If you’re always in the Friend Zone, don’t be so friendly.
Don’t dump on them or let them dump on you,
and always be prepared to walk away.
You want respect rather then gratitude
because you’re trying to be a partner, not a parent.

Keep a list in your mind of people to take care of.
Make sure your name is on the list.

When you have power over others, respect them.

Don’t be too selfish and don’t be too unselfish, just be fair.
With your kids, don’t be adult-centered and don’t be child-centered, just be fair.

Cruelty and selfishness are the two types of evil.
Beware of selfishness, it’s harder to spot.

It’s OK to be from Venus or Mars.  Try not to be from Uranus.

Thomas B. Hollenbach, Ph.D.
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