Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Over your lifetime, what's more valuable, gaining approval or having self-respect?  Is it more important to be popular or to be respected? 

Think about it and read more below.

At your service,

Dr. Mitchell Perry  


Being Popular vs. Being Respected

Consider the difference between being popular with others in contrast to being respected by others.  The following contrasts might get your attention:


  • Wants to be liked / avoid disapproval
  • Doubts their own judgment
  • Less adult / less mature
  • Less responsible
  • Externally grounded
  • Avoids conflict
  • Responds to peer pressure
  • Defers / over-accommodates
  • Difficulty with saying no
  • Needs to fit in
  • Operates from weakness
  • Less strength of character


  • Wants respect from others
  • Trusts their own judgment
  • More adult / more mature
  • More responsible
  • Internally grounded
  • Deals with conflict
  • Prefers to be eccentric
  • Stands ground / faces the music
  • Okay with saying no
  • Little need to fit in
  • Operates from strength
  • More strength of character

In your network, you have known many people who prefer to be more in one category than the other.  And, when you think about it, you may start concluding that more than half the people you know are more interested in being popular than being respected.  Perhaps they are too often operating from weakness and therefore are more hostage to the approval of others. 

Which category appears to be more like you?  How much would you like to live your life being more regularly respected? 


Do you ever notice that every morning you wake up... you wake up YOU?  You are always there, regardless of your dreams or fantasies about being someone else. 

I like to say, "Wherever you go, there you are, so there you go!"  This means that every morning when you look in the mirror, there you are.  You will always be attending that meeting and that experience with yourself so it makes perfect sense to enjoy and feel good about what you see in the mirror. 

It is insane to dislike or disrespect the person always attending your party: You.

So, your judgment, your approval, your self-respect, your self-concept is primary.  Therefore, to be partially or routinely hostage to the approval / disapproval of others over your own is profoundly counter-productive and insane. 

1.   Which has a longer shelf-life, being popular or being respected?                                         
When you think about it, being popular is similar to fashion, one minute it is IN and the next minute it is OUT.  Being popular means that you are hostage to the whims of the masses and often the masses, can be fickle.   There is often great group pressure to belong to the Union of Fitting In.  You will also notice that people who are popular rarely have a strong opinion on anything and they are careful to routinely avoid being controversial or strong-willed.  They want to fit in, be nice, court favor, and avoid conflict.  Therefore, popular people are easy to like.                                            
Your being hostage to the approval / disapproval of others perpetually makes you adjust your standards and conduct in the interest of gaining that temporary favor from them.                                                  
Moreover, you will notice that people who are respected tend to be respected for a long time.  They are willing to be unpopular in the interest of a higher standard.  They are often people to whom you look up to because they often choose a higher principle and are willing to stick with it.  Principles, values, and standards are important to people who are respected.  They often emerge as thought leaders and role models.  They also think that fitting in to the trend of the day is unthinkable and that everyone who is concerned about being popular is out of step with what is important.  Instead they are committed to strength of character and want to operate from integrity, responsibility, and generosity of spirit.
2. Which is more likely?                                              
If you are liked and popular you will be respected?                                                         OR                                                                           
If you are respected you will be liked and popular?                                                        
Certainly it is true that either one lacks a guarantee.                                                        
On the other hand, think about how much you will respect someone if you like them.  Think about the people you think are popular and liked.  It is easy to like them because they are easy to be around... fun, funny, charming, affable, polite, mannerly, flexible, accommodating, deferential, amiable, empathetic, and caring.  All good qualities.  On the other hand, it is less likely you will respect them.                                                                 
If you respect someone, you admire their values, convictions, discipline, standards, and willingness to live by strong principles.  Over time, you might notice that you are gradually drawn to them and actually might begin to like them even if you disagree with some or all of their convictions.                                           

3.   If you operate largely from self-respect, are you more likely to be respected?
The degree to which you get respect from others is in direct proportion to your own self-respect. The more self-respect you have, the more respect you will get from others.
Example:  You get pressure from your peers to participate in doing drugs because it is cool, everyone is doing it, and you want to avoid being called a wimp So, to get group approval, you consent, do the drugs and then later regret it big time for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes you have to do the "right" thing because your self-respect is at stake.  When you do, you respect what you see in the mirror, and then "they" will likely respect you more. 


So how do you ensure that you operate from a position of self-respect? 


Going forward, consider using the "SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©."

You know what a barometer measures: air pressure.  And, as you may know, boaters and airplane pilots always check the barometer before they venture out into the sea or sky.  If the barometer indicates a storm coming, it might be a bad idea to go out in bad weather.  Barometers give you a reliable prediction of what is coming

Consider this, you probably wear a watch, and you probably routinely look at your watch to check the time (or you might routinely look at your mobile phone for the same purpose).  Regularly checking the time helps you make important decisions at particular points in the day. 

So imagine that you NOW have an additional gauge on your watch (or phone) and this one is called your "SELF-RESPECT BAROMETER©" and it continually measures your self-respect at any time you want to check it. 

Now imagine you are going to make a decision about a relationship, an initiative, a purchase, a reaction, etc. and this decision has some emotion attached to it, which means this next decision might be impacted by that emotion. 

Take a look at the following examples around which you have 2 choices.  Consider which choice is likely to increase your self-respect.
  • Run away from the mess you've created and hope the conflict resolves itself
  • Clean up the mess you made and resolve the conflict

  • Buy the item because you must have it even though you lack the money
  • Routinely set aside money so you can build up your monetary supply

  • Drink and drive because you will be "fine"
  • Get a ride home and be safe

  • Break your commitment with someone because you just got a "better deal"
  • Stick with your commitment because you want to be good to your word

  • Betray a relationship with "little white lies"
  • Stay loyal, honest, and face the music

  • Over-accommodate your spouse / children to avoid the conflict and whining
  • Stand fast, say no, and remain calm

  • Criticize and blame others because it is always "their fault"
  • Own your behavior, pay the freight, and take responsibility for your contribution

  • Be defensive and argumentative because you must win and/or avoid losing
  • Step up and work on reaching agreement and compromise

  • Stay in a toxic relationship, play the victim, practice self-pity, and stay miserable
  • Offload the relationship, learn your lessons, and move into your next chapter

  • Abandon your commitment to staying healthy because it is "boring"
  • Stick with your exercise and diet discipline to stay healthy and have a long life

  • Stay in a job you hate because you are afraid to be in charge of your life
  • Take responsibility for your destiny and find a new direction that you enjoy

  • Carry a grudge, keep condemning, and wanting a pound of flesh from them
  • Forgive, get over it, move on, love what you can love and let the rest go

  • Compromise your standards because it is easier and "everybody does it"
  • Stick with your standards because you are calmer inside when you do


Now ask yourself this question, "If I choose this decision, does my self-respect go up or down?"  If the answer is DOWN, then you can decide to make another decision instead. 

If the answer is UP, then go ahead and make that decision!

Remind yourself that self-respect is always the guiding light, the guidance counselor, the mentor, the internal locus of control.  Is it worth compromising your self-respect when you make the wrong decision? 


You then start trusting your judgment more. 

 Remember, your self-respect begets higher standards in you.  You are therefore likely to show more respect to others, which in turn begets more respect from them.


Keep the "Self-Respect Barometer©" close by and look at it often.  You will notice that it will help you make important decisions, retain your strength of character, and your self-respect. 


You think English is easy?
  1. The bandage was wound around the wound.
  2. The farm was used to produce produce.
  3. The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
  4. We must polish the Polish furniture. 
  5. He could lead if he would get the lead out. 
  6. The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert. 
  7. Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present. 
  8. A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
  9. When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes. 
  10. I did not object to the object. 
  11. The insurance was invalid for the invalid. 
  12. There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row. 
  13. They were too close to the door to close it.
  14. The buck does funny things when the does are present. 
  15. A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line. 
  16. To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow. 
  17. The wind was too strong to wind the sail. 
  18. Upon seeing the tear in the painting, I shed a tear.
  19. I had to subject the subject to a series of tests. 
  20. How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend? 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016


When you believe you are defective, and weak, you are... on the other hand, when you believe you are good and worthy, you are.  So, which one do you want to believe?   

At your service,

Dr. Mitchell Perry  


Your state of mind has a huge impact on the way you conduct yourself.  Your ongoing beliefs determine a tremendous amount of the way you look at reality and apply those perspectives. 

Even if your beliefs are completely unreasonable, unrealistic, and irrational, you are likely to continue to proceed with your habits reflective of those beliefs.  Therefore, before you begin to change your conduct, it is very important to first take an examination of your beliefs in the first place to determine if they are sane, reasonable, and realistic. 

Examples of popular beliefs:
  1. If you believe people are bad, untrustworthy, and manipulative, you will act in a way that maintains ongoing mistrust of them. 
  2. If you believe you are inadequate and defective, you will continually prove that in your habits, i.e., giving up before you start. 
  3. If you believe you must have everyone approve of you, you will continually try to get that approval even if that means you must compromise your principles along the way.
  4. If you believe you must win and/or avoid losing, then you will routinely become defensive and prefer arguing rather than reaching agreement with people.
  5. If you believe the world is a very dangerous place, then you will continually operate from fear and worry, and will avoid new initiatives because of your fear. 
  6. If you believe that you are fundamentally unlovable, you will prove it by avoiding any long-term and committed relationships. 
  7. If you believe that you are rarely responsible for anything, and responsibility always lies with everyone else, then you are likely to play victim and routinely blame everyone for your situation.
  8. If you believe you are stupid and unable to compete with people who are smart, then you will give up and withdraw before you even get started.
  9. If you believe that anxiety and fear are good motivators, then you will always use fear to propel you, and you will continually feel inadequate and less than good enough.   

First it is very important to examine and acknowledge your ongoing foundational beliefs.  Determine how much of what you believe is unreasonable, irrational, and unrealistic. 

Then there are 3 steps to operate from a realistic, rational, and reasonable point of view:
  1. Illuminate the Irrational Belief:  clarify it; admit it as being something you have believed in for a long time... and that the belief is unreasonable and irrational.
  2. Dispute the Belief:  refuse to believe that ridiculous belief anymore.
  3. Replace the Belief:  rewrite the belief with a new one that is more reasonable, realistic, pragmatic, and practical. 
The late Dr. Albert Ellis outlined the most popular irrational beliefs that most people believe.  These are all counter-productive, unreasonable, and self-defeating.  Take a look at them, decide which of them sounds like you, and then consider how you might rewrite them to new and improved beliefs. 

By Albert Ellis Ph.D
  1. "Everyone must love me and approve of me" --  The belief that it is a dire necessity for you to be loved or approved of by every significant other person in the community. (You may realize this is impossible... there are just too many people that you think must approve of you.) 
  2. "The Perfection Obsession" -- The belief that you must be thoroughly competent, adequate, and achieving in all possible respects if you are to consider yourself worthwhile. (Once again this is impossible since it is very difficult to find someone who is perfect.)
  3. "The Bigot" -- The belief that certain people are bad, wicked, and villainous, and should be severely blamed and punished for their villainy.  (Really?  Do you notice how we as a species have been condemning others for years and attempting to wipe them out?  So, how has that worked out?
  4. "The Catastrophizer" -- The belief that it is awful and catastrophic when things are other than you would very much like them to be. (Many people are catastrophizers, awfulizers, and crisis junkies, and all they do is spend time obsessing about how awful things are.  There is always a difference between how life is supposed to be and how life is.)   
  5. "They Made Me Do It" -- The idea that human unhappiness is externally caused and you have little ability to control your sorrows and disturbances. (Here you are avoiding responsibility for yourself and blaming everyone else.)
  6. "The Worrier" -- The belief that if something is or may be dangerous or fearsome, you must be terribly concerned about it and must keep dwelling on the possibility of its occurring. (Here is the worry-wart, the obsessor, the chronic anxiety addict who is perpetually concerned about anything that might be frightening.
  7. "The Avoider" -- The belief that it is easier to avoid rather than to face certain life difficulties and self-responsibilities. (You might want to ask yourself a question: "Is it really easier to avoid it?"
  8. "The Dependent" -- The belief that you are weak and must be dependent on others... you need someone stronger than yourself on whom to rely. (If you think about this, you are deliberately choosing to be weak and dependent, then feeling upset about the very dependency that you opted for, and then deciding you are entitled and someone else is supposed to rescue you and fix your situation.)
  9. "That's Just the Way I Am" -- The belief that your past history is an all-important determiner of your present behavior, and because something once strongly affected your life, it must indefinitely have a similar effect. (Here you are justifying your bad habits by saying that it's "just the way you are" so YOU can avoid doing anything about it.
  10. "If You're Upset, I Must be Too" --  The belief that you must become quite upset over other people's sorrows and disturbances. (Here you are thinking that you are unable to be happy if someone you love is unhappy, and that your happiness is completely dependent on someone else happiness.  Really?
  11. "Get the Right Answer!" -- The belief that there is invariably a right, precise, and perfect solution to human problems, and it is awful and bad if you fail to arrive at this perfect solution. (Remember that life is messy and unfair.  Therefore, it is reasonable to believe that everything has to have a right and perfect solution, and that something that might be merely acceptable is wrong?
Remember that what you believe, you will prove.

Here is an example for your consideration.  This is a popular belief you will notice is entirely unreasonable:


"If I am not beautiful / good looking, then I am not attractive."

Give some thought to that.  Is beautiful and attractive really the same thing?

Ask yourself the following:  Are there some attractive people who are less than beautiful / good looking?  Of course.

Likewise, are there some beautiful / good looking people who are quite unattractive?  Absolutely! 

So what makes people attractive?
  • Engaging and impressive
  • Funny and charming
  • Interested and therefore interesting
  • Fascinating and thought provoking
  • Cute and eccentric
  • Peculiar and non-conformist nature
  • Smart and educated
  • Eloquent and articulate
  • Worldly and forthright
  • Strength of character and high standards
  • Operating from strength and self-respect
  • Gracious and polite
  • Charitable and forgiving
  • Childlike and adorable
  • Politically incorrect
  • Passionate and intense
  • Outrageous and provocative
So what makes people beautiful and good looking?
  • Great facial features
  • Terrific colors and contrasting accompanying proportions
  • Great body and architecture
  • Great hair and classic features
  • Fortunate genetic  gifts
  • Membership in the lucky sperm club
Therefore, if you look at the above, you will notice that many people who are attractive possess MANY qualities that are distinct from being good looking / beautiful. 


On the other hand, if you think that you can only be attractive if you are good looking, then you are setting yourself up for a let-down. 


  1. Illuminate the Irrational Belief - clarify it; admit it as being something you have believed for a long time... and that the belief is unreasonable and irrational.
  2. Dispute the Belief - refuse to believe that ridiculous belief anymore. 
  3. Replace the Belief - rewrite the belief with a  new one that is more reasonable, realistic, pragmatic and practical. 
If you believe something irrational and unreasonable, you will continue to prove it in a very self-defeating manner. 

When you replace your beliefs with something sane and reasonable, you will be more productive and functional.



Thursday, April 7, 2016

During this election time in our country where we decide on a new President, we are confronted with making choices among some curious candidates.

Some of these "characters" seem to have remarkably underwhelming CHARACTER.
Further, it seems that our country is very unhappy because our standards have declined in too many areas. And, too often, we have enabled that with our choices and our own standards.
So, when you vote, consider the CHARACTER of the candidate when you make your choice.
At your service,

Dr. Mitchell Perry  

It's Always About Your Character

Think about your life and how you are living it.  For most of us, our lives are filled with some great ups, some painful downs, and a whole boatload of underwhelming vanilla in the middle.  We frequently waste a lot of time either watching life go by, or stalling with great intentions to get going real soon.

Sometimes we gain wisdom, and that happens when we have our experience collide with reflection on that experience.  When we reflect on our experience... we often learn lessons. Those lessons are invaluable to help us make course corrections in our life journey. 

Life is short, and too often we say along the way, "If I knew then what I know now..."  And we say that with regret because we stalled for too long to learn the lessons. 

So, in your saner reflective moments in life, you might notice that your character plays such a huge role in the quality of your life

Your character is made up of:

  • Your basic governing standards
  • Your values
  • Your standards of conduct
  • Your rules of engagement
  • Your priorities in life
  • Your self-respect
Every morning when you wake up and look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see?  Are you pleased or embarrassed?  Proud or ashamed?  Impressed or depressed?  Excited or bored?  Energetic or listless?  Engaged or isolated?  Powerful or weak?  Do you feel meaningful or meaningless? 

Every morning, whether you like it or not, you wake up inside your own skin. 

"Wherever you go, there you are, so there you go!"  Which means you have to live with yourself, your feelings, your choices, and your behavior.  And, just like compounded interest in a bank account, there are long-term effects to those choices and behaviors. 

At the end of the day, the measure of your life is inevitably determined by your CHARACTER and all its strengths and weaknesses.  IT'S ALWAYS ABOUT YOUR CHARACTER!

So, what is the condition of your character?  What are your basic governing values?  What are the moral principles by which you want to live?  What is the gap between what you espouse and what you practice?  There is always going to be a gap; just how wide is it?  Is that okay with you?

The essential qualities for Strength of Character include:

  1. INTEGRITY:  Honesty, legitimacy, the straight stuff, and full disclosure.  The willingness to be unpopular at times, by telling the truth.  The absence of lying, tap-dancing, pretending, spinning, stalling, distracting, rationalizing, justifying, and avoiding.  It's doing the right thing.. and most of the time we know what it is.
  2. RESPONSIBILITY:  Your life is completely your responsibility.  As an adult, you own your situation -- you are responsible for your choices, your decisions, your preferences, your relationships, your financial health, your conduct, and your actions. If life is going well for you, you probably made it happen. If life is going poorly, you did that too.  And, if life is a giant boatload of underwhelming and wasting time, you did that too. The cards dealt to you are yours to play with; good or bad.  So take accountability, make your choices, apologize, clean up your mess, take your lumps and get on with it.  The energy spent on whining, complaining, and problem describing will be so much better spent on problem solving.
  3. GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT:  This part of your Strength of Character is about giving more than taking, contributing more than consuming, caring more than expecting, investing more than expensing.  This part of you is where you are comfortable inside your own skin because you can find your calm, live in the light, derive meaning, and hear the quiet.  "You get more than you give when you give more than you get."  (Hmmm... random acts of kindness!)
Establish a higher standard for yourself and your life.  Life is too short to live a vanilla life.  People will treat you how you teach them to treat you.

People will respect you directly proportional to your self-respect.  Respect that person in the mirror!

Commit to integrity, Responsibility of Spirit... and then share your values and spread them around.

You are quite a role model!


 Today's Tickle
BECAUSE I'M A MAN           laughing-quad-friends.jpg

Because I'm a man -- when I lock my keys in the car, I will fiddle with a coat hanger long after hypothermia has set in.  Calling AAA is out of the question.  I will win.
Because I'm a man -- when the car is running poorly, I will pop the hood and stare at the engine as if I know what I'm looking at.  If another man shows up, one of us will say to the other, "I used to be able to fix these things but now with all these computers and everything, I am clueless where to start."  We will then drink a couple of beers and break wind, as a form of holy communion.
Because I'm a man -- when I catch a cold, I need someone to bring me soup and take care of me while I lie in bed and moan.  You're a woman.  I will always get sicker than you, so for you, this is cake. 
Because I'm a man -- I can be relied upon to purchase basic groceries at the store, like steaks, milk or bread.  I cannot be expected to find exotic items like tofu or tampons.  For all I know, these are the same thing.
Because I'm a man -- when one of our appliances stops working, I will insist on taking it apart, despite evidence that this will just cost me twice as much once the repair person gets here and has to put it back together. 
Because I'm a man -- I must hold the television remote control in my hand while I watch TV.  If the thing has been misplaced, I may miss a whole show looking for it... though one time I was able to survive by holding a calculator (former applies mainly to engineers). 
Because I'm a man -- I carry with me a wallet... this item often fits in my pocket, and therefore, carries largely what I need every day -- some money, credit cards, ID cards, etc.  You carry a purse.  Certainly you can choose to put in your purse any number of items that you deem to be critical and necessary for your ongoing day-to-day existence.  Understand that asking me to carry and/or hold your purse is UNTHINKABLE, especially in public.  Please know that you and you alone will be hauling all that stuff around. 
Because I'm a man -- it is unnecessary to ask me what I'm thinking about.  The true answer is always either golf, cars, sports or sex.  I have to make up something else when you ask, so avoid asking. 
Because I'm a man -- it is unnecessary to ask me if I liked the movie.  Chances are, if you're crying at the end of it, I disliked it, and if you are feeling amorous afterwards, then I will certainly at least remember the name of the movie and recommend it to others. 
Because I'm a man -- I think what you're wearing is fine.  I thought what you were wearing five minutes ago was fine too.  Either pair of shoes is fine.  With the belt or without it looks fine.  Your hair is fine.  You look fine.  Can we just go now?
Because I'm a man -- and this is, after all the year 2016, I will share equally in the housework.  You just do the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the vacuuming, and the dishes, and I'll do the rest... like hosing down the patio and wandering around in the garden with a soda, wondering what to do next. 
This has been a public service message for women to Better Understand Men.