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Not everyone who dishes out silent treatment is a narcissist. Social awkwardness or a lack of empathy are frequently tied to prior experiences that perhaps you're not aware of. It was raw in a way I thought was wrong and disrespectful at the time. But when I looked out at the front row filled with surfers all nodding their heads and wiping their eyes, I realized I was the one who was wrong. Just as every culture has its rituals for saying goodbye, every spiritual leader has his or her way of guiding mourners on the path of letting go, of sorrow, of memory and truth; The first thing I do is arrange a time to meet with the family. Once the family is gathered, I tell them that we are going to do three things that day. The first is talk about any questions or unfinished details dealing with the mortuary and the cemetery. The second thing we are going to do is tell stories--as many as we'd like for as long as we'd like. We are going to make a big stew of stories, I tell them. And the third thing I want to do is walk them through exactly what is going to happen at the funeral from the moment they arrive at the cemetery to the moment they depart. I realized then that my struggles were part of a much bigger social epidemic, something I'm calling the Laziness Lie. The Laziness Lie is a deep-seated, culturally held belief system that leads many of us to believe the following: I must work incredibly hard, all the time, to overcome my inner laziness. Anyone who isn't accomplished and driven is immoral. The Laziness Lie is the source of the guilty feeling that we are not doing enough; Once I began noticing the Laziness Lie all around me, I used the skills I'd learned as a researcher to delve deep into the history of laziness, as well as the most recent psychological studies about productivity. What I found brought me both massive relief and deep frustration. Not everyone who shows an obvious disregard in valuing others is a psycho, sociopath or narcissist. They may be operating from a space of ego further magnified by a lack of EQ .

Regardless, developing a higher EQ means continually working on yourself, simultaneously concerning yourself less in the judgement of others. Well, unless of course you're a psychopath, in which case, for the record, I'm not suggesting for a moment you slice, dice and dish others around you, Hannibal Lecter style, with fava beans and a nice Chianti. Untangle the automatic emotional responses you may have learned along the way to date. I can't make the funeral day easy, I honestly tell them, but I can make it easier if you are prepared for what is going to happen. I tell the family what we are going to talk about because it gives them a sense of structure and direction. That is my most important objective when death visits a family--to structure the chaos of loss, letting them know consciously and subconsciously that there is a way through it all. Often, when a person dies, it is up to me to tell the story of that person's life. The family is either too heartbroken, too conflicted, or just too exhausted to eulogize their loved one themselves. I consider this one of the greatest honors bestowed upon me. How do I distill a person's essence, his or her story, down to a few articles and a few minutes? Research on productivity, burnout, and mental health all suggest that the average workday is far too long, and that other commitments that we often think of as normal, such as a full course load at college or a commitment to weekly activism, are not sustainable for most people. I also came to see how the thing that we call laziness is often actually a powerful self-preservation instinct. When we feel unmotivated, directionless, or lazy, it's because our bodies and minds are screaming for some peace and quiet. When we learn to listen to those persistent feelings of tiredness and to honor them, we can finally begin to heal. I spoke with therapists and corporate coaches and learned about the steps a person can take to establish limits in their professional and personal lives. I found that by advocating for our right to be lazy, we can carve out space in our lives for play, relaxation, and recovery. I also discovered the immense relief that comes when we cease tying our self-image to how many items we check off our to-do lists. The laziness we've all been taught to fear does not exist. There is no morally corrupt, slothful force inside us, driving us to be unproductive for no reason. It's not evil to have limitations and to need breaks.

Continue with persistence towards goals that excite and drive you, doing so with empathy and consideration of the goals and rights of others. Learn to adapt your communication and capacity to influence along the way. Having a high EQ means realising no-one, other than you, has power over you. If you do relinquish this power by saying to someone 'you make me feel [insert emotional buzz word here], then ask them to kindly flip the switch to prevent your inner negativity. That's likely going to sound rather daft because deep down you know you can't. If you feel a certain way it's because on some level you're choosing it. Epictetus was a 1st century slave who navigated a life path to becoming a philosopher. I say exactly that to the grieving family gathered in my study, weeping on my couch of tears. So we are going to make a big stew of stories now. The happy, the sad, the funny, the embarrassing, the sweet, and the bitter. And we are going to tell those stories for as long as we feel like it and let things unfold however it seems best. I begin the conversation with the easiest questions first. Even if I knew the person who died really well and could answer the questions myself, I pose these simple questions regardless because they help people begin talking, sharing, and journeying back. Feeling tired or unmotivated is not a threat to our self-worth. In fact, the feelings we write off as laziness are some of humanity's most important instincts, a core part of how we stay alive and thrive in the long term. This article is a full-throated defense of the behaviors that get maligned as laziness and the people who have been written off as lazy by society. It contains practical advice for how to draw better boundaries in all the areas of your life where you might run the risk of overcommitting, scripts for how to defend your boundaries and limits to other people, and tons of reassurance that your worst fear--that you are an irredeemably lazy person--is entirely misplaced. When people run out of energy or motivation, there's a good reason for it. Tired, burned-out people aren't struggling with some shameful, evil inner laziness; We don't have to keep pushing ourselves to the brink, ignoring our body's alarm bells and punishing ourselves with self-recrimination.

You've likely heard variations of one of his views: 'It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters'. To remain cool, not allowing external situations to impact your own equilibrium, simultaneously being stalwart in consideration of others is indicative of a higher EQ. Even then, the kindest, most highly evolved, loving people on the planet aren't adored by everyone. I'll say it again: It's never what happens that's important. You always have a choice of responses, even when things feel unfair or hopeless. Behavioural scientist, author and motivational speaker Steve Maraboli states that 'you express the truth of your character with the choice of your actions'. In other words, what you do says a lot about your character and values. Which leads us nicely to the final layer of the Value Model's personal value article. Did you ever hear any stories about him from when he was a little boy? It is amazing to see how these initial questions help a family begin remembering the best of their loved one instead of simply experiencing the pain of loss. Next, I begin moving toward the more intimate center of a person's life. If there is a surviving spouse, I will often ask her or him, Do you remember the very first second that you laid eyes on each other? I work in downtown Chicago, just off Michigan Avenue. Every morning, I make my way through throngs of tired commuters and slow-moving tourists, passing at least half a dozen people sitting on street corners asking for change. Many times, I've witnessed a suburban-looking parent discouraging their kid from giving money to a nearby homeless person. They say the typical things people say about giving money to homeless folks: they're just going to spend the money on drugs or alcohol; It enrages me to hear people saying these things, because I know surviving as a homeless person is a huge amount of work. When you're homeless, every day is a struggle to locate a safe, warm, secure bit of shelter. You're constantly lugging all your possessions and resources around; If you've been homeless for more than a few days, you're probably nursing untreated injuries or struggling with mental or physical illness, or both.

You have to spend the entire day begging for enough change to buy a meal, or to pay the fee required to enter a homeless shelter. Because what you choose to do has a whole lot to do with who you really are. Words may hold power to gain a fresh perspective, but participation -- living life -- imparts influences as the greatest educator. People sometimes need to fall on their own sword in order to learn. The contrast in life, including harsh, unpleasant circumstances, unlocks the best learnings. The grieving spouse is instantly transported back to a time when he or she was young and felt that magical spark of true love that led to decades together. The adult children in the room are often amazed, a touch embarrassed, and filled with laughter to imagine their parents ever having had that kind of passion. Kids, those adult children say to their own children who are in the room, cover your ears. By this point the children and grandchildren are moved, laughing, and delighted to journey back to a time before they were alive but that resulted in their very existence. If you're on any government benefits, you have to attend regular meetings with caseworkers, doctors, and therapists to prove that you deserve access to health care and food. You're constantly traumatized, sick, and run ragged. You have to endure people berating you, threatening you, and throwing you out of public spaces for no reason. You're fighting to survive every single day, and people have the audacity to call you lazy. I know all of this because I have friends who've been homeless. My friend Kim spent a summer living in a Walmart parking lot after a landlord kicked them, their partner, and their two children out of the apartment they all shared. The hardest part of being homeless, Kim told me, was the stigma and judgment. If people didn't realize Kim was homeless, then they and their kids would be allowed to spend the better part of a day in a McDonald's, drinking Cokes, charging their phones, and staying out of the oppressive heat. But the second someone realized Kim was homeless, they transformed in people's minds from a tired but capable parent to an untrustworthy, lazy drain on society. It didn't matter how Kim and their children dressed, how they acted, how much food they bought--once the label of lazy was on them, there was no walking it back. I could be left to my own devices where I'd joyfully play with my toys or wonder at the world without fuss.