How Can I Ever Thank You? by Susan Leigh

Many of us have found increased reasons to be grateful and appreciative this last twelve months or so, perhaps due to the change of pace.

These unprecedented times have led many of us to realise how much our comfortable homes, environments, close family and friends mean to us.

This year has emerged as a time to be thankful for what we have, but also to really value the special people who’ve stepped up for us and helped us through these long days and tough times.

Our reflections may find us asking, ‘how can I ever thank you for all you’ve done for me, all the thoughtfulness carried out on my behalf?’

Let’s reflect on some ways to answer this question.

Acknowledging what’s been done for us with enthusiasm is a positive way of saying thank you. And, of course, we don’t know, are unlikely to ever know, what the personal cost was for them to do something on our behalf. Making time for us, inconveniencing their family, stepping outside of their own comfort zone could all have been factors. Being openly appreciative and grateful goes some way to showing that we acknowledge and value all that they’ve done for us.

Highlighting one specific element or aspect of their help and clearly illustrating how it’s made a difference to our life, our stress levels and happiness is a positive way to thank someone for their attention and support. Focusing on how they’ve contributed and helped, perhaps by improving our knowledge, our ability to cope, our skills and motivation levels gives a clear appreciation and legitimacy to our thanks.

Recommendations are an effective way of saying thank you. In a business setting, we’re likely to only recommend someone we have confidence in, so any assurances carry weight in other people’s decision-making process. A genuine, heartfelt recommendation, whether it be to our inner circle, on social media or in a networking setting demonstrates our faith in the person we’re referring. Spreading the word and giving testament as to how they’ve helped us is a valuable way of giving thanks for their input and quality of work.

Reciprocating, whenever possible, is an important way of showing thanks in relevant situations. There may not be many opportunities to reciprocate, but referencing someone’s good work whenever we can, outlining how they’ve helped us, may go some way to returning the compliment and supporting them in the best possible way.

Their care for us may have consisted of giving us time to take a much-needed break, of them checking in on us when they knew we were feeling low, of helping out with childcare or assisting during an unprecedented working from home challenge. Our reciprocation ‘thank you’ may take the form of a lovely homemade cake or dinner, or enthusing to others about how helpful they’ve been. There may be several potential options, with our efforts to support them often being seen as thanks enough.

Being a good friend is a sensitive way of saying ‘thank you’. Maybe noticing if they’ve gone a little quiet, taking the time to touch base, making a friendly, conversational phone call, dropping by for a coffee or including them in something that we think would be of interest to them. These are all ways to show that we care and value them, rather than focussing solely on what they can do for us.

Loyalty is also a good way of demonstrating thanks, sticking up for them if required, but also finding ways to praise their positive skills, traits and good points. As is refusing to be drawn into any negative gossip or conversations about them, but instead cutting any hint of that happening short.

Remembering things of significance to them, their special dates, birthdays, anniversaries, can be another way to return the compliment and demonstrate thanks. Or noticing something they might like or need, perhaps recalling a book they’ve mentioned or seeing a promo for a concert or show they’d be interested in, even a new series starting on TV; passing on information that they’d appreciate is a good way to demonstrate that the relationship is not one-sided and that we’re thinking of them too.

Being the best version of ourself often is the ultimate way to repay someone’s belief in us. Making the most of any chances that come our way and seizing those opportunities. Availing ourselves of ways to maximise on the support we’ve been given enables them to feel proud of us and their role in our journey. Good supportive friends love to see how well we’ve done and relish their part in our success.

And, if all else fails, a handwritten note, card or simple bunch of flowers is a great way to communicate our thanks.

Susan Leigh, Altrincham, Cheshire, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor. Author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon.

To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit

Follow these tips and you’ll be taking selfies like a pro in no time!

Our Guide on How to Take Your Perfect Selfie

If you want to nail that ultimate selfie pose and have your perfect picture for the ‘gram, we’ve got the best advice.

1. Find your light

  • Getting that perfect image is all about the balance of light and shadows; this is where the photography expertise comes in!
  • One wise blogger puts it best: “Light is undoubtedly the best beauty product you don’t have to pay for.
  • “So get outside, get by that window or find the best light you can and make sure it’s highlighting your beauty!
  • Or cheat a little with a fantastic beautiful mobile phone light ring; many of my celeb friends use these.
  • For make-up highlighting tips read International Celebrity MUA Sean Maloney’s article for some pro advice.

2. Take your time

  • Rushing a picture is never going to be the right recipe for success.
  • Most likely, you’ll end up with rushed pictures and feel stressed instead of enjoying the moment.
  • After all, you want to look back at the image and remember the good time you were having!

3. Flash a smile

  • While mean and moody can work for some (Zoolander anyone?), we always look best with a happy, natural smile on our faces for most of us.
  • If you’re ever wondering how to get the most natural-looking selfie, then flash your smile or even laugh to show yourself at your happiest.

4. Check your background

  • There’s nothing worse than being happy with your pose, your makeup and how you look and then noticing something annoying in the background.
  • Yes, you can edit it out, but that’s just more hassle.
  • Instead, make sure you check your background before you set up your shot.
  • Look for clear, uncluttered backgrounds and, if you can, free of other people!

5. Don’t overthink it – have fun!

  • Photography should be fun, even if you’re an influencer and it’s your full-time job.
  • Worrying about angles, light and being picture-perfect can mean you have a lot on your mind.
  • Yet taking a picture should be a fun experience, so try and relax – don’t overthink it!

6. Avoid the overused clichés

  • When we think back over the years, there have been trends that have come and gone, and some of them are better forgotten.
  • Duck lips, peace signs, even the Usain Bolt Olympic winning stance… they’re all a bit ‘overdone’.
  • In your next selfie, avoid the trendy pose of the moment, and your selfie will look more timeless, which means you can look back on it for years to come.

7. Don’t worry about the numbers.

  • Often when we take a selfie, it’s to put it on the ‘gram or to share across our social media accounts.
  • When we do that, it can be easy to get caught up in the numbers and look at how many likes or responses we got – but don’t let that be all you look at.
  • Numbers don’t equal validation, and remember the selfie for the memory it gave you, instead of how many likes or engagement you got from it.

So go on, strike that pose and take the perfect picture for your next selfie!

What’s stopping you? 😉 


Why Don’t You Act Your Age! By Susan Leigh


Why don’t you act your age!

I’m guessing that’s a phrase many of us have heard on occasion and perhaps even used ourselves at times.

We may have even been aware of parents nearby, desperately trying to cajole their teenage children into acting more responsibly and behaving less childishly, possibly even wishing sometimes times that they’d do so with rather more vigour!

Sure, there are times when fits of giggles, temper tantrums and stubborn behaviour are both embarrassing and inappropriate but do we really want to have such an ‘act your age’ mantra constantly playing in our children’s minds and colouring their outlook on life?

A recent survey of 2000 adults for revealed that many of those polled felt that Brits should aspire to a certain level of decorum and restraint when they hit certain milestone ages in their lives. The respondents felt that tattoos were inappropriate after 38, mini-skirts after 39, as indeed were selfies and trainers. All had ‘sell-by’ dates attached, including having a favourite boyband beyond the age of 36. Plus, apparently, we’re not supposed to stay out after midnight once we hit the ripe old age of 52!

Dear me! Many of us are living longer and it’s certainly going to feel that way if we allow all these restrictions to rule our lives.

Fortunately, many of us don’t listen to the, you should’s and you shouldn’t’s uttered by others and choose to live our lives as we see fit. If we’re not causing harm or offence, why not! And if our grandchildren have to get used to us jumping onto the swings in the park or enjoying reruns of kiddies’ TV programmes, so be it!

Most of us don’t want to cause distress or be responsible for upsetting someone, but if we feel that they’re being over critical or judgemental we may have to rein in being too sensitive to their reproaches and remonstrations and say, ‘enough, that’s their problem’ as we start referring to our own standards of what’s acceptable.

But what about our youthful sense of wonder and fun. Where does it go?    

I guess for many people, life gets in the way. Having to think about career progression, paying the mortgage, the responsibility of children, all can cause stress, anxiety and mean that there’s little energy or enthusiasm left after a day at the office. Different priorities have to take precedence at certain times of life and they require that we act our age.

In addition, over time we’re introduced to many new experiences which impact on our tastes, colouring and influencing our likes and dislikes, all helping them to evolve. We, no doubt, hope that growing up will expand our horizons and we’ll ultimately become more sophisticated in our preferences.

Social media is a factor that has to be considered too, as it’s used extensively these days. So much of life is photographed and posted, where it remains for all time.  Anyone can see those images, including potential employers and those doing background checks. It’s important to be aware of the need to act with care, mindful of the potential for permanent records of any transgressions or random behaviour to be made. It’s often a useful piece of advice to bear in mind.

The business networking site, Linkedin, is mentioned in the survey, with those polled feeling that 53 is the appropriate age to quietly withdraw from using the site. It’s true that the aim of such a site is for members to convey a professional, grown up persona as they look to form business connections.

But is professionalism defined by age; is it really such a significant factor?             

Where does this self-limiting outlook on life come from?

Does anyone you know feel strongly that other people should adopt specific age-appropriate behaviour?  

Yes, excessive public displays of affection or loud, boisterous outbursts might be disapproved of, but that’s more to do with the behaviour, rather than the ages of the ‘offending’ parties.

I have a friend of ‘a certain age’, who regularly changes her hair colour, working her way through every possible pastel shade. Her dress sense is quirky, vibrant and out there, an eclectic mix of vintage and new, accessorised with interesting jewellery, belts, hats, scarves. Seeing her creations brightens everyone’s day. And, her age? Irrelevant! I doubt anyone even speculates about it!

Could it be that we unthinkingly form our opinions of what certain ages should or shouldn’t do, as we start out in life absorbing the views of parents, teachers, media representations. We react, rather than question our responses. But as we get older and interact with others we become more independent in our thinking and learn to modify those views, so becoming more accommodating and less restrictive in our approach to life and living.

And who doesn’t at times enjoy letting go of their inhibitions and playing with children, building sandcastles, having games of hide and seek, dancing like no one’s watching.  All are excellent ways to release stress and engage in some uninhibited fun. Reconnecting with our younger self, our inner child and being silly is an important way to maintain ongoing mental and physical health and celebrate the joy of being alive.

Susan Leigh, South Manchester counsellor, hypnotherapist, relationship counsellor, writer & media contributor offers help with relationship issues, stress management, assertiveness and confidence. She works with individual clients, couples and provides corporate workshops and support. 

She’s author of 3 books, ‘Dealing with Stress, Managing its Impact’, ‘101 Days of Inspiration #tipoftheday’ and ‘Dealing with Death, Coping with the Pain’, all on Amazon & with easy to read sections, tips and ideas to help you feel more positive about your life. 

To order a copy or for more information, help and free articles visit 

The history of the selfie and how it started.

The history of the selfie and how it started.

The selfie is hardly new. In fact, it’s been a term in the Oxford dictionary since 2013.

That means we’ve had eight years of the ‘selfie’, and now, it’s evolved more than ever.

It’s no longer the quick snap as we hold our digital camera in front of us, but it’s become a huge trend in its own right – with influencers everywhere making money and success from getting the perfect selfie every time.

Selfies are a part of everyday life (and an essential part of a night out!), but we look into where they came from, what you need for the perfect one every time and tips for getting the best out of your time in front of the camera.

Where did the selfie come from?

The selfie isn’t a new concept, and in fact, it’s been around for years.

According to model and socialite Paris Hilton, she invented the phenomenon in 2006 when she took pictures of herself with Britney Spears.

However, there have been arguments that the selfie could actually be so much older than that.

It’s rumoured it could even date back to 1839!

Yes, you read that right; the selfie could be 182 years old!

The original selfie is rumoured to be a picture taken by photographer Robert Cornelius in the 19th century. When Robert lined up the perfect picture, he timed it so well that he had enough time to run into the frame. Arguably this could be the first self-timed selfie… even if it’s not quite the selfie image that we know and love today.

The first photographic portrait image of a human ever produced. “Robert Cornelius, head-and-shoulders [self-]portrait, facing front, with arms crossed”, approximate quarter plate daguerreotype, 1839 [Oct. or Nov.]. LC-USZC4-5001 DLC Also see: Library of Congress, American
Even the mirror selfie came in way before the 2000s; in fact, it was the early 20th century when snapping yourself in front of a mirror was invented.

Even the word “selfie” was technically invented before the pictures of Paris Hilton, and Britney Spears emerged. Five years before, the socialite pair struck a pose when an Australian called Nathan Hope simply shortened the word for a self-portrait.

Australians are known for shortening words and putting “-i.e.” on them: “barbie”, “tinnie”, and “sunnies” and that’s how the beloved selfie was born. The word was first used in an online forum to describe a self-portrait showing off a lip injury.

Now selfies have grown and even have their own holiday; National Selfie Day on June 21st.

Selfie Perfection

Striking that perfect pose for the perfect selfie is notably one of the hardest parts of getting the picture right.

Getting the perfect selfie is a business in itself, from social media Influencers and brand campaigns to selfie coaches. Yes, a selfie coach is a real job, and they can guide you through the process of getting that picture-perfect image from start to finish.

So what advice does a selfie coach have for getting that Instagram-worthy shot? Coaches such as Liberty Edwards have been sharing their tips and advice over the past decade, and they’ve become the most trusted in the selfie/social media industry.

In her blog, she shared: “The selfie kind of came out of nowhere. Even just 5 years ago, Selfies weren’t that big of a deal.

“Models and Actresses were putting photos of themselves, including selfies, on the internet, but it wasn’t necessarily a thing for the average person.

“Then came network marketing and the influencer era. And now there are selfies EVERYWHERE. Everywhere you look, selfies.

“And it is so hard not to compare ourselves to other people… their lives, their engagement, the attention they’re getting… it’s a comparison trap!

She continued: “So it’s time to build the skills, the confidence, and the belief in yourself. It’s time to get over yourself (your fear) and allow yourself to be seen.

“I believe that confidence starts with a selfie.”

To filter or not to filter?

In recent months the subject of filters has been hotly discussed. What started as innocent cat ears and silly effects has now been replaced with airbrushed lenses and skin-perfecting layers that can take even the most hungover face to model perfection. Yet, have we taken it too far?

Stars such as Vicky Pattinson have called out the danger of using filters too much – as they can make us forget about embracing our natural looks and skin. We should be seeing our pores, our freckles and our wrinkles as positives that make us all unique, rather than worrying that they are imperfect.

Filters can still be fun when used in moderation. The importance is finding confidence in your own skin, as beauty experts, The Skin Collaborative explain.

We’ve all used filters, I’m sure. A bit of fun with the kids or when out with the girls, but there’s a difference between a bit of fun and changing your physical appearance because you believe the way you look is not good enough.

We want people to feel confident in their own skin and embrace their own unique self.


Do You Join Your Staff On the Shop Floor? | Susan Leigh

Do You Join Your Staff On the Shop Floor? 

We’re all likely to cheer when we hear of excellent members of staff doing well, being promoted and moving upwards into more senior, management roles.

It’s encouraging when we see good staff being rewarded for their abilities and given opportunities to share and mentor others to be equally successful.

Then there’s the sole trader who works hard and does so well that some of their work needs to be outsourced or extra staff need to be hired. This can result in them becoming increasingly detached from their customers and the day-to-day workings of the business. Whilst it’s exciting to see businesses being recognised and growing, how do they continue to keep in touch with what’s happening at the grassroots level?

It’s always good to do well, be recognised and receive the associated rewards and respect, but it’s also important not to lose sight of your original vision and remain close to your core business. Your front-of-house, customer-facing staff are the cornerstone of your brand. Something has to be sold, whether it be goods or services, in order for trade to occur. Money has to change hands for a business to thrive and grow.

So, how do you keep in touch and continue to join your staff on the shop floor?     

This Week Hayley Palmer Interviews the Pink Ladies of Grease and Mike Stock | Must See

Hayley Palmer TV Presenter

This week the Pink Ladies of Grease took to the stage. A fun interview with Jennie Bellestar.

The ladies chat about their experience doing live theatre; watch this space because they will be sure not to disappoint!

And we’re taking stock with Mike Stock.


I had great fun filming on the stage of the Apollo Theatre with Olivia Moore, who plays Sandy, Eloise Davies, who plays Frenchy, Mary Moore, who plays Jan and Lizzy-Rose Esin-Kelly, who plays Marty.

The Pink Ladies
The Pink Ladies

We had a lot of fun, including playing some daft games.

This Saturday at 9pm on SKY 365, FREESAT 500 and FREEVIEW PLAY 264


Had a total blast filming with the lovely Jennie Bellestar at Boisdale Belgravia. We did not stop laughing and found out a lot about shoes.

Jennie Bellestar and Hayley
Jennie Bellestar and Hayley

We got to play Jennies new charity single, 100 Drums Of Love, too; check it out on and Spotify.

This Wednesday at 11 am on SKY 365, FREESAT 500 and FREEVIEW PLAY 264


It was an absolute honour to spend time with music legend Mike Stock at his studio.

Mike Stock and Hayley
Mike Stock and Hayley

I got a chance to look through the edits of the latest Fizz album, which is fabulous.

Well, that’s it for the week; therefore, it’s telly time. First up, we have Th Overtones on last week’s Saturday Night with Hayley Palmer. Followed by Ronan Furlong on At Home With Hayley.

Enjoy your week, until next time.

Try our Delicious Recipe Today – Serve up a Taste of Summer with these Harissa Pork Chops.

This delicious fresh summer dish features harissa pork chops served over mixed veg spiced Couscous, pomegranate with picked coriander.

Lamb Koftas - Paul Watters
Paul Watters

It’s a perfect meal for those who love eating out on the patio or for the perfect summer BBQ with friends!

The pork chops are seasoned with a blend of spices, including harissa, curry powder, and cajun spice. The couscous is added to a mix of vegetables, including tomatoes, onions, and peppers.

The dish is served with pomegranate and is garnished with picked coriander.

This recipe is sure to be a hit with family and friends!

For the pork chops

  • Four pork chops
  • Two tablespoons of harissa paste
  • Salt and pepper

For the couscous

  • 2 cups of couscous
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 1 /2 teaspoon of cajun spice
  • 1 /2 teaspoon of curry powder
  • Two tablespoons of olive oil

The garnish

  • Two pomegranates (seeds), including juice
  • Few sprigs of picked coriander


  1. First off, gather a large bowl and add couscous. Add spices and boiling water, and cover with cling wrap for a few minutes. This will allow the couscous to cook.
  2. Warm a large frying pan to medium to high heat.
  3. Place the pork chops on a large plate and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Massage the harissa paste on both sides of the meat, drizzle a little oil on the pan and cook the pork for a good few minutes on each side (make sure the pork is cooked throughout and is piping hot).
  5. The couscous will be ready to mix in the olive oil with a fork, which will help fluff up the season with salt and pepper.
  6. Arrange the pork chops on the centre of the plate, sprinkle the pomegranate over the top and the coriander and drizzle olive oil over the top and enjoy.

For more recipe ideas visit our recipe page >>>

The Best Way to Start Your Day | Susan Leigh

The Best Way to Start Your Day 

Many of us no doubt fall into bed each night without really thinking too much about how we’re going to start the next day.

We probably only tend to think about it if we’re anticipating an especially momentous event, something that we’re excited or apprehensive about.

But how good would it be to start every day feeling well-rested, positive and looking forward to the day that lies ahead? 

A few practical steps can make a big difference to how well you start your day. 

Try to avoid a heavy conversation with your friend or partner late into the evening, no matter how necessary it may feel. If important things need to be discussed agree on another time that suits you both, when everyone can fully commit to talking things through without time constraints.

If you’re stressed and going through a particularly busy time, could you benefit from using a list? Itemising what needs to be dealt with can clear your mind, reassure you that you won’t forget important items and offer you the satisfaction of crossing things off once they’re done.

woman smiling while pointing on her right side

Let others help. It might be through delegating, perhaps to staff, family or even children. Or consider hiring help, by way of a cleaner, gardener, or accountant; someone who will share your load, whilst ensuring that important tasks are still undertaken.

Sometimes saying ‘no’ needs to happen. Refusing requests and even invitations may well need to be done on occasion. It lets others know that there are limits to your benevolence, reminds them that you have a busy life and is a good way to register that you remain in control of your choices.

One very obvious step is to go to bed at a reasonable time. How many of us continue checking online ‘just’ once more or watch another episode of a show that we’ve been enjoying? Decide in advance how much sleep you want, what time you need to get up and then calculate the time you need to go to bed. Be firm with yourself about sticking to the plan.

Avoid the temptation to press the snooze option on your alarm in the morning. You’re only gaining an extra few minutes, but staying in bed can cause you to eventually wake up with an irritable, weary mindset about the day ahead.

Some people like to start the day with a walk, run or visit to the gym. It wakes them up and puts them in a good mood. It’s their ‘me time’. Have your kit ready, so you can get up quickly, dress and be out of the house. Then you avoid any distractions because you’re functioning almost on auto-pilot. Whatever the weather, you’re not going to dither about going out. There will be no deliberations about it raining or being too cold. You’re out and back before you’ve hardly had time to think and it’s a great way to set you up for the day.

Meditation or yoga practice is another way that some people like to start their day well. They allow thirty minutes practise to get themselves into a calm, gentle place, so focusing on clearing their minds, being in the moment, ready for the day that lies ahead.

A shower, using zesty shower gel is a good way to wake up and start your day, particularly following an early morning exercise routine. In the evening a bath with relaxing oils and candles is a lovely way to wind down before bed, but in the morning it’s good to use more energising fragrances to wake us up, so that we feel awake and ready to go.

Some families like to eat breakfast together first thing. It’s a companionable way to ensure that everyone’s eaten, although it may need an organised approach, having to set the table, accommodating each person’s timetables. But having a meal together allows everyone to ease into their day at a gradual pace.

If breakfast is not always feasible, try to have some healthy options available with which to kick start your metabolism. Fresh fruit, nuts, water are good ways to feel positive about the fuel you’re feeding your body and moving out of sleep mode.

Another way to start your day well is, on a nice day, to interrupt your commute a stop early. It could be good to walk a little way to school or work and you may even bump into someone you know and exchange a few friendly words.

Have something to look forward to planned for the end of the day. It can be a real lift to your mood and energy levels to know that you’re soon meeting a friend for coffee, have bought ingredients for a favourite meal or are going to watch a film you’ve been wanting to see. Little touches can really help the way you feel throughout your day.

Take time to plan ahead and invest in the quality of your days. Then you’ll soon discover the best way to start your days.

Susan Leigh, South Manchester Counsellor & Hypnotherapist  

#startyourday #goodmood #littleway #niceday #theendoftheday #starttheday #greatway #goodways #lovelyway

Watch the Hilarious Ronan Furlong Interview with TV Presenter Hayley Palmer

Hayley Palmer TV Presenter

This week, I interviewed the Overtones, Irish singer-songwriter Ronan Furlong and filming with Antony Costa from Blue with great chips.




I had a great time interviewing Darren Everest, Mike Crawshaw and Mark Franks of the Overtones just before their gig at the O2 Indigo.

The Overtones
The Overtones

Hilarious interview, especially when we played a “game”.

To find out more, tune in to the show at 9pm Saturday on SKY 365, FREESAT 500 and FREEVIEW PLAY 264


I had the pleasure of interviewing Irish singer-songwriter Ronan Furlong this week. Ronan is full of stores, and we show how great a guitar player he is.

Ronan Furlong
Ronan Furlong

We also get to show the world TV premiere of his new single, Redeemer.

To watch the show, tune in on Wednesday at 11 am on SKY 365, FREESAT 500 and FREEVIEW PLAY 264


I had a fab time filming a show with Antony Costa this week. We had a great location, the Linden Hotel in Stansted Mount Fitchet.

The hotel team welcomed us, and the chef treated us to the world’s best chips and bacon sandwiches. Being a veggie, I just had the chips.

Hayley and Antony
Hayley and Antony

It was an entertaining interview. Look out for it in a couple of weeks.

Well, that’s it for this week, and so it’s telly time again, first up Jason Gale, founder of The London Lifestyle Awards on Saturday Night With Hayley Palmer. Followed by SInger Twinnie on At Home With Hayley.

Have a great week, enjoy the weather and see you next time.



Don’t Lie to Me! | By Susan Leigh

We’ve all had occasion to lie!

No one’s ever likely to say they had a lousy night’s sleep when someone’s been kind enough to let them stay overnight or say ‘what a dreadful meal, at least I don’t have to cook!’ after being a dinner party guest!

But what constitutes an acceptable or unacceptable approach to truth-telling?

What’s the difference between good and bad lies? 

Most people appreciate that white lies are okay when tact and good manners are called for or when it comes to avoiding hurting someone’s feelings over something relatively minor.

When they’ve been kind enough to invite us as their guest, we’re unlikely to respond with brutal honesty or criticism, unless they’re looking to go into hospitality, where a little appropriate feedback may be useful in helping them improve their offering.

There are times when diplomacy is called for, but what about those experiences we’ve had with people who constantly lie, about almost everything?

What may start out being tolerated as a brag, something that we may even smile about and shrug off as ‘just them’ may after a while start to rankle, become irritating, annoying and maybe even unacceptable.

  • Why do they do it?
  • Are they trying to impress us?
  • Is there something that they’re trying to hide, deflect attention from and cover up by lying?

Whatever their story, after a while we may end up feeling cynical about anything they say. We may even completely stop listening to them because there’s no point in paying attention to someone who’s a serial offender.

Offering excuses for being regularly late for work or for poor performance may need at some point to be addressed so that suitable, alternative solutions can be found.

Being honest in work and domestic situations treats everyone appropriately and enables any problem areas to be discussed with mutual respect.

‘It is what it is’ by Susan Leigh | Revive Magazine

Some people don’t like an ‘it is what it is’ approach to life.

They take challenges and setbacks more personally, reflecting on the whys and wherefores of what’s happened, but others find adopting a more philosophical mindset is the most effective way of moving forward, especially from difficult situations.

They discover that being calm and pragmatic is a good way to remain grounded and regroup, whilst assessing choices and sourcing the next available options.

“Life happens”.

Certain things can’t be foreseen, like unexpectedly bad weather, the car breaking down or plans not turning out as anticipated. Even friends may not reply sometimes, or we don’t get invited, or lose out on a promotion that we felt was surely ours.  Things happen and there’s not much we can do about it, other than decide which is the best way to regroup and continue on our journey.

However, some people find that they’ve a mountain to climb before they’re able to reach the point of being able to focus on next steps. 


At first they may spend time in blame mode, blaming others and becoming enmeshed in a loop of accusations, excuses and fault-finding. Yes, others may not have been as vigilant as they should have been, may not have performed vital checks or made appropriate allowances, but blaming others doesn’t resolve matters or help them to move on. It merely keeps them inert and stuck in the past.

What If

Speculating on ‘what ifor ‘if only’ isn’t helpful either. The phrase, ‘hindsight gives 20/20 vision’ sums it up well and, of course, we’d all be perfect if we could dress-rehearse every situation before enacting it in real time. But circumstances could well have changed significantly since the original starting point. Things may have progressed now and be very different. Opinions may have been revised, new people may now be in the picture, alternative wishes may have evolved over time.


Looking at where we are right now is the most appropriate starting point in any situation. Being clear about the facts, about what’s happened, about where we are today and where we want to be, any impediments that may be holding us back, the help that’s available, things that need to be taken into account. There’s certainly enough to think about without bringing irrelevant, unhelpful extra considerations or recriminations into the mix.

  • So, what’s so annoying about an ‘it is what it is’ approach?
  • Is there perhaps irritation at the thought of someone moving on, whilst being allowed to get away with bad, inconsiderate behaviour, of them not being held accountable for their actions?
  • Are they’re getting off scot free?  But does someone really ‘need to pay’?   
  • How wasteful is it to use time and energy in this way?

Why make a drama out of a crisis when, in reality, others may not be as affected or bothered by what’s happened as you are. They may simply ‘not think’, or perhaps feel that they’re doing a good enough job and don’t expect everything to be crossed off or perfect before they do what they need to do.

So, instead of apportioning blame, might it be more useful to dig deep and reflect on what resources are needed to resolve a holdup and move forward. Not everything is a learning point. Sometimes it simply is what it is!