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Chris LoCurto

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April 19, 2012

The Power Of Pain

The other day I was having lunch with an amazing guy I know when the topic of eating came up. Now, if you know me, you know I have an incredibly public love affair with food.

It is actually a little ridiculous. If the food I’m eating is really good, I won’t stop eating it until you stab my hand with a fork. It’s terrible, I know. I probably need counseling for it.

As we discussed our love for food, I shared with my friend that I’m an emotional eater. When things go bad I either eat like a horse, or I don’t eat at all. My friend shared with me that he is an emotional eater as well. While mine started in my thirties, his started as a young child.

When I asked him what triggered his emotional eating when he was a kid, he shared something that kinda shocked me. He said he ate when people were mean to him or were disappointed in him. When he felt shame, he ate.

That shocked me because I hadn’t thought about it that way. When people treated him like crap, his way of dealing with it was food. While I eat when situations are bad, he ate when people were bad.

The combination of the way he was treated and his guilt over his eating created a deep, emotional “hole.” Every time he would climb out of the “hole,” something would happen to push him right back in. Very quickly, I started thinking of people in my life who do the same thing, sometimes with a different substance. Like alcohol.

We went on to discuss the kind of effect people can have on others by being mean, disapproving and overly critical. If you give these people the power, they’ll keep pushing you back into that hole. Stay in the hole, and your dependence on your substance of choice will keep you there.

I think there is revelation for those who allow this to happen to themselves. Your “issue” (food, drugs, alcohol, overspending) is a reaction to something much deeper in your life. If you drink because people treat you badly, then you allow their behavior to destroy you emotionally while you destroy yourself through your addiction.

You’re giving yourself a double whammy when you should focus on the cause of your problem. How do you do that? Push back! Don’t allow people to treat you like that. Tell negative people that you will not allow them to be so negative to you. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people.

If you’re the person who’s being a negative influence in someone else’s life…STOP!! Understand that your words have power to hurt on more levels than you can see. “Well they should just be strong enough to get over it!” Really? Is that how you would want to be treated if the roles were reversed? What if it was your child? Is that how you would want them to be treated?

As you go about your day today, pay attention to how you talk to people. Notice how they respond to you afterwards. And if you’re the emotional eater like me and my friend, stop giving your power to other people. Trust me when I say you can reverse this process. It will just take a lot of effort and desire on your part.

Question: What advice do you have for folks down in the holes? 

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  • LouiseThaxton

    Great insight, Chris.  Becoming aware that by allowing the words and actions of others to affect your emotions and your actions – they are actually controlling you is the first step.   Just recently someone close to me was feeling extremely depressed because others were criticising some of her career choices.  Now the choice were HERS – it was a good choice – it was a career path she was passionate about.  But these people didn’t like her choice – not really any reason.  Hopefully, I was able to get her to see that she was allowing them to control her – and she shouldn’t change her choice because of someone else’s opinion.  
     

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ uma_maheswaran

    Agreed Chis ! Great thoughts to reflect upon ourseles. I understood the process of undergoing pain when I read Viktor E Frankyl’s “Man’s Search for Meaning”.

  • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

    You’ve pretty much summed up what I would have said. Me, I would probably go get them out of the whole. Take them to a movie, the library, out for some ice cream, or something of that nature. I would be very intentional about building such a person out of a whole, then building confidence and faith in him/herself, and help them dream, get some goals going on, and release them like a pit pull out of a cage. Of course I would run behind them with all the support that I can give and what they would allow.
     
    You also have to be careful of those who don’t want to get out of the whole. I was always taught that you can bring the horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink it.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @RicardoEquips That’s true Ricardo. And if you stay there long enough, you find yourself in the hole as well. 

      • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

         @ChrisLoCurto Exactly, because misery loves company. I actually did a blog today called, “11 Attributes of Leadership Pt 8 Sympathy and Understanding”, where I talked about balancing being tender and tough; fair and firm. I came to a conclusion about people in a stagnant position that, Tender says, ‘I love you as you are’ but tough says, ‘I love you too much to let you remain there’. But those who fight the tough side usually end up “disqualifying themselves” from my help of further development. It’s hard for me, but I got to let them go after all that investment.

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @RicardoEquips I tell people that God loves them exactly where they are, He just doesn’t want to keep them there. 
           
          Good stuff Ricardo!

        • http://www.ricardoequips.com RicardoEquips

           @ChrisLoCurto That’s what I try to tell them. I’m not preaching a performance life. I just wanted them to get the importance that God called them for “good works.” That’s just another word for “ministry.” Faith without (good) works is dead–inactivity they say is the first sign of depression.
           
          Love the post. It hit close to what I have had to deal with just last week.

  • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

    You reminded me of someone I worked with. They once shared, ” I’d rather be a *itch and get what I want than to be walked all over.” needless to say, that’s EXACTLY what she was. I dealt with it by having a personality shutdown at work and sometimes crying at home. I knew why she was that way–almost no one gets that way without a lot of pain in their life. But in her attempt to look out for number one, she hurt others (though she probably didn’t care) and she was never truly happy, didn’t know what real joy was ( something that should matter to her). Those people are freakin’ unhappy. I dealt with it professionally but didn’t know how to deal with it on a personal level. Until… I read a book for some other stuff I’ve dealt with: Healing of Memories by Seamands. The book was a tool in a bigger picture to help transform me. Now, I can deal with people like her. Never thought it was possible. BUT that was the old me :) Thanks for sharing!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @Laura Johnson I love your comment Laura! Transformation can only happen in us and how we respond to these situations.  We can be compassionate about it and understand why they act that way, but we don’t have to put up with their garbage.  It’s like saying “I respect you, but don’t take your pain out on me!”
       

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

        @lilykreitinger @Laura Johnson Kind of the “hate the sin, not the sinner” attitude…

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  @Laura You’re so right. This kind of person’s point of view comes from having been hurt. The funny thing is, making a statement of being this way to not get walked all over. In turn, she’s the one doing all the walking……or, steamrolling. 

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

          @ChrisLoCurto @lilykreitinger @Laura Moderation in all things? There’s a happy medium between being the steamroller and being the bug on the asphalt haha.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @ChrisLoCurto  @Skropp  @Laura
           I think she is still giving other too much power and trying to hide her feelings of inadequacy.  If I feel confident about who I am and know my strengths and weaknesses, I don’t need to figure out who is walking over whom.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @ChrisLoCurto  @Skropp  @Laura
           I think she is still giving other people the power to dictate her behavior. Maybe feelings of inadequacy? If I am confident and happy with who I am, with my strengths and weaknesses, I don’t need to figure out who is walking over whom, because I’ll respect myself and will not let others treat me with disrespect. That is different from “walking over” anyone.

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

          @ChrisLoCurto @Skropp @lilykreitinger @Laura Steamrolling… Nice word. I called them drive-by’s :)

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

           @ChrisLoCurto  @Skropp  @lilykreitinger  @Laura It would be interesting to see what’s going on the mind of a person who doesn’t want to hurt, but sees it as a victory to hurt others. Maybe if we could see that, we could help them…

        • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

           @lilykreitinger  @ChrisLoCurto  @Skropp  @Laura Lily, feel like you just described who I was (feelings of inadequacy, etc)…..you must have psychic abilities ;)

      • http://specializingintheimpossible.wordpress.com/ Laura Johnson

         @lilykreitinger Sometimes it’s hard to get across “I respect you, but don’t take your pain out on me!” without causing more upheaval….
        : /

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ uma_maheswaran

    Chris! The power of negativism is powerful and cotagious that it can affect everyone who come in contact with the negative person.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @uma_maheswaran Oh…It can be contagious can’t it?!

  • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

    I think it’s amazing how many people, bullied and bullies, need to read this post and comments right now. As I go through the comments, I’m blown away by how much we are all affected by this. 

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

      Just don’t bully them about reading it.

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

         @JoelFortner I will knock them out if they don’t! 

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

      @ChrisLoCurto The worst part is most of the bullies would never read it, those types of people often don’t think they need to learn and grow…if they did they wouldn’t bully!!

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

         @Skropp  @ChrisLoCurto I thought that as soon as I hit post. 

        • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

          @ChrisLoCurto then again, ya never know! It’s beneficial for the rest of us to recognize bullies and help others to get through such a situation! And to know we aren’t alone in this experience :)

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com/ Loren Pinilis

    I think the key is realizing you’re there in the first place. I can imagine that it’s only after the fact that your friend could look back and realize that emotional eating was due to unpleasant people. Once you realize that, then you can begin to truly change your approach.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @Loren Pinilis Absolutely Loren. I believe God places people in our lives to help us see what we can’t at the time. Great point! 

  • RichardHaralson

    “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me…”
    Wow that couldn’t be further from the truth and those that say that are in more emotional danger than they realize.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @RichardHaralson So true Richard. I think understand that words CAN hurt me, helps me to figure out how to fix it when they do. 

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

    Reading through the comments I had another thought. I hope this doesn’t come across wrong… It seems our society is obsessed recently with stopping bullying, and I’m right there with it. It’s not right, not should it be tolerated. But do you think we’re going so far with it that we are neglecting the opportunity to teach kids how to DEAL with being bullied? How to put the mechanisms in their own lives so they can deal with tough situations later in life?
    Some of you have made comments about finances, decisions, etc eliciting the same response as bullies did in earlier years. By focusing so hard on protecting kids from bullies are we crippling their ability to face tough situations later in life without someone protecting them from those as well?
    Again, I’m not condoning bullying, simply wondering if an opportunity is being overlooked to teach valuable life skills…

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @Skropp I would take it even further. Why are we not caring about the bullies first? Those kids are victims too who victimize other to “pay it forward” most of them are scared to death and that’s how they deal with it. And of course, I’m not condoning bullying either…

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

        @lilykreitinger Another great point ( I’m sensing a pattern with you, haha). I think sometimes in our society we get so gung ho on something that we put blinders on and dont ever look at any of the connections and how others things may affect or be affect by what we’re fixing

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

      I believe we target the bullies first because of the way we’re made. We ensure our safety and security first, so when someone threatens it, we either run or face it.  Only then can we, as Lily said, try to help the bully.  Our desire to do that comes from a place higher on the hierachy of needs.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @Skropp I agree with what you are thinking. I think a larger portion of the problem is not having strong enough parents, or parents who have their own issues in this area, to be able to raise their kids in a way to NOT put up with bullies. With so many fatherless children, and homes without parenting support, where does a child turn? I bet kids with strong parents are quick to solve a problem like this.
       
      That makes it even more important for us to take care of those who don’t have a support system already in place. Can those who are stronger, come around BOTH the bullied and the bully? Like Lily says, what is it like for the person doing the bullying? What are they lacking in their lives? 

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

        @ChrisLoCurto Isn’t it amazing that when you look at it, a lot of societal problems can be traced back to the breakdown of the family and traditional family values?

        You’re so right. We can’t just live in a bubble, we’ve gotta be aware of those people without a strong support system and be there with an arm around them affirming and supporting them (taking care of the safety @Joelfortner talked about) THEN showing them the way to manage and cope with such people and situations!

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Skropp  @ChrisLoCurto  @Joelfortner Aaaaaaaaaamen!!

      • Joshharman

        That’s so true. I was the biggest kid in my class, and got picke don by the little guys! No one ever pointed out that I could take pretty much anyone who stepped up, so I took crap for my entire school career. I had a great mentor in college who pointed out my lack of confidence, while I was leg-pressing 1800 lbs. He said “who’s gonna mess with you now, you’re a beast?”. lol.  Dang, wish I had someone say thigns like that way back when.

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Joshharman And thus the reason I don’t leg wrestle Josh Harman!!!

  • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

    Wow! Love the post and all the comments. What a powerful topic! I understand emotional eating, or hanging on to a substance or a habit to cope with pain. My dad struggled with it.  He smoked for 38 years, until he had a heart attack and the cardiologist threatened him not to treat him if he continued.  Unfortunately it was too late. He lived with heart disease for a few years and was then diagnosed with stage four bladder cancer and died four years ago.  Smoking and having one drink every night was his way of coping with stress and pain. Living in a difficult family environment and having a mom who was not very affectionate and judged her children harshly had a lot to do with all this.  His faith was a big component in him being able to overcome many issues he dealt with in his youth.  For 20 years he served as a deacon and walked with others in their struggles.  I had to deal with the anger of losing him when he was 59. I was mad at him because his poor choices caused his death and I thought his smoking was a selfish habit that took him away from us too soon.  I would have loved for him to meet my kids. I was five months pregnant with my daughter when he passed away.  However, I understand that his actions were a result of pain inflicted by others when he was young.
     
    We are all broken and need help. We can decide if we can hang on to Someone who gives us life or stuff that harms us.  A few years ago, I learned a very powerful forgiveness prayer. Basically you think about the people in your life that have hurt you and say: “In Jesus’ name, I set you free.  You do not owe me anything, any more.”  The idea is to think that God has loved this person since they were in the womb and He has seen what others did to them to hurt them.  This person you have to forgive may be your 15-year-old self, too.  Don’t allow others to sin against you. Set boundaries with those who are negative and drain you. Choose the relationships, situations, friendships that give you life.   You are very loved and He has called you by name and there is nothing that can take that away from you.
     
     

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

      @lilykreitinger Great comment lily! The prayer you shared reminds me of a scripture in my church “I, the Lord, will forgive whom I will forgive, but of you it is required to forgive all men” (D&C 64:10). I think your so right about the freeing effects of freely forgiving people, which is why I think the Lord commands is to do so, for our own well being and happiness!

    • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

       @lilykreitinger Wow.  Very powerful.  Thanks for sharing that.   I lost both parents by the time I was 19 (both cancer), and I have recovered from renal cell carcinoma last year.   I’m making every attempt to NOT sabotage my chances of being around for my family beyond my 50’s!  
      Having a drink or eating like crap to cope is not coping at all.  It just gives people that don’t mean anything to you have control over the people that do.

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

       @lilykreitinger Love this, Lily.  Powerful stuff.  Thanks for sharing this, especially the prayer. 

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @lilykreitinger Girl!!! I’m so sorry!!! It’s crazy how things in our lives affect us even to this point. If you haven’t read The Shack, I think you would really like it. http://theshackbook.com/ The scripture you referred to reminds me of a part in the book where God talks about how the things we bind on Earth, also bind Him from taking action. If we hold on to the grudge we have with someone, then sometimes God can’t get in there and work on the other person. I believe that setting them free also sets God free to work in their life. 
       
      And as you said, sometimes the person we need to set free is a younger version of us. Thank you for sharing!!!

      • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

         @ChrisLoCurto Thanks! It’s on my list :)
         

  • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

    This post hits a little too close for home with me today.  I am “in the hole” right now at my job.   I am in the unusual position of being the exiting supervisor, now working weekends as a staff technologist.  The decision was easy, as the stress and the commute (among other factors) have been greatly reduced– nearly overnight.
     
    Here’s the backdrop:   A weekend technologist gave his notice in February, and beginning Easter weekend, I started working weekends.  Had I not, I would have had to shell out 32/week in overtime until a replacement was found for me.   We are in the final stages of hiring the replacement (at which time he will work in tandem with me during the week to train).
     
    There are two girls on staff that covered for me for 2 months when I was out recovering from cancer surgery last September/October.  My manager and I felt that they should share duties and cover until the replacement starts.    They are not happy about it.
     
    These are the two girls that I nurtured and supported probably more than any other team members, and now to say they are being rude and unprofessional towards me would be an understatement.   They ignore me when around me, try to get off the phone as quick as possible, and are bad mouthing me throughout the department.
     
    I now DREAD going to work and interacting with them, even for a 10 minute shift change conversation.   I have been eating AND drinking lately, and falling back into poor health decisions.   I am feeling very angry and hurt and shocked that I am “in the hole”, particularly because I have given these two the power to affect my emotions and lifestyle when they were once considered to be “my all-stars.”
     
    Sorry for the long post, most days I’m right there with a quick, short, useful comment.
    Today, not so much.   This is a very sore subject lately.   I’m in the hole, and I gave my two all-stars the shovel.
     
     

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @skottydog So sorry to hear what you’ve been dealing with Scott! Wow!  But you know what, you ARE making the right decisions for you and your family. You have accomplished in four years what most American families will not do in their life time. You have a bright future ahead.  And those “stars” will have to face the consequences of their actions one way or another.  You are a faith-filled man who is moved by a higher purpose. I will offer a prayer for you today.
       

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

         @lilykreitinger Thanks, Lily.  I really need it today.   Knowing these feeling are toxic, and trying to let go oft hem are two different things.   I know better.   My biggest problem in life has always been expecting people to treat me the way I treat them.

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @skottydog And you will receive blessings beyond measure for that, even if they don’t deserve to be treated with respect or kindness.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

      @skottydog You’re associating with positive people here on this blog! We’re here for ya! Take it a day at a time and have faith!

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        @Skropp Thanks! That’s why I’m here every day! You guys rock!

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

       @skottydog Man, this is hard.  Have you tried talking to them about this? 

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        @JoelFortner Multiple times. They have both told me I’m being too sensitive. It’s manipulation at its finest.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

       @skottydog Brother, I can’t tell you how sad I feel…for the all-stars. You are doing the exact right thing and I’m am blown away by the response of people who were covering for someone who was recovering from CANCER!!!!! My Lord NEVER let me feel that way!!!
       
      Having had lunch with you in FL I got to know you’re heart and personality style a little. And I know this hurts you. And as difficult as it is, I would try really hard to understand that they are just immature. Unfortunately for them, this will probably come back around to them someday. In the meantime, treat them with love and kindness. When they see that they can’t get to you, the will eventually give up. Hopefully even turn when they see your witness. 

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        @ChrisLoCurto Man, Chris…you’ve got me pegged! Who needs a DISC profile? (high C, low S, by the way..surprised?).
        The rest of the team has welcomed me into a staff role, and are happy for the change. Most of the department is very supportive.
        The best part? The new coordinator has not yet started, and yearly evaluations are due to be submitted next month. Guess who still gets to do those? ;^}.

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @skottydog  @ChrisLoCurto BAH!!!! You’re kidding?!?! Oh…..now that COULD be fun. :-D

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @skottydog Man I’m sorry to hear about your situation. That sucks! I have been listening to two podcasts that you might find to have some helpful advice for your situation:
      Do you have Itunes? I suggest you subscribe to http://mosaic.org/hollywood/mosaic-podcast- specifically the message called : The Way To Freedom. 11/27/11 –  it talks a lot about Jesus’ response to oppression. Maybe you can find something inspirational there. 
       
      Most recently: Michael Hyatt’s podcast about asking the right questions: http://michaelhyatt.com/007-the-importance-of-asking-the-right-question-podcast.html
       
      (And I bet, though I haven’t heard it yet, his latest one could be of use too.)
       
      And I’m not trying to spout Christianese at you – aka: blindly telling you something spiritual to try and make you feel better – I think we both know someone who invested His life in another only to have them turn around and stab him in the back. I encourage you to keep taking these feelings and hurts to your knees. Jesus knows EXACTLY what it feels like, and He WILL pull you through.
       
      I will pray for you today man. Strength and Honor!

      • http://www.indueseason.net skottydog

        @Aaron Nelson Thanks, brother. I’ve heavy in prayer lately. I will definitely check out those podcasts.

  • kimberlylitt

    Sometimes, just removing the negative people from your life is all you need to do. You can bounce back to the person God intended you to be, just by the removal of the negative. It’s an amazing transformation!

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @kimberlylitt It is incredible how getting rid of the negatives changes your life!! But I believe you also have to mature yourself in the process. There will be more negative freaks around the corner…dang it! :-)

      • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

        @ChrisLoCurto So true! Just getting rid of them isn’t enough if we don’t put the mechanisms in place to deal with the next ones!

  • http://www.jonahenry.com/ Jonathan Henry

    I’m sure most of us know well that we’re on both sides: we’re pushed into holes, and we push others into holes. This post has me thinking more on the latter — I am exceptionally talented at hurting people (usually unintentionally) with the way I make decisions. My personality is introverted and devoid of emotion, people rank behind principle, and since I try to make correct decisions based on principles, people often get hurt. I had to learn to be very deliberate in getting in touch with the personal side of decision making, and open to the fact that principles mean nothing if there are not people involved. As it turns out, my life may be the only version of the Bible that some people read, so I understand the importance of making decisions open to the outcomes. 

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @Jonathan Henry Amazing Jonathan!! To realize that people matter more is something we ALL need to do and keep before us at all times. I’m proud of you for realizing that. High D?

      • http://www.jonahenry.com/ Jonathan Henry

         @ChrisLoCurto  No sir, numbers across are 11, 67, 88, 99. I’d say its more an issue of being consumed in my own unceasing thought that I don’t add people until its too late, or I do it intentionally beforehand. But I do care, in some strange contradicting way, about the well-being of others (moderate-I). Psychology is fascinating, huh?

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Jonathan Henry You’re C is 99%?! That’s why. You do care about others a ton with your S followed by your I, but when you get in task mode, they don’t matter as much. The fact that you’ve recognized it and are making changes, speaks volumes to how you’re maturing in your C. Make sense? 

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @Jonathan Henry  @ChrisLoCurto
           We could be twins… 11, 81, 77,99 :D

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

          LOL! Only on this blog do people converse clearly with single letters.

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @JoelFortner BAH!!!! So true!!!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @JoelFortnerSingle letters and double digit numbers :)

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

          Confirmed. You are a high C.  =)

        • http://www.jonahenry.com/ Jonathan Henry

           @JoelFortner @lilykreitinger It is like a modern version of Dungeon’s & Dragons meets organizational psychology meets the internet. Which gives me an idea: you can make a DISC version of Bingo. Of course, you’d want to play as two or three different personalities to increase your odds of winning.

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Jonathan Henry  @JoelFortner  @lilykreitinger HAHAHAHA!!!! All three of mine are in!

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

    I love this post. It speaks to me for many reasons. One is I believe I’ve used food to cope since I was little. It’s why I ballooned between ages 11-16, fought to lose 55 pounds and have ebbed and flowed since then.  Every day I mentally wage war on food to deal with whatever I’m struggling with.  Every single day. 
     
    A key for me is what you said.  As life goes on, I surround myself with more and more positive, uplifting people.  People who are fighting their own battles but have chosen to arm themselves with love, kindness and compassion, instead of negativity grenades.  They help me fight the battle, and I hope I help them.  

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @JoelFortner You, my friend, are one of those people!!!! I hope you know that.

      • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

        Thanks, man!  So are YOU!  The problem is you tend to provide my drug at the same time so I’m conflicted about my relationship with you.

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @JoelFortner HAAAAAA!!!! I don’t even know how to take that!! :-D

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @JoelFortner And you help all of us so much with your great insight, great sense of humor and knowledge. You’re the man! : )

      • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

        Thanks, Lily! Appreciate that.  Back at you. Love what you share here and hope we cross physical paths some day!

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @JoelFortner I’m sure we will!
           

        • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

           @JoelFortner  I think we need a blog meet-up. I say we all go to Nashville and take Chris out for lunch…No, let’s meet in Florida and go to Caffe Positano :)

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @lilykreitinger  @JoelFortner AAAAAMEN!!!

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @JoelFortner Love that = arming ourselves with love, kindness and compassion instead of negativity grenades.  So true man. You are what you think about, and you become (many times) who you spend the most time with. Must be on purpose about that! Well said sir! 

  • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

    Wow Chris, not dancing around issues this morning! Theres quite a few suggestions, but as we all know from being there…none of them are easy in the moment!
    I think the biggest is to guard your friendships like Ft. Knox. Consciously choose the types of people you will associate with. Draw a line and stick to it. There will be enough jerks you HAVE to interact with in life, don’t allow more in.
    And beyond minimizing negative people, you’ve gotta CHOOSE to spend time with people that encourage and affirm who you are as a person. Their opinions will be vital when dealing with the negative people in life.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @Skropp Preach it Mark!!!!

  • epicenterone

    In school – actually since day one – I was the victim. Seriously. Day freakin one! I was walking through the playground and this guy, who would go on to become one of my long term bothers, hauls off and punches me hard in the gut. Why? No idea.
     
    But that event kicked off 9 years of having a bully in my life. It sucked. I didn’t eat or drink my way into the hole. I simply withdrew. I hid. I tried my best to be the person nobody saw or noticed. The quiet guy. The rationale: If nobody notices me, I don’t get picked on.
     
    It’s weird…those survival modes we allow ourselves to go into don’t actually solve anything. Have you noticed that? Even though I thought I was invisible or I tried to be – the bullies just kept coming. I bet it’s the same when you eat or drink or ____________. The problem just keeps coming.
     
    Today, I’m 36. Thankfully, I no longer have bullies in my life. Now the problems I face are much more difficult. Finances – trying to recover from a personal recession and debt stupidity. Building on my marriage…raising my family and keeping them safe in one of the biggest cities in the world, running a business and keeping my team…..a team that wants to be with me.
     
    But what I have to constantly be on guard for? Hiding. I slip into that mode so easily if I’m not careful. Maybe my bullies are here, but my problems are – and so is my learned behavior for dealing with it.
     
    Advice I give myself and to those in their hole?
    I am the problem, and I am the solution. (Painfully true.)
    I am what I think about. Feed your mind the truth. I work hard to dwell on verses from the Bible that speak directly to my fears, worry, and being strong and brave. — changed my life!
     
    Thanks for the great post!  

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

       @epicenterone Aaron, this was hugely profound for me! I’ve never thought about us having learned behaviors, such as how we respond to bullies and the like, from years past that still impact our adult lives in this way.  You got my introspection wheels turning on this one.

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @JoelFortner  It’s scary how those events in the past can hang on to us now. Scary. My own introspection wheels are turning too…I don’t think I had made the connection so well to where some of my current behaviors are coming from. 

        • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

           @epicenterone It makes perfect sense. I mean just because we grow up doesn’t mean we shelve the adolescent book. We are a running narrative.

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

      @Aaron Nelson Man! Great insights! Its so true, physical bullies may go away, but there will ALWAYS be unpleasant aspects to our lives to deal with. So we better learn to deal with them! I admire your perspective. Recognizing your coping mechanism and knowing you can CHOOSE to change it empowers you, and I’m sure it empowers and inspires those around you to do the same!

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @Skropp  Thanks man. Bullies…difficulties aren’t bullies and difficulties. They’re God’s way of shaping our character. He seems to like doing that a lot — much to my dismay at times! :) 

    • Domerskee

       @epicenterone powerful stuff. I have a son who seems a lot like you. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @Aaron Nelson Brother…..wow!!! To have lived it, discovered it, worked on it, and overcome it?!?! You’re my hero!!! And as much as I would love to have been on the school ground to kick the crap out of that kid…he has his own inner turmoil that caused him to do that. I hope he discovered it and repented.

      Thank you for sharing this!!!

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @ChrisLoCurto  @Aaron Thanks Chris! You made my day, AND You made me laugh out loud man. I would have loved to have you walk around the school yard with me. Funnier: one of the guys who made my life more than interesting in my elementary schools years, had an older sister who was tougher than him, and she took me under her wing. LOL God has a sense of humor! And how’s that for a conflict of interest! Saw her put her bro on his back more than a few times on my behalf. 
         
        But joking aside: you’re totally right. Compassion is so important – easier to say looking back at that time from where I am now – but those guys were only giving out what they were getting at home, or someplace else. I too hope he discovered and repented. I know, as has been mentioned elsewhere – part of moving on is forgiveness. Had to give it to be free. 

        • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

           @Aaron Nelson  @Aaron Amen brother!

    • http://www.lilykreitinger.com lilykreitinger

       @Aaron Nelson Wow Aaron, I can’t imagine being forced into withdrawing by some idiot bully.  The sad thing is that the horrible things they do or say are a running recording in our brain. They may say it once, but that tape keeps playing. Seems to me that you’ve turned it around and have done well for yourself.  My admiration to you for building your marriage and raising a family in a stressful environment and running a successful business.  I bet your the bully can’t say the same. You can say “How do you like me know?”  : )

      • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

         @lilykreitinger Thanks for your kind comments – I am in the process of turning things around, that’s for sure. And you’re totally totally right. Most of the battles we face starts with conquering our thought life. Romans 12:2 ‘Don’t conform any longer to the pattern of this world, But be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ — what patters are we following? Who’s responsible to continue conforming, or resist and stop? (ME!!!!) How do you bring on transformation? Renewing your mind. Filling it up with the Truth, and telling the old thought DJ to take a looooonnnnngggggg hike. Replace him with a NEW DJ.
         
        And as Joel mentions in one of his comments – wage this war daily. You rock Lily! Have a great one and thanks for your comments!

  • Domerskee

    Your posts have truly become a great way for me to start the day. Always something to help me focus on being better at what I do in the posts and comments.
    We can never overestimate what you are talking about when we are dealing with people.  My tidbit would be to remember where our true value lies and can be found. It is never in things or even other people, these will always disappoint. Colossians 2:2-4

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

       @Domerskee Amen to everything you said here.  Chris rocks and so does the Lord.

      • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

        @JoelFortner @Domerskee Thanks brother!!

    • http://hardandsimple.blogspot.com Skropp

      @Domerskee So true! We must be confident in who we are suppose to be. When we have that knowledge it is easier to deal with the holes we find in our lives, because we won’t be looking for acceptance from anyone.

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @Domerskee Thank you so much!!!

  • DevinDabney

    Great post! My advice comes based on your colleague Jon Acuff’s blog yesterday.  The first thing is to ask WHO said it. Sometimes we give people too much power in our lives, especially strangers who have no influence or relationship with us.  The second thing is to consider WHY they said it.  I’ve learned that hurting people hurt people.  You can also dig deeper many times if it is someone you know and find out that the person is speaking or acting based on negative experiences they have had in life. 

    • http://epicenterlanguages.com.mx/our-blog Aaron Nelson

       @DevinDabney This is great advice man. “Hurting people hurt people.” So true. I also totally agree with your thoughts of ‘deciding who gets to influence you.’ IT really is up to us. Have a great day man!

    • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ JoelFortner

       @DevinDabney Amen! I thought Jon’s post was spot on. Regarding hurting people, my default reaction to routinely negative people is becoming, “I wonder what’s going on in their life?” 

    • http://ChrisLoCurto.com ChrisLoCurto

      @DevinDabney Absolutely Devin!! If we can see their pain, perhaps we can keep it from hurting us so much.