Dr. JOYLYN Maniaci
I happen to things.
JL big smile crop.jpg


by Dr. JOYLYN Maniaci

Are you Relate-able?

Are you relate-able? Do you have problems?

Then the answer is yes. 

But if you have a life that is easy and fun, you may have to invent problems to fit “in.” 

Has anyone else observed this in their life? I began to really get this a couple of weeks ago when I visited my sister. She is pregnant and I wanted to see her and kiss her big belly. So far her pregnancy has been “unremarkable” as they say in the medical-ese. That is to say, her pregnancy has been easy. She has had very little morning sickness. She has occasional, mild acid reflux and a couple of Braxton-Hicks contractions. That’s it. Easy-peasy. But, when she talks about this, she actually talks in a slightly softer voice and has some cautionary words not to tell too many people because she knows that many women do not have this as their story and she does not wish to incite jealousy or judgment. Interesting.

Do we need to have problems in order to be more like-able?

In my experience, there are people who are there when the chips are down, but then, when things are going great they aren’t all that interested, even throwing out subtle slights to introduce doubt or intrigue. “Good” seems to be interpreted as “boring”  or threatening in some way. I’ve recently recognized that I’ve actually been afraid to lose more weight because I fear that other girls won’t like me. I know I can lose weight with total ease, if I take my eye off of the “flaws” that I’ve been staring at for decades. But, I actually won’t let myself fully HAVE it because I don’t want to lose “friends.” I’ve built relationships on problems, believing that if the problem no longer exists, that there will be no connection point and the relationship will fall apart and die.

WTF? What kind of insane reality are we living in and allowing if we are required to have problems in order to have friends and be liked? What would it take to have a reality in which we can relate, celebrate, and delight in the accomplishments and joys of ourselves and others? How much more fun and amazing would friendships and family relationships be if they did not require drama? What if I, if we, could be truly happy for other people without feeling threatened or insecure?

What would it take to create a new reality? 

1. Willingness to lose friends

 If friends and family in this reality actually operate more like enemies and require that something is going wrong in my life as a quality of like-ability, then I'd rather have no friends or family. I am done with the drama requirement and feeling like I have to be pathetic in order to hear kind words of encouragement or get support. I'd rather be alone with me and my happiness than to be miserable with company. But  the funny thing is, every time I choose my new reality over the old one I’m surprised by how willing and happy people are to participate and contribute to it. I’ve bought into this fear that people will leave me if I’m happy; but most of them don’t. Most of them are actually happy to contribute to more happiness. And the ones that aren’t are the ones that often leave without any action or dramatic confrontation at all. 

2. Willingness to not have problems.

Does anyone else have problems as friends? A lot of what I’ve been struggling with, I’ve been struggling with for a long time. To know me is to know my struggles. Who will I be if I don’t have my struggle?

In order to have a new reality, we must be willing to BE more than our problems; and more so, to be willing to not have problems. This reality has put it in our heads, hearts, nearly every fiber of our being that problems are an inevitable, inescapable part of life. But what if it wasn’t so? What if problems were just an interesting point of view that could cease to exist if we changed our point of view? What if there were no such thing as a problem, just a challenge, detour, or an opening to a new possibility that hadn’t previously existed? Would that be a more fun reality? One that was worth giving up a limiting idea of yourself? 

This takes awareness. Each moment we will be faced with the temptation to go back to the past as a reference point, to bring our problems forward to this moment. We have to be uncompromising in our determination to say "No." We will also need to be aware of our tendency to create new problems or dramatize a particular of our current circumstances that will bring the familiar anguish of problem energy into our lives. Choosing is a moment by moment process, not something we can decide and be done with. We will have to commit to creating our new reality moment by moment. It gets easier the more we choose. This isn’t the time to expect perfection and, thus, create a problem. Just keep choosing awareness, ask questions about what else is possible, and before you know it, you will realize that there's just you--no more problems.

3. Be the change.

Ready for a new reality. Ready for real friends who have your back and delight in your success. You can have it. And the best way to bring it into existence is to BE it. Be the change. What I mean is, be the friend or family member that relates with others in a different way. Be an invitation to a new possibility. Instead of requiring that people only talk about fun and happy things or things that you are interested in, allow them to be who they are and talk about whatever they wish. You don’t have to continue on with the conversation, you don’t have to buy into the story, you don’t have to make them into a problem to avoid or create an alliance to fight. You can acknowledge their interesting point of view, ask them a question, whatever. But, be the energy of invitation to a new way of being. Also, notice how you feel when you hear about other people succeeding. Choose to be happy for them. Choose to trust in abundance and the knowing that scarcity is a lie. Choose to be how you would like to be. And know that, even if you get caught up in the old reality, feel envious of others, or afraid that you’ll be lonely if you don’t have problems, you can change and choose a new way of being in any and every moment.

Being a superhero doesn’t require perfection, it requires willingness--a willingness to have and be what you’d like, regardless of what anyone else says or does about it. Superheroes don’t worry about being relatable and they still have fans. Why can’t you?

What if everything we know about being relate-able is a lie? What if you choosing to give up your problems actually allowed the space for fun new relationships to show up? 


What would it take for you to reveal your inner superhero? Contact me and let’s get started.