We all like to save money- it seems to be the way Americans do things nowadays. Black Friday shopping is a great way to save significant money all the while showing the people you care about how much they mean to you.
There’s one big obstacle though; some individuals go to the extreme on Black Friday- there is even a website that counts Black Friday deaths and injuries. There are a few reasons that people can become so animalistic on Black Friday, I’m going to explain why, and give you some tips on how to control anger, stay safe, and make sure you get the special gifts you want this holiday season.
What’s wrong with People?
According to International Business Times (IBT) there are 3 reasons that Black Friday is so intense:
- There is a rush of dopamine into the brain when we find deals. It is anatomically pleasing for us to find the right product at the right price – especially when there is limited supply.
- Crowds get us excited because, from an evolutionary perspective, crowds = danger. Additionally, people copy the behavior of one another, which is why just a few people can turn a happy crowd into an angry mob.
- When people are in a crowd, they get a narrow worldview focus. Generally, people have an overview of the world and are aware of most of their surroundings, but when they become excited, they hone in on what they are focusing on. This is why people can trample other people without even batting an eye- they are focused on that deal, and not aware of their immediate surroundings.
Keep The Frenzy Down
In order to stay safe, follow these tips:
- Decide beforehand how you will respond to varying situations. If you think there is potential for a stampede, or a fight- determine how you will respond. Are you going to simply follow the crowd in a stampede? Or make an effort to get out of the stampede? Is that item worth a fist fight and risk of legal repercussions? Or will you step down and let someone else have it? If you make these decisions beforehand, you will know how to act when the situation arises.
- Is there a similar deal online? Cyber Monday gives just as good of deals online as you can find in the store. Check the Cyber Monday deals and see if you can find something similarly priced? Even if it means you’ll have to pay $10 in shipping fees, it is well worth your safety.
- Always shop in groups of 2 adults or more. People who are willing to attack each other will stand down if they know there are more people on your side. This will deter criminals or just frenzied Black Friday shoppers. You will also have someone looking out for you if you get hurt in any way- they will be able to get someone from the store to help.
- Keep your cell phone in your pocket where you can feel it ring. You need to be able to contact your group if you split up for any reason. Also set up a meetup location in the event that you lose each other or the cellphone does not work.
I am hoping that one day we will have perfectly safe Black Fridays. I believe the number one way to make that happen is by disseminating as much information about being safe as possible. And now that you know this, share this post with your friends and family.
Life Rage Has Solutions to Black Friday Rage
Author Timothy A. Dimoff has additional, unique solutions to handle Black Friday rage which are encompassed in his book. If you would like to purchase Life Rage or have him come to speak at an event or your workplace call him at (330) 255-1101 or fill out the Speaker Request Form.
Not too long ago, I talked about hidden bias and discrimination in the workplace and how it can drastically affect people in the workplace. This blog will focus on defining workplace bullying, and what you can do if you find yourself in a hostile work environment.
Workplace bullying is a real problem, it happens all over the place and it is very difficult to manage. I know from experience:
I just proposed to my wife and she was wearing the engagement ring that I was still making payments on. I just started a contract painting job with a small painting company and was very excited to do some hard work and get that ring paid off so I didn’t have to worry about it, come the wedding day. Little did I know that being a new contractor, I was in for some very intensive on-the-job training. Every day that I painted, I had someone watching me and swearing at me. I was cussed at every day, and when I did something wrong, it got even worse. I did learn some very valuable skills, but once I got that ring paid off, I quit. I was very lucky to have a job and be working during that period of time, but it was the first time in my life that I had very low self-esteem.
Unfortunately for me, in a contracting job, there was little option for me to make the bullying stop. My company didn’t have an HR department or standards that the company was forced to adhere to. If I said anything about it, I would have just been fired. But that doesn’t have to be the case for you.
Defining Workplace Bullying
Workplace bullying is defined by the Workplace Bullying Institute (WBI) as; “Abusive conduct that is threatening, humiliating, or intimidating; any kind of work interference/sabotage that prevents work from getting done; verbal abuse.”
The bully typically has a need to control their targets, and they are very meticulous about selecting the proper target, timing, location, and methods of bullying. They could be making fun, unwanted pranks, withholding important resources (such as keeping someone off of an email chain with important memos). There may be people who are coerced to join in and side with bully and the bullying will typically take precedence over the work itself.
If after reading the definition of workplace bullying, you believe that you have been or are being bullied (or if you are a concerned friend or family member), there are two things you need to know about what is happening to you:
- You are not alone
- You did not cause this bullying to happen
I want you to know that there are ways to fix this; you don’t have to live with your current work conditions. WBI has a three step approach to handling workplace bullies:
- Name your Situation – You need to recognize that you are experiencing a legitimate phenomenon. Call it bullying, psychological violence, or emotional abuse- you need to name it. Giving it a name legitimizes your situation and helps you realize that you are not alone and that it can be fixed.
- Take Time Off to Heal and Prepare – Getting ready will require a clear head, and you need to be able to enjoy some time alone and with your family to get ready to launch your counterattack.
- Check in on your mental and physical health, as these can be greatly damaged by workplace harassment.
- Look into legal options (1/4th of all workplace bullying cases are a result of discrimination) and company policies on harassment.
- Prepare a business case against the bully using WBI’s “Estimating Costs of Bullying Worksheet”.
- Be ready for retaliation.
- Start a job search for your next position.
- Expose the Bully –
- Be prepared to leave; targets lost their jobs in 77.7% of cases either voluntarily for health’s sake or involuntarily.
- Make the business case that the bully is “too expensive to keep” to the highest level person you can reach (who is not closely associated with the bully).
- Stick to the bottom line, if you start talking about personal stories, you may be discredited.
- Give your employer one chance to fix it; if they side with the bully, it is time to leave. In some cases, employers are simply looking for a reason to let the bully go.
- If you must leave, make sure you tell everyone about the bully and that you had to leave for your health’s sake.
We all deal with difficult people in our lives, but workplace bullies are an entirely different breed. By following these steps, you will do wonders for your health.
Want additional help? Ask Tim Dimoff to speak to your company
Author Tim Dimoff is an expert on workplace bullying, and he can help your organization put an end to this issue once and for all. Call (330)255-1101 or fill out his Speaker Request Form to have him come to your workplace today.
The real estate market is a competitive environment, only the best marketers usually stay in business. Becoming a real estate agent includes opening yourself up to perfect strangers. A lot of real estate agents will go door-to-door in their marketing process to make their names known to potential buyers and sellers. So it is not totally a surprise that real estate agents have become a target for criminals.
Getting away with Murder (Almost)
Andy VonStein was a man who really impacted his community, and one September day he was shot and killed by a man who had it out for him. Robert Grigleaitis lost his home due to a land contract deal gone wrong and it ended up costing him $80,000. Andy had nothing to do with this, but Grigleaitis blamed him anyway. Andy had never met Grigleaitis, and after scheduling an appointment to show a house under a fake name, Andy was murdered. After a long chase, Grigleaitis was captured and pled guilty.
Becky Kline, an Agent for Cutler Real Estate was very close to Andy and worked with him; “Andy’s death shocked the community” she said in an interview. Becky was the last person to talk to Andy before he left for his appointment.
Robert Siciliano, a personal security and identity theft expert, and Becky Kline both have a lot of great tips on staying safe, including the following:
- Stay on your Toes – Don’t be paranoid, just be aware. Attackers don’t always look shady; sometimes they will be well-dressed and even bring family or friends along with them. It may not be until the 3rd or 4th showing that attackers show who they really are. Becky Kline says that her biggest piece of advice is, “It can happen to you too. After Andy died, it was very close to home – this was no longer something that couldn’t or wouldn’t happen to me.”
- ID and Pre-Qualify at the Office – Meet for the first time at the office, as attackers don’t want to be ID’d and they don’t want to pre-qualify for a loan if their only intention is to do harm. They will likely turn to someone else who is not safety conscious. Becky believes in giving a copy of the ID to a coworker while the client is still in the office along with an itinerary. Make the client aware that someone is keeping tabs on you.
- Communicate with your Colleagues – Tell someone where you are and tell them you will contact them once you are done. Have them call you at a designated time and tell them to set an alarm on their phones so they don’t forget. Also, create an emergency word or phrase. You can use colors like Green for all-clear, Yellow to let them know to stay aware, or Red to indicate an emergency (e.g. “It is in the Yellow folder”). Or you can use acronyms like “Have Evan Let the Puppy outside”.
- Develop a Plan for Open Houses – Bring a friend with you, make sure your cell phone is charged, be aware of items you can use for self-defense, and lock up all jewelry and valuables. Becky also suggests that you get to the house before the clients arrive so that you can walk the house, be aware of all exits, make sure they are all unlocked and to make sure that the exits are clear of anything that could prevent you from making a quick escape.
- Use Professional Personal Marketing – Use marketing materials that either don’t have pictures of you on them, or have very professional pictures. Avoid looking provocative in any way and keep your marketing professional.
- Dress in a Way that Keeps you Safe – Make sure that you are dressed so that you can run and kick; wear anything that won’t hinder your ability to defend yourself. Also, avoid wearing expensive jewelry.
- Ride Alone – Never ride in your car with a client or go with a client in their car. A good policy would be to only ride along with friends or if you have another realtor with you.
- Learn How to Defend Yourself – Taking self-defense classes or getting a concealed carry license are both excellent ways to prepare you for the unknown. 80% of women who fight against their attackers end up getting away.
- Becky Kline has some Ideas too – “Cutler Real Estate is very serious about the safety of their agents, if you can’t get a fellow agent to come with you, you could call a corporate manager and they would meet you at a showing”. Becky has learned how to walk through a house, “Never lead a client downstairs, always let the client go downstairs before you, and keep yourself between the client and the door.” She also suggests that you “keep your distance from your clients, be cordial, but still stay at arm’s length”. She said that when she can, she will bring her husband along and have him stay in the car when she is uncomfortable. The last thing Becky said was that you must “listen to your instincts”, if something feels wrong, take extra measures to keep yourself safe.
One Final Method
Timothy Dimoff is a renowned security expert and can train your office about other ways to keep your realtors safe. He has a newly developed training called “Streets Smarts for Realtors”. If you work in real estate or in a real estate office, fill out his speaker request form and have him come to your office for training very soon.
A lot of adults have a hard time relating to cyberbullying, especially Baby Boomers. It seems that it is harder to take a kid seriously when he says he was bullied online. That isn’t real bullying, right?
The problem students encounter is that, when they are cyberbullied, there is nowhere they can get away. Technology follows them, and unless they are able/willing to fall off the grid, there can be no escape from scathing text messages, social media posts, or videos. Kids take all of this very seriously, and if you don’t, I hope you will after reading this.
What is Cyberbullying?
Cyberbullying takes place everywhere- computers, tablets, cell phones, video games, etc. It can be as low-profile as someone poking fun of a goofy picture your child posted or as serious as kids saying degrading things to or about each other. If a child is being cyberbullied, they are probably being bullied in person as well.
Why is it so important to know about it?
Nobullying.com offers a lot of cyberbullying statistics, among them;
- 25% of teenagers report that they have experienced repeated bullying via their cell phone or on the Internet.
- Over half of teenagers report being cyberbullied (that means if you have 2 kids, more than likely, one of them is or has been cyberbullied).
- More than 1 in 10 has reported having embarrassing photographs taken of them without their knowledge or consent.
- Over half of all teenagers who use social media have witnessed cyberbullying online, a staggering 95% of those who witnessed the cyberbullying have ignored the behavior.
- More than half of those being cyberbullied say that they never confide in their parents.
What can I do to stop it?
Be aware of the signs that your child is being cyberbullied. According to stopbullying.gov, a kid who is being cyberbullied is more likely to use alcohol or drugs, skip school, receive poor grades, have lower self-esteem, or have more health problems. If you see any kind of dramatic changes in behavior that lead toward the above mentioned characteristics, you need to take action. You can also mitigate the risk by following these steps:
- Create your own profile on the social media platforms that your children use and “Friend” or “Follow” them so that you can watch for overt cyberbullying.
Make this a criteria for them to have these accounts – if they won’t friend you, then make them take their social down.
- Get account information from your children and log onto their accounts occasionally to ensure that your child is not receiving any kind of bullying via private messaging.
Keep in mind that this account information is a privilege, even if you made your kids give you their information, they trust you to not violate their privacy. With this in mind, only log in every once in awhile, once a month is probably plenty.
- Have a sense of what they do online and over the phone, check their phones occasionally as well.
- Ask your kids about the sites they visit and their online activities; be aware of where they are going, what they are doing, and who they are doing it with.
- Encourage your kids to tell you immediately if they witness or experience any kind of cyberbullying. Make sure they are aware that there will be no negative recourse (such as losing computer/cell phone privileges) when they tell you.
- Don’t respond to or forward any cyberbullying messages.
- Keep evidence of cyberbullying such as texts, emails, or screenshots in a folder on a hard drive or on the cloud.
- Block the person who is cyberbullying your child.
- Report it to the social media site and they will take action against users who are abusing their terms of service.
- If cyberbullying escalates to the following activities, you need to contact your local law enforcements:
- Threats of violence
- Taking a photo/video of someone in a place where they can reasonably expect privacy
- Stalking or hate crimes
None of us want to see our children go through their most important developmental stages with someone pushing them around or causing unnecessary problems in their lives. It is important for us to ensure that our kids and the kids around us are not experiencing any kind of cyberbullying. Follow this plan and chances are you will help prevent it!
Parenting a teenager is not an easy task. As teenagers begin to assert their independence and discover their own identity, they may experience unpredictable behavioral changes. They may distance themselves from you, practice risky behaviors, or commit criminal acts. But all is not lost; there are steps you can take to ease the tension and chaos in your home.
Tip #1- Take a Step Back
- Understand your teen. Take a look at life from their eyes. You were a teenager once, try to remember how all of those hormonal changes feel. They’re growing hair in weird places, seeking acceptance from their peers, and feeling things they have never felt before.
- Be aware of your own stress and anger. Trying to talk to an angry teen while you’re upset isn’t going to end well. Wait until you and your teen are both calm to start talking. Be patient and talk through all the issues on the table. When I was a teen, my father did not know how to control anger. I was always too scared to go and talk to him because I didn’t want to upset him. Don’t be someone your teen is afraid to talk to.
- Be someone they can come to. Offer to grab lunch or ice cream with your teen. They may find themselves in a position where they are upset, confused, or even show signs of depression.. Don’t get frustrated if they don’t immediately open up – just make sure they know you’re there for them. When they do decide to talk, listen without judgement or criticism. It’s a big step for your teen to let you in on their personal thoughts; don’t make them feel bad for doing so.
Tip #2- Change Your Family’s Lifestyle
- Create routines. Although your teen may rebel and argue about your rules, they still need them. Structure can help make teens feel safe and secure. Set a curfew to keep your teen accountable. Make it mandatory to sit down as a family for dinner. As a kid, my family always sat down to dinner together. It’s a great way for everyone to be near each other and talk about their day.
- Eat, sleep and exercise. Making sure your teen has a healthy, filling breakfast before heading off to school is important. Most kids leave for school at 7 am, and don’t have another chance to eat for 4 or 5 hours. They are still growing. Without a healthy, balanced diet and 8.5-10 hours of sleep at night, your teen may lose focus in school and their grades may start to slip. Also, encourage your teen to get out and exercise. Join the soccer team, play catch outside after dinner. Keeping you teens moving is a good way for them to blow off steam and destress.
Tip #3- Make Time for You
- Relax. Working a 40 hour-a -week job, taking care of household duties, making sure bills are paid on time and taking care of teenagers is a lot of work. Take some time for yourself to relax. Read a book. Take a bath. Watch a movie you’ve been wanting to see. Your teen is watching everything you do, so create an example for them. When you learn to relax, they will learn to relax.
- Don’t go it alone. If you’re a single parent, reach out to friends, relatives, school counselors or whatever resource you need. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re failing as a parent. If you have a spouse, make sure you are consistent with each other. Nothing is worse that one parent telling a teen “no,” and the other parent saying “yes.”
- It’s just a phase. Remember, this won’t last forever. Once your child exits the teenager phase, they will go back to being that sweet, loving person they were before they hit 14 years of age. With the right parenting, your teen will turn into a successful, young adult.
Personal note: As a teenager, I always tried to do right by my parents. I got good grades, participated in after-school activities and helped out around the house. I could never figure out why my parents were so strict on me- they were not keen on teen dating nor would they let me hang out with my friends. However, my younger brother got bad grades in high-school, would stay out late and always hung out with his friends. Things that I got in trouble for were okay for him to do. Treat your kids fairly. Make sure if you’re going to punish one child for a bad behavior, the other children get punished just the same. If not, the child may begin to feel resentment towards you, and it will push them further away.
Your teen is only too far gone if you have already given up. Now is the time to start to take action and be there for your teen. You have been where they are now and you probably have some good ideas when it comes to how to deal with depression, anger, and confusion. When I was 13, I thought I knew everything there was to know about life- now I realize that I didn’t have a clue. Be with your teen, because they need you, they just don’t realize it yet.
About Timothy A. Dimoff
For more information, contact Tim Dimoff at (330)255-1101, Monday thru Friday 9am-5pm EST about ordering a book or scheduling a seminar. Or if you feel you need personalized attention, you can contact your local church or family counselor.