Posted in psychology

The influence of people around you

Yes people come and go in our life and they also influence us in one way or another. My constant prayer as a parent is for my child to meet friends who will be of “good” influence to her. I grew up in a traditional manner, raised by strict grandmother and parents, choosing good friends is important.

A motto that marked indelibly in my heart is this saying;

Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.


– anonymous

There are many versions of this quote but they all mean the same thing. In Social Psychology, this influence is being recognized and scientifically proven. Your closest associates (sometimes called – reference group) can determine much of your success in life. Our friends influence us subtly yet powerfully, and that can either be good or bad.


Research shows we do not have as much control over our thoughts and behavior as we think. We take cues from our environment, especially other people, on how to act.

– Psychology Today

Another powerful quote by Jim Rohn – “You are the average of the 5 people you hang around with.” The first quotation stayed with me since highschool. And recently, studying Psychology out of interest helps me gain more insight in relationships and human behavior.

You can’t choose your family, but you have the power to decide who to be close with. You also have the power to avoid certain people – toxic ones, for they will definitely shape who you are.

From my notes in Managing Emotions (Social Emotional Learning SEL) by Yale University – Humans are social creatures, we are influencing each other’s feelings whether we realize it or not.


Surrounding yourself with good people is not a strategy, it is a necessity. Having family and friends who motivate and help you become better (or best) version of yourself is a blessing.

Posted in Kdrama

Must watch – “Thirty Nine” (2022)

Leaning on each other through thick and thin, a trio of best friends stand together as they experience life, love and loss on the brink of turning 40.

– Netflix

While waiting for next episodes of Under the Queen’s Umbrella, this series caught my eyes. I thought this will be light and funny, but it’s actually sad. About the struggles of people with chronic illness, fear of what would happen, uncertain of what will it be on days nearing her death. Dealing with family, relationships, love and career. The strong bond between the three and their frienship in sickness and in health.

Starring Son Ye-jin as Cha Mijo, Jeon Mi-do as Jeong Chan-Young, and Kim Ji-hyun as Jang Joo-Hee.

There are light moments too amidst tearful scenes. As much as I want to post more about this drama, perhaps sharing the memorable quotes would be much better.


“When you’re overwhelmingly grateful, you find it so hard to express your gratitude.”

– Chanyoung


“Let’s live in the present.”

– Kim Seonu

“i wanted to forget reality and that everything was peachy. I just wanted to believe that.” – Mijo

“The stars are so pretty that it makes me sad.” – Cha Mijo

“i think i’ll prefer this even when i get old. I’m that happy now. But if my happiness makes you feel uneasy, that’s just sad.” – Hyeon-jun

“That was our choice. To live like there’s no tomorrow. Like there’s no sadness. That’s how we decided to spend each day.” – Cha Mijo



“This is about the things that won’t come back. This is about our moments.” – Chanyoung


“My entire body aches because you hit me with the sad reality.”

– Chanyoung

“As I grew older, I realized no matter how tough life may be and no matter your story, you should never abandon your child.” – Mijo


Live as if this is not happening.

-Chanyoung


“When our bodies get sick, we either get surgery or take medicine. When our minds get sick, we should get good rest.” – Mijo’s father


“A true friend lets you know what’s right and wrong.” – Cha Mijo

“That day, when everything felt hopeless, the touch of his hand felt so warm.” – Cha Mijo



Beautiful OST by Choi Yu Ree, she sang other OSTs like Wish from Hometown Cha cha cha

Posted in life, motivational

What it means to be loyal

If there’s one substantial quality to have in our relationships – with our loved ones, our family, friends, partners, colleagues, etc. – it could be loyalty. All relationships even between sellers and customers are based on our ability to be loyal.


Loyalty, in general use, is a devotion and faithfulness to a nation, cause, philosophycountry, group, or person. Philosophers disagree on what can be an object of loyalty, as some argue that loyalty is strictly interpersonal and only another human being can be the object of loyalty.

– Wikipedia

We may have different perceptions of loyalty but there are common characteristics that indicate loyalty. It is the most valued virtue in all relationships and encompasses the following traits.

Character Traits of Loyalty

  • a loyal person fulfills promises
  • a loyal person is supportive
  • a loyal person stands by you and for you
  • a loyal person values honesty
  • a loyal person is empathic
  • a loyal person is reliable
  • a loyal person is committed and dedicated


We all want the warmth and security that a loyal relationship brings. We like to be with people who are more likely to be faithful to us. And it is one of the basic necessity according to Maslow’s Heirarchy of Needs – Belongingness and Love Needs.

But remember not to expect other people the exact values we possess. We are all unique and different in personality traits, character, priorities, etc. One can cheat or be faithful to someone forever.

Loyalty is a value that is necessary for a lasting and meaningful relationships.

Posted in Kdrama

New Kdrama – Under the Queen’s Umbrella

I’ve watched many Kdramas and many I’ve failed to feature. Trending series like One the Woman, which is now available in Netflix. There’s Mr. Queen which is equally very funny we’d burst in laughter non stop, rom-com I’m not a robot (one of my favorites), and list go on…

This new series- Under the Queen’s Umbrella (Korean: 슈룹) is an ongoing South Korean television series starring Kim Hye-sooKim Hae-sook and Choi Won-young. It premiered on tvN on October 15, 2022, and airs every Saturday and Sunday at 21:10 (KST).[6] It is also be available for streaming on Netflix in selected regions.


My hubby (& Kdrama buddy) and I love period/historical dramas. They are remarkable, informative, beautiful portrayal of royal families and relay the life of Koreans under that era. This new series is somehow relatable, as a mom myself, raising children is the most difficult role in the world. The more for the queen during Joseon kingdom.

Under The Queen’s Umbrella is not the first Korean historical drama to focus on the precarious position of female royalty during the Joseon Dynasty, but it does emphasize the machinations that such uneven power systems provoked. Because most court women had no real power to affect change, some turned to duplicitous plots—from rumormongering to murder—to improve their station.

Forbes

With new episodes released every week, you’re bound to cry, ache, laugh and worry for the queen and her sons, the grand princes.

Posted in life, psychology

What is Gaslighting

In my previous post, we talked about manipulation and sampled the character of Jin Mu from Alchemy of Souls. Fact check, we meet a gaslighter in real life sometimes unaware of it, and so before falling to their trap let me show you ways to spot a gaslighter.

Gaslighting is a colloquialism, loosely defined as making someone question their own reality. The term derives from the title of the 1944 film – Gaslight. The term may also be used to describe a person (a “gaslighter”) who presents a false narrative to another group or person, thereby leading them to doubt their perceptions and become misled, disoriented or distressed.

Wikipedia

Gaslighting is a favorite tool of a toxic person. It is a form of abuse and psychological control. A gaslighter will start with small lies, eventually misinformation increases overtime. Anyone can be a victim of a gaslighting and the most effective gaslighter is the hardest to detect.

Gaslighting can appear in various ways. Here are examples or techniques they use (from Medical News Today);

  • Countering: This is when someone questions a person’s memory or recall. They may say, “Are you sure about that? You have a bad memory,” or “I think you are just forgetful.”
  • Withholding: Pretending they do not understand the conversation, or refusing to listen, to make a person doubt themselves. For example, they might say, “Now you are just confusing me,” or “I do not know what you are talking about.”
  • Trivializing: This occurs when a person belittles or disregards how someone else feels. They may accuse them of being “too sensitive” or overreacting in response to valid and reasonable concerns.
  • Denial: Refusing to take responsibility for their actions. They may do this by pretending to forget what happened, saying they did not do it, or blaming their behavior on someone else.
  • Diverting: With this technique, a person changes the focus of a discussion by questioning the other person’s credibility. A great tactic and often use by personalities to divert the attention from them.
  • Stereotyping: A person may intentionally use negative stereotypes about someone’s gender, race, ethnicity, sexuality, nationality, or age to gaslight them. For example, they may say that no one will believe a woman if she reports abuse.

From the examples listed, you maybe able to detect a gaslighter. As a disclaimer, this behavior becomes toxic based on intentions. And we may accidentally use the phrases sampled above without really intending to gaslight someone. It’s all in the intention or motives of a person.

It is different from Manipulation though. Manipulation is a key part of gaslighting, it’s a common tactic. Can be used in marketing strategies, politics, institutions, etc. But gaslighter, they are very rare and much more toxic.


Gaslighting can be psychologically devastating. According to Psychology Today, it violates trust, upends a person’s view that people are generally good, and can make them suspicious of everyone who is close to them. Falling victim to a gaslighter also erodes a person’s trust in themselves and may make a victim never want to be part of a relationship again.

There are ways to protect yourself from this form of abuse. First to simply gather evidence, write journals, take photos, etc. and use them as your proof. You may also talk to someone trustworthy and if needed, leave that toxic relationship.

Posted in motivational

Signs of high EQ

As part of my note taking in Emotional and Social Intelligence ESI (UC Davis) – a course I’m currently taking online. Here are the signs of a person, employee or co-worker with high EQ (emotional quotient) or EI (emotional intelligence).

But first we define Emotional Intelligence or EQ as the capacity to be aware of control and express your emotions as well as navigate interpersonal relationships with both good judgement and empathy.

EQ/EI affects every aspect in your life and has been proven to be in the top 10 most important workplace skills needed for success according to World Economic Forum (2020).

Professor Laurie Cozart, UC Davis
– UC Davis

More bullet points to remember;

  • EQ is not as a soft skill
  • people with high EQ make more and perform better
  • high EQ is synonymous to high satisfaction
Professor Laurie Cozart – UC Davis
UC Davis

Posted in health, natural medicine

Allergic rhinitis

Currently writing this while having an attack, and yes you may conclude that I’m immune to this overly sensitive nose of mine.

Not to sound pathetic, but I have been suffering from allergic rhinitis since time immemorial & somehow I got used to it. From dust to mold, even a mere lack of sleep can make me sick. Then came endometriosis, adenomyosis and so forth. I had a couple of doses of GnRH from 2020 and since then I’ve noticed changes in my overall health. My allergies became more severe and it’s so frustrating. Stomach becomes painful (aside from my poor nose) from endless sneezing. Consuming a box of kleenex in one sitting.

So I had to find ways, studied health courses online, continuously hunting for definite cure or miracle for these health issues. The following are remedies, tips and facts that may help your condition.

  • Allergic rhinitis, often called hay fever, is a common condition that causes symptoms such as sneezing, stuffy nose, runny nose, watery eyes and itching of the nose, eyes or the roof of the mouth.
  • Allergic rhinitis is an allergic reaction to tiny particles in the air called allergens. When you breathe in allergens through your nose or mouth, your body reacts by releasing a natural chemical called histamine.
  • Several indoor and outdoor allergens cause hay fever. Common causes include dust mites, mold, pet dander and pollen from trees and plants.
  • You can have allergic rhinitis any season or all year round (ditto!).
  • It is inherited.
Natural ways to treat allergies – Dr. Berg

It’s difficult (impossible) to completely avoid potential allergens, but you can take steps to reduce exposure to a particular allergen you know or suspect is triggering your allergic rhinitis. This will help improve your symptoms. And if you can’t take it anymore, there are antihistamine medications that will help – just ask your doctor for prescription. My go-to medications are cetirizine, levocetirizine (antihistamines).

Posted in Catholic faith, Our Mother of Perpetual Help, prayer

Prayer for home to Our Mother of Perpetual Help

Sharing this prayer I’ve learned from Redemptorist church when I was young while joining Nanay (grandma) to her Wednesday devotions. Been praying this ever since.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help

we salute thee as the chosen queen of our home

we beseech thee by thy tender motherly love

to preserve its inmates from destructive fires and earthquakes,

from thieves, accidents and calamities

and above all from sudden and unprovided death,

O Mother of Perpetual Help

be ever the queen of our home,

Amen.

Posted in life, motivational

Life 101: How to not to be toxic

Studying Psychology shows you a myriad of complicated terms, endless name of disorders, personality types, etc. But let’s be practical here, everywhere you go there’s always a “toxic” person. They’re impossible to avoid, can give you negative feelings and worse affect your mental health.

But do you know that Toxic behavior is something that can manifest in us all?

We all have bad days but it is important to be aware of our actions and how they affect the people around us. “Self-awareness” – according to my professor and the author of best selling book Permission to feelMarc Brackett, is the start of becoming an Emotional Scientist.


First, let us learn how to identify a toxic individual.


Being toxic is never fun to be around, you drive people away and usually encounter conflicts and misunderstandings. Keep in mind that these behaviors don’t happen overnight, it is developed through the years and has underlying causes or triggers like childhood trauma. They are actually unconscious and developed over time as their defense mechanism. Not an excuse though, that’s why we begin by realizing if our behavior is already hurting other people.

Ways not to be toxic.

1. Replace negative thoughts with positive ones

  • it all starts with your mind, your thoughts drive and guide how you behave.
  • In my psychology course by Yale Center of Emotional Intelligence, we are provided with “thought strategies”.
  • Professor Marc Brackett said that our brain is hay wired to think negatively right away, it is our automatic way of thinking. This is not good for the body as it activates our limbic system.
  • Thinking positively takes time and lot of effort.

2. Be actively Grateful

  • When we practice gratitude, our feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction increase, and the feeling of burn-out decreases.
  • Toxic people are unhappy because they tend to look at the past and for them everything in their life is not good enough.
  • Take a few minutes everyday to be actively grateful. This could be anything from your pet, sunshine or good weather, family, or the roof above your head.
  • If you really want not to be toxic, know that acknowledging the good things in your life lets you focus on them and everything else seems brighter and happier.

3. Think before you react

  • build the habit of pausing before reacting.
  • toxic people are highly reactive, they tend to lash out on people around them.
  • this is the best time to practice being a better listener, so instead of reacting try to listen first.
  • being an active listener shows that you care.

4. Let your ego go

  • a toxic person is desperate to maintain a certain image to the point of attacking others, or being defensive and becoming a habitual liar.
  • they believe they’re entitled and people are beneath them.
  • accept that nobody’s perfect and that you’re not always correct.
  • kindness is free and without your ego this is easy.

5. Show accountability

  • this is related to ego, apologizing is like admitting defeat to a toxic person.
  • admitting you’ve made a mistake and taking responsibility makes it feel you’ve failed.
  • if you’re not able to be accountable for your own wrongdoing — if you dig in, and have to maintain your image — this is a big potential problem. For one, it’s a sign of narcissism.
  • it will be a struggle to maintain a real relationship to someone who can never ever accept fault. It makes other people uncomfortable, denies their emotions or needs, and leaves them feeling wronged too.

6. Avoid gossip

  • here comes “marites” or the gossiper
  • it becomes highly toxic when the objective of the story is to destroy other people and talk about their misfortunes.
  • don’t be too quick to judge others and then spread rumor about them.
  • try to know people first, listen, be kind and considerate.

7. Build others up, not test them

  • we all want to be with someone who celebrates with us. They are happy when you’ve achieved something instead of belittling.
  • this is related to gossiping, if we try to pinpoint the mistakes of other people.
  • real strength is when you uplift and motivate others instead of pulling them down.

8. Seek help

  • if you’re unsure about your own behaviour in certain aspects of life, that’s completely fine. It’ll probably best to act on it right away.
  • whether it’s consulting friends, family, a professional (like a therapist), there are ways to learn more about ourselves and help us improve these areas in our life.
  • toxic behavior doesn’t happen accidentally. It’s likely caused by something in your mind like unresolved issues and past trauma.
  • connecting with others is also a way of healing. Strong social ties are linked with happiness, longevity and health.

Reaching this point means you care about yourself as a person and open to growth and maturity. Don’t worry, being toxic is not forever, it’s not permanent.

“when you let go of who you are, you become who you might be.”

– RUMI

Posted in life

Zig Ziglar on marriage

Sharing one of the best Zig Ziglar’s writing and meditations… a valuable lesson for this generation and generations to come…

Coming home on a plane, I noticed that the fellow seated next to me had his wedding band on the index finger of his right hand. I couldn’t resist the temptation so I commented, “friend, you’ve got your wedding band on the wrong finger.”

He responded, “yeah, I married the wrong woman.”

Many people have a lot of wrong ideas about marriage and what it takes to make that marriage happy and successful. I’ll be the first one to admit that it’s possible that you did marry the wrong person. However, if you treat the wrong person like the right person, you could end up having the right person after all…

On the other hand, if you marry the right person and treat that person wrong, you certainly will have ended up marrying the wrong person.

I also know that it is far more important to be the right kind of person than it is to marry the right person. In short, whether you married the right or wrong person is primarily up to you.

Research, personal observation, and experience prove that stable, sound marriages are not built on the passion of the moment. Realistic (and positive) expectations lead to marriages that last.

I have been following and reading Zig Ziglar. For me he is one of the world’s best motivator, I thought at first he was an inspiration for entrepreneurial only. But he has great life principles and writings too.

  • You can reach the top. (Zig Ziglar)