Is THIS the secret to real happiness?
Is THIS the secret to real happiness? Author reveals how every nice girl should learn to be ‘a d***’ – and it works for dealing with everything from your mother-in-law to charity collectors
- Alexandra Reinwarth who lives in Spain is a bestselling author of over 30 books
- The Good Girl’s Guide To Being A D*** is published in the UK this week
- Said women need to learn to be more vocal in today’s ruthless world
- Way to deal with unsolicited advice is an ‘agree to disagree’ strategy
A writer has revealed how the key to happiness is to stop worrying about being nicer and more patient and embrace your inner d***.
German-born Alexandra Reinwarth is a bestselling author of over 30 books, now living in Spain.
The Good Girl’s Guide To Being A D***, already an international bestseller, is the first of her books to be translated into English and is launched in the UK this week.
She was inspired to write the book after finally telling a difficult friend she didn’t want to be around her anymore, and now wants to inspire others to live happier lives by letting go of their constant need to please.
‘In a today’s world, which is getting more and more ruthless, it is more necessary than ever to stand up for your opinion, for your beliefs and to say “No”, for you and for others,’ she told Femail.
‘There are two groups of people: the ones who think of other people in a way like: how can I help you, what can I offer you that could be useful in your situation?
‘The others are more like: how could your existence be useful for me? I’m the first group. And we are nice – too nice.
German-born Alexandra Reinwarth was inspired to write the book after finally telling a difficult friend she didn’t want to be around her anymore (stock image)
‘We wish to please everyone, want to be liked by our boss and our collegues, by the doctor and also by the grumpy waiter in the pizzeria next door – not mentioning family and friends.
We are constantly trying not to embarrass ourselves and to be considerate of others.
Don’t get me wrong, that’s a good thing. I think it is great when people are trained from day one not to behave like a*******s – even though, God knows, it doesn’t always work.
‘At the same time, I would appreciate it if we also had the option of finding things, people or situations downright stupid.
The Good Girl’s Guide is about: how not to give a damn about other people or issues; how not to to become a real dick at the same time, and small decisions can have a huge impact on the quality of your life.
How can you stop relatives asking prying questions about your love life and plans to have a baby without offending them and being labelled ‘hypersensitive’?
According to Alexandra, the answer is friendliness.
‘With friendliness you don’t have to give a toss about a whole range of issues that cause an inner eye-rolling,’ she explained. ‘Nobody will be cross with you (in case that still matters), as long as you are friendly:
German-born Alexandra Reinwarth is a bestselling author of over 30 books, now living in Spain
Auntie Mabel: ‘Have you got a new boyfriend?’. Answer: ‘Ah, Auntie Mabel, let’s not talk about my love life – how was your holiday, that is much more interesting.’
If somebody still carries on prodding, you can always go to the loo. When you return, the clan will have turned to their next favourite topic.’
After years of trying to forge a relationship with her partner’s mother by inquiring after her friends and their ailments and frantically tidying the house before she arrived, Alexandra decided to let go.
She left her mother-in-law to play with her grandson while she got on with sending emails and unloading the dishwasher.
And when they did sit down to chat, she admitted that she hates cooking, recently got drunk at a party and threw out all the houseplants because she can’t keep them alive.
‘It’s not bad at all,’ she recalled. ‘We have a conversation that isn’t totally boring, and I can see clearly now: only when I show myself as I really am and give her the chance to respond, only then can a real conversation develop. Everything else is fake.
We probably won’t turn into besties, but whenever Granny comes visiting now, I am not stressed any more.
‘I don’t have to prepare anything; I can remain relaxed, because I no longer have to play-act.’
Whether it’s your mother’s opinion on your parenting methods or your friend’s insistence that you should go vegan, advice that makes you want to tear your hair out can be dealt with using an ‘agree to disagree’ strategy.
Try something like this: ‘Yes, I can see what you mean, but I see that differently and I don’t really want to discuss it now. Let’s just tuck into this gorgeous cake instead. Do you want another piece?’
Remember: With friendliness you don’t have to give a toss about all the topics that cause you to inwardly roll your eyes. Nobody will be cross with you if you publicly disagree about something (in case it is something you do happen to care about) as long as you keep being friendly.
This strategy also has a nice side effect: you are not shying away from saying what you think – and that feels really, really good.
Unsolicited advice about parenting is easily warded off by appearing to agree to disagree (stock image)
Alexandra made a decision not opt out of the birthday collection which is usually organised by a woman called Michelle for her own gratification, while the person celebrating ends up with a pair of unicorn slippers they don’t want.
‘The only thing that keeps me from putting this plan into action is what Michelle might think of me when I tell her I don’t want her to count me in any more, and what the others may think when my name is no longer on their birthday cards,’ she said.
‘I ponder and ponder, but always come to the same conclusion: really, I really don’t care. Does Sandra from accounts approve of my actions? It simply doesn’t matter.’
AFTER WORK DRINKS
These days, Alexandra would prefer to go home to her son or enjoy quality time to herself than go for drinks after work but it took her a while to feel confident in saying she won’t join the weekly excursion to a nearby gin bar.
She recalled: ‘I take a deep breath and simply say it. That I won’t come. Not today and not on any other Friday in the future, because after work I prefer to go home.
‘Also, I don’t particularly like gin. My sentences are still a little clumsy, but after the next person asks it gets better.
The Good Girl’s Guide To Being A D***, already an international bestseller, is the first of her books to be translated into English and is launched in the UK this week
‘At the end of the day, when one of the trainees asks me the same question, I have progressed to: “Nope. Not for a million dollars! But have fun!”. Life can be so easy.’
‘The only thing that still makes you vulnerable is pity,’ Alexandra said revealing why you shouldn’t feel sorry for charity collectors or anyone trying to sell you something.
‘How about: ‘One question – if I have a little financial crisis in the future, maybe because I have not said no often enough to people like you, could I come to you for help? Could I just visit you and explain my personal situation, and would you be so kind as to help me out?
‘What, you don’t want me to come and see you at home? Oh, so you don’t seem to like it when strangers ring your doorbell and want money from you? Well, well. You sound just like me, then.’
‘You don’t even have to say it aloud; it is the thought that will change your attitude.
‘Since it dawned on me that I am not allowed to ring the telephone guy or the electricity people at home and that the man with the double-glazing would be outraged if I turned up on his doorstep, I slam my front door with such force that its hinges quiver.
‘And without the slightest trace of a bad conscience. Don’t give a damn about a bad conscience.’
The Good Girl’s Guide TO Being a D*ck, by Alexandra Reinwarth is available from Amazon
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