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Q and A with Ben Renshaw, author of "The Secrets of Happiness"

(85 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-May-10 10:34:44

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TheFoosa Wed 19-May-10 15:12:51

Glag to hear he will happily help with ideas and answering questions, cos he'd be in the wrong job otherwise

I wish I was a happiness expert <sigh>

moondog Wed 19-May-10 15:18:20

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LadyBlaBlah Wed 19-May-10 15:20:02

Hello Ben

I am interested in your work as an Org Psychologist who delivers Learned Optimism techniques ( Seligman) to sales people to increase their resilience and 'happiness' in their job, which is usually a very motivationally challenging role. Are you using techniques from Seligman/Positive Psychology too?


miserablenow Wed 19-May-10 15:41:40


miserablenow Wed 19-May-10 15:45:04

I am miserable. Dh is miserable. The only thing that makes us miserable is ds1. his behaviour. i have been to parenting classes and they taught me nothing i didn't already know. The only thing I've learnt is to try and be even more consistent than i already was.
What do you do when you are ground down after 18 mths of trying and trying. And that was just when its been at its worse.
Wheres' out joie de vivre ?
How do you learn to love ds1 again, when all your love has evapourated. I hate him. I dislike him. at first I tried to deny these feelings, but in the end i admitted this. dh feels the same. Dh and i both wish that we had never had him, and wish that socail services would take him away.
Thats no way to carry on. All our friends and paretns and sisters, and parenting guru's have no advice for us. Becasue we have always loved and disciplined in the way they suggest.
Advice welcome.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 19-May-10 15:57:55

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sarah293 Wed 19-May-10 15:58:08

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sarah293 Wed 19-May-10 15:59:12

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StarlightMcKenzie Wed 19-May-10 16:01:41

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Pofacedagain Wed 19-May-10 16:03:12

shock I think you need to be referred to a family psychologist or something miserablenow. your poor ds must know you don't love him. but anyway I am not a happiness expert of any kind, if one really exists.

Are you ever unhappy?

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 19-May-10 16:05:27

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TheFoosa Wed 19-May-10 16:08:30

Was Ben NOT happy with Moondog's pot?

TheFoosa Wed 19-May-10 16:19:17

sorry, post, her pot is very happy

TheFoosa Wed 19-May-10 16:19:44

or maybe he is VERY happy with Moondog's pot

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 19-May-10 16:21:09

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Pofacedagain Wed 19-May-10 16:22:57

yes that is good advice Starlight.

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 19-May-10 16:25:42

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Pofacedagain Wed 19-May-10 16:27:36

no the SN section being sympathetic.

smoking pot may be good for other things though obviously..

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 19-May-10 16:33:51

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AccidenToryOnPurpose Wed 19-May-10 17:40:42

oooo, moondog, what did you say?

I am off to google 'learned optimism'. My disabled child is not too much of an issue with regard to general happiness these days, despite therapies/ ops etc (mostly scheduled for the summer holidays, incidentally, so she doesn't miss too much school), it's day to life with her NT brother that's causing misery round here.

(Aware that it can't possibly be entirely him lol, in an 'it takes two to tango' sort of way, but the whole family is erm, well, less stressed if he's in a compliant mood...)

I'm curious why this is in the summer hols section too - round here if I don't have to get kids to school on time things are a lot happier anyway...

miserablenow - yes, try sn section smile

Riven - no chance of any summer respite? Is there no playscheme dd can access at all? (Quite limited where we were last summer, but improving year on year... with some 2:1 avail too!)

GoingPostal Wed 19-May-10 18:13:29

Ben, I'd like to know how it's possible to be happy, really truly happy, after my wonderful husband died 3 years ago, while I was pregnant with our first child.

I am now living a life I didn't want and didn't choose. I'm a lone parent, bringing up a small child by myself. I am 100% responsible 100% of the time for everything relating to my and my son's life. DS is at nursery school and so in holidays it is me and him 24/7. He's lovely but he's only just 3 and his company is a little limiting. We do activities, meet friends, get out of the house etc etc. I do all the right things, think of strategies to cope, get practical help, have company when possible. My friends would probably think I am fine and doing well.

But fundamentally when I close the door to my house at night, I am lonely and unhappy. It would be lovely to meet someone new but in the absence of a wonderful partner in my life, how can I make myself truly happy again, and how can I consider the future with true anticipation and excitement when all that is in front of me is the daily child-related grind?

I want to be able to do this for myself and by myself, and it is largely an emotional rather than practical question that I need help with please.


moondog Wed 19-May-10 18:18:09

I want to know who this person is and what their qualifications are which make them a purported authority.

<takes a toke>

rookiemater Wed 19-May-10 18:40:24

I believe I am not as happy as I could be because I feel unfulfilled at my work.

It is a job that DS I think I would have acquitted admirably but because I work part time and also because I don't have the ability or desire to work extra hours I feel less committed to what I am doing and worry that I am not delivering what I should be ( although my performance is always rated as satisfactory)Dh has a highly paid long hours contractor role so in addition to working more or less f/t I have responsibility for majority of household chores, although realise this is not as onerous as being wholly responsible most of the time I feel overwhelmed and sad.

I am toying with a number of ideas, reducing hours further, perhaps asking to reduce grade to reduce stress levels or even just giving up as we are talking about getting a buy to let property and hopefully managing that might give make up for any lost self esteem through giving up my worker role.

It will however be a loss of a reasonable income and a lot of associated benefits and I am somewhat concerned that perhaps I am just a natural pessimist who would be unhappy in any given situation.

What do yourecommend ?

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