Showing posts with label Cheyenne. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cheyenne. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Shedding the Light on Gas Lighting

Shedding the Light on Gas Lighting

My husband came home at noon on a Wednesday with an announcement, a resolution more like it; "I want you to look for a job out of town! I am tired of you getting into work situations and then getting abused." A legitimate complaint from a loving husband, to the woman he feels he is assigned to protect, I suppose.

But I explained to him that the problem wasn't our city or even the organization I had been working for at the time. The problem is, people take advantage of other people in all places.

It happens in small towns, big cities, the military, big organizations, medium sized businesses, franchises...we justify it by calling it culture, old school, good old boys networking. Here in Cheyenne, some people call it "cowboy culture." This is the most offensive of all, because it just isn't true. True cowboy culture is gracious, united and courteous. If you are misusing this term this way, please stop.

Sometimes this behavior seems more prevalent in certain places, and I believe it can be, because we justify it and allow it to happen. We candy coat it rather than facing facts, and calling it what it is. We say, "oh that is just Anderson, Cheyenne, Indiana, Wyoming, Arizona, (your organization here)..." I have watched business owners do it to other business owners and call it "competition."

No organization is immune, I have seen it happen in educational institutions, law offices, hospitals and churches.

It is called gas lighting.

Gas lighting is a form of manipulation that often happens in abusive relationships, but also in politics, office environments, clubs and social groups. The term gas lighting references back to the days before electricity when a light could be dimmed. It is a form of dimming one's perception of reality, and in the beginning the person who is gas lighting will often seem kind, helpful and knowledgeable, but in the end, they are a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Signs and symptoms of gas lighting are...

People who gas light tell lies, especially "white" lies and gossip profusely - They will exaggerate and repeat the stories often.

People who gas light make promises that they don't keep; if you challenge them they often deny or lash out even when there is evidence. They might say they are going to put your topics on a meeting agenda, or pass your idea off to the boss, but it never happens.

People who gas light cut your ideas off at the knees in front of other people and sabotage your work.

People who gas light will often be seemingly positive people and even encourage you. They give you just enough encouragement to confuse you and then set you up for another gut punch.

What do gut punches look like?

Gut punches come in the form of character assaults. You or your ideas might get called outright "stupid." When you speak out against the assaults you will be referred to as sensitive. Gut punching might also attack or downplay your strengths. Maybe you are patient, and the person gas lighting paints it like a weakness instead of a strength. Sometimes it is in the form of non-verbals and body language, such as eye rolling, abrupt interruptions, and body blocking during conversations with important people and higher ups. Gas lighting may take the form of an abuser changing meeting times without telling you, or rewriting your reports or curriculum at the last minute.

The end goal of gas lighting is to dominate and control you and whatever project or team you are working on. Sometimes a person who gas lights has aggressive career goals, but not always. Sometimes they are just looking for social power.

What to do...

Follow your gut intuition.

Don't ever confront the person that is gas lighting.

Do not retaliate with the same behaviors. While most of us who have been gas lighted will not usually retaliate with the same verbal behaviors, sometimes we are un-aware of our body language and we fall into the trap of mimicking the abusers non-verbals and para-language. Stay aware and be extra mindful of your actions. If someone body blocks you or interrupts an important conversation, your first instinct will be to jump back in, don't do it. Stand tall, show confidence, and be patient for your moment to speak calmly and show that you are the voice of reason in the room.

Keep a journal if you need to. Do whatever you need to do to reaffirm yourself, because gas lighting is an attack on your self esteem.

Most importantly, this is a situation where you need to stay consistent, document your work and let your true character be reflected. Let your high moral standard and your established reputation speak for itself. Stay on your best, and always take the high ground.

Should you change jobs, clubs, churches, etc.?


Sometimes the culture in an organization or group is so bad that you just have to move on, however don't ever think that leaving will stop gas lighting from happening to you again. You must, become aware of the decease and build up an immunity to it or it will happen again. And sometimes, you need to stay and "be the change."

Becoming immune...

Again, first you must learn to recognize the signs of gas lighting, and recognize them early.

Second, be very mindful and aware of your own behaviors and responses. When you can recognize and respond early on, it is a real game changer. It allows you to feel empowered in the situation.

Lastly, do not ever let your self esteem begin to slip. If you allow your self care to slip in such a way that your self esteem begins to dip, you allow yourself to become a vulnerable target to a gas light predator. There really is something to be said for taking care of "you" first. It is very important to do the things that make you strong no matter how good or bad life gets.

Make no mistake, I am not saying the problem is with the victim. Abuse is always on the shoulders of the victimizer, but you don't have to be a victim again. Now that we know what gas lighting looks like, together we can stop the cycle of abuse in our towns, cities, businesses, educational institutions, clubs and churches.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Wyoming Bee College

Wyoming Bee College
I attended Wyoming Bee College this past weekend at LCCC! It was super fantastic! I attended workshops on the basics of beekeeping as well as how to plant a pollen rich garden! I learned why my beeswax candles aren't burning right...finally solved a problem I couldn't find an answer to on Pinterest! The workshops were taught by highly educated professionals ranging from medical science to agriculture. And the range of topics was very broad, so it appealed to the beginner and experienced alike. I even sat in on a great lecture on soil conservation and one on reviving native plants.

The weekend didn't just serve as a tool for beekeepers either. I was super impressed with the amount of people that traveled to Cheyenne from other states. By my naked eye judgment, I am willing to estimate that there was a 5/6 ratio of out of town guests and of those 5, at least 4 came up from Colorado. Yes! The Wyoming Bee College attracted visitors from Northern Colorado! And they were excited to be here. Two guests even complemented our downtown core.

In addition to great workshops and attracting visitors to Cheyenne, Wyoming Bee College also had great vendors. Some of which were local...

One of my favorite downtown businesses was there! Three Crows....

They had some great bee artwork...

Three Crows Art

And I bought a wonderful little iridescent bee ring bowl...

Bee Ring Bowl
If you think you would like bee keeping, you may also want to read The Beekeeper's Bible. Below is a free preview on Amazon.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Our favorite first year Cheyenne experiences

Considering frugal

It is a new year in Wyoming! We have lived in Cheyenne a year now, and we have had bunches of fun, and made great memories... And lots of first time experiences for my kids. 

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They had their first snow days last spring with two surprise blizzards....and consequently first firewood delivery this fall!

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First rodeo at Cheyenne Frontier Days ...we can't wait for next year!

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And got up early on a Saturday to wait for their first cattle drive....

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They were in invited to their first wedding...we went for a carriage ride after.

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And first demolition derby!

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It has been so much fun watching them experience a taste of the kind of life I grew up with!

We also had a blast working hard all summer and attending some other fun summer events like the 

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Ironman was there!

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Dad and his work peeps even raced a bed!

In the fall, they went door to door trick or treating for the very first time ever! It was one of the highlights of the year...right up there with snow days! it is funny the little things we take for granite.

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Finally, we ended the year with a ride on their first parade float in the Cheyenne Christmas Parade!

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One of my new year's resolutions is to update my blog a little more often. I can't wait to see what 2017 has in store! We have been trying very hard to shop, eat and play in Cheyenne, in keeping with the theme of Considering frugal to shop frugal and small. So, one of my goals for my blog this year is to do a Sunday Shopping post...probably biweekly, about a great place that we have spent our time or money right here in Cheyenne. Check back once in a while, and see what great local business we have been to! I will also be adding links to resources for Cheyenne, Wyoming....everything from business listings to hotel deals! 

Happy New Year!

Considering frugal

Friday, May 6, 2016

Moving to Cheyenne, Wyoming

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Some of you may remember when, I closed down my blogs at the end of 2013 because I was at the end of post-grad and we had a new foster daughter. And then I started teaching and just never got back into writing. Recently we moved from Phoenix, Arizona to Cheyenne, Wyoming - in December…and it seems appropriate to start writing again. Maybe I can answer a few questions for those of you who were a bit surprised.

You moved where?! Where is THAT??

Why the heck would we move to Wyoming?? Well, it really started as a tiny seed in undergrad (2009), Rich and I have this seemingly harmless way of kicking around entertaining ideas.  One of those has always been, “Hey, why don’t we move someplace with seasons and small towns.” So not long after we said this out loud, he had a work associate that transferred to Torrington, Wyoming and we thought for a fleeting moment…where is Wyoming anyway? Be honest, at least 5 of you had to look on the map. No, we have no major airports. There are two Walmart’s, one Target, three Starbucks (although I have only verified that two really exist) and a Barnes and Noble. And I can’t really tell you what else is missing….because I don’t miss it! 

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Oh yeah, what made us move and why, Wyoming? So, it really started with some personal transitions, a death in the family, our foster journey and a lot of little changes in our family. We also went through some huge big city problems…burglary, random gun shots, another burglary and we realized we didn’t want to raise our children in a city of 1.6 million people. Having grown up in a smaller town in Indiana, I had some idea of what we were missing, but we still didn’t know where we wanted to go. So at this point we were sure about seasons and less people, that was about it.

And then Rich got a job offer, in Portland. Mm, Portland, Oregon. We looked at the city, the cost of living, the clouds, the beach….but it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t that much smaller than Phoenix and every time he was ready to go, I wasn’t and every time I was ready to go, he wasn’t…This job offer came in three times, making us think about moving each time. 

Nothing felt right in Phoenix anymore, but we didn’t feel right about where to go either…and then God brought new people into our lives. Encouraging, supportive people. Some were friends for our kids, some were support for us, some were just passing through, but they all had a positive, sunny attitude in common and little did we know, an area of the country. 

So finally, I Facebooked a friend of mine who had made a similar decision to move her family across the country from Arizona to North Carolina. I told her how we had been feeling and asked what possessed her to move her family of 6 to a strange new place. The details of her decision made perfect sense, she simply chose a state that had what they loved and needed. So, I made a list of what we all loved and needed and when the research was complete, I came back with a list that had strange and amazing similarities. 

The list was South Western South Dakota, Western Nebraska, Western Iowa, and Eastern Wyoming. What was so amazing about the list? Out of all 50 States, it was one area and ALL of those new encouraging people were from this area. So, I started applying for jobs and most of those job interviews came from Cheyenne. That is when I flew out to Cheyenne and fell in love with her. 

Considering frugal

How I became Considering frugal

Fueled by the growing list of pollution related allergies my family suffered from each day, and inspired by my 97 year old grandmother who could recycle ANYTHING before recycling was cool, back in 2011, I decided (in the spirit of the Julie/Julia Project...) to embark on a journey to see just how much one family could do to change our planet. I didn't consult any other parties before I launched this idea. Thankfully my husband, daughter and son are usually my biggest supporters. Here is the catch; as I'm normally very thrifty (you can note from early blog posts), I was looking for ways that I could reduce our carbon footprint and make socially responsible purchases without increasing our spending. Mmmmmm. We succeed in changing some of our habits a bit and finding ways to reduce our footprint. There were lots of fun epic fails alone the way too! But the biggest change we have made over the course of the last six years, was to move from the mega city of Phoenix to Wyoming. You can read my full bio on my About Me page.

Legal Disclaimer

While it is true that I am working on a PHD in Psychology and very smart and frugal, I am not a medical doctor, criminal, personal or accident lawyer. I do not sell insurance nor am I an accountant or mortgage advisor. While some of my posts may offer good ideas on home, health and business solutions, I am not personally responsible nor is Considering frugal for any advice, ideas, recipes or menu plans that you decide to use. This blog is intended to be helpful and fun. Any products you purchase from my Amazon store or any other retailer advertised on my blog must be returned to them. I may sometimes endorse a product that I love. This is simply my opinion, you must try all products at your own risk. While I personally do not use tracking cookies or share information, my affiliates are third parties and they may do so. Please click, travel and purchase at your own risk.

frugal advice

"...for your Father knows what you need before you ask." Matthew 6:8