Thought of the Week archive:
past weeks’ thoughts

Educational one-liners for good relating.

12 Dec. 2004 (Holiday 2004)
Beware of rude and abusive people who love their mouths more than they love you. The holidays are not a time to spend with people who disapprove of your life and choices and can’t shut up about it for just a few days a year.
— J. E. Brown
02 Jan. 2005: New Year’s Resolution for 2005
Take the pledge with me: In order to protect the sanctity of good relationships, and to be a good example for others,
    I will not have relationships with abusive people.
    I will not start any.
    If I am in a relationship with an abusive person, I will not continue it.
— J. E. Brown
17 Jan. 2005
The belief that it’s OK to insult others   is what keeps many people single. — J. E. Brown
24 Jan. 2005
Consider this: Anyone who tries to settle a disagreement with you by telling you to be more flexible
is in fact less flexible than you are.
— J. E. Brown{You’re reading "Thought of the Week" by J. E. Brown.}
07 Feb. 2005
One danger of associating with abusive people is that sooner or later you end up constantly on your guard, afraid that everyone will abuse you.
— J. E. Brown
21 Feb. 2005
False accusations of wrongdoing are verbal abuse.
— J. E. Brown
07 Mar. 2005
Forgiving those who are not sorry is a sign of desperation.
— J. E. Brown
25 Apr. 2005
We get good at the things we practice. Last week, did you practice ways to be sarcastic to people? Or did you practice ways to make people feel good?
— J. E. Brown
16 May 2005
Verbal abuse is not a form of play.
— J. E. Brown
06 Jun. 2005
Verbal abuse is not a form of entertainment.
— J. E. Brown
27 Jun. 2005
You cannot insult people into liking you.
— J. E. Brown
25 Jul. 2005
You can’t be perfect enough for a perfectionist.
— glowlita
15 Aug. 2005
Brutally honest is honestly brutal.
— J. E. Brown
12 Sep. 2005
Abusive people will always pretend the victim is overreacting. It’s called a tactic.
— J. E. Brown
03 Oct. 2005
Negotiation means figuring out what someone else wants in order to give you what you want. Negotiation does not mean talking at someone until he or she caves and unilaterally gives you what you want.
— J. E. Brown
24 Oct. 2005
Breakups are common in the first few weeks of a relationship. Never start dating someone new within 4 weeks before a major holiday. A bad breakup will only leave you cranky when you should be happy, and if you’re called upon to be entertaining, your holiday will be ruined.
— J. E. Brown
23 Dec. 2005 (Holiday 2005)
Beware of rude and abusive people who love their mouths more than they love you. The holidays are not a time to spend with people who disapprove of your life and choices and can’t shut up about it for just a few days a year. — J. E. Brown
09 Jan. 2006
Beware of those dangerous “Fatal Attraction” types of people, who insist that all breakups must be in person, and that it’s rude to break up with them by letter. This is just their way of tricking you into spending more time with them. Too many people are either physically or verbally dangerous, and so, you must put your own safety first.
— J. E. Brown
30 Jan. 2006
Much rudeness is based on the belief “I’ve done that; therefore it couldn’t possibly be rude.”
— J. E. Brown
27 Feb. 2006
“Everybody does it” is what everybody who does it says.
— J. E. Brown
20 Mar. 2006
You are what you do.
— J. E. Brown
10 Apr. 2006
Some people deny the Holocaust. Some people deny the existence of evil. Some people deny the existence of verbal abusers. Some people deny the reality of abuse victims. Different denials, but the mental defect is the same.
— J. E. Brown
01 May 2006
Dropping hints is not communication.
— J. E. Brown
29 May 2006
Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great ones make you feel that you, too, can become great.
— Mark Twain
19 Jun. 2006
Polite conversation cannot be heard all over the neighborhood.
— J. E. Brown
10 Jul. 2006
No valid point requires a thirty-minute lecture.
— J. E. Brown{Read this comp1ete article at .}
07 Aug. 2006
When you drive a car, do you cover your eyes and hope for the best?
Should you do the same when dating?
— J. E. Brown
04 Sep. 2006
People will judge you by what you say, not by what you claim you meant.
— J. E. Brown
02 Oct. 2006
What is hateful to you, do not do unto others.
— Rabbi Hillel
23 Oct. 2006
Beware of those who treat strangers better than family.
— J. E. Brown
20 Nov. 2006 (Thanksgiving 2006)
Table manners do not develop character. Relationship education does.
— J. E. Brown
18 Dec. 2006 (Holiday 2006)
Holidays are not the time to fix relationships. Holidays are a time to spend with people who have already done the maintenance work and now deserve to reap the fruits of that effort. Holidays are a time to spend with people who did the work year-round. Holidays are not a time to discover that the hurtful old behavior patterns never really stopped.
— J. E. Brown
22 Jan. 2007
If you perceive other people’s sadness as an attack on you, you’re probably an abuser.
— J. E. Brown
19 Feb. 2007
The Purpose of Friendship: The job of every friend and spouse is to improve your life, to add something good to it, to make your life fuller and happier than it would be otherwise. You should be better off with them than without them. Do your friends and spouse and family measure up to that standard? Do you?
— J. E. Brown {Read this comp1ete article at .}
19 Mar. 2007
Beware of people who tell you to be more stoic. Most such people have never had a serious problem, and so, they don’t understand yours.
— J. E. Brown
23 Apr. 2007
In childhood, the rule of behavior is “If it annoys people, keep doing it.” In adulthood, the rule of behavior is “If it makes people happy, keep doing it.”
— J. E. Brown
21 May 2007
People who care about what’s important to you are called friends. People who don’t...are not.
— J. E. Brown
25 Jun. 2007
If verbal abuse had consequences, it would stop right now.
— J. E. Brown
23 Jul. 2007
One reason why opinionated people tend to be single is that nobody feels safe confiding in them.
— J. E. Brown
13 Aug. 2007
Much of what people call forgiveness is actually settling.
— J. E. Brown
03 Sep. 2007
Rudeness ends relationships.
— J. E. Brown
08 Oct. 2007
Some people learn their relationship skills by study and education. Others prefer to gain their knowledge by experimenting on live human subjects.
— J. E. Brown
12 Nov. 2007 (Thanksgiving 2007)
Beware of people who keep bringing up the topic of your weight, who claim they’re concerned about your health. Anyone who nit-picks all three of these: your weight, your hair, and your clothing — is expressing disapproval of your appearance, not your health.
— J. E. Brown
18 Dec. 2007
It’s important to have toxic people out of our lives, so that we can be fully available to the good people who need us.
— J. E. Brown
14 Jan. 2008
The reaction is not the problem.
— J. E. Brown
10 Mar. 2008
Financial Tip: The single most important thing you can do for your financial well-being is to study people skills, so that you can get along with others well enough to split the rent with them.
— J. E. Brown
07 Apr. 2008
Beware of people who only give compliments as a preamble for a correction or a criticism. Such people will make you suspicious of all compliments.
— J. E. Brown
14 Jul. 2008
Beware of those who believe in free will for themselves and fate for everybody else.
— J. E. Brown
18 Aug. 2008
False accusations end friendships.
— J. E. Brown
01 Dec. 2008
When you’re rude, you burn your bridges in front of you.
— J. E. Brown
12 Jan. 2009
People tend to defend those whose guilt they share. In other words, the guilty defend the guilty.
— J. E. Brown
20 Jul. 2009
Most denials are denials of the truth.
— J. E. Brown
14 Dec. 2009 (Holiday 2009)
Refusing a gift of homemade food is an insult. I find it hard to believe that adults even need to be told this. — J. E. Brown
08 Feb. 2010
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. — Bishop Desmond Tutu
19 Apr. 2010
No relationship is worth individual therapy. And by extension: If a relationship puts you into individual therapy, then you’ve paid the price of your freedom.
— J. E. Brown
17 May 2010
Every minute you spend with an abusive person teaches you that people don’t respond to kindness. Is that a lesson you really want to learn?
— J. E. Brown
14 Jun. 2010
The belief that others exist for our entertainment is the source of most interpersonal problems.
— J. E. Brown
07 Mar. 2014
When you behave unpredictably, so will the people around you.
— J. E. Brown
17 Apr. 2014
The best reason to unfriend bad people on Facebook: Your friend list is visible to others. People who see a bully or a bigot or a gossip on your friend list will assume you have no taste, no class, and poor judgment. They’ll wonder if *you* can be trusted.
— J. E. Brown
24 Feb. 2015
Relationships are not about crisis management. They are about crisis prevention.
— J. E. Brown
11 Sep. 2015
Ignore people who tell you “You can’t change other people.” As scientists and parents will tell you, consequences change actions.
— J. E. Brown
01 Jan. 2016: New Year’s Resolution Material:
Do you reciprocate? Are your friendships based on equality? Do you initiate conversations, or do you just wait for other people to do it? Do you create opportunities for entertainment, or do you just wait for other people to do it? Are you happy to have the benefits flow in only one direction, or are you giving something in return? Are you a producer of friendships, or just a consumer?
— J. E. Brown
19 Mar. 2016
Nobody likes popup ads. Popup ads waste your customers’ time, distract them from their errands, and send your customers fleeing to your competitors. Your competition thanks you, though.
— J. E. Brown
09 Jun. 2016
A commercial asks, “Wouldn’t it be great if everyone said what they meant?” No! It wouldn’t! It’s called being tactless! It’s called behaving like a four-year-old!
— J. E. Brown
17 Nov. 2016
Friends are not numbers. Friends are people you know by name, and interact with.
— J. E. Brown
13 May 2017: Summer Vacation Begins:
Parents: Once your children have moved away to college, they are adults, and you treat them accordingly. You do not rummage and snoop through their belongings and their mail and their computers. You do not throw their belongings in the trash — that’s called theft. If you wouldn’t do it to the neighbors, you don’t do it to your adult children. Disrespect of boundaries has lifelong consequences.
— J. E. Brown
30 Oct. 2017
Twitter went from 140 to 280 characters. Now if only PEOPLE could have twice as much character.
— J. E. Brown

about the author

J. E. Brown, relationship activist and writer, decided in 1987 that verbal abuse will be wiped off the planet.

While in college (and after), the author studied cognitive science (AI, psychology, learning theory) and relationship psychology.
He once worked in a toxic work environment, and has known a number of abusive people, all of which set him on his mission.
Currently he is writing a book on relationships, and occasionally designs online surveys and writes educational materials for this web site.


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