“When I Get Around To It”


If you use different excuses on different days, you’ll likely be able to get away with quite a lot—until it catches up with you. My favorite excuse is, “I’ll do it when I can get around to it.” How do you like that for a vague promise that lacks any concrete time limit or expiration date? Rationalizations and statements such as these will certainly put people off. As a reminder, I carry my “round TUIT” wooden token in my pocket. Now that I have a round TUIT, I can get around to it!


Here’s the menu of common excuses:

  • I don’t have time to do it
  • I’m too old/young to do it
  • I’m not in the mood to do it
  • I don’t know how to do it
  • I’ll do it later
  • They’ll get mad at me if I do it
  • I’m too unhappy/nervous to do it
  • I’m too shy to do it
  • I’m not a good enough communicator to do it
  • I’m a procrastinator
  • I don’t want to try it and fail
  • It’s not my job to do it
  • I’m too tired to do it
  • I can’t afford to do it
  • I don’t have the experience/credentials/degrees to do it
  • The economy is too bad/risky
  • What will other people think?
  • My family/kids/husband/wife won’t approve
  • I’ll do it when I get around to it


Making changes in your life is not about achieving instant perfection, but taking steps toward a more positive end. By constantly trying to rationalize why you can’t do something (or will…when you get around TUIT), you’ll have little chance of improving your life. What your life is ultimately about is self-improvement, which you can accomplish every, single day.

So, when will you get around to it?

There’s no time like the present.


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a Dayton, Ohio Communications-Based Cognitive Therapist (CBCT) and TALK2ME communications training workshops seminar leader. Dr. O’Grady can be reached at (937) 428-0724.

A Positive Tone Of Phone

You’re ready to make the call. The big phone call, that is. You want to send a friendly smile right through the handset of your phone. But you don’t like to talk on the phone. Any tools or tips for putting your best words forward in tense times like these? Yep, there sure are.


Let’s avoid unnecessary talk accidents. You don’t have to call in a 911-communication emergency or feel stalled out. However, you can match up better with the person you’re calling or who is talking with you. For example, you know that Empathizers like an indirect and quieter approach, while Instigators like a direct and louder approach. Neither way is better or worse. Which do you prefer – the I or the E way?


What preferences do you exhibit? Do you always use what works for you when you are communicating? Not good. When you use the TALK2ME© system typecasting function, you know which type of talker you have on the other end of the phone line.

Preferences for packaging good talk….

1. E-types prefer to give the best correct answer, while I-types prefer a fast answer

2. E-types prefer to give a positive view of the project, while I-types prefer to give a realistic view of the project

3. E-types prefer to hear a calm voice tone, while I-types prefer to hear an impassioned voice tone

4. E-types prefer to warm things up by beating around the bush a little bit, while I-types prefer the “let’s get right to the point here” direct approach

5. E-types prefer that you lead the conversation, while I-types prefer being in charge by directing the conversation

6. E-types prefer person-driven solutions, while I-types prefer policy-driven solutions

7. Both Empathizers and Instigators prefer non-emotional communications that stick to the task at hand


Words matter. Words can heal or open wounds. A negative phone attitude quickly sends the message, “I don’t have time to care for you, nor do I care to meet your needs!”

To project strength: Appeal to the communication type of your talk partner.

Dennis O’Grady, PsyD, is a clinical psychologist and corporate trainer in Dayton. He teaches powerful new communication tools using the TALK2ME© system. Reach Dr. O’Grady at 937-428-0724 or at www.drogrady.com.

A Good Outlook On Life

I agreed to speak with a business economics class at Centerville High School. (My oldest daughter twisted my arm.) How would you answer this focus question? Dr. O’Grady, as a psychologist who has 30-plus years of experience, what single factor would you say is the common sense path that leads to economic and personal success and happiness? Answer: A positive outlook on life. An imperfect person who daily works in and works on a positive attitude, will find that contentment is not difficult to achieve.


A bad outlook on life is bad for you…
A good outlook on life is good for you.

A bad attitude creates a bad mood…
A good attitude creates a good mood.

A bad mood dooms motivation…
A good mood zooms motivation.

Without motivation, change doesn’t happen…
With motivation, anybody can change.

Mind your mind…
By mining the power of your mind!


I’ve found that skills can be learned and practiced in a new job but you can’t hire a positive attitude. In my experience, employers will always choose the person with a positive attitude and effective communication skills, even when the skill set is less impressive.

Let’s hear now from Frank, a client who changed his negative attitude into a positive one…

Feeling depressed and sorry for myself is just not good. You’ve got to get over the little things and quit dwelling on bad things or bad thoughts or bad memories. I wonder if I just got into a habit of having a bad outlook. That’s what it is. That’s what I used to have. A bad outlook on life. It made me confused and lazy, thinking that the world sucks.

A bad attitude is bringing you and others down with dreary, negative chatter that the sky is falling, so why bother taking an unforgettable and adventurous trip on the two-way communicator highway?


A good attitude creates a good mood. A good mood zooms motivation. Simple, but not necessarily easy! Frank continued…

I think I just created a bad outlook for myself. There’s a lot going on out there, and there’s a lot to enjoy. There are a lot of good people, not everyone, though. I used to hang out only with friends who had a bad outlook on life, too. There’s lots of positive and enjoyable things to do – you just have to go out and find them. It’s hard to stay in a good mood. But it’s worth it to stay in a good mood. A negative outlook creates a negative mood and laziness about change….

Don’t get mixed up with the wrong crowd of negative thinkers…talkers…doers. And that means you, too! You don’t have to believe the monkey chatter of fear-driven thinking. And I’ve got the talk tools to help you get ‘er done!


It’s an energy thing: Your life battery is replenished or drained by how you think and talk to yourself and others. Beware of tunnel vision, where everything is awful instead of awe-filled.

1. Positive communicators are optimistic drivers on a two-way communication highway – their way is only one way among many by which to travel.

2. A positive communicator chooses to deal with negative life events in positive ways that accentuate the positive and diminish the negative.

3. By knowing how Empathizer and Instigator communicators tick, you are going from the horse and buggy era to riding a rocket ship.

Want proof? Read all about it in Chapter 3, “Look Who’s Talking,” in my 2005 textbook, Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along With Anyone. In addition, you can complete a short questionnaire to find out your talk type through a free report at http://www.drogrady.com/type.php.


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is the founder of New Insights Communication, a coaching and relationship counseling practice located in Dayton, Ohio. Dr. O’Grady is the developer of the innovative communication program TALK2ME, based on his  Talk to Me: Communication Moves to Get Along with Anyone textbook. His executive coaching and relationship communication tools are  targeted at the areas of positive communication, leadership development, and change management. You can reach Dr. Dennis O’Grady at 937-428-0724.

The Propaganda Of Pessimism


What is the propaganda of pessimism? Or put more bluntly, how do you allow the subversive propaganda of pessimism to play around with your mind and your life? This distinct issue has far-reaching implications, especially for Empathizer-type (E-types) communicators whom I coach daily at New Insights Communication. E-types are prone to pessimism. E-types major in pessimism. E-types dig big holes and throw themselves in head-first when their moods take a nose dive. In contrast, Instigator communicators (I-types), who steel their minds to wield good works, are prone to excessive optimism. Too much of a good thing, even optimism, is not desirable! Simply put, pessimism and optimism are at the opposite ends of an energy-attitude spectrum or teeter-totter. Realism, the capacity to accept what you can’t change and motivate yourself to change what you can, is the balance of life energy for which many of us strive.


Did you graduate from Pessimism University, or PU? A young E-type communications client of mine told me a funny story of a Saturday Night Live skit that had to do with positive self-talk or using affirmations to feel more positive. The character would hold up a mirror to his face, and say, “I’m good enough! And gosh darn it…people like me!” The implied message is that the positive thinker is working too hard to feel good about himself. And why try anyhow? The character sounds like the comedian Ron White who says, “You can’t fix stupid!” But is pessimism energy what you allow so you can continue to feel bad about what you can change? Let’s find out.


Jack is a 28-year-old single business guy. He is an E-type communicator and an introvert, so he is an Intuiter leader in the Talk to Me© effective communication system. Jack has come to me to learn steps to improve his confidence level. In order to accomplish that, we have to address his penchant for pessimism. Jack describes it as, “An angel on my right shoulder arguing with the little devil sitting on my left shoulder.” Great imagery, eh? Here’s the debate: Why try to be an optimist?

1. Why should I have to talk positively to myself?

Answer: You don’t have to talk positively to yourself. So why do it? Because that’s what all positive people do to manage their moods every day. There is a price tag of hard mental work involved, however. You don’t see this happening, so you may not be aware of the mental conversations these people are experiencing all day. Positive people correct their negative thoughts throughout their waking hours. For example, I correct my thinking a couple thousand times per day.

2. Why can’t I just know that I’m a confident person? Why must I work at it?

Answer: Why not put energy into disrupting your negative thinking? “No one is a naturally confident person,” you think. What if I could convince you that’s extremism (pessimism talking) that makes you mentally lazy and susceptible to give-up-itis? Looks can be deceiving; for example, when optimists work hard, they look like they’re hardly working. Yes, there is the factor of sporadic good luck. But you also make good luck happen for you by working hard.

3. I don’t want to have to look in the mirror like a SNL skit, and say: “I’m good enough, and gosh darn it…people like me!”

Answer: That person at whom you’re laughing is trying to be more positive…though not very successfully…and do something that might work to boost positive feelings. You think people look at you with judgmental eyes. Not comfortable! Wouldn’t you prefer to feel unconditionally confident, genuinely liking yourself as you improve your communication skills a little every day? What would it take for you to “see” the eyes of others plastered on you because of all the good things you do? Example: You’re being looked at because you’re special…you’re a somebody, someone who is effective, ethical, working hard to get things done before deadline.

4. I still feel like a big old dark cloud is over my head.

Answer: You have to be a strong person if you are a graduate of Pessimism University. It’s far easier to be an optimist. You can’t think the worst and get the best out of life, nor can you pull miracles from your hat.

5. I feel like I’m in a black hole and there’s nowhere to go.

Answer: The dark energy of pessimism wants you to be alone. Your mind is easier to manipulate that way. Pessimism wants you to be skeptical of positive people. When you look a gift horse in the mouth and pull out all its teeth, your pessimism is jailing you. It wants to separate you from the positive flock or fold, making it easier to shoot you down. Pessimism is like a wolf on the hunt. You’re smarter than to fall for something like that, aren’t you?

6. I see pockets of light but I don’t go there.

Answer: Kids love life and have fun, until trauma strikes — but kids do care what people think of them. Many of us transform when we turn 13 or so…we have “problems”…and the kid in us ceases to exist. Empathizers take these things personally, so they start thinking: the Self is Pessimist. The Self of most Empathizers is normally optimistic. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s the era of the E-type leader! You have become super-strong so you can deal with all this stinking, pessimism thinking. You might want to consider letting the kid in you take over every once in a while…love life again and have fun!

7. “No, I don’t want to do that!” or “I can’t make up my mind!” is my block.

Answer: Pessimism wants you to doubt…doubt yourself and doubt your decisions…doubt that good guys and gals finish first (which we do.) Do you feel like you’ve dug a deep hole for yourself? You can stop yourself before you jump in! You are not controlled by alien forces. The little devil on your shoulder didn’t make you do it. Play the “angel’s advocate” for a change! You are not your pessimism…you are not consumed by pessimism. It’s nothing personal, but you have no business hanging out so much with Pessimism, who is such a negative companion.

8. I’m so frustrated…how long will the good things of which you speak last?

Answer: Pessimism doesn’t want you to enjoy tiny successes. Tiny successes grow into small successes that quickly expand into large successes. Stop to smell the roses? Hey, start to smell the sweet victory of your tiny successes! Do you count your beatings instead of your blessings? Why? Pessimists count their beatings; optimists count their blessings. You are an optimist by spirit and by nature! You are not the pessimism energy of doom-and-gloom. You are engaging in pessimism, however, and if you are engrossed in pessimism for 99% of the day, you’ll get confused and believe that you’re a pessimist who can’t change.

9. You’re just being nice to me and telling me what I want to hear.

Answer: Pessimism told you to say that, didn’t it? Pessimism wants you to pull the curtains, grab a bottle of wine or six pack, lock the door to your home or apartment, and get so intoxicated that you can’t think straight. Then pessimism will tell you that only IT can be trusted. The lie is so vast and so extreme that your mind will be prone to believe it. IT is your drinking pal…you can bet your next pile of vomit on it. You can be contented with yourself, if you allow yourself to genuinely enjoy one small slice of happiness now.

10. I feel noticeably different from so many people.

Answer: Not to worry. I-types are ME-first types, and for good reason. I want you to be more hard-headed, like an Instigator communicator. How you think of yourself defines who you are and how you feel. You are different from I-types. You want to be aware of your emotions while using them to your advantage. You want to be a realist…and an optimist…and occasionally a pessimist. You can fake it to make it under some circumstances, but you want to be the real deal in business, too.


You think pessimism is being real, not fake or phony like all those goody-two-shoe optimists who paint a black day sunshine yellow with their paintbrushes? Yo! Wake up! Pessimism is the ultimate fakery! Pessimism is a bold-faced liar. Pessimism will have you believe anything and everything else is fakery, drudgery, or foolery, impossible tasks for a person such as yourself. Pessimism, I repeat, is a bold-faced liar. The Talk to Me© system will teach you how to be responsive instead of reactive…how to work with your emotions optimistically…how to plant trees instead of using the shovel to dig a big hole in which to jump. You will stop beating yourself senseless with the shovel and wondering why your motivation is depressed. Geez, I wonder why!


Dennis E. O’Grady has a B.S. degree (Bull _hit degree) from Pessimism University, also known as PU, where he received a 4.5 (out of 4) G.P.A. in his Bad Attitudes studies. Dennis went on to receive his E.S. degree (Elephant _hit degree) from PU, in the Psychology of Digging Holes So Big You Can Fly Planes Into Them. After jumping into many holes of his own digging, as well as some dug by others, Dr. O’Grady received his B.O.N.K.A (Being Optimistic Never Killed Anybody) degree from the Wright State University School of Professional Psychology. Ralph Real (also an alumnus of P.U.), in his Pessimism Street Journal review of Dr. O’Grady’s third book, Talk to Me: Communication Moves To Get Along With Anyone, gave the book a thumbs and toes down, while sticking his nose up in the air. Real went on to say: It’s a stupid book. Just another ‘fake it until you make it’ treatise on why it’s better to feel bad than good. The author seeks to line his pockets at the expense of big newspapers like this one. This is just another example of why you can’t fix stupid. So if you’re smart…you’ll think like me…Ralph Real. O’Grady had only one thing to say in rebuttal: Being Optimistic Never Killed Anybody!

Pessimism University


Every day at New Insights Communication I hear about how clients dress themselves down for being less than they think they are able to be. Although self-derision is energy-draining and virtually useless in promoting needed change, many of us seem to be addicted to using negative self-talk to give ourselves a tongue-lashing. These bad communicators are good at dissing and unmotivating themselves. “I should be a better communicator….” or “I stack the deck against myself by not feeling confident….” are examples of how they think negative thoughts which could precipitate their downfall, if they are allowed to continue. But, hey, no worries…you have a high level of intellectual power — but you’re misusing your talents.


I use e-mail correspondence to promote change in my communications clients. Jared, the recipient of the following email, spent two sessions telling me how motivated he was to drive himself into the ground. The result? He didn’t stay focused on his goals, and he didn’t attend his college classes. Neither did he talk positively to himself, filling his mind instead with the gloomiest possible views of every situation. As an Empathizer communicator, he made things much worse in his head than they actually were. Consequently, he had no inspiration to accomplish much of anything. With Jared’s permission, I decided to send him a little healthy sarcasm in an e-mail, making a point about the importance of talking positively to himself.

Dear Jared,

I know you’re striving to be a positive person and communicator. Remember our discussions related to pessimism vs. realism vs. optimism? I would really like for you to send me a copy of your doctoral diploma…the one that reads Doctor of Self-Defeatism. I believe you told me that you obtained your degree from Pessimism University…PU.

As I recall, you also told me that your doctoral dissertation was entitled DISMOTIVATION: How to dig a hole and throw yourself in it then hit yourself in the head with the very shovel that you used to dig the black pit AND make yourself feel bad for a very long time by digging your hole deeper and crying all the time. I believe you when you said that you obtained a VERY good grade on your dissertation….

If you would, please send me a copy of your dissertation and PU diploma at your earliest convenience. Oh, I’m just joking here! You know what I mean?

Respectfully yours,

Dennis O’Grady, Psy.D.
Professor of The Psychology of Self-Defeatism
Pessimism University…PU


The Talk to Me system is designed to improve your energy and motivation, and give you the stamina to achieve your goals, by talking sensibly to yourself instead of wallowing in the mud of self-imposed self-pity. You are the perfect talk road warrior! Get that junk in your trunk out of your head. Use the spiritual tools neatly tucked away in your glove box. Use your communicator map to get to where you need and want to go. Otherwise, you are going to be an energy drag to be around.


Dr. Dennis O’Grady is a Dayton region communications psychologist, relationship coach, corporate trainer, and keynote speaker. His areas of focus are change management, constructive team relationships, and effective communication. Dennis is the developer of the powerful new Talk to Me© effective listening and leadership communication training system. Copies of his book are available at www.drogrady.com and at Amazon. Get your roadmap to communication success today by calling and personally consulting with Dennis O’Grady, Psy.D.