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It's nearly impossible to avoid the influence of others when making decisions or forming opinions .  We may not realize how our pop culture, mass media and peers affect us.  In fact, trying to make sense of the beliefs and conjecture from multiple sources may leave anyone feeling a little mixed-up.   How do you know which source is right when there exist multiple opinions and/or conflicting data about the same issues?

The whole person

One of the advantages of DMK is that we focus on issues that affect those who are going through marital strife and/or divorce instead of issues only regarding marriage and divorce. 

A large reason DMK was created was to offer guidance, resources and empathy related to those multiple issues through a singular lens dedicated to those in the process of working on their marriage or considering, completing or getting past a divorce.   

We strive to provide comprehensive, informative and entertaining content from professionals as well as people who have experience with the same issues for which our readers have an interest.

Still yet, we recognize we won't be the only resource our readers go to for answers.  In fact, even in our own informal research we have found certain discrepancies when seeking information online or otherwise.  This lead to serious discussions about the frustrations the average information consumer may feel when one source says one thing and another something else.

Multiple sources can be confusing

Regardless how good the advice or guidance you receive about a specific issue, consuming advice from multiple sources (e.g. friends, therapist, periodicals, internet) regarding some part of your life (e.g. health, family, faith, money) can be complicated to decipher.  Much of the advice many of us receive during a divorce is nontherapeutic and from sources that may or may not be reliable or considerate of our current life circumstances. 

Information retrieved online or from noninteractive resources where personal circumstances can't be conveyed can be especially confusing. How do you know what advice to take, how it applies and if you are interpreting it wisely?

Since multiple sources support the accuracy of information, it's wise to refer to more than one resource.  So here are a few tips in sorting it all out:

How about information we don't seek, but just "comes to us"

Confusing mixed messages are part of every aspect of our life.  They affect our decisions, opinions and actions.  Some messages can induce us to try, buy, eat or drink.

The power of suggestion

When accepting information online or advice from a professional, we know we are requesting it from a trusted resource.   However, much of what influences our actions, mood and decisions isn’t always advice as much as suggestion.  The power of these suggestions is strong. 

These suggestions come from advertisements, social media, online sites and apps.  In fact, digital media experts indicate the average person is exposed to 4,000 to 10,000 ads in any given day.  Regardless if you remember what even 1% of those ads or “suggestions” were, the marketer has found a way to get their message into your head.  It’s big business that many companies dedicate millions of dollars from annual marketing budgets.

It’s called Brand Advertising

It's based on building recognition, awareness and trust, and it works.  But, when we say it works, we mean it mostly works for the advertisers.

Consumers like us have millions of messages and suggestions that we are exposed to every year.  One of the most effective aspects of brand advertisement is that we may not realize just how much we are exposed to these suggestions and how much these suggestions affect our decisions.  At the end of the day we just feel like having a Coca-Cola® or Starbucks® Iced Mocha Frappuccino. 

Who knew?

Well, despite the news, likely most of us knew.  We may not have consciously thought about it.  But, it’s been affecting us and influencing our decisions.  Maybe even more than just regarding the products themselves.   How we consume mass media, how and where it's served affects our psyche and mood.  Good marketers can induce emotions  and reactions through their communications now more than ever by way of the latest technology, social media and formats (videos, pictures, infomercials).  

While the power of suggestion by marketers is a big player in our decision making, we still have more sources that affect our decisions.  Social media provides a platform for just about everyone who wants to gain exposure and followers.

All of these types of mind influencing messages are a good representation of how much of our decision-making is based on the suggestions, opinions and bias of our peers and society.

Let us help you

Peer influences, counselors, physicians, financial advisors and multiple resources are ever chirping in our ear about what to eat, how to invest, what to avoid and what we need to do to find true happiness.

Let's get mixed up

Your health care provider is telling you to get to the gym and get that last 20lbs off.  Your financial advisor is suggesting you discontinue all excess spending, which happens to be your gym membership.  Your counselor is telling you to get your financial situation resolved in order to reduce your stress (and btw, she also suggests you should get more exercise, maybe you should join a gym). Seriously?

At the end of the day spent with your doctor, counselor, financial advisor and over 4,000 mixed messages you kinda’ just feel like sitting down at your local Starbucks® for a cup of coffee. 

Is that wrong?

Well, we have a suggestion. surprised Ok, really, seriously, we get it. wink

You still need answers

We're dedicated to being honest and realistic about the conflicts you face.  That’s why our site strives to provide a picture of the day in the life...of you.  The girl or guy who has had way too much going on in his/her life that needs to read articles about stuff from people who have been in the same boat, going through the same stuff.  

You've had enough mixed messages.  But in tough times, you seek answers.  Answers about getting by with less money, less time and less one person you used to love.

So. Ya. We'll make a few suggestions of our own.  And just like all of the other stuff you consume online, take what you want and ignore the rest.  

We say, there's nothing wrong with the occasional cup of coffee while surfing the internet on your phone for things like the weather, latest fake news (and real) and articles about why you should never wear open toed pumps past August (especially if you're a guy). 

It's fine to lose yourself for awhile during this tough time...

Moderation and self-confidence

Evaluate the "must haves" and differentiate them from the "comfortable habits turning into addictions". 

Example: Most of us who go through a divorce experience some financial setbacks.  It's important to find ways to save and take action to do so.  So if coffee is a "must have", keep it.   If it begins to become an everyday purchase, make some changes.

It's rumored they have these new fangled machines that brew coffee at home.  They call them "coffee machines" and most days they work fine and save you a fortune.  Starbucks® even sells brew at home coffee for these machines. Weird.  But true.

When you see how an innocent $5 habit a day can turn into an over $300,000 loss in your retirement, the idea of daily mocha's might make you feel worse. 

Maybe a comfort measure, like daily trips to a café immediately following your break-up, is a must have.  We understand, because most of us have been there, done that.  But, we also know how these "divorce traps" can cost you big.  Eventually, you need to make changes in order to secure your future and happiness.   This takes courage, initiative and sometimes a quick kick in the a$# from your friends here at DMK.

You'll need to pull away from the powerful suggestions of peers, ads and comfy addictions and make the hard choices that positively influence your life and provide the self-confidence needed to see through the not so good, the bad and the just plain stupid that comes your way.

Tips when 

Know when something sounds too good to be true (like a guide on social media about how to train cuddly kittens to do housework, it's bogus). 

Don't spend too much time doing any one thing.  It's like a brainwashing.  This means not too much phone, social media, office, laptop, kids, friends, romance, exercise or anything. 

You can get mixed-up regardless of what cloud your head is in if you don't consider multiple sources.  This will provide a broader, well-balanced perspective on issues that are important to you. 

Too much of one source, even DMK, and you begin to think, act and feel like one source. Your best chance at developing a stronger, smarter you is to consider your whole person (e.g. your experience, circumstances, goals) when taking advice or allowing others to affect your course of action.

Bring it on

Remain open-minded with the sources you trust while expecting some advice that doesn't necessarily apply to you or your life circumstances.  It improves your confidence and wisdom to consider multiple influencers without letting them entirely impact your decisions.

Regardless if these decisions affect where you live, what you do, what you want or even what kind of soda you drink.  Make the decisions your own, with guidance of those you trust rather than coercion.

If your head is in a cloud all day, make it your cloud

While staying informed, don't let multiple sources tie you up in a world of indecision.  Once you formulate your own opinion and develop what works for your lifestyle, career or family, stick by it.  Be open minded to improvements, but not easily swayed.  You may not change your daily coffee or soda run, but be cautious of clever marketing and the power of suggestion.  Remember, even small purchases can really affect your budget and savings. 

Understanding mass media, and peer influence will build self-confidence and the ability to manage mixed messages in your life so they don't manage you.


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