How to Apologise When You’re Not in the Wrong

We Sicilian Mamas are never in the wrong. Still, sometimes, people think we are and they expect an apology. This is how you apologise when you’re not in the wrong: The “I’m sorry but…” apology. This is an apology with an educational value. With it, you can explain to the other person what really went…

How To Forgive

Forgiving means giving up revenge, seething and wishing painful death onto those who have hurt us. Why should we forgive? Because revenge is extremely energy-intensive and its return on investment is usually very poor. Also, if we don’t forgive, we’ll get stomach ulcers, heart attacks and migraines too. When we forgive, we imply that we…

Gift Ideas for the Unfaithful Partner

At this time of year, you’re probably scratching your head – and your wallet – to find the perfect gift for your other half. You’re looking for the kind of present that shows effort, care and deep knowledge of your beloved. But what if he/she has been unfaithful? Do they still deserve a present? Of…

A good partner is like the taxman

(I originally wrote this for Headstuff.org ) If you want your relationship to soar to the highest echelons of couple’s harmony and satisfaction, take the taxman as your role model: When in doubt, overestimate the other person’s worth Assume that your partner is emotionally, mentally, spiritually richer than he/she looks. It’s just that the stress…

How to survive family gatherings

Family gatherings aren’t always the pleasant, heart-warming occasions they’re pictured to be. These are some of the reasons: The nosy parker. When you were little, Uncle Jack always asked about your school grades. Later, he often spared you the trouble of introducing your new boyfriend to the family (“Who was the boy I saw you…

How To Argue With Your Elders

cartoon by: studio tdes | CC BY Arguing is important to cement relationships and it takes skill, discipline and regular practice. A bit like office fire drills. After a properly resolved argument, you will be more bonded and happier. Just like after office fire drills. But before you start, run through a few checks: Are skittish pets…

How To Live To 100

I’m just about to fly to Sicily to celebrate my grandmother’s 100th birthday. I’ll ask her how does it feel to be a centenarian and, of course, I’ll ask her what do I need to do to live that long. In the meantime, I’m making some guesses, and here are my grandma-inspired longevity tips:  …

There’s a Solution to Everything

‘There’s a solution to everything, except death,’ goes an Italian proverb (A tutto c’è rimedio, tranne alla morte). My Grandma used to repeat it to me every time I despaired about something. Below you’ll find some remedies to common problems. Problem Solution Constipation Sicilian remedy: stewed apple Diarrhoea Sicilian remedy: grated apple. The ultimate pampering…

How To Be Happy

Ultimately, we all want to be happy. Here are my top tips for you to live a happier life:  1.       Surround yourself with people less fortunate than you: poorer, uglier, generally unluckier. Comparing yourself to them will make you happy. 2.       If you’re in a relationship, your happiness will be intimately connected with your partner’s….

How To Argue With People Less Wise Than You (i.e. teens)

Conflicts are important because they can lead to solutions, treaties and hugs (always welcome here). But arguing well is a skill that needs regular practice. The following guide is for arguments between you and somebody less wise than you, i.e. a teenager. It’s not meant for controversies with small children, though. Disputes with jumping-up-and-down-toddlers with…