Beware: Proceed with Caution

Have you ever dealt with a toxic person? I think most of us have come across this person at some point in our lives. If you haven’t, consider yourself lucky and if you have, I think you will be able to relate to this post.

There will always be people we don’t necessarily click with, people who don’t share the same interests as us. However, some people are just plain toxic. You can interact with these people, but interactions have to be kept at a minimum to prevent the negative vibes from having an effect on you. Keep your distance from people who are never happy for the next person. People who have a hard time congratulating someone on their accomplishments. People who feel the need to constantly one up on others. In today’s society, we refer to them as “haters“. These people are very toxic and the root of their toxicity is low self esteem and a fragile ego. They have low feelings of self worth and therefore, can never be happy for the next person. How can someone who is not happy with themselves be happy for others? They can’t.

These people will never admit to being unhappy. They constantly brag about their accomplishments, their money and everything else that they have that is desirable to mask their feelings of inferiority. People like this are dangerous because they can never be a genuine friend. A friend is someone who is happy for you when something good happens, someone who listens and wants the best for you. Someone who tries to lift you up when you are feeling down. Toxic people do not display these traits. It is okay to be acquaintances with these people but maintain a safe distance as they always have ulterior motives.

Someone who feels the need to compare and to put other people down are in a constant state of self Judgement. They will never feel completely fulfilled because there are always people around them who they have to do better than. Their sense of worth and validation comes from proving that they are better than the next person. This person struggles with low self esteem and low confidence and the only way to lift these levels up is through somehow convincing themselves that they are better than you. This person only talks about their life, their hardships and their struggles. They probably do not really know anything about you because they have never cared to ask. Even if they have asked, it is just to find something new to one up you on. This person will even buy things that you have or copy your hair style, your nails, etc to prove that they do it better or look better. These people will talk badly about others because they are secretly envious of something they have, whether material or non-material. They talk badly about their “friends” when they’re not around yet smile in their face. If their friend accomplished something or is happy about something, the toxic person will smile and say congratulations but inside, they are waiting for you to mess up. Have a relationship that you are happy in? They secretly hope it fails. Boyfriend proposed to you? They wish it was their boyfriend who proposed. Got a new hair style? They will now go out and get a haircut. Going to Florida? They will now go to Europe. They are in a constant state of competition and enveloped in a never ending cycle of envy and hate. Sometimes, people envy the non material things you have, such as love, admiration, confidence etc. They are threatened by your confidence. Your independence. It kills them that you are happy.

My advice is to keep these people at bay and only disclose generic information to them as they don’t even really care and will just try to add it to their list of things to compete with you on and to talk about. Toxicity and negativity are contagious and you know what they say, “misery loves company”.

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The Art of Saying “no”

So often in life, women find themselves in situations that they don’t necessarily want to be in, however, time and time again, comply and go along with it. In this particular post, I am referring to romantic/ intimate situations. My thoughts are based off of personal experiences and experiences that I have known friends and acquaintances to have found themselves in as well.

There are women out there who are strong-minded, strong willed and do not hesitate to say no. However, there are also many women that do not have that strength. How often do we hear about women who went along with an uncomfortable and undesirable sexual/intimate situation with a man when inside, that was the last place they wanted to be? Verbally, they say yes or maybe nothing at all. Inside, they are regretting putting themselves in that situation and just want it to be over.

I know I have been in that boat before and I’m sure there are plenty of women that can relate. I struggled with the fear of speaking my mind or “ruining” the mood. Fear of losing the interest and desire of the other person. Fear of looking boring or “prudish“. Fear of looking like a tease because if I didn’t want to do anything, I shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Fear of losing the interest of this other person who I wanted so badly to like me. Thinking that this will give me some higher standing in this other person’s life. Or sometimes, going along with it “just because”.

The older you become, the more wiser and confident you become as well. At least for most people. Some women even in their older age are still trying to please other people even if it is at the expense of their dignity and pride. I am happy to say that I am not that woman anymore. I haven’t been for a few years now and I have never been more confident and comfortable with myself. In fact, the more you do what you genuinely want to do and the more you turn away undesirable situations, the easier it becomes. It is very stressful worrying about what other people think. It is very stressful doing things that don’t make you happy. Once you learn the art of saying no with no additional explanation, a huge weight is lifted off of your shoulders and it is very empowering.

Many women feel the need to explain away their reasons for saying no. Many women are uncomfortable with saying no. The first time I said “no” it was a little awkward to be honest, because I don’t like to make other people feel rejected. This other person most certainly felt rejected and it was written all over his face. He persisted and asked several more times and I flat out said “no“. When he asked why, I said “because I don’t want to“. I ended my statement there. He got out of my car and I went home and to be honest, I felt good. I kept my dignity and my pride and I didn’t have to worry about feelings of resentment or shame later on. Once you know what it feels like to put yourself first and to love and respect yourself, you will never turn back. This confidence spills over into all aspects of your life and it is amazing how good it feels. Men will say “you’re mean” or “you have an attitude” but that is okay. That is a normal reaction to being rejected. I’m okay with “being mean” if it means I can walk away with peace of mind.

You, yourself, as much as anyone in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection”.

The recent media coverage of Aziz Ansari has evoked many writings and posts and articles about women going along with similar, uncomfortable situations and I hope that we, as a society, can figure out a way to empower women and give them the confidence to know that it isn’t okay to just go along with it. To have the confidence to realize that if saying no makes you less desirable in someone’s eyes, then they are not the right person for you. To know that their pride and integrity is worth more than gaining the affection of a man for one night. To know that it is okay to reject someone and not feel guilty about it because at the end of the day, if you don’t, someone will still end up feeling bad, except it will be you.

Happy New Year’s!

Happy New Year’s everyone! The New Year begins on a Monday. What better day to start a new beginning? I am not a big fan of making resolutions but I don’t think it hurts to say that you should continue to grow and evolve and be a better version of yourself. This will mean different things for different people depending where you are in life. Leave negativity behind or do your best to avoid it. You will always encounter unpleasant people and situations but we often have the choice to entertain the negativity or to walk away from it. A major part of making yourself happy is changing the way you react to situations. Some situations require no action at all. Surround yourself with positive people, successful people, people who are happy to see you grow and who want to grow with you. Follow your gut and listen to your heart.

Happy 2018!