Whether it is a friendship, relationship, or situationship, we should always strive to be ourselves no matter what. There are people that no matter what we do, we feel like “ourselves” goes right out the window when we are in their presence. We go into these “ships” with everything we have…impressing them, drinking and searching for everything we have in common, second-guessing ourselves…and we are shocked if we are rejected.
Meeting new people can be so much fun and exciting, but it can also bring out our fears and vulnerabilities. I mean think about it; we are basically putting ourselves on the buffet table…and they are more than likely going to judge us. When we choose to go on that lunch date, or to that club, or event with said person, we are so excited that we sometimes interrupt our reasonable thinking around this person. We “get to know” a lot of people and sort out who is going to serve good to our lives and finally, we think that THIS person comes close to someone who may add to our life.
We cannot forget that we are trying to ADD this person to our lives. That means we have to know a little something about ourselves. Our likes and dislikes, our boundaries, and how we need and want to be loved are important when we are choosing a person to be in our lives. When we meet people, we should be doing it from a place of self-love so that we are our authentic selves and we don’t have to risk making a bad choice because we were not who we really are in the first place. Keep these things in mind….
- You are hoping that this person can add to you, not just impress you. No one should be trying to impress the other. It is not a job interview, after all. Be yourself and don’t embellish. They are going to remember what you said and eventually you will have to cash that check that you wrote.
- Remember your values, then see if they match. You don’t need to do everything together. I believe that you should at least have similar core values, they generally stay the same. Our interests are gonna change as we grow. Have more than a surface conversation and find out what he/she believes in. What will they fight for? What issues are close to their heart? Shared values make for better conversations and bring you together when times get tough.
- DO not perform! When we meet people, we sometimes give them a filtered version of who we really are. We are afraid that they may think we are boring, weird, or even stupid. We really do want people in our lives that “get” us, truth be told. That means that we have to actually BE us to weed out those that can’t love the real us. It is good to find out early that this person cannot love the real you. Save yourself a whole lot of heartache and pain later on. Real people fall in love with real people.
- Both of you should be having fun. Who is great and making people comfortable? Relaxed? Laugh and have fun? (Hands raised). In doing all of that you cannot forget that you have to have fun too! Everyone has a role to play in our lives. Fall back a little and see if you are being asked questions, listened to, or engaged in conversation on the same or similar level of effort that you are putting in. Is that going well for you? You find out early and quick if this person is someone you can spent any length of time with and actually enjoy it.
- It should be easy. Relationships…friendships…situationships do not need to constantly be “worked on”. If you have to, I bet that is not a good one. We all have ups and downs, misunderstandings, but ultimately if you don’t like that person’s company..if you cannot rely on that person….you are wasting time. The best “ships” are fairly easy. If its hard when nothing hard is happening, what is going to happen when it gets hard? If you’re around this person and it is uncomfortable, combative, awkward, and pressure-filled, you feel bad about yourself, or the other person is trying to control you, find the door and exit stage left!
When we are meeting new people to add to our lives, we need to do it from a place of self-love. We have to know that we are worthy of being cared for just the way we are. It is not just about being loved….it is about being you and loving someone else. Coming from this place will cause the person to experience nothing but the real you showing kindness, self-respect, and vulnerability. If they reject you, it just means that is not your “person” and you can walk away knowing that you were being your authentic self and they were not a good fit. You do not want to find that out after you have invested more of yourself than you should have. You deserve to be surrounded by amazing people, be you and you will find them!
When you are an introvert, people think something is wrong with you. Everyone loves a person that can work a crowd. Most people think to work in groups or on teams is the only way to find an answer to a problem. Are two heads really better than one? Is collaboration the only way of the future?
The more people that I talk to, the more I realize that there are a lot of people just like me. Sometimes I just don’t feel like going out to a party, or being the center of attention. My friends are always going out somewhere or hanging out over someone else’s house and I wonder why I just want to chill at home. Work in groups? Mostly, I would rather work alone! There is nothing wrong with me or many others. I read an article that says about 50% of the world feels the same way that I do.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like going out, having friends, or occasionally being the center of attention. It’s just that being with people is not where I get the most value from my life. Being around others, even on social media is fun for me, but I can only take small doses. I always try to have space in my day to be alone so that I can recharge because being around certain people for too long can be draining for me.
Working with people, I usually sit back and let them do all of the talking. I may add something here and there but I will leave it all up to the talkers to run the meeting. Leave me to work alone, you will be surprised at what I come up with. When going out with my friends, I like going to quiet places where we can talk. When I can talk to you and get to know who you are, I can get the most value out of the relationship.
I am an avid reader and a podcast girl and some things that I have learned recently have really helped to add value to my life for sure. I am not saying that an extrovert could not use these same tips, I just know that as an introvert, I have really been able to enjoy my time a whole lot more knowing this information……
- Learn to be an observer. Just doing something as simple as taking a walk through
the park and watching people interact gives you a chance to learn how people operate when they think no one is watching. Learn to look at ordinary situations in new ways.
- Close your eyes in a dark room and enjoy silence. If you had read a few of my posts, you know that I am into meditation. My world is so busy that if I don’t take a moment to step away from it, I would probably lose my mind. We learn more about ourselves in the moments when we are least busy; when nothing is distracting us from the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves and our day.
- Learn how to talk to yourself. It’s perfectly normal!! I promise. You’re only crazy if you have dialogue with yourself. We all have an inner voice that talks to us. If your inner voice is negative, you may need to distance yourself from it the way you would if it was any other negative person. We have to learn to kind to ourselves and stay positive.
- Avoid mindless consumption. When I am by myself, it gives me time to think clearly about my life and the direction that I would like to go. Our surroundings are filled with so much noise, it is good to take advantage of quiet time to reaffirm the path your life is on. Mindless consumption? Things like too much TV, binging on Netflix, randomly surfing the internet…Facebook! We are all guilty at some point but think about an occasional change…you can never devote enough attention to coming to a clear answer.
- Volunteer your time. Contribute something positive to the world. Being a loner does not mean that you have decided to sequester yourself from the world, it just means that you can surround yourself with people and not depend on them for your happiness. Volunteer your time to a cause you believe in…contribute.
- Understand that you are good enough all by yourself. You have to know your worth. You are priceless…valuable! You do not need the approval of anyone else for that to
be a fact. When I am alone, it is because I choose to be. It is easy to find someone to spend your time with, but when your standards are high when it comes to who is in your life, you hold off until you know this person is a great fit for you.
- Value other’s opinions, but value yours more. I do not ask anyone for advice unless I truly need it. The more time I spend with myself, the less input I need from others. Learn to trust yourself. Not everyone has good intentions for the information that you are sharing and you know yourself better than anyone….trust yourself to solve your problem. When you trust yourself, you become stronger and more confident, which means that you will take on more challenges and accomplish things that you may have thought were impossible before. You can, then, share your victory with your people and feel even better about your accomplishment.
I don’t think a day goes by where I do not say things like, “I want to lose 20 more pounds…then I will be happy.” “If my waist was a little more snatched, I could wear that dress.” Anyone else?
I have been struggling with this for what feels like forever–always wanting to change something about myself. I keep telling myself that once I hit this goal, or accomplish that change, I will finally be happy. Now, I have hit many of my goals, but honestly, I felt nothing most of the time after I did. I was making it to the goal and not feeling any happier…but why?!
Eventually, I managed to completely confuse myself. I went from starving myself, to eating my feelings, back to starving myself in order to soothe that “unhappy ache”. It worked alright. I saw my weight go crazy and managed to cause some damage to my health. If I wasn’t obsessed with counting calories, I was obsessed with wings!!! Every single day! When I hit my goals and heard the compliments, I still could not shake the feeling that I was not enough. Still saw myself as unattractive and ugly.
In the past couple of years, I have been listening to podcasts and reading a lot. I wanted to find tools to build myself up and encourage me to keep dreaming and reaching for my goals….I honestly got fed up with myself and decided NO MORE! I needed to heal my emotions because I was acting out of my feelings and that is dangerous. I have been really digging in to find what works for me and how to put boundaries up where they needed to be. That is definitely still a struggle for me. I am happy to say that I really have been digging in and confronting my issues, meaning the eating, yes, but also some deep-seeded feelings like anger, and hurt, along with the body issues. I now journal heavily and meditate daily and found out where they were coming from and boy has that made a difference in my life. Addressing my emotions was a lot of work and I have made a tremendous amount of progress. One thing that has changed everything for me was learning that happiness is internal, not external. When you believe that you can be happy because of something external, you get into a bad cycle of desiring external validation, and you will feel up and down so you will continuously depend on achieving and receiving validation externally. Even when you do receive it, you will not feel any different, nor will you feel any more fulfilled….you will continue to search for more.
We just have to learn to accept ourselves….TODAY! Just the way we are…just like this. With that head of hair, that belly, those lips, that education. Just like this. If you don’t, it becomes impossible for us to accept ourselves when things change. If you do lose the weight or get the boob job, you will still be the “you” that you were on the inside. If you weren’t happy then, you will not be any happier when the change comes. You making more money? Still you. If you learn to accept the “today” you, you will be able to have better outcomes and create lasting change for yourself.
When we accept ourselves……..
- Happiness–this is what we all want. If we are always thinking about what we need to change, it is kind of a challenge to actually ever feel happy. Happiness is an experience, not a destination. Attempt to let go of all of the things you feel you need to change, and just enjoy you. Just as you are today. There are so many beautiful, funny, quirky, wonderful things to love about you today. Guess what? There is no amount of money, no certain weight or body type, particular car or house, that is going to make you happier. Look at the recent celebrity suicides that have occurred. They could buy any of those things and still didn’t find themselves “happy”.
- Freedom. Accepting yourself helps you to find peace with who you are and where you are in your journey. You are free from the suffocation of self-judgement and public expectations. There will still be things that you want to change, but you have made peace with yourself and you can assess whether those changes are things you really want to improve or not.
- Empowerment. Knowing who you are and accepting that person is your first step to self-empowerment. We are unique, yes! Knowing that stops the comparisons and you free yourself up to make changes that last and equip yourself with the power to do it.
So what have I been working on to get to true acceptance?
- Let go! You have to let go of anything that does not serve your highest good. Every habit, relationship, friendships….all of it! Get rid of anything that doesn’t help you grow. You may feel lonely at times afterwards, but that feeling will subside. Replace the people and the habits with good/better people and habits.
- Mindfulness. Living in the present moment and appreciating it…that is mindfulness. A lot of times, we are so focused on the future and how things will be then, we missed focusing on what we have and do now.
- Gratitude. We have to be grateful for what we have. We must also be grateful for our abilities. We do ourselves a favor when we stop focusing on our shortcomings and be grateful for what we can do and what we do have. This will help us move closer to our goals.
- Control that inner voice. You hear him\her telling you that you are not good enough, that you won’t succeed, or that you suck. You need to reel that in and replace what is being said with positive words. “As a man thinketh….” Change your thinking! It is not simple, you have to be consistent, but it is possible for sure.
- Surround yourself with good….good people, good things….DO things that you enjoy, find joy! My grandma, recently, told me that I should not be around people who just like me. That I should be around people who love me, accept me just as I am. The more I get that, the more I will see….YOU will see that you don’t have to change to be happy with yourself at all.
Whether it was my parents, teachers, or any adult for that matter, I heard “you must follow the rules”. Was anyone else told that you have to be patient? What about “do this or you will not go/get that? I was even made to believe at times that what I wanted to do as an adult probably would not happen, maybe I should have a back-up plan. Was anyone else told to stop dreaming?
I have not reached all of my dreams but I can definitely see them in the distance, which makes me work even harder to get to them. Part of getting there was turning off the voice of the naysayers and pushing harder past them. I, now, have my own salon business, building an event planning business, and I have recently added travel to the mix. My businesses are not always running extra smooth but I am working on it. I am learning extra fast that in order for me to be successful, I am going to have to get this discipline thing DOWN! Help me Lord!
I have to admit that sometimes I can really get caught up in my phone and when I realize that I am doing more phone than living my real life, I put it down and walk away. I watch what is going on around me. LIFE was happening right where I stand and I was missing it. I acknowledge that I have become distracted, then I look at my boys…at the people I see when I am shopping, at the movies, or out to eat, and we are ALL pretty distracted and missing a whole world that is still functioning and moving without us. I get on my boys about watching YouTube all of the time. The young one seriously sits there watching some child he doesn’t know playing….with toys or video games…whatever!!! I ask him, “Don’t you have that game?” Why doesn’t he just play it instead of watching some other child play? I do not get that. I mean, my confession is that I fall into the Pinterest blackhole many a night. That is just as bad!!! Sure these things give us a small amount of pleasure, and maybe a little knowledge but we are not getting any real fulfillment, not really.
Discipline is a very valuable skill set that we really need to develop. Someone else may say intelligence but think about it, anything that you truly want to know can be Googled (shoulder shrugs). I am really trying to focus on my discipline and part of that process has been to shut off all of the noise in my life, focus, and get to work. Without discipline…focus…our lives just become a great big ocean wave. That wave is going to control every part of your day. We cannot let people and things distract us so much that we forget to live life. We cannot continue to let our goals sit on that back burner while we watch everyone else live their best life.
I have an APP on my phone that tells me how much time I spend on my phone. BOY, did this APP open my eyes! I was spending upwards of 8 hours (broken up throughout the day, of course) on my phone doing something. I can admit that it was mostly distractions like social media and puzzle games( I do read books on my phone as well). Think of how many moments you waste refreshing your Facebook page to read the new posts, or checking your emails. Maybe you spend quite a bit of time checking your Instagram or Snapchat. Has anyone else done this? Or maybe you had goals to reach before Monday but you decided to binge on Netflix or that devil of a Firestick (I love my firestick lol)? My hand is raised high on all of those but I am learning and cutting down my time. I am now down to 4 hours a day and getting a massive amount of things done in my home. I want to get down to even less but I do run my businesses from my phone so that may be impossible.
We have to work on mastering the art of discipline. We have to occasionally shut out the noises and put ourselves first; put our goals before our entertainment. Write down something things you want to accomplish. I am a big journal writer so I support writing things down and making them plain! What do you want to do? Quit your job? Do what you Love for a living? Maybe you want to write a book, be your own boss, or change the world! Whatever it is, acknowledge it, see it in writing. Believe it! After you do all of that, do something to encourage you to move toward it. The biggest thing you could do is put your phone down and get started!
Start saying “no” to the distractions of life and get to work. Will you merely be a dreamer or do you want to live in the dream?
Relationships can be hard. We all have certain things that we will not compromise when it comes to choosing a date or even a friend. Tall, dark, and handsome….or maybe you will bend a little on the handsome if he is financially stable, or is good in bed. But what if he is a nice guy but a little chunky? Would you give up him being physically attractive if he treated you well? What about the friends…she may have your back but she gossips about you and everyone else. Would you compromise her being a good friend to you but she is always complaining and being judgmental?
We make compromises every day and when it comes to our relationships, it is no different. For the chance at love and acceptance, we sometimes allow things that we may tell our friends and family to run from.
In any relationship you have, I believe that there is a character trait that should not be ignored and you should not compromise with. It took me a long time to see it and I left some friendships behind because of it…..insecure people who do not manage their insecurities well.
Now, this isn’t just romantic relationships. This can be friends, coworkers and other associates in general. If a person cannot see their flaws and be accountable for them, it is going to be hard to conduct yourself in a loving way toward them.
There are always going to be problems in a relationship. Every relationship will have a fight or two or ten and someone’s emotional baggage is going to make a guest appearance. In order for a relationship to last, both people have to be willing to recognize flaws in themselves and communicate about them openly. If you know how to express yourself in a healthy manner you will more than likely attract someone who can do the same. On the other hand, if you over-express yourself or even suppress your feelings, you may run into the same type of person and this can mean trouble.
All of my past relationships/friendships were great learning experiences for me. All were great experiences that ended because their season had come but a few caused a great deal of pain; the lessons learned were even greater. And whether a good or bad ending, I always had a part to play in it. It isn’t until you experience emotionally healthy people that are capable of managing their flaws, do you learn who you are and what you really need in a relationship. Once you are around a person with this trait, you will not ever want to compromise on it. You search for it in every relationship you have. I mean truthfully, some of us are not willing to overlook the superficial traits like education, intelligence, or looks. They are important no doubt, but if that same person who has all of that but is not willing to own up to their flaws and be accountable for them, your relationship is going to suffer.
Honestly, how would the person that you are dating, married to, or in a relationship with act when you offer them constructive criticism on how you think they can be better? Will they get angry, act out…maybe even cause some drama? Are they going to blame you for their behavior or maybe criticize you back? Walk away? Maybe they would listen to your perspective, it may hurt and they may have an emotional outburst at first, then think about what was said and be willing to talk about it. You may be able to talk about it and learn about one another without blame or shame being involved. No drama…no trying to make you angry or jealous…. how refreshing that would be right?! If that cannot happen, I would skip that date. For real!! Would if that same person was the one giving YOU the constructive criticism. How would you behave?
Being able to have an open, intimate conversation with someone about anything, flaws and all without any blame or shame is hard to do. I’m sure that there are very few people that can really do it. I believe that in order to have a long lasting healthy relationship, it is necessary. We have to begin our relationships, from the moment of conception, with integrity and honesty. If we start that way, it will be easy to maintain and there will be no habit of stirring up drama.
I really truly believe that people like this exist. Heck, I work hard to be this person for my loved ones. Our emotional integrity sees/chooses the emotional integrity of others. When we fix ourselves, the people we meet seem to magically be just as functional as we have become.
The world we live in is full of so many “standards”. We have to dress, talk, look and behave a certain way in order to be accepted by the masses and get thousands of “likes” and “loves” on social media. For some, this standard may influence us to change and for the rest of us, we adopt the idea of trying to understand who we are and begin to love that person. The more we are exposed to the “standards”, the more we should realize who we do not want to be, and we become clear about our identity and purpose. Knowing who you don’t want to be helps you to become your authentic self. There is no way that we should try to be liked and accepted by everyone. If they don’t like you, so what?!
I am always talking about becoming self-aware because it has been a driving force for me for the past couple of years. How well do you know who your are? Most of us know ourselves, but are we truly BEING ourselves? The environment makes a person change their temperament to one that is not true to who they are. Are you the same at work that you are at home? What about each of your friends, are you the same person with all of them? Your spouse? Some environments almost force us to behave differently, but we never have to be anyone else but who we truly are not matter who is present or what the situation is.
This world is constantly trying to turn us into something we are not. When we do not fit the mold, we feel like we do not belong. Do not apologize for who you are or who you are becoming. When you are in situations or with people that you cannot be yourself with, it is time to go…and don’t be sorry! To keep your peace and your sanity, it’s the only way. Trying to change yourself does not really work anyway when you think about it. It is like painting a without primer, eventually the old color will bleed back through. The old you will make its way back unless you are changing because you want to.
I do my best to stay away from people who do not add good to my life. So no more stuck up, lazy, shallow, and judgmental people in my world. They can be a passer-by but they cannot stay. I do not completely know who I want to be because little things change in my mind often but I do know who I do NOT want to be and that makes it easy to filter my world.