Five Signs You Need a “You” Makeover

I was told recently that people love, love, love lists.

Now, since i’m here trying  to write about issues that will bring women together and since i’m trying to discuss topics that will hopefully allow all of us to have better relationships with one another I figure it’s a good time to personally address how to better the relationship we have with ourselves.  And I will do so…with a list of my very own.

As a result, I sat down and thought of five everyday things I had to call myself on to really get to the core of any discontent I had in my life.  And when I examined each of these things, I realized that I had a “me” problem…and those things needed to change.

Some of the phrasing in this list may sound harsh, and that’s okay…we have to be harsh in order to call ourselves out on our own bullshit.   And all of the stuff Im saying in this list, is stuff I have actually said to myself…while staring into a mirror…shaking my head in disappointment.  So…happy reading, ladies and gents.

FIVE SIGNS YOU NEED A “YOU” MAKEOVER:

 

1. You’ve un-subscribed or un-added someone on Facebook, yet still look up their profile about once a week to see what they’re doing.

Let me describe a situation for you: you’re on Facebook, or Instagram, sorting through cat memes, weekend photos, and your friends’ random musings about life.  You’re scrolling through your feed, and then you stumble on it.  “She” has posted something.  It doesn’t matter Who “she” is or what she did or did not do to you.  What matters is that whoever this person is…seeing her photos and posts, simply just irritates you. Or stirs up negative feelings deep in our lady brains.

Long story short, this person’s existence on your social media makes you feel badly about yourself (whether they deserve it or not).  So, you do what any rational person our age does: to remove the negativity they bring into your life from your life (whether its her fault or not), you “unsubscribe” from them OR un-add them if you’re ready to start some  real drama.  (I personally go for the un-add, much to the horror of my friends…bye felicia).

This feels great for a while.  For a few hours, days, or even weeks, we feel 20 pounds lighter.  The clouds have parted, birds are singing, this person is for all intents and purposes…dead to you. Go…you.

Then it happens…the itch.  You find yourself typing their name in your “search” bar, and looking at the preview of their profile that pops up below.  You do this a few times, maybe hold out for a day, and then BOOM, before you know it, you’re all over their page scouring it with so much intensity and diligence that it would make any crime scene investigator proud.

Now…I know what you’re hoping to see.  You’re hoping to type in their name and that you’re going to come upon something like this:

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This never happens

But what you really find is something along the lines of this:

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And you KNOW they’re going to get close to 350 “likes” on that picture of cheesecake

So, there you go…you wanted to see if she had fallen into a social black hole, and was left feeling miserable and destitute ever since you shunned her from your Facebook world…instead you see that nothing’s really changed: she still has friends who love her, she still eats desserts, and life seems to be pretty good.  But I get it, I get it…you wanted to see who she was with, how she was feeling, what she was eating.  You just wanted to see what she was doing. Sure, I get it..  But…here’s  a better question for you:

What are YOU doing.

I mean, really…You went to the trouble to cut this person out of your life because, for whatever reason, you’re not happy when you know what they’re up to.  And then…you go out of your way to see what they’re up to…  Why?  Why do this to yourself? Here’s why you need to STOP doing this…

It’s emotional cutting.  It’s going out of your way to find people who cause you to feel like shit.   Going out of your way to find someone else who makes you feel inadequate.  So why do we do this? Probably so that we don’t have to focus on what is actually making us feel inadequate…in most cases… it’s ourselves. We do this with ex-friends,  ex-boyfriends, our ex-boyfriends new girlfriends (because that’s healthy) and the result is the same. You look them up. They’re doing just fine.  You feel like shit.  Cycle repeats.

End…the…cycle.

 

2. You look around at all your friends and realize…you don’t even really like any of them anymore

People say you tend to “out grow” your friends. But that makes no sense…they’re not sweaters, they’re humans.  You don’t out grow people.  You “out grow” behaviors.  And our habits and behaviors are, for better or worse, directly tied to our morals and values as people.

So when your behaviors change…you yourself change.  You’re going to be making yourself either a better or worse version of yourself and if you concentrate on developing behaviors that allow you to develop deep meaningful relationships with others and with yourself…you’re most likely becoming a more awesome person. Yay.

Now here’s the thing, you are the average of the five people you hang out with the most.  If you and all your friends are doing the same things when you meet, you guys maintain each other’s average.  Now, let’s say you decide to quit boozing five days a week.  As a result, you are able to focus more on work, make a few less mistakes in the evenings, and spend more time reflecting on becoming a “better” version of yourself than you once were.

jupiter

People who live on Jupiter have no actual foundation, are constantly changing, yet ironically have the most amount of “moons” around them…Don’t be one of their moons

Whether you like it or not, you’re now bringing your friends’s average up, and they are bringing yours down.  They will either see this as a call to action, and start finding ways to step up to the challenge of bettering themselves, or they will more likely make a few comments along the lines of “you’ve changed” or the wonderfully passive aggressive “so you think you’re better than me?”

And no…you are not “better” than any of your friends, that’s a silly way to think.  You have however moved on to a different “emotional planet.”  Some planets are closer to the sun light, some are steeped in darkness.  Some are built around a solid foundation while others have seemingly no grounding force to be found.  We are all on planets that allow us to play out our behaviors. So the thing is…  once you find yourself on a different emotional planet than your friends, the air and environment surrounding them will be toxic for you…and you need to move on.  Some may follow you, most won’t…that’s not your issue.

Keep your average high.

 

3. When someone tells you about something great they did, you feel and stay jealous

It’s natural to feel jealous when someone you know does something that gets them a lot of attention.  I’d say most people’s reactions run along those lines.  It’s when you get stuck in that “jelly” that it then becomes a problem.

When you feel the initial rush of envy: Own it.  Recognize it… Question yourself.  Then better yourself.

And while you’re figuring out the “bettering yourself” part… post a congratulatory Facebook status and tag them in it.  And use the emoticon that looks like the clapping hands. That’s what it’s there for.

Also…don’t insert yourself into people’s achievements.  If someone is telling you about how they finally got a promotion at work, don’t bring up the time that you got a promotion.  Let them have their moment.

 

4. You expect others to be better people than you are

 Do you ever lie?  Ever cheat? Ever not tell people how you really feel?  Odds are you do.

Well…Do you get mad when people lie to you?  Feel indignant when someone you love starts finding love somewhere else?  Do you hate trying to decipher the morse code of other people’s emotions? Odds are, you do.

Well. That’s a big ol’ Southern helping of hipocrasy, and I’m pretty sure you know it.

Here’s the thing:

You DESERVE to be treated how you treat others, simple as that.  If you lie and cheat, you deserve to be lied to and cheated on.   Does that mean other people SHOULD hurt you, if you do “bad” things?  No.  But people will always hurt other people.  But  if you are the one hurting people, and someone else hurts or lies to you,  at the end of the day, you know you can’t  look yourself in the mirror and say: I really didn’t deserve that.  Because you did. You so did.

Does that mean other people will always treat you well if you’re a “good” person?  Fuck no.  But you’re the one who gets to sleep at night.

If you want the best out of others, you need to be the best version of yourself, simple as that.  If you lie and cheat and hurt people, no amount of enabling friends and coping mechanisms can really hide you from the fact that karma came around, and turns out she’s as big of a bitch as you were.

 

5. You’re holding onto an apology that someone out there in the world, really deserves

And I know why you’re doing it too.  If you apologize to someone, it forces you to own up to the fact that you messed up, that you hurt someone, that you did something wrong.  And if there’s one lie we like to tell ourselves, it’s this: other people do the hurting.

We tell ourselves that WE are the ones who get hurt.   We’re the good guys, the resilient ones who overcome hurt that other people do to us.  Not the other way around.  It’s a cute story to tell ourselves so we can sleep at night, but it’s not reality.

Has anyone ever apologized to you about the part they played in hurting you?  How’d it make you feel… Pretty damn good?  A little bit more human?  A little less likely to be crying yourself to sleep that night?   Yeah, I bet.  It’s nothing short of a miracle when someone swallows their pride and says  to you: hey…I fucked up…you didn’t deserve that.

Think too much time has gone by and they’ve probably moved on?  No.  No, no.  There’s not enough time in the world that can erase the bad things people do to one another, even if they have moved on…they deserve that little boost of humanity that every apology gives us.

So what’s stopping you?  Don’t know what to say to them? Cut, copy and paste what I just wrote two paragraphs ago into a text message and click “send.” Use that line as many times as you want…I know I sure have.

I mean, if Taylor Swift can write out “Back to December” for Tyler Lautner and perform it at the Grammy’s, you can write out that one sentence and send it to the one person who deserves to hear it.

And yes…I saved the Taylor Swift reference til the very end because I knew many of you would stop reading at that.  I’m smart like that.  And I love that girl.

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If Taylor did it, we can all do it

The One Question You Need to Stop Asking Single Women


“Seriously…Where do you find these guys?”

Ok, ladies…now I’m sure some of us have heard this question.  Usually it’s after we’ve shared a  Wes-Craven-like dating horror story with a group of friends (usually not single friends).  I’m 30 years old, and this question never really seems to go away, and I’m sick of it. I mean…does  a more frustrating/pointless question even exist? 

Let’s do like Uncle Joey, and “Cut… It… Out” (Sorry…I may be a more than a little excited for the Full House reunion)

Now, I KNOW it’s well intentioned, and usually just said as a passing comment to seemingly validate a person who is hurting, but before I get to why the question actually makes people feel like crap,  I’m going to go ahead, and very briefly answer it.  

So…in case anyone’s wondering where their single friends go out and meet ALL “those guys”…those emotionally inept, socially awkward, chronically dishonest, relationship atheists, I’m gonna answer your question so that you NEVER EVER have to ask it again.  Are you ready? Want to know where  we meet them?

Earth.  

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Earth: Where 100% of all creepy guys are met

We met them on Earth.  On the street, in the grocery store, at the gym, at work, in a bar, in class, at a coffee shop, at a friend’s party, online, in an airport. At Pottery Barn, in a book store, at a conference, in a movie theater.  On a plane, on a train, in a bus, at the car wash, at a concert, in line at a festival, at a gun range, at a casino, on a beach…Trust me…they’re just…out there, and it’s not our fault that we happened to meet them. 

They walk amongst us freely, and they don’t wear signs. Not a single one of them.  Their IDs and passports look just like ours, they wear the same clothes we do, they smell the same, look the same, walk upright, just the same as us.

When you prick them, they bleed. They have jobs, have friends, have families (sometimes of their own)… trust me…they’re out there.    

So, let me ask YOU a question…Where do YOU think we meet them?

Like…do you think we see a guy in Aisle 7 of the grocery store sobbing over a box of his ex girlfriend’s favorite flavor of Pop Tarts and think to ourselves… “hey, he looks like a keeper? He looks like he has it together.  Let me emotionally invest in him, cause he seems swell.” 

Ok. Rant over.  I think you get the point.  Now, let me explain why I hate this question other than the fact that I only hear it when I’m usually in an emotionally raw state:

Regardless of your own relationship status, whether you’re single or married or a sponge,  by asking your friends “where they met the guy,” you make them partially to blame for someone ELSE’S bad behavior.  It’s not fair.  I mean, you’ve just listened to a whole story your friend has told you. A story about something that someone else did to them.  By asking the question, you’re switching the focus from another person’s actions to your friend’s actions.  

Instead of saying, “I can’t believe HE did that,” you switch the narrative (and pronouns) and make your friend the antagonist in her own story.  It’s all about where SHE met the guy. She becomes the final subject in the story.  So… Stop it!

Additionally, if you’re in a relationship or married and you ask that question, you sound like a smarmy know-it-all and that’s never good.  You also have an icky yucky dirty dating past.  You too were once one of us.  Show some solidarity.

Let’s look at dudes… When a guy tells one of his dating stories (because yes ladies, we too can be the stuff of waking nightmares) more often than not, the only comment they have to deal with is, “Man, she’s crazyyyy,” then everyone drinks their beer, nods along in agreement, and moves on.  Case closed.  SHE’S crazy.  YOU’RE fine, man. ( Not that I agree at all with girl’s being called crazy…in fact this article should be gospel, but I’m just trying to make a point.)

So now…I know, I know that this seems like making a mountain out of a mole hill to some, and that’s fine.  I’m just asking everyone, guys and girls, to be better advocates for their single friends, because remember…where you met your guy is where all of us have met “these guys:”

  1. The guy who drove me to the treehouse he lived in (no I didn’t know he lived in a tree house) and showed me the Crayon drawings the ocean inspired him to make and then violently lost his shit when I asked him to take me home
  2. The  guy who took me out to eat, and as soon as I sat down,  smiled and said: I really like big
    An impulse buy inspired by all the

    An impulse buy inspired by all the “lone wolves” I’ve met. Howl on, brothers

    breasted women

  3. The guy(s)  who refer to themselves as lone wolves…that’s right…love them only if you dare
  4. The guy who said “that’s not me” when pictures of him and another girl popped up on facebook.  Yes, he was tagged in them and yes he was wearing clothes I had bought him (Hindsight: I may have deserved that one)
  5. The guy who had a nosebleed all over my cushions and just flipped them around when I wasnt looking

So the next time you find yourself about to ask “the question,” take a moment and remember…They walk amongst us.

Why You Should Be a “Girl’s Girl”

Girls

Genesis: 

In the beginning, I used to be a “guy’s girl,” not gonna lie.  We all know the type.  The girl that simply just is one of the guys.

In my late teens and early 20’s, I was proud to be a declared a guy’s-girl. You know, one of those low-maintenance- no-holds-barred-roll-her-eyes-at- other-women type girls.  I thought  it was the highest compliment, that the men folk viewed me as an equal because I was, “not like most girls.”  I was a renegade. An outlier.  So so cool.

And then somewhere along the line, I evolved.

And Let There be Light: 

It was one day, a few very transformative years later, after life and love had kicked my ass six ways from Sunday, that a guy friend and I were at a bar. We were talking about dating and issues he was having with his girlfriend. He looked at me and said, “Guys probably never have these issues with you.  You’re like a dude…you’re one of us,” and for the first time, ever, I gave the appropriate response:  I asked him if that was supposed to be a compliment.

I mean, what was it about my personality that made me “like a guy?”  That I was funny? Honest and outspoken?  That I didn’t 10347177_10105813528489180_6245183151221667281_nlet people walk all over me? That I could maintain my cool in the back and forths of dating (in my LATER 20’s)?  If so…what did it say about my actual gender?  I can’t even IMAGINE telling one of my guy friends that he was “like a girl,” and have that go over well. When did being “like a girl” become an insult?

Why had being accepted into the ranks of “the boys” become a point of triumph for me and so many girls?   I mean, let’s face it… guys really aren’t that hard to impress.  Being friends with a dude is relatively simple: you go somewhere, have some beers, make a few jokes, maybe talk about the gym, and go home.  It’s easy.

You know what IS hard to do?  To form meaningful and lasting relationships with other women.  To pick away at the barriers you and other women put up between themselves and realize that when we are at our best around one another, we are unstoppable.

I’m not saying that every woman needs to be friends with every other woman that they meet.  We are not houseplants. Just like you aren’t going to like every guy you meet,  you’re not going to like every (or many) woman you meet.

The thing is: we, as women, rarely ever really give other women a chance.  We will so quickly say, “Oh, I don’t like her,” when what we really should be saying is, “Oh, I don’t know her.”  And I want that to stop.  

Why do we so quickly dismiss women we meet? There’s an excellent, excellent explanation for that here In this TED talk by Caroline Heldman.  But from what I’ve seen,  it’s usually because this unknown female commits one of the following sins within the first few times of meeting her:

  • She’s prettier than you
  • She’s confident
  • She’s funny
  • She has a talent you don’t have and brings it up in conversation
  • She has a talent you do have, and brings it up before you do…that ballsy, evil, bitch

So basically…she is everything you have ever wanted to be.

Ladies, this  insecure pettiness is beneath you, and you need to eat cement and toughen up (thanks for the saying, Sash).  There are always going to be funnier, prettier, more successful women than you.  You know what you should do when you meet one?  TRY TO BE HER FRIEND.   How on Earth are you going to better yourself if you’re surrounding yourself with people who don’t challenge you?

Jealous that she’s got a banging body?  That’s a you problem.  Ask her for some workout tips and see if she’ll spot you at the gym.  Jealous that she seems to be more confident than you?  Hang out with her and find out her story to see how she got that way.  Think she’s standoffish because she’s not speaking to you?  Well…have you gone up to her, or are you just waiting for her to ignore the daggers you’ve been staring at her and mosey on over to you? Sort yourselves out, stop hating, and start making an effort.

The New Testament

Now here’s the tricky part, in order to have a friendship with a genuinely strong, confident female, we ourselves have to be genuinely strong and confident.  This is where a lot of girls (myself included) get stuck.  You have to work on yourself before you can be much good to anyone of value.  That’s true for any relationship.

So while “confidence-izing” yourself (yes that’s so a word) is a tricky uphill battle,  I will leave you with the first, and very simplified, steps that I took to becoming a “girl’s girl,” and a girlfriend worth having:

I made a list of all the things I dislike in other girls and people: the cattiness, the body and slut shaming, the competitive vibes that came out around the company of the guys. And I asked myself if I was guilty of having any of those traits.  That answer was a resounding, “yes.”

And then I decided to change.  I realized I didn’t have to be that person anymore.  And I’m not.

And that voice in my head…you know the one…the one that whispers to you everyday that you’re really not THAT smart, you’re really not THAT pretty, no one REALLY likes you.  I told it to shut the f*ck up.  I decided that if I wouldn’t let another person say things like that to me, there was no way I should be talking to myself that way.

And after I started making those changes, the rest (very slowly) came into play.  I’ve had a lot of hits and misses with female friends, but they’ve gotten better, mainly because I’ve gotten better.

So…ladies…if you’re happy with your bro-card and all of this sounds like arrogant “who does she think she is” nonsense…keep doing you.  You are still, at the core, wonderfully intuitive,  caring, and amazingly strong people, which, I’m sorry to tell you, makes you very much “like a girl.”

And I’m also sorry to tell you that no amount of social awareness campaigns targeting males is going to advance the status of women very much if we ourselves don’t start having each other’s backs rather than stabbing one another in the back. 

So please…be one of the girls.  Be for the girls.  Be like a girl.

Some of the amazing, talented, inspirational women who I love to love

Some of the amazing, talented, inspirational women who I love to love