All Lives Never Mattered

I think I’m going to come up with a new saying for 2016. I think that new saying is going to be ” All Lives Never Mattered.” I’m going with this phrase because whenever the term Black Lives Matter comes into conversation, there is always the rebuttal that All Lives Matter. Well I thought “all” was an inclusive word. Since ALL means everything, the total lot, nothing or no one left out, why is there offense taken by some people when someone says Black Lives Matter? I didn’t see Only Black Lives Matter or Black Lives Matter Most anywhere. I mean, let’s be honest; if all lives truly mattered, #BlackLivesMatter would not exist. I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. My tendency to do this is waning due to the fact that I find it hard to accept that society can really be that obtuse. We wouldn’t feel the ntumblr_o9z7q8xkxr1uafcu7o1_1280eed to remind people that Black Lives Matter if Black lives were treated with the same sacredness as say, White lives. I am Black and I am also a woman. If I were to start a slogan that Women’s Lives Matter would men start getting upset? If I wanted to bring awareness to save women from the Brock Turners of the world, would I get drowned out by the cries ALL GENDERS MATTER! I don’t think so. The #AllLivesMatter crew only seems to care about all lives when they need to refute the arguments of Black Lives Matter. Why didn’t all lives matter when the people of Flint, Michigan were drinking contaminated water? Where was the public outrage? Why didn’t all lives matter when the victims of Hurricane Katrina were waiting on public aid for months, and even years? Why didn’t all lives matter when two thousand people died in India last year due to the heat wave? Since America seems to feel so strongly about the well-being of all lives, why aren’t we all out here advocating for all the marginalized people of the world? I completely agree that all lives matter. Every life is sacred and has meaning. However, certain lives in this country are requiring a little more TLC and social justice than other lives right now. If you’re a parent and have a sick child, would you tell that sick child “all my kids deserve good health!” No, you’re going to nurse that sick child until it’s back on the same plane as the other children. Lets use some common sense here. We have a problem in America. Is this all underlying tension that has been kept under wraps for too long and now its bubbling over? Are we at some type of transition and a major change is coming? I don’t know, but I know people are getting fed up.

Colin Kaepernick

We all know of Mr. Kaepernick. Former starting quarterback for the 49ers, now backup quarterback, but great athlete all the same. As of late, we have all become very familiar with him and his decision to no longer stand for the national anthem. Due to the frequent shootings of Black people from police officers who then face no consequences, Kaepernick doesn’t feel it’s appropriate to stand for a song and flag that is not protecting all American citizens. Seems pretty hypocritical to him. A flag that is supposed to represent freedom but allows its residents to be killed for no reason doesn’t seem to represent the best tumblr_ocsrkepmnr1rbam90o1_1280interest of everyone across these 50 states. It was of no surprise to me the backlash he received for his choice to sit down and now kneel, for the anthem. I have seen him called a plethora of racial slurs, have seen people say he has no respect and some have told him to leave the country if he hates it so much. Kaepernick has said he’s even received death threats. What I find so interesting about this whole scenario is that when people are rioting and looting, the response is that this is not the solution to the problem. When Kaepernick decides to peacefully and quietly demonstrate, he is told he is disrespecting our country, veterans and that this is not the answer. Well I would like to know, what is the answer? Act out in rage and now you’re a disgrace. Act out in peaceful silence and you’re a disgrace. tumblr_ococuvsyz31uxvrrjo1_500Whenever a Black person shows resistance regarding his current situation, he is now a problem and he should just shut up and be grateful for his current status. Sweep the problem under the rug and it no longer exists. According to #VeteransForKaepernick, they fought for his right to stand or sit and many of them do not feel disrespected. The anthem and the flag is not solely about our military, but about the freedom of all Americans. If one sect of America is being killed by law enforcement at disproportionate rates without consequences, then how free is this country? I admire Kaep’s willingness to take a stand on what he believes in (or seat I should say) and its been interesting to see others follow suit. If you are upset over Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the anthem but see no issues with police officers murdering people in cold blood, you are a part of the problem. You can’t proclaim to be an advocate for freedom but try to justify senseless murders, especially when the people committing the murders are those sworn to protect and serve. But all lives matter, right? Lets cut the B.S. If you stand firm by all lives mattering, why can’t you see the logic behind Kaepernick’s protest? I don’t know if people lack empathy or if they are just unwilling to understand, but put yourself in a different frame of mind. Imagine that whenever you saw a police officer your anxiety levels shot through the roof because you feel you may be the next hashtag. Imagine that your car breaks down on the side of the road, and now you’re afraid to wait for assistance because you don’t want to become the next Terence Crutcher. There is absolutely no reason why anyone in America should feel like their life is on the line when they encounter someone sworn to protect and serve. There is no excuse to justify these murders.

But What About Black on Black Crime?

The most frustrating counterargument in response to #BlackLivesMatter is “well, what about black on black crime?” This is a ridiculous statement for several reasons. The topic of black on black crime is just meant as a distraction to draw people away from the real issues that predominantly Black communities face due to factors such as gentrification, the “war on drugs” (aka the war on Black people), underfunded schools and mass incarcerations of people of color. If you place the blame on the citizens, then there is no accountability to be taken for those who contributed to the community’s demise. When you rob communities of necessary resources and leave them to fend for themselves, of course crime will ensue. Impoverished communities no matter the race tend to experience tumblr_o9zu0en8ac1v1rpqpo1_500higher crime rates, so this actually fuels the logic that black on black crime is a ridiculous sentiment. You are going to commit crimes against those in closest proximity to you, so you will see that Whites tend to commit crimes against other Whites, Mexicans against Mexicans and so on and so forth. Tragedy strikes, and the first thing #AllLivesMatter brings up is “they’re killing each other in Chicago daily, they don’t even care about Black lives!” Well I didn’t know that Chicago was the only city that had high rates of crime,
Black people do protest black on black crime, and if you really did care about all lives, you would be trying to curb the violence in places like Chicago as well. Even if Black people wanted to kill each other off like it was going out of style, since when did they take an oath to protect and serve American citizens? Tyrone kills Greg and Tyrone is going to jail for 30+ years. Officer Tom kills Tyrone and Officer Tom is getting paid administrative leave, aka a paid vacation. tumblr_odumblq2fi1uw7g39o1_1280Not only is he getting paid time off, but his reason for neglecting all of his training to subdue someone without the use of deadly force will be justified. The media will vilify the victim, and if he has some type some mug shot, that will be the first thing plastered on the news. The social media warriors will start on their usual banter of the why didn’t he comply, he shouldn’t have reached in his car, he should have done this or he shouldn’t have done that. No one should be all that upset because Black people kill each other at alarming rates everyday, so what’s the big deal? It is extremely upsetting that people get killed based off of how they look, and so many find a reason as to why the murder was just. If you are that afraid of Black people then maybe you should have chosen another profession. I am deathly afraid of snakes, so why would I chose a job as a zookeeper and work in the reptile room? Every time a snake slithers its tongue at me I would want to chop it down, and now I’m blaming the snake when I’m the one who is too fearful to be working in that profession. Go be a gardener, go be a dog walker, but don’t choose a career where you don’t have the heart to do your job without resulting to deadly force.

All Cops Aren’t Bad

What is the next favorite argument? “All cops aren’t bad” and “All White people aren’t racist.” Of course all cops aren’t bad and obviously all White people aren’t racist. We have a problem when the cops who ARE bad are not held accountable for their actions that result in deaths of innocent people. People are being taken away from their families, and America does not seem to care. All White people aren’t racist, but go on Facebook and Twitter and read the comments on a controversial post and you will see how many White people feel confident enough to call Black people niggers and tell them to go back to Africa behind a keyboard or touchscreen. I was appalled at the types of comments I’ve seen over the past couple of years, yet people still deny that racism exists. I’ve encountered extremely friendly cops and I know plenty of White people with whom I am friends that have treated me with nothing but respect. However, if you do have Black people in your family or social circle, it is imperative that you take it upon yourself to listen to our experiences and to not try and convince us that things are not as bad as they seem. So many think that our demands and cries for justice and dramatic and unnecessary, but how many more Black people need to be killed by trigger happy police officers before everyone can accept that we have a problem here? Caring about all lives means that you are willing to open your mind and eyes to reality and accept that change needs to happen. Caring about all lives means that you are no longer content living in the denial that the freedom the anthem and flag is supposed to stand for is actually inaccurate. You don’t have to agree with everyone’s method of protest, but you can attempt to empathize with the turmoil the giphyBlack community is facing. How do we fix this problem? First things first, police officers need to be held accountable. It isn’t just Black people who see this as a problem, there are people from all walks of life and races who are outraged by the state this country is in. If we can all get on the same page, we can start to enact change. Lets create some open dialogue, keep protesting and get out of denial. Since all cops aren’t bad, the “good” cops need to start calling out their peers. There is no way I would allow my colleagues to make me look bad. I’m putting you on blast! I’m not putting my best foot forward everyday and waking up before sunrise to have the next person put all my hard work to shame. One bad apple spoils the whole bunch, so we need to find a way to rid ourselves of the unfit. Recent events have proven that we have not come much farther since 1965; racial tension is at an all time high. Whether you choose to stand, kneel, march or write for change, advocate somehow. Inaction is action, and silence when people are in need does nothing but condone the turmoil.

Team Light Skin

col·or·ism

ˈkələrˌizəm/

noun

US
  1. prejudice or discrimination against individuals with a dark skin tone, typically among people of the same ethnic or racial group.

Team Light Skin. Team Dark Skin. Light skins are soft. Light skinned girls are evil. Dark skinned girls are tough. Dark skinned men are intimidating. Dark skinned men are winning. Light skins taking all the L’s this year. I don’t like dark skinned girls. Light skinned women are stuck up.”

Ah, all the rhetoric we hear in the Black community regarding the skin tones of our counterparts. In case you didn’t know, colorism is nothing new. Darker skinned slaves were to work in the fields while the lighter skin slaves worked in the big house. Working in the house was considered to be a privilege; no toiling in the elements under the watch of a wrathful overseer. Have you ever read about the horrors house slaves went through as well? Working in such close proximity to your owner was not a walk in the park either. Be that as it may, Black people have been divided on skin color for centuries. During our most tragic period of oppression, this was a key element in keeping slaves from uniting. Find a way to esteem one segment of them over the other, and now you have created resentment. You can’t be strong if you have no unity, meaning you can’t come together to stir up any trouble. The idea that the lighter you are, the better has carried on into present day. Fast forward 200 years, and it is still the same. White people or other races may find darker skinned Black people more intimidating, but it seems as if the bigger issues with skin tones come from inside the Black community. All of the brainwashing has divided us on the very thing we wish to no longer be marginalized for. As I write this I am brought back to 4th grade when two of my good friends told me they didn’t want to be my friend any more because I thought I was “all that” because I am light skinned with long hair. tumblr_o4ep7dycwq1utsvwgo1_500Everything was all good just a day ago, but now I am a villain over things I could not control. They even had the teacher move their desks away from mine. Why would 10 year old girls reject a friend they had fun with daily based off of looks? No child that young should already feel so self-conscious about their skin that they can’t even hold on to an elementary level friendship. Black people as a minority are forced to live in a country where the standard of beauty looks nothing like us. Of course we come in all shades, eye colors, hair colors, etc., but we will never posses the European standard of fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Instead, the Black community desires for someone to look as close to White without actually being White to be considered attractive. Light skin, light eyes, long “good hair.” That’s the recipe. The division in the Black community is staggering. We are divided across gender lines, education, and of course skin color. Outside forces contribute to our lack of unity, but we do much of the damage internally.

Pretty For a Dark Girl

One backhanded compliment that has always made me sick is “Wow, you’re so pretty! What are you mixed with? Oh, you’re not mixed? You’re so pretty to be just Black!” What the hell is that supposed to mean? I forgot that Black women are not supposed to be beautiful. I find our full lips, rich toned skin and thick hair gorgeous. Want to know what’s worse? When another Black person tells a darker Black woman that she’s pretty for a dark skinned girl. So if you took her exact same features and placed them on a lighter canvas, she would look better? The only thing that happens when you tell a dark skinned person they’re pretty for a dark girl is the negative connotations of having dark skin get reinforced. All I hear is “you’re still ugly, just not as ugly as the others.” The beauty of Black people is how diverse we are within our own race. My paternal grandmother is very fair skinned and had red hair. My maternal grandmother was chocolate skinned with thick black hair. Would there be a such thing as beauty if we all looked exactly the same? The media does not help. tumblr_n3fm0yc49w1rdu2lko1_500Usually when you see a Black woman on a commercial she looks mixed or is lighter complexioned. Turn on a music video and the video vixens all have the same look. Light skinned, long weave and voluptuous bodies. Of course this is not always the case, but majority rules. Colorism floods rap lyrics constantly: “I like a long haired, thick red-bone,” “Beautiful black woman, I bet that bitch look better red.” I salute my dark skinned sistas. You have to have thick skin to listen to your own people degrade you, yet still support them nonetheless. As Black people in America, we constantly have to deal with a lack of representation. We’ve had to create our own networks, magazines, carve out a section of Black Twitter, and usually are the only Black faces at our job. We hate it, yet we do it within our own community. So what if we have been conditioned to equate dark skin with aggressiveness and being less attractive? That foolishness has got to stop. Guess what? We are all dark skinned to the police and to the judge. I find it incredibly stupid that we diminish the looks of another Black person just because society has tried to tell us that dark is not valued. You do not have to be light to be attractive, you do not have to be mixed to be beautiful.

Jesse Williams

Unless you live under a rock, you have surely watched or heard about humanitarian/actor Jesse William’s iconic speech at the BET Awards last weekend. In case you missed it, catch a clip of that here. After watching his speech, I felt empowered. I felt understood, and most of all I felt proud. I felt proud to be Black, but I was also proud that he used his moment of recognition to acknowledge us all. It was very moving. But like with everything, people love to rain on the parade. Instead of being supportive, some Black people decided that we only responded with such intrigue to Jesse Williams because he is light skinned with blue eyes. Former NFL player Ochocinco had to write Kendrick Lamar on Twitter to say something to the effect of, he has been saying these things on his albums all along, but no one wanted to listen until a light skinned, pretty boy said something. What a perfect way to shift the focus off of what is really important to petty, dramatic irrelevance. tumblr_o9ev69frkt1qa4l1ko1_540Who cares who says what is important, as long as it is being said? What would have been the complaint if Idris Elba had said it instead of Jesse Williams? He’s dark skinned but he has a British accent, so it doesn’t count? Light skinned people experience racism everyday. I have been followed around in stores. I’ve gone on job interviews where when the interviewer came out and saw she was interviewing a Black woman, her face recoiled. When I first started college, some of the staff couldn’t believe that I wasn’t there on an athletic scholarship. I guess Black people only go to college to dribble or throw a ball around. I was accused of stealing from the mall with my friend when I was 16, and 4 cop cars surrounded us, only to find nothing. What did my light skinned “privilege” do for me on all of those occasions? Nothing. It doesn’t matter how light you are or if your eyes are the color of the sea in the Caribbean, you are going to experience racism. Why try to create a divide between Kendrick and Jesse when we can appreciate them both for trying to open people’s eyes?  The point is to care about the cause. If people were being this petty during the Civil Rights Movement, we would still be sitting in the back of the bus. It’s the message that is important, not necessarily the messenger. It seems like our generation has to make everything a competition and getting credit supersedes solving the problem at hand. I want my student loans eradicated. Would I be salty that they listened to Donald’s solution over Hillary’s? Nope, as long as I’m debt free.

When Preference Turns Into Bashing

When it comes to chicken, I prefer white meat over dark meat. I just think it tastes better. It looks more appetizing and is much juicier. Does that mean I gotta throw shade at dark meat and talk about how I think it tastes less flavorful and how eating chicken thighs annoys me? So many walk the fine line between having a preference and putting something else down. Personally, when it comes to men, I can take them either way; caramel skin or chocolate skin that looks like velvet, it doesn’t matter. Too bad we aren’t all as neutral. I see on Twitter at least once a day men championing light skinned women as if they are the best thing since sliced bread, while demeaning our darker women in the same 140 characters. tumblr_o2a6wpWy3U1slyfcfo1_500We all have a type, but we are also the roots of the same Black tree. In essence, you’re putting yourself and your ancestors down. It’s normal to have a type, you don’t have to be Rae Sremmurd. But why in explaining what you’re attracted to, you have to make it a point to point out something negative regarding your counterpart? Of course we can make jokes within our own community, but sometimes these jokes extend beyond a few laughs. I see so many insensitive jokes toward dark skinned people, the perpetual stereotype of light skinned people being weak, and the defense that everyone is entitled to their own preference which soothes no hurt feelings. As Black women, we hate it when Black men spit on our image in their pursuit of White women and other races. I personally don’t care who wants to date whom, but you don’t have the right to make us feel less than in the process. It’s very normal to fall in love with someone you didn’t originally see as your type, but many just objectify based off of skin tone/color. Do you love the actual person or are you infatuated with their looks? I had a conversation with a man once who said he would only date light skinned mixed Black women or White women because he wanted to have light skinned children. This man said he hated Black women’s nappy hair, but mixed girls have pretty curls and light eyes. I didn’t know he had a degree in genetics or had the ability to design his own children, but what flawed logic to have. He was speaking as if he was swinging his hair in Vidal Sassoon commercials. This man was midnight dark, yet he wanted his future children to look nothing like him. This is what happens when you live in a world where ‘White is Right.’ A certain standard of beauty has been drilled into our heads, and we can’t seem to shake it. We want our lives to matter, yet we throw shade at each other based off looks. Having a hierarchy within our own culture impedes progress. Whether you like light skin, brown skin, purple skin or dark, you can make a choice and still uplift the other. Even if you choose not to uplift us all, that’s fine, just don’t put the rest of us down while doing your thing. I don’t know about you, but I want Black people to be a united front, not divided among lines of color.

 

Why Are You Mad At Me?


We all have our opinions. Depending on the subject, we may even want to add our own 2 cents into the conversation. Well I want to add my 2 cents into why some women feel as if it is their duty to confront the other woman when they find out their boyfriend or husband is cheating. I have been on the receiving end of this, and it gets on my last nerve. It has never escalated to a physical fight (I’m wayyyy too above that) or in person encounter; just texts and/or internet messaging. The badge of a full-fledged side chick has never been a part of my wardrobe, and whenever I was involved with a man who was in a relationship, it was unbeknownst to me. This topic takes me back to high school. Whenever a girl didn’t like me, it was always because her boyfriend did. How is that my fault? HOW SWAY? Is it my fault that you chose a man with wandering eyes? I think not. Anyway, here I am, 7 years post high school graduation and every now and then I will get hit up by some random girl asking me why I am talking to her boyfriend. I don’t want your man, boo boo! I can smell your insecurity through the phone. Last time I checked, I wasn’t in a relationship with you, so who I talk to really isn’t any of your business. So you confronted him as well? Good for you! giphy3You should have if you felt he was acting inappropriately, but leave me out of it. Perhaps I ignite some of your insecurities because since your man is seeking attention from me, I must have something that you don’t have. That’s why you’re mad right? Well guess what? It’s never that deep. Men get bored and they seek out attention from whoever, depending on the timing. Or, maybe you’re just an irrational human being and take everyday conversation to mean something that it’s not. Either way, you should check yourself. Even if I did want your man or was aware of the situation, the beef that develops within your relationship is your problem and yours alone. This mentality does not apply to my family members or friends. I would first of all know their relationship status, and I have no desire to become involved their current or past flames. However, if I don’t know you from Adam, I really don’t care about your relationship. Rude? Maybe, but do I care? Nope! Have you ever considered taking some responsibility for the man you chose? If you had taken more time to learn his character you could have identified those traits that would suggest infidelity. Even though you dropped the ball, no, it is still not acceptable for him to cheat or act inappropriately. But people also shouldn’t cut you off in traffic or not say ‘thank you’ when you hold the door open for them. You can’t control others, but you can control how you choose to respond to the situation. I know that being petty is trendy now, but your pettiness might get your feelings hurt. I am not above hurting feelings to maintain my peace of mind. You take a risk every time you decide to get bold and confront someone over some foolishness. How do you know they’re not crazy? Better not risk angering a hornet’s nest. Probably one of the best reasons to take your issue to the source instead of involving people who really aren’t a factor in your problem.


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Why Are You Blaming Me?

So now I just want to get to the nitty gritty of this post. If your man is stepping out, WHY ARE YOU ON MY LINE ABOUT IT?!? I am not in a relationship with the two of you. I don’t owe you any loyalty, and don’t try to throw me any bullsh*t about respecting your relationship. I do not know you, so I do not owe you any respect. If you’re married, then there is a certain level of respect people should have for your relationship, so I am not talking about that, but I have had girls come at me for men who aren’t even their boyfriend. That’s next level pathetic. You are mad at a stranger for not respecting your relationship instead of focusing your anger on the person who agreed to be loyal to you. tumblr_ni1nouOGii1sk4npzo1_500This is like on Maury when the alleged baby father comes onto the stage with his new piece, and the baby mama decides to throw insults at her. Backwards, much? You aren’t going to leave him anyway, because if you were, you would be busy kicking him to the curb instead of trying to beef with the profile picture on my Facebook page. Why expel so much energy just to go back to him tonight? You are going to drive yourself insane trying to police his phone and social media for other women. If a woman likes his most recent photo, why are you making it your business to tell her to leave him alone? Your jealousy is going to get the best of you, and I most likely won’t be all that friendly once you contact me because now I’m annoyed. I am not responsible for the actions of your man, so you are out of line to reach out to me. What is your motive? To get me to stop talking to him? Well you’ve succeeded because no one is worth the drama, but you haven’t really won. Once he realizes I’m over it, he’ll be on to the next. In addition, if it has been nothing but innocent conversation, you’re just pushing him away by acting crazy. Men are going to have female acquaintances, co-workers, classmates, etc and you will be the one miserable in the long run because you’re psychotic. If your dude has been having a full on affair with some chick who had no idea about you, then I’m not blaming you for maybe wanting to get a little insight. This post isn’t about you. This is for the Tommie’s from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta who make it their business to eradicate any female who even looks their man (or pretend man’s) way. Maybe your relationship isn’t even really worth it if you spend your free time lurking on girls’ Instagram photos to see if he’s liked their posts and spend the rest of your time starting drama. But hey, what do I know? All I know is I would appreciate it if you weirdos would leave me alone. This hasn’t happened to me in quite awhile, but I’m sure it will again. And I will tell you what I have told the others: “I have no interest in taken men, so I would appreciate it if you would refrain from contacting me further and take this up with him; do not make your personal problems mine, thanks!” And that’s it. I’ve had them try to start arguments and that’s when I hit them with the good ol’ block. The ‘block’ feature is the best invention since caller ID. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Never in life will you get me to argue with you about some dusty dude who has clearly shown you he isn’t worth the dirt on the bottom of your shoe. I save petty arguments for the basic birds. The moral of the story is, if you find your bae in my inbox, go take it up with bae, and let me live in peace. Deal?

Bad Vibes & Toxic People

Vibes speak louder than words. That is a fact, my friend. I can’t stand being around negative people. We all have our bad days, but some people emit negative energy like they eat negativity for breakfast. Everything is a problem for them. This goes beyond minor annoyances like sitting in traffic, troublesome co-workers, or waking up on the wrong side of the bed. Life is out to get them and only them. I HATE IT. I seek peace; it has been in my nature since I could remember. If I can avoid having to deal with people who kill my vibe or contribute stress to my life, I do that. Isn’t it enough to constantly see news regarding mass shootings, missing airplanes, Donald Trump and all of the other sad stories we are exposed to on a daily basis? Stay away from me with your ‘woe is me’ dialogue, Debbie Downer. So what is it that makes some people drown in negativity? I contribute it to their thought process. We all see the world through our own lens, so if you see nothing positive in your life, it is impossible to see the good in life. Negative people spew their negative energy to everyone around them, bringing us all down. Misery loves company, but I am not bringing balloons and wine to your pity party. tumblr_nrgnbnrqy81qkvda9o1_500What people who complain constantly often don’t notice is that they are always complaining. Know someone like this? Bring it up to them and I bet they will look at you like you’re crazy. It has to be a miserable existence to wake up every morning on the defensive. Life is definitely not a cakewalk, but it is a gift. Nope, its not fair. “Fair” is a place where you go to get cotton candy and ride the twist-a-whirl or whatever it’s called. We should all be protective of the people that we surround ourselves with. You could constantly be surrounding yourself with toxic people and not even realize it until you do an audit of the people you associate with. What do your main associates really talk to you about?  Is it their personal problems, instead of their personal accomplishments? Do they ask you about what is going on with you, or are they using you as their personal sounding board to vent out all of their issues? Do the people you work with spend all their time complaining about your boss or other co-workers? You don’t have to listen to that sh*t. Maybe I am too much of an optimist, but I try to see the good in everything. Optimist, realist, or opportunist, negative people get on my nerves. All that being said, I just wanted to go over the handful of negative types that grind my gears the most. So let’s begin, *birdman hand rub.*

The Complainer

Complaining is just one of those things that human beings do. We all have the right to vent our frustrations. I complain often about stupid drivers, annoying clients at work, and just the everyday perils of life. Not even half an hour ago I was complaining to my mom about how I need a raise for how much my workload has increased over the last couple of weeks. I am a work in progress. I’m complaining in this post about how complainers annoy me (ironic, maybe)? Either way, my point is The Complainer finds fault in everything…literally everything. “I’m bored.” “This is stupid.” “I wish I had more money.” “They gave her the raise when I’m the one doing all the work.” SHUT UP! Did you ever stop and think that no one cares? Constant complaining without making any effort to improve your situation is nothing but whining. Being around people like this will start to bring you down. If you cannot be positive, do us all a favor and be quiet. It is stressful constantly listening to someone speak about the lack of control they seem to have over their own lives. It seems as if The Complainer appreciates nothing, but expects everything. This negativity spews onto everyone else, and begiphycause complaining often becomes a habit, they often don’t realize they are doing it. I feel my stress levels rise every time I listen to someone complain, try to offer a solution, but they brush it off as nonsense. Complaining is not just an act of observing your life/surroundings and voicing your views, it actually takes effort. When you complain, you invite negative thoughts to settle in your mind and end up attracting the very things you complain about back into your life. The Complainer isn’t a bad person, they’re just giving themselves a bad experience of life. Nothing is as bad as you make it seem. When I get in a bad mood and start being negative, I stop myself. It really only makes you feel worse. If you don’t know by now that complaining about things you can’t control is a total waste of time, now you know. If you’re complaining about things you CAN control, then it obviously isn’t bothering you that much because you would have done something to change the situation by now.

The Blamer

The Blamer can really kill your vibe. This type of person has an inability to take responsibility for their actions. Avoid people like this. Nothing is ever their fault, and they will show you time and time again why they cannot be trusted. Often full of excuses, The Blamer has a reason why they f*ck up everything, and its always because of someone or something else. “I would be farther ahead in life if I had this…” “My mom did this to me so now I can’t do this…” “If you would have reminded me, I could have finished it.” Know anyone like this? Remove them from your life. They are self-absorbed and cannot see past their own immaturity. At the end of the day, the only person responsible for your affairs is YOU. You can’t blame your plight in life on being Black, being a woman, or being whatever it is that is holding you back in your mind. Of course, there are legitimate reastumblr_m6sa8i80081qggwbio1_500ons why some people can’t do some things. I can’t sing, so there’s no way I can say I failed myself at not following my dream of being Beyonce. I can, however, pick up a book so the fact that I keep dragging my feet on applying to a graduate program is my own fault. The Blamer does not realize that in order to solve their problems, they have to own them. You can’t be afraid to confront your issues. Passing the buck is what children do because they are afraid of the consequences. What is sad is that when you spend all of your time placing blame on others, you lose opportunity after opportunity to change yourself and your circumstances. With anything, the hardest part is getting started. Pay closer attention to yourself and take note of every time you try to use others as a scapegoat for your own failings. You aren’t emotionally closed off because someone broke your heart and you’re not as a**hole because of it. You are those things because you choose to not confront your own insecurity. “The Man” isn’t holding you back; you’re just too lazy to get back up after you’ve been knocked down. If you are a blamer, do us all a favor and keep that behavior to yourself until you can reevaluate your life.

The Pessimist

The type of negative person that seems to bring me down the most is The Pessimist. Pessimistic people walk around with no hope, and make you feel crazy for seeing the good in any given situation. I would be miserable if every time I was confronted with a negative situation, I basically threw in the towel. What is life if you have no hope? You can be broke, living in the street but if you have even just a smidgen of hope, you’ll see it through. Sure, the night is dark and full of terrors (Game of Thrones reference in case you didn’t know), but why should the possibility of bad things happening keep you from being happy or taking chances? Any person with common sense is able to tell when something is a lost cause, but The Pessimist thinks anything with a chance of a failed outcome is a total waste of time. Hand a pessimist lemons to make lemonade, and they will say what’s the point without any sugar and water? As I said previously, I prefer to be calm and peaceful, but people with this mentality make me want to slap the taste outta their mouth. I can’t be around them. Even if being optimistic doesn’t do much more for you than being tumblr_n308ga30zk1s4xucdo1_500pessimistic, at least you’ll be happier while everything is falling apart. You absolutely have to change your perspective if you don’t want to be miserable. Negative people like this think that having low expectations will save them from pain and disappointment, but that’s not true. You’re just wasting your existence. Wake up, Eeyore. Having low expectations won’t save you, its just going to bring more negativity into your life. Its a vicious cycle. You think your shitty attitude proves you right everything something bad happens, but bad things keep happening to you because that is the energy you are emitting. You might as well walk around with a “My Life Sucks” target on your head, because bad things are going to keep coming your way, pessimist. Change your perspective. I am sure that it is difficult to kick out years and years of negative thought patterns from your mind, but it is possible. Perception is reality. If you perceive things as being good, good things will come to you. It may seem silly, but it really is true. Try it out and see how your life starts to adjust accordingly. Its the least you can do so that you can stop torturing we positive folk in the meantime. Change your thoughts and thank me later.

 

 

100

I always think about what I would have done differently with my life if I could go back in time. I compiled a list of things I wish I had lived by as a kid, teen, even just a few years younger than I am now. Many I’m still working on! Maybe you can relate. Anything you wish you could go back and tell your younger self? Add it in the comments section below.
  1. You do not know everything. No matter how sure of yourself you think you are. Always be able to listen.
  2. Which means… listen to your parents. They know what they’re talking about. Just because it seemed like they were your age a million years ago, times change but people don’t.
  3. College isn’t the only way to success. My entire younger life I was encouraged that college was the way to the top. I’m doing well, but there are other avenues to success.
  4. Stand up for yourself and make it a habit early. If you spend your whole life appeasing other people, you’ll be miserable. Sometimes you’ve gotta be a jerk and that’s okay.
  5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. If you don’t feel accepted, it doesn’t mean you are lacking in any way. They just haven’t caught up to you yet.
  6. Don’t force yourself to like something just because everyone else seems to like it.
  7. Comparing yourself to others is dangerous. Unless you’re using it as motivation, stop the comparisons.
  8. Not everything that glitters is gold. People tend to show only the good going on in their lives. They could be miserable behind closed doors.
  9. Stop caring what people think. It isn’t a change that can happen overnight. It takes time. Once you start getting good at it, you will be MUCH happier. Let them think what they want. You know who you are.
  10. Drink more water.
  11. Enjoy the time you have as a kid. Being a grown up is not all it’s cracked up to be. Don’t take for granted nap times, recess, and getting toys for Christmas. The majority of your life will be spent dealing with adult things, so don’t say “I can’t wait until I’m older.”
  12. Take more advantage of your college experience. Do more than go to class, go to an event here and there and go home. Join more clubs, meet more people.
  13. You have time for serious relationships later. Learn more about yourself.
  14. Don’t be so frivolous with money. Save more. Learn about ways to make your money work for you and stick to it. Discipline!
  15. Exercise more.
  16. Be yourself. If people think you’re weird, so? You’re living for you. They don’t pay your bills.
  17. If you aren’t comfortable having to own up to it later, don’t do it.
  18. Don’t engage in social media drama.
  19. If you feel like you’re forcing it, leave it alone. Nothing forced is meant to work out.
  20. Choose friends who you can learn from and based off their character, not just who you can have a good time with. People only good for hanging out aren’t actually friends of yours.
  21. Learn what it actually means to “love yourself” then go love yourself.
  22. You don’t have to be strong all of the time. Asking for help doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re smart enough to know when things will work out better if you seek assistance.
  23. Be kind to yourself. We have the tendency to beat ourselves up.
  24. Don’t waste people’s time asking for advice that you never intend to follow.
  25. Take accountability.
  26. Don’t allow shyness to get in the way of having fun. Work on becoming a little more outgoing each day.
  27. Nothing changes if nothing changes. Make an effort.
  28. We were not given a spirit of fear. Don’t let fear of failure cripple you.
  29. If you want to try something, don’t give up on it because someone thinks its a bad idea. If you’ve thought it through, go for it; if you fail, its not the end of the world.
  30. Get used to double standards. They aren’t fair but it is what it is.
  31. Remember you were made with a purpose and God didn’t design you to fail.
  32. Spend more time with your parents.
  33. Distance yourself from negativity as much as you can. You do not have to deal with that.
  34. Try new things more often. We all need hobbies and could have hidden talents.
  35. Volunteer more.
  36. Its better to have peace and be wrong than cause conflict just for the sake of being right.
  37. Be on time.
  38. Let things go. Holding grudges hurts you. Ever heard that old saying “Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die” ? Yeah, don’t do that.
  39. Don’t be afraid to say ‘No’ if you want to.
  40. Procrastination can be deadly.
  41. If someone doesn’t like you, it doesn’t mean you did something wrong. We’re not meant to all like each other.
  42. Ask a lot of questions. You’ll learn more and won’t have to assume. People won’t think you’re as annoying as you might feel.
  43. Don’t run marathons for people who wouldn’t walk a mile for you.
  44. You’re going to get talked about. Ignore it.
  45. The actions of others can rub off on you so watch the company you keep.
  46. Sometimes you have to accept that you won’t get closure or any apologies. Don’t worry, the world will keep spinning and you will be fine.
  47. People aren’t mind readers. Communicate what you want and what you are feeling.
  48. Don’t be passive aggressive.
  49. If something doesn’t feel right, it isn’t.
  50. Ignoring red flags means you haven’t really learned your lesson. If you are wondering why you keep going through the same circumstances with different people, this is why.
  51. Travel.
  52. Try to spend your money on experiences rather than things. Memories last longer.
  53. Never call yourself stupid.
  54. If the people you trust are telling you someone isn’t right for you, listen. Everybody can’t be wrong.
  55. Don’t believe all the “love hurts” hype. Love isn’t supposed to hurt. Suffering is found nowhere in the definition of love.
  56. Yes, you will find someone else like “him.”
  57. Words matter, but actions tell you everything. This will never not be the case. Believe what they show you.
  58. You can miss someone from afar. Don’t hold on to people who aren’t good for you. You’ll get over it.
  59. Don’t take anybody’s sh*t.
  60. Just because someone is nice doesn’t mean you have to give them a chance. There are plenty of nice people in the world who you will like better and/or be more compatible with.
  61. Listen to your instincts.
  62. Snooping through other people’s things is never a good idea.
  63. Don’t be surprised if you end up working in a field you never imagined.
  64. You will lose and gain friends as you get older.
  65. Worrying is pointless. Its like walking around with an umbrella everyday waiting on it to rain. No point in stressing over what you can’t control.
  66. Life is going to get monotonous and sometimes you will feel stagnant.
  67. You’ll want revenge when people wrong you but you can’t get back at someone who doesn’t care. Let it go.
  68. Tell people you love them more often.
  69. Sometimes none of the choices you have aren’t good ones. Make the best choice you can and let God handle the rest.
  70. Cliche sayings like “be the energy you wish to attract” are true. Positive energy will attract more positive energy. Negativity is a repellent.
  71. Saying ‘thank you’ can go a long way.
  72. You can’t expect people to treat you well because you would do the same for them. Still be kind though.
  73. It’s better to just rip the band-aid off a difficult situation instead of pulling it off slowly. That hurts way more in the long run.
  74. If someone keeps doing something that bothers you, let them know.
  75. Don’t feel bad if you’re a little selfish from time to time.
  76. Every now and then you’re gonna take an L. You’ll bounce back.
  77. Pay all of your bills on time if you can.
  78. Pick your battles. Know when you need to stand up for yourself and what you can let slide.
  79. Talk to yourself how you would talk to a friend or family member. The voice inside our own heads can be cruel at times.
  80. Use your imagination more.
  81. Don’t be afraid to disagree and share your opinions.
  82. You can make all the plans in the world and the majority of them aren’t going to work out. Keep trying.
  83. Don’t let being tired stop you from living life.
  84. Take your health seriously.
  85. Become a good listener. You can learn a lot by figuring out what people mean beneath the surface of what they say.
  86. Having the last word is overrated.
  87. You can’t help someone who doesn’t want to be helped.
  88. People can only see things from their level of perception. Don’t waste your time explaining yourself to them, hoping they will understand you.
  89. If you feel anything but indifference towards a situation, you’re not over it.
  90. Don’t apologize if you don’t mean it. What can someone do with a meaningless apology, anyway?
  91. Laugh more often.
  92. Giving yourself pep talks in the mirror actually does help your self-esteem over time.
  93. Your mom is always right.
  94. Be surprised when life IS fair, instead of when it isn’t.
  95. Practice being a leader.
  96. Don’t chase things. There is a difference between pursuing something worthwhile and not knowing when to give up on a lost cause.
  97. Don’t hold on to things you don’t need.
  98. Try not to be so self-conscious over your body and looks. Love your flaws and focus more on your character.
  99. Prayer works.
  100. Toot your own horn sometimes. Don’t wait on others to give you the props and recognition you deserve.

The Crazy Ex Who Won’t Let Go

“Do you really want this to be over?” he asked. “Yes, I really do,” I said. “You don’t mean that,” and he continued to eat his cereal and flip through the TV channels. This was the exact conversation I had some years back with my ex as we sat in my apartment one lovely summer afternoon. I had always thought he was crazy, but this really put some fear into my heart. I sat on my couch and was truly perplexed. How am I going to get this man out of my apartment? For the next couple of weeks he acted like nothing was wrong. Eventually I got him out, and it wasn’t pretty. After it all went down, I left for a few days and returned to my apartment to find out that he had been lying in my bed, smelling my underwear, writing notes to me, and had scattered photos of us across the apartment. There were roses on the table and tension in the air. I ended up moving out of there, and the weeks that followed were filled with calls upon calls, 1,000 word Facebook messages and protection orders. This was an extreme case, but many of us have a story about the ex boyfriend/girlfriend that turned obsessive and would not leave you alone. Life seems to be pretty peaceful. You’re in a new relationship or happily doing your own thing, and then the Ghost of Boyfriends Past somehow finds a way to poke his head through the fence and starts haunting your life. Rarely do these people come back in over time. They come back full force, like they had never left. I have noticed that most people who won’t seem to let you live in peace are never too far away. These days there are too many ways to contact someone for them to truly disappear. Your family and friends have suggestions. “tumblr_nz285roxcy1qc5i9so1_500Block their number!” Tried that. “Delete them from your Facebook!” Tried that. In my experience, these are short term solutions. They always pop up with new numbers and social media pages just to get on your nerves. At times I feel like I am destined to be haunted by these couple of people who just won’t let go. If you have ever gone through anything like this, you know exactly what Destiny’s Child was singing about in “Bug-A-Boo.” Nothing is worse than running into this crazy person and having nowhere to hide. Seeing you face to face must trigger some strong feelings of nostalgia and will be all it takes for them to start trying to railroad you with texts and calls. I have noticed that old flames seem to be quite arrogant. They expect you to say that you have missed them too or that you think of them every now and then. Say that you don’t and they act like they don’t believe you. I don’t want to reminisce about how much my mom used to like you, I don’t want to remember the time you bought me that necklace, and no, I do not want you back. Just recently my sister group texted me, our mom and other sister because her ex (who is in Korea, mind you) called three different locations of her job looking for her. His logic? He missed her and that he knows she still has a little love left for him somewhere in her heart. They’ve been broken up for almost a year. I think that love ship has sailed.

So Why Can’t Some People Let Go?

While I am in the midst of being annoyed by someone, the main thing that I want to know is ‘why won’t you leave me alone?!’ These are people who have been out of my life for awhile, but if you are fresh out of a breakup and someone can’t seem to let go, try not to be so hard on them. Being broken up with is a grieving process and people handle grief differently. This isn’t to say that you have to hold their hand in getting over you, that’s counterproductive. Just establish boundaries. I don’t have the blueprint for how to do it, just make sure you aren’t giving them false hope. The best thing you can do for both parties is to make it clear that just because you can be amicable does not mean you are interested in working things out. I was never interested in being amicable with people after I had kicked them to the curb, and I made that known. Sadly, some people have no respect for your personal boundaries. They are doing whatever will make them feel better with no regard for your peace of mind. They could be fueled by sadness, regret, or spite. If they aren’t going to be happy, then neither are you. If they are feeling despair, they want you to know how deep their sadness lies. No one is going to take you back out of pity. Why would you want that anyway? Talk about damaged pride. Now if someone has been out of your life for a reasonable amount of time and suddenly here they come, they are bored. Many women have that “they always come back” attitude like they’ve got the juice other women don’t have. That really has nothing to do with it. An old flame or ex boyfriend 9c88c84d42861ae52b5c840e7d47991fthat decides he wants to shoot the breeze with you out of nowhere is not looking to sweep you off of your feet again. More than likely he has become newly single or his roster has hit a dry spell. Men like to come back to what is familiar. This isn’t a case of the struggling ex who cannot seem to let you go. I notice that many women get an ego boost out of the amount of men who attempt to come back into their lives. Don’t be flattered. He has probably contacted five other women he used to be involved with in the same week he was liking your Instagram picture. Women do it too. I see guys complain all the time about various women texting them “hey stranger” when they haven’t heard from these women in months. What do you want now all of a sudden? Our own arrogance likes to allow us to flatter ourselves into thinking we are these irresistible creatures that no one can stay away from for too long. Whether it is the ex calling you crying to Marvin’s Room or the old friend with benefits who is popping up, you’ve got to ask yourself, do you like the attention? Many people fake complain about being irritated by the constant stream of texts and calls they get but they fail to mention that they are the ones adding fuel to the fire.

Let’s Face It, You Like The Attention

It is okay to admit you like to feel wanted. The ego stroke feels nice. You’re not fooling anyone though. Most people give up on contacting you after awhile if they do not get a response. Unless you’re dealing with Glenn Close from Fatal Attraction, your hotline is not going to keep blinging with your suitors begging for an ounce of your attention. If you want peace, stop feeding into these people. Lovers from the past are like stray cats. Give them a bowl of milk one night because you feel bad for them and they will be scratching at your door every night. How are you going to call the cat thirsty just because every time it asks, you give it what it wants? You are an enabler. I have another ex who actually just sent me a friend request on Facebook while I was working on this post. This guy was after underwear sniffing ex (I had a pattern of attracting crazy people for awhile) and for the past four years, he has been texting/calling me from different numbers, running up on me at the club, trying to add me on social media, etc. For awhile, I used to respond to his texts. I thought he just couldn’t let me go. Now I know he is just an irrational human being. I haven’t responded to his messages for a very, very long time yet he won’t go away completely. That type of attention gets old very fast. Even though I still hgiphyear from him every now and then, once I stopped replying, the communication decreased significantly. Sometimes, people will pop back into your life and will genuinely just want to know how you’re doing. Should you respond and risk your phone getting blown up from that point into the near future? You can take the risk, but not everyone is in stalker mode. I think our egos can have us thinking that just because you get a text that says “hey, you crossed my mind when this song came on, just wanted to say hello,” that they want you back. Not always the case. People are capable of maturing and being genuine in their interactions. Don’t go text your best friend complaining to her about why you can’t figure out why these guys just won’t leave you alone. We have extreme cases like the ones I have mentioned and we have basic cases of if you keep giving a dog a bone, the dog will keep coming back for more bones. My sisters and I joke all the time about how “they” always end up coming back in some shape or form, but we are sensible enough to know the logic behind it. It really isn’t all that personal. Everyone gets a kick out of nostalgia, and sometimes we just want those old feelings back.

Lemonade, Lies & Cheating

Ashes to ashes,  dust to side chicks”     -Beyonce

It usually all starts with a lurk. When I found out the person I was in a relationship with was talking to other girls on Facebook, I didn’t have any burning suspicions about it. I also didn’t expect to not find anything, but you know what they say happens when you go looking for trouble. I surely did find it. It wasn’t anything horrible, but I did find it highly inappropriate. The thoughts that came with finding out your significant other has been entertaining others are typical of what most people probably think when this happens. Feelings of inadequacy; what did I do wrong or what did I not do altogether? Is it my looks, is she smarter than me? Funnier, maybe? I eventually let it go and we moved past it, but I never trusted him again. Whenever he would be on his phone laughing about something, my side eye game grew stronger. Now that Beyonce has released the masterpiece that is Lemonade, talks of infidelity have been stronger than ever. Whether the album is themed around Jay Z’s cheating or not, it has sparked some interesting conversation. Of course all relationships come with problems, but to get such an intimate view tumblr_o6as866jc31r4poono1_500into a relationship that many thought was unbreakable put a little fear into the hearts of couples everywhere. Looks like Hov and Bey aren’t the #Goals everyone thought them to be. So where does that leave us regular folk? If someone so beautiful, ridiculously talented and famous can get cheated on, are any of us safe? Our generation already has very low levels of trust in the opposite sex. Most people expect to be deceived, so when it happens they just shrug it off. Side chicks don’t hide anymore, and popular music constantly reminds us that no one is to be trusted. Despite my bad experiences, I have not allowed myself to become jaded to the concept of love and relationships. Not everyone has bad intentions, and when a person cheats, it usually is not because of the other person’s inadequacies. This was a very important lesson I have had to learn in my early 20’s. People aren’t against you, they’re just for themselves. That doesn’t mean you have to tolerate disrespect, but it will help you from blaming yourself in case you ever end up the victim of a cheater. If you’ve ever cheated, why did you do it? Were you not feeling fulfilled in your relationship or were you just fueled by lust? Is it worse when women cheat? Many men say that women cheating is worse due to the emotional aspect of it, as opposed to men who cheat out of excitement. Of course women cheat for physical reasons at times as well, and men are capable of forming emotional bonds while sampling other appetizers. So who cheats more often? FullSizeRenderIs it that men cheat more, or is that women just hide things better? We all know men are generally terrible liars. When it comes to the little details, they leave loose ends and that is usually how they get caught up. Women are much more methodical. We forget nothing, and because of our tendencies to overthink, if we’ve plotted a lie, there are probably about 10 backup lies to cover our bases. Kind of twisted isn’t it? A woman who is a good liar has probably been cheating for months, maybe even years before she gets caught. According to this site, women cheat just as much as men do. The reasons differ, but the rate is about the same. Since each sex gets stepped out on as much as the other, why do men have such a hard time bouncing back after they’ve been betrayed? They will forever have “trust issues” and be emotionally unavailable because their high school girlfriend cheated with his next door neighbor. I’ve heard plenty of theories regarding this. The most common one is that men love harder than women because they are more selective about who they choose to open up to. So you put yourself out there and got stepped on; I think its time to cry a river, build a bridge and get over it.

Why Did He Do This To Me?

The thing someone wants to know most of all when they’ve been betrayed is, “why.” I always thought this was intriguing because does it really matter why? If your boyfriend has been cheating on you, would the logic behind it help you sleep better at night? I think it would make you feel much worse to hear “I’ve been stepping out because you’re boring as f*ck and this is getting old.” Usually, cheating does not indicate a lack of love. It is more of a lack of respect and/or discipline. A relationship may be lacking fun, passion, sexual gratification, etc. or as Kanye said, someone may just be unable to stay faithful in a room full of hoes. Human beings are selfish by nature. The majority of our thoughts are motivated by ‘self.’ When I was 21 and in a relationship, from time to time I would text and flirt with other guys every now and then. I was bored, and I’ve since matured, but in the moment I wasn’t thinking about how my significant other would feel. I also didn’t like him any less just because I was exchanging heart eye emojis with other guys. I was just motivated by my own desires and failed to think how this would affect him if he were to find out. This is how cheaters operate. Unless you’re being petty antumblr_ndehti0ip61qgm5xfo1_500d seeking revenge, you turn off the loyalty switch in your mind. When Jay Z was out with Becky With The Good Hair, he wasn’t thinking about how beautiful, loyal and kind his wife and mother of his child is. The novelty of someone new is intoxicating to some people, and they’re willing to risk it all for a little excitement. For some people, they aren’t sure what counts as cheating and what doesn’t. Some people are ready to slash tires over liking Instagram pictures, others won’t see an issue until you’re meeting up and/or being physical. First of all, boundaries should be established in your relationship so you should know what’s inappropriate. Liking IG photos is extreme, but a good rule to go by is if you feel you need to hide it, you shouldn’t be doing it. No one can read minds and none of us have the power to control other people, so stressing yourself out over the where, when, why and how’s your love cheated on you will just frustrate you even more. Their bad decisions are not a reflection of you. It does not make it okay, but don’t lose sleep at night thinking that their infidelity is your fault. Loyalty is an expectation, but definitely not a guarantee.

Second Chances?

So they cheated, and you decided to stay. People love to judge those who forgive cheaters and take them back. This isn’t the first time there have been rumors of Jay not being faithful to Bey, yet she chooses to stick around and work on her family. It is easy for someone on the outside looking in to call another woman stupid or weak for not kicking a cheating man to the curb, but we don’t know the uniqueness of every situation. It really isn’t anyone’s business why you decide to forgive, but I do not think it is wise to just blindly forgive and forget without going deeper. I said above that the ‘why’ does not matter, but that is on a surface level. It is not as simple as she’s prettier or has a better body. People, men in particular, will cheat with a woman who looks like a gremlin. If it were based purely off attraction, no human being on Earth would be able to be monogamous. When my now ex-boyfriend was flirting on Facebook, I was too immature and inexperienced at the time to attempt to get a better understanding of his actions outside of “why are you talking to other girls?!” Looking back on it, I should have been more focused on where the lack of discipline was coming from. “I don’t know why, I just do it” is not an answer. It is an example of how some people are unable to communicate their motives, or they are not courageous enough to be honest. When this topic comes up,
tumblr_o6ax5w2v511tfbqd3o1_540I always think back to the scene in Baby Boy where Yvette is trying to get Jody to explain to her why he cheats. His attempt at honesty was futile, and he basically just told her to deal with it or kick rocks. If your significant other is unable or unwilling to be totally open and honest with you about their actions, I don’t think they are worthy of forgiveness. You have to be real with yourself in order to be real with others. Unless you lack relationship experience or life experience altogether, you have got to be mature and strong enough to hold people accountable for their actions. You can’t get mad at Becky With The Good Hair. She owes you no loyalty. The person who agreed to be exclusive with you is responsible. Who cares if she knew that was your man? All is fair in love and war. Things happen, and people sometimes do things they regret. At the end of the day, we’re all human. If you have cheated or are currently cheating, you’re not a horrible person. People make mistakes, but if you’re willing to take those risks, you have to be able to accept the consequences. If you are the person who is currently pulling the knife out of your back, only you can decide how you want to proceed. If you would rather put all his stuff in the box to the left, nothing is wrong with that. If you’re working it out, do it in a way that is most conducive to long-term success. Sweeping things under the rug because they gave you a weak “sorry, I won’t hurt you again” is like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. Once someone sees you let everything slide, they’ll start figure skating. If you are starting to get to second, third, and fourth chances, it is probably time to accept that this person is incapable of being the partner you deserve. You can forgive from a distance and move on with your life. The beautiful thing about life is that you are in control of it. If you want to reconcile, reconcile. Don’t let the opinions of your friends and family get in the way of what you believe is your happiness. Just also be willing to accept responsibility for the downfall if things do not work out the way you had hoped. Trust your instincts and stand your ground. It will work in your favor every time.

It Doesn’t Cost $200 To Date Me

“Chicken wings and fries, we don’t go on dates” -Future

If you are familiar with Twitter, at some point you have surely seen the debate on the $200 date. I have no idea where the notion that a proper date is at least $200 originated from, but apparently if you can’t afford to take a woman on a $200 date you’re broke, and if a man has never dropped that much money on you during a date, you aren’t worth the investment. During my time on Twitter, I have never seen the logic behind this dollar amount, but I have deduced that a fancy dinner and drinks at a commendable restaurant adds up to about this much. Dating is not just a black and white process, so you cannot realistically place a dollar value on a date. It will all depend on the area you live in and what you choose to do. With house dates becoming so popular, I have been amazed that this is even a topic of discussion since so many women are content with Netflix and Chill. I have been on cheap dates where wtumblr_nl27yzhfpq1spnc0yo1_500e have done simple things such as go-karts and grabbing a bite and had an amazing time. I’ve been on fancy dinners where even the taste of a $50 steak couldn’t stop me from being bored to tears over how dull he was. An expensive dinner can’t make up for a lack of chemistry, so I cut ties and decided not to talk to this person again. Go Kart guy and I went on to have more fun together and he spent much less than $200. So how do we find the happy medium between $200 dates and Netflix and Chill? Does a man see you as less valuable if he invites you over to his house instead of the Metropolitan Grill? I would say no. At the end of the day its a tactic to get into your pants, some just put more effort into it than others. Of course as a man gets to know you and likes your personality he will want more than sex, but we can be realistic and accept the fact that men are creatures of conquest. Does it cost $200 to date me? Absolutely not. Will I go over to your house to eat Pizza Hut and watch reruns of House of Cards? There is a better chance of it snowing in hell. With that being said, lets break down the cost of what I feel is a reasonable date.

A Date With Me

First things first, I enjoy food. Going to dinner is a great chance to have a conversation with a person. You can obtain information that is important to you, like their occupation, how they treat the server, etc. It doesn’t have to be a 5 star seafood restaurant, but I’m also not going to Popeye’s. Let’s say we end up at The Cheesecake Factory. The food is pretty good, not too expensive, and it is close to where our next activity will take place. I place my order, he places his:

  • 2 beverages – $20
  • 2 entrees – Pasta for me, ribs for him – $48
  • 1 slice of cheesecake – $8
  • Tip – $15

Total for dinner = $91

We both enjoy live music, and not too far away there is an outdoor concert. The only cost is a small donation for whatever charitable cause they are performing for. I throw in my own $5, he puts in $5. Boom. There is a date for under $200. For $96, I have enjoyed great conversation, had a good dinner and an activity was included that barely cost any extra money. All it takes to have a great date is some creativity and effort. The dinner scenario was just an example. There are plenty of things two people can do together than can cost a
lot less than a $96 dinner. Dinner and movie dates may be cliche, but it is important to choose something that allows you to see how a person is when they are out of the comfort of their own home. If a man wants to take you to see a Broadway show and follow it up
tumblr_ng2fr8cycl1su7a71o1_500with lobster tails, there is nothing wrong with that. If instead he suggests something that involves barely $5, like a hike followed up with a stop at the frozen yogurt shop, the important part is that someone is willing to put in the effort to create a bonding experience with you. If you like someone, how can you truly get to know them if you don’t ever do anything but sit in their house and watch movies? You’ll end up moving too fast and everything will fizzle out before it even gets a chance to get started. Don’t sell yourself short. I have seen tweets that say things like “girls expect $200 dates but aren’t even worth Burger King.” Whether you agree with the concept of a $200 date or not, every woman is worth being shown effort. Don’t fall into the Twitter propaganda of settling for McDonald’s and Redbox because you’ve been made to feel bad for expecting a real date.

Why Don’t Men Want To Date?

To be real, I can see why a lot of men these days are unwilling or skeptical to take women out on dates. Why would you fill your car up with gas, put on nice clothes, pick her up, pay for a dinner, then have no guarantee of a reward at the end when you could call over 1 of many options who would drive to your house, have drinks, maybe even bring you food, then give you a happy ending? That’s like going to Pizza Hut to pick up your pizza when instead you could have all the goods delivered right to your door. Men are winning nowadays. So many women are so thirsty for attention they will accept house dates when they know they want to be taken out and treated like the queen that they are. In a nutshell, men have been spoiled. For arguments sake, lets say Brian has met two women this week. Cassie is smart, pretty and seems to have standards. Nina seems to be a lot of fun, looks average, but they seem to get along pretty well. He currently has Adriana on the back-burner for when none of his more appealing options seem to be cooperating. It’s Friday night, and Brian is bored. What better to do than to call up one of these new ladies he has had his eye on? Cassie is busy, he doesn’t feel like dealing witdateh the complaints of Adriana tonight, so he calls up Nina. She is excited to hear from him, and suggests that they check out a happy hour near her place and maybe catch a movie. Brian does the math in his head. Drive to her area, pay for the movies, happy hour and movie snacks. He thinks “I just met her, do I really want to be spending money on someone I might not even like after its over? Nope!” Brian does what these new age savvy guys do and says “I’m pretty tired from work, but I’ve been wanting to see you. You should come to my place and watch (insert popular show) you said that you liked and we can have drinks here. I can pick up the Crown Apple you said you liked.” In the mind of a girl desperate for attention, this doesn’t seem like a bad trade off. She agrees, and Brian has just gotten everything that he wanted and all he had to do was stay on the phone for 90 seconds. Nina begins to like Brian and he thinks she’s cool to keep around, but he now knows that she will lower her standards for sweet talk, so from here on out all she gets is house dates and cold Crown Royal Apple. Soon, Brian will meet someone who won’t settle for cold pizza, and Nina will be pushed out the door. Men respect standards. The good thing is that there are still plenty of men willing to date. Just don’t be surprised if they try you with the basic chick act first. If I was a man, I probably would. If Future is telling me you can still get what you want by giving women chicken wings and fries, I’m gonna offer you chicken wings and fries.

Men-Get Creative!

Some men are intimidated with the art of dating because of the monetary importance that is placed upon it. If you are in college and you are being asked out, it is silly to expect a young college student to have fancy date money. If you are talking to a man who has a moderate income, don’t offend him by turning your nose up at his suggestion of doing something that doesn’t cost a lot. As I’ve said previously, the most important thing is that a person is puttingnf and cill in effort. That doesn’t mean you are expected to pay for your own meal on the first date, but keep things in perspective. Is he making time for you and showing interest? During the date, did he pay attention to the little things like opening your doors and making sure you got home safely? If you’re dating someone just to see how deep their pockets go, you have a totally different objective. The point should be to create a bonding experience with someone to see how compatible you may be. If you have no idea how to date on a budget, check out Pinterest. You can find plenty of cheap date ideas on there. Picnics, hikes, paint nights, carnivals/fairs, there are plenty of things you can do that will not make you go broke.There really is no excuse for accepting little to no effort from the person you are interested in. Dating is an investment of your time and energy. If you spend your time and energy sewing seeds of nothingness, you are going to get nothing in return. Realistically, dating costs money. If you are involved with a man who doesn’t even have the money to take you to see The Revenant, he clearly can’t afford to date. Men may ask you to come over and chill because it’s easy, but it also may be because they are struggling financially. This is when you have to start analyzing behavior. Sure, the funds may be low, but this is when you have the opportunity to get creative. If someone is really interested in you, time, money, or Donald Trump’s Mexican Wall can’t keep them away. Your company is priceless, so don’t be afraid to make your expectations known. If they flake on you or make you feel bad for having standards, they are simply not the person for you. No, you will not cook for him. No, you will not check out his favorite show on Hulu, but yes you will accept his offer to treat you like the queen that you are. Fellas, you can date on a budget! Don’t be discouraged. Is there a special lady you’ve had your eye on but student loans or a low paying job is holding you back? Here is your answer:

The Trendy Picnic

I am not the only woman who loves to eat. When a woman gets asked out, her mind usually has visions of sitting down at a restaurant. Well, you might not have restaurant money. Plan a picnic! Here is how to look like you’ve gone all out without having to make a payment arrangement with AT&T next week.

date idea

  • Step 1: Check the weather and choose a location that you know won’t be overly crowded. Try to have a nice view. You’ll be able to converse and enjoy your food without distractions. Don’t forget a nice blanket and appropriate utensils. Borrow it all from your mom.
    • Cost – $0
  • Step 2: Figure out what she likes to eat. You don’t have to eat turkey sandwiches just because its a picnic. You don’t even have to know how to cook. Go to Costco and pick up a small meat platter, pasta salad, fruit, cheeses, something to drink and a few chocolates.
    • Cost – ~approx $30, maybe less
  • Step 3: Bring music to set a nice mood. Bring a game you both likes, like dominoes, cards, etc. One great way to gain insight to a person without feeling weird is to bring The Book of Questions. It’s very engaging and interesting. You can order it on Amazon. You still get to eat, enjoy her company, and learn about each other.
    • Cost – $8.95 for the book

Total for your date: approximately $38.95

Not only did you just do the smart thing by not putting yourself in a tough spot by shelling out money you don’t have, I can guarantee that you have impressed this woman. You didn’t take her back to the same old place she’s been 100 times, you stepped outside of the box. This has shown that you know how to plan, be creative, and engage a person without feeling inadequate because you are not making six figures.

 

Death To Trust Issues

Let me guess… You have trust issues. You have been done wrong, lied to, taken advantage of, manipulated, cheated on or all of the above. Welcome to life. It always amuses me when I read or hear people say “you can’t trust anyone nowadays.” Maybe I have been living in the twilight zone but was there ever a time where people didn’t deceive other people? Cain killed his own brother and they were supposedly the first family on earth. Jesus was snitched on by one of his own disciples for a few pieces of silver. Bill cheated on Hillary in the White House, right under her nose. Times may change, but people sure don’t. Trust is extremely fragile. Once it is broken, oftentimes it is irreparable. One lie can make you question everything. Before someone is traumatized from the side effects of dealing with a liar, he/she generally gives most people a general level of trust until they have reason to revoke it. Once they’ve had some life experience and have been burned a few times, some people develop serious trust issues as a defense mechanism. They can’t hurt you if you don’t let them in, right? With popular culture co-signing the anti-trust movement (Dratumblr_inline_o1quutbge21t144kg_500ke-“Trust Issues” Future “If Young Metro Don’t Trust You…”) it seems logical to keep your heart locked up with no key to open it in existence. With this type of mindset, are you protecting yourself or are you really just hurting and limiting yourself? One day I had to wake up and smell the Starbucks; people are not out to get me. The times I felt like I was made a fool of, it wasn’t necessarily personal. People are inherently selfish. Their actions aren’t motivated by you. That guy who was dating my friend behind my back when I was 17 didn’t have a secret vendetta mission to break my high school heart. He was fueled by his own desires. Was it wrong for him to do me like that? Of course it was. We should all be honest regarding our intentions and upfront about our actions, but we don’t live on planet Morals and Kindness. This world is brutal. The funny thing is that many people I talk to don’t have issues with trust because of what they’ve been through, but because of what they witness. Guy friends tell me all the time how many women in relationships they’ve slept with. Not very reassuring if you’re still on the market, hoping for someone trustworthy. I have men in relationships try to take me on dates all the time. Why anyone would entertain someone who is blatantly disloyal is beyond me, but that’s neither here nor there. What I find especially sad is that the expectation is to get played. So many of us meet someone new and because things are going well, we just wait for the other shoe to droWait For Him To Lie Memep. Jenny meets Bob and so far he meets everything on her checklist. Handsome, ambitious, great sense of humor, all that good stuff. Jenny thinks to herself, “something is wrong with him, I know it.” Jenny then finds out Bob has 3 kids he failed to mention and still lives at home with them and their mother. After awhile you have to ask yourself if you’re just having bad luck or if you’re failing to do your research on these people you so quickly become smitten with. Time to take some accountability!

Know Yourself

We are all our own worst enemies and biggest critics. I believe most people have trust issues because it is themselves they don’t trust. They don’t trust their own instincts or their taste in people. If you close yourself up because you have been scorned in the past, its because you are too afraid to take your chances again. Fear hinders growth. Instead of feeling the sharp sting of betrayal again, you would rather scroll through your timeline and wonder how all those other happy couples are making it work. The cute guy at work keeps asking you out, but he wears the same Gucci cologne that the last guy who hurt you wore, so he must be a creep too. Simply jaded by fear. Once you realize that no one can hurt you without your permission, you can possibly begin to open yourself up again without walking on eggshells around someone new. Trust doesn’t always have to do with betrayal and infidelity. Can you trust someone with your feelings overall? What can be equally as hurtful as cheating is dealing with someone who disregards your feelings and can’t keep your business private. Have you ever felt like you could trust someone with your private thoughts and then they throw them in your face later on? Or even worse, in my opinion, is when you try to communicate your issues with a person and they brush you off with no interest or acknowledgement. This is a violation of trust that not many people take note of. Being able to trust someone with what is on your mind is essential to any relationship. One of the most important components of happiness is removing toxic people from your life. Trusting your instincts is key, but betrayal is tricky. Sometimes you never see it coming. While Caesar was in the midst of getting stabbed to death, imagine his surprise to see Brutus grab a knife too. I’ve had friends stab me in the back, but did I decide I was never going to make friends again? I would have been the one lonely while everyone else was busy making memories. My life would have become some bitter Facebook meme about “trust no b*tch.” The internet has made it seem like everyone is out to get you. It spreads fear like ratchets spread rumors. Stop relying on memes made by some salty chick in a basement to give you guidance on your own life. Most of us are a lot more resilient and capable than we give ourselves credit for. If your bullsh*t detector starts going off, listen to it! There is no way you would have made it this far in life not being able to trust your own instincts. tumblr_m1m2bkmtnj1qfdwsio1_500There are levels to trust, and new people in my life are given just enough for me to feel comfortable that you won’t go fatal attraction on me once you find out where I live. As the friendship grows, I become more open as you continue to prove yourself trustworthy. If you’re paying attention and keeping your wits about you, a person’s true interior will start to show sooner than later. Is there anyone (aside from my lovely mother and sisters) that I trust 100%? Absolutely not! I put nothing past no one. However, trust can only be broken to the point where you allowed someone to reach. Only allow people as much privilege into your life as they deserve. Your boyfriend couldn’t have had 25 chances to cheat on you if you had picked up his signs of disloyalty early on. Your so-called “friends” tell all of your business because you divulge private information to any woman who shares your love for Sephora. No one likes to be made a fool of, but don’t let fear stop you from forming relationships with people. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where you never know a person’s true intentions, but you can prepare yourself and use your common sense. People will screw you over, but life must continue to go on. Death to trust issues!

Does Social Media Ruin Relationships?

 

“It goes down in the DM’s”

You’re addicted to your smart phone. I don’t blame you, because phones aren’t really phones anymore. They’re handheld computers that allow you to make voice calls when you can’t text, email, or FaceTime the person you’re trying to reach. They’re a crutch for when you don’t want to be bothered or don’t want to interact with people. It is a safety net you use when you’re surrounded by an unfamiliar crowd. Bored? Open up YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Tumblr, Instagram, Periscope, Buzzfeed, or the latest game you’ve downloaded and immerse yourself. Forgetdmting your phone at home all day is a torture you would wish upon no one. Forgetting your charger leaves you in a slight state of panic all day. You better turn that brightness all the way down, close out every single app and keep all unnecessary usage to a minimum. Dropped it in the toilet? I bet you’re running to the nearest store to buy all the rice you can find. I hope you didn’t forget to pay your bill and now you’re shut off, because you’re not gonna be able to respond to the 2 text messages you received until your service has been restored. Your phone is not only your best friend, it is your lifeline and you can’t imagine what you would do without it. Not only are you provided with endless entertainment and up to date news at your leisure, you are also exposed to numerous platforms to interact with people whom you find interesting. Who needs Match.com when you have Twitter? Who needs BlackPeopleMeet.com when you have Tinder? Most social networking sites are free. There is no need for dating questionnaires or paying a monthly subscription fee. Your profile on the social media sites you engage in doubly serves as a dating platform, whether you want it to or not. Sure, you’re at family dinner but you just got a new match on Tinder and the chit-chat about your sister’s promotion can wait 90 seconds until you’ve responded to this new slice of opportunity that found his way into your inbox. You’re hooked and hopelessly attached to the internet. 

 

Charged Up

The ironic part about social media is that while the premise was to connect people, it actually disconnects us from those close to us. Go to a restaurant and notice how many couples and family members sit at a table together, but are actually absent because they are too distracted by their phones. We often don’t think about how being so engrossed in technology can affect our familial relationships in addition to our romantic ones. When I’m with family, at times I notice how while we are all sitting tumblr_o4er2qmppa1rpr5lvo1_500in the same room, we aren’t spending time together. Two people are on their phones, the others are watching TV, someone is on the laptop and the kids are on tablets. Rewind 20 years to when I was a kid and I was outside climbing trees, riding bikes and playing made up games with my sisters. My parents did not allow us to sit in the house all day, eyes glued to a television. How do we disconnect our kids when they use the same technology at school? With the direction the world is going in, I doubt anyone knows the answer to that question. Fortunately, my family is so close that we are never too far away from each other, mentally or physically. For a family that is not so close, I can’t imagine how weak the bonds must be with phones building up even bigger walls. Am I the only one who is afraid at how minimal human interaction will become as technology continues to advance? It really has gotten so ridiculous that I will be carrying dual conversations with the same person on two different apps. Weird, I know. You can’t use the excuse of calling someone and never getting a call back because if it is truly urgent, you not only will call but you can choose to Facebook Message, Tweet, email or do anything short of sending out a smoke signal. There are literally no excuses these days. With all these modes of communication, how has this damaged our romantic relationships?

“It’s Just Twitter”

Does social media ruin relationships? Do guns kill people, or do people kill people? Instagram didn’t ruin your relationship. Your cheating boyfriend did. It’s not Twitter’s fault that your girlfriend responds to every man that slides into her DMs. If social networks sabotage healthy relationships, why were people breaking up in the 90s? The only influence social media has had on modern relationships is that now a person has more avenues to cheat if that’s what they want to do. Everyday we are exposed to attractive people online who seem intriguing in some way. You don’t even have to leave your house to meet someone new. Once you hit the add or follow button, you can tune in all day. We have evolved, folks. Gone are the days when you can only talk to your side piece at work or late at night. Nowadays, you can be lying in bed with bae while he’s Snapchatting Becky. That’s scary. On the flip side of that, it is also much easier to get caught up. How did women back in the day find out their man was living foul? The classic lipstick on the collar or phone number was found crumpled in his pocket. If the lady was really bold, she would call your house phone. Scorned side pieces don’t have to resort to that anymore. Screenshots have solved that problem. Cheating aside, lets address pure speculation. If you’re caught flirting on the timeline or if some suspicious person keeps leaving heart eyes under your significant others photos, what is our classic response? “It’s just ____ (Twitter, FB, IG, etc).” mjI’ve said that several times. Sure, I saw those people as harmless, but the person I was involved with clearly didn’t. Why are we so insecure when it comes to our significant others online interactions? I think it has to do with having to visually see our romantic interests flirt with other people. When they’re not with you, you don’t know who they are interacting with, so it can’t really hurt much. For an insecure person, refreshing their timeline and seeing 15 tweets between you and Mr. Random could ignite some fury. Be aware, there is a huge difference between setting boundaries for your relationship and dealing with a person who can’t control their jealousy. I remember years ago when I first made my Twitter; I had absolutely no idea what I was doing so I was barely on it. My boyfriend at the time found out and acted as if I had signed up to be an escort on Backpage. Serious red flag.If you’re dealing with an insecure person, they will always find a way to let their issues shine through. You can’t hide your true colors for long. It will spill over from trivial matters on Facebook to who you’re texting, where you’re going, and is your Pizza Hut contact really for pizza or is it actually Betty. 

Addicted to Attention

While I do think it’s absurd to blame social media alone for ruining relationships, it does indeed play a part. It is apart of most of our daily lives so of course it would have an influence. Some people are so addicted to their online personas that they do not feel validated unless they have strangers telling them how good they look or co-signing their opinions. This reeks of insecurity. You can never love these types of people enough or give them enough reassurance to make them feel good about thtumblr_nzicgzchdl1u6b5qdo1_500emselves. This type of insecurity just leads to the jealous behavior that I spoke of above. I don’t think we realize how damaging it can be to depend on the internet to reaffirm the way we feel about ourselves. Not only is this sad, it is very annoying to be around. I’ve met men who are so caught up in their timelines, snapchat, and Instagram that I felt like I was basically hanging out with myself. Every 5 minutes he was making snapchat videos. That was followed be a selfie. In between, his phone was constantly going off. All the while I’m thinking to myself, for someone to be so social, he sure is acting anti-social. When you are getting to know someoneyese new, put your online interactions on hold. Not everything you think needs to be composed into a tweet. The vast majority of us are not Maya Angelou where our thoughts are so profound they must be immediately documented. The more you get to know someone, the easier it will be to tell if they are just the typical, engaged person, or if they are using social networks to boost themselves up. All you can do is take your time to peel back the potential layers of the person you are getting to know. Maybe the constant need for attention won’t bother you. Just be aware that a person who is an attention whore will most likely become your headache before it is all said and done.