All Articles Tagged "advice"

Changes You Should Make During The Summer

May 27th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Summer sun puts everyone in a good mood. And that’s why it’s a great time to make changes in your life. From doing the big chop to working on a raise at work, summertime is a great time to take on a new project.

But what projects should you tackle? Some self-improvement work is perfect for the warm weather and long days that the upcoming summer season has to offer. Plus, we’ve tracked down a few of the great sales and opportunities that will help you not only make summer changes but try new things at an affordable price.

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

Image Source: Shutterstock.com

The Big Chop

There’s no better time than during warm weather to fully appreciate the benefits of not having any hair on your neck

How Not To Obsess Over A New Guy

May 26th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shuttersotck

Image Source: Shuttersotck

It happens all the time: you meet a guy and right away you’re kind of sure he’s something special. You think about him at work, after work, on the ride home — pretty much all the time. But you haven’t actually spent any time with him.

And that’s not always a good thing. Before you let a guy monopolize your thoughts, it’s better to make sure he’s worth it first.

When you build a guy up in your mind, it can stop you from seeing the real him. Sometimes it’s better to put a new guy on the back burner until his actions prove that he’s worthy. A little skepticism can go a long way toward protecting your heart before you’re too invested (or texting him back to back).

Sound easier said than actually done? Here’s how not to obsess over a new guy until he proves he’s worth it.

Dating Lies That Are Tempting To Believe

May 12th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Corbis Images

Corbis Images

We’ve all ended a relationship (or two) saying to ourselves, “Really, what was I thinking?” When it’s over and the feelings of love (or serious “like”) are gone, sometimes you feel like a completely different person. It’s because when we fall in love, we immediately put our rose-colored glasses on. They help us see the best in our partners. They aid us in seeing them in the best light — even when it’s clear that they are shrouded in dark negativity.

And sometimes we even lead ourselves astray before things get serious. Yes, it is true. Love can be complicated. This is especially true when we have trouble seeing the truth behind the following dating lies it’s always so tempting to believe.

Have you ever convinced yourself that these dating lies are true when you were hoping to make a lasting connection? Or do you believe some of them still are? Whether you disagree, have a story to tell, or want to add a few more dating lies that we’ve missed, we want to hear your story in the comment section.

How To Travel With Friends With Zero Drama

May 10th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Shutterstock

Shutterstock

We all love to travel, and the more friends and loved ones you can take with you, the better. When you find a good group of travel companions, the world opens up to fill your passport with stamps. But how do you go about finding good partners to see the world with?

We’ve all heard horror stories of friends who started out flying the friendly skies but came home swearing they would never travel together again due to misunderstandings. They do say that you never really know someone until you travel with them. But there are ways to keep that from necessarily being a bad thing.

How do you keep conflict off of your travel itinerary? Plan, plan, plan. Get everything cleared with your girlfriends before the visas are ordered, the passports are out and the plane takes off and you’ll minimize the chance that you’ll have any drama by the time the trip is done.

Simple Rules To Follow To Make Your Dating Life Sucker-Free

May 6th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Corbis

Corbis

Every woman goes through a rough patch in her dating life. For a while — sometimes right before you meet Mr. Right — it feels like you date nothing but Mr. Not Rights, one right after the other. And if you meet enough of them, it can shake your faith that the right man can and will come along.

But sometimes, what’s keeping us all from Mr. Right is wasting time with Mr. Just Can’t Get It Together. In order to move on to the possible love of your life, sometimes you have to lay down some rules for yourself.

It’s in our nature to give a man second chances (and thirds and fourths). But if you’re going to clear the bench to get to your star player, it is time to loser proof your love life to find the man you really want.

Fake It ‘Til You Make It: Surprising Reasons You Should Smile More

May 5th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

We all have something we’d like to say to the next man who harasses us on the street by asking us to “smile.” But while more men should learn to mind their own business, smiling more is actually good for you. In fact, smiling has a surprising power and effect on you.

From reversing the symptoms of depression to putting you in a better place for a promotion, and even the possibility of making you live longer, smiling more can actually change your life. The best part? You don’t even have to mean it for it to work. Just practice smiling more and you could turn your day and even your entire year around.

Have you tried these smiling techniques? If cracking a smile during a hard day at work improved it in ways that surprised you, we’d love to hear about it. Drop us a line in the comment section.

Six Steps To Help A Ratchet, Or How To Deal With A Friend Who Loves Drama

May 4th, 2016 - By Patia Braithwaite
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Chances are, if you’re reading this, you have a ratchet friend in your life. Don’t feel bad, we all do. I bet you can think of that friend right now: the one who finds new and exciting ways to make his or her life as stressful as possible. The one who says she (or he) should be on a reality show, and you know they mean Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta. In my mind, ‘ratchetness’ has less to do with implications of etiquette/appropriateness, and more to do with the ability one has to relish in needlessly stressful situations. Whether it’s work-related drama or relationship problems, we all have that friend who seems addicted to drama.  In fact, most of us have been that friend at least once or twice in our lives.

What’s that you say? Not you? Just me? It’s cool. I’ll own it.

Whether you define ‘ratchetness’ as a set of isolated practices or a consistent state of mind, we can all use some tips for communicating with our strong-willed friends. These steps can help us:

Stop calling your ratchet friend a ratchet (remove judgement):  NYC relationship coach, Trenia Parham, encourages us to “…focus on the other person’s humanity, instead of reducing them to a flaw or mistake they’ve made. People are whole, flawed, complex beings. Both saint and sinner.”  While you may not call your friend a ratchet to her face, if you’re already judging your friend, then real communication is impossible. Just like we can tell when someone is silently undermining us, you can’t support someone you don’t respect.

Check yourself (assess your intentions): “I think the way we communicate with friends that are full of drama is more about [us] than about them,” Parham said. To that end, we have to ask ourselves how WE are gratified by constantly being the go-to friend. Does it make us feel needed? Smart? Loved? Important? Parham goes on to say that our friends don’t need our advice as much as we think they do. “[Your friend] has as much agency to be as  ‘ratchet’ as she wants to be, but now you have to decide if that’s something you want to be around, and that makes you responsible for your part.”

Talk less; listen better (listen actively): Active listening is defined as a way of communication that promotes mutual understanding.  What does that mean in real time? Parham offers us grounded examples. “Stop formulating responses in your head while the other person is talking. Put down your phone or thoughts about what you have to do when the conversation is over, and focus on the person sitting across from you. Does your friend need a friend to listen to or a therapist? As a friend, stop trying to fix it, that’s not your place.” It’s when we open our hearts and practice listening WHILE being empathetic,  and sometimes all a person needs is space to vent. I truly believe everyone has wisdom and knows what’s right for them. And when a person has a safe space to talk things through, they can generally find the answers they’ve been looking for.

Step 4. Keep it real (practice compassionate honesty):  One of the biggest pieces of advice Parham gives is to refrain from offering unsolicited advice. At the beginning of the conversation (or at the end of the rant), ask if they’re open to hearing your take on the matter. “If they want your opinion, offer it with honesty, but don’t wield the truth like a weapon,” Parham said. “Hearing something you may not want to hear is hard enough without someone delivering the truth without tact. Make the decision to be supportive regardless of if they want to do things your way.” At every turn, we have to let go of our own agenda for our friends. There is a chance that you will give an epic pep talk full of great advice, and most of it will go unfollowed. As friends, we have to learn to be supportive without being attached to the outcome.

Know when to end the conversation (set boundaries): Many folks (ratchet or otherwise) live their lives in circles. They keep dating the same guy; they keep having the same fight with their boss, and while they pretend to want your advice they really just want to keep venting. Though we think that being a good friend means we have to listen every single time, Parham believes that having healthy relationships means setting our own boundaries. “Be honest. If they keep getting cheated on by the same dude and aren’t willing to leave the relationship, tell them you don’t want to talk about it anymore if she’s not ready to do something about it.”  I know, from personal experience, when I listen against my will, I’m more likely to gossip out of frustration. That’s not helpful to anyone involved.

University educator and creator of the brilliant #lemonadesyllabus, Candace Marie Benbow recently Instragramed herself wearing a shirt that said, “Ratchetness as praxis.”  I love the shirt because, though the word has different meanings in different circles/contexts, it hints at a truth: There isn’t ONE acceptable and credible way of existing in the world. ‘Ratchetness,’ for all its negative implications, is beautifully unapologetic. To that end, the only real advice one needs, when thinking about how to support our headstrong homies, is to take five giant steps back and trust that they have it under control. We can call this minding our own business, or we can, as Parham encourages, call it an attempt to “stop looking at people like they’re broken. When you see your friend going through a hard time, think about how you would want someone to treat you in your messiest moments.”

And that, in a nutshell, is how we can help a ratchet (and ourselves).

Patia Braithwaite is a New York City-based writer who is probably somewhere being ratchet right now (whatever that means). You can find out more about her relationship and travel exploits at www.menmyselfandgod.com. She also tweets and Instagrams when the mood strikes her: @pdotbrathw8

Everything You Have To Give Up To Move Forward

April 14th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Sometimes when you’re stuck in a rut, it seems like no matter what you do you just keep spinning your wheels. Lord knows you want to move on. And you’ve talked about it, tried it, but another year has gone by, and your goals seem like they’re just as far away as ever.

The trouble could be that even though you’re pushing forward, parts of your life are holding you back. If you want to really move on and live the life you’ve dreamed of, you have to let go of a few anchors first. From toxic friends to self-doubt, there are some weights that are too heavy to move forward with.

We don’t always know about all of the luggage we’re carrying. But once you spot it, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can move forward when you get rid of it. Life can be a struggle, but sometimes it’s as easy as opening up your fingers and letting go.

Times Men Deserve The “Crazy” Label They Try To Put On Us

April 8th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Calling women crazy for having complex emotions is the go-to move for some men. Their ex-girlfriend was crazy, their sister acts crazy, their co-workers are crazy, and they’re “hoping you won’t be crazy too.”

But for the men who think that everything women do is crazy, we wonder if they’ve ever looked at their own behavior and realized they act a fool from time to time, too. Men only think their behavior is normal because no one is every calling them out for their shenanigans all the time.

But today we’re turning the tables and calling out all of the things men do that could earn them the “crazy” label if we were petty enough to throw it around every time things didn’t go exactly our way.

And if we’ve missed anything on your list of male pet peeves — the kooky things that he does but doesn’t realize deserve a label too — feel free to leave it in the comment section.

What Happened To These Couples Who Said “I Do” When They Meant “I Don’t”?

March 24th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Serious question: Would you say “Yes” if you didn’t really mean it? Not every proposal happens with “Dangerously in Love” playing in the background. But what happens when you walk down the aisle despite the chill coming from your your cold feet?

Recently, the folks over at Reddit asked their married readers what took place when they decided to get married even though they had serious doubts about their relationship and wanted to ditch it. And not just any doubts, but “We should have broken up ages ago” or “I was going to say it’s over but wound up pregnant” doubts.

It sounds like a recipe for immediate disaster. But wait until you read these surprising stories. We were shocked at some of the outcomes. And after you read them, let us know: Is it ever a good idea to walk down the aisle if you’re having cold feet? Let us know how you feel about saying “I do” if a person is really feeling more like “I don’t.”