All Articles Tagged "drama"

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

Things You Shouldn’t Put Up With In A Relationship

March 23rd, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

Relationships are full of ups and downs. Even after you fall in love, you’re going to find things you don’t like about each other, things you have to learn to live with and things that make you roll your eyes at romance altogether. Not everything in a relationship has to be a dealbreaker if you’re in it for the long term.

But certain relationship drama is more than antics: It’s a sign that his feelings don’t run very deep — or that he’s not mature enough to handle them. When you see these warning signs, it pays to pay attention to the red flags. You don’t always have to burn, but you should know that you deserve better. And to find it, you may need to look somewhere else.

Have you learned about any other relationship warning signs the hard way? Don’t leave us hanging. Clue us in via the comment section.

“Who?” Celebrities Who Don’t Know Each Other Anymore

February 17th, 2016 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Tumblr

Image Source: Tumblr

There are lots of ways to respond to shade. You can get mad and mumble behind someone’s back, temporarily lose it and take them all the way to school, or try to be the better person and let it go. (And then get mad all over again at 3 a.m. when it’s too late to deliver the perfect comeback you just thought up).

But when you’re famous, a touch of amnesia can be the best way to rise above the drama. These celebrities heard some shady tea about themselves and said they can’t participate in the gossip for one simple reason: because they do not know who their hater is.

Is this a move you can’t wait to try the next time something shady comes right out of left field? Or is this a petty way to deal with peer conflict? As usual, let us know what you think or who you’ve given the “Who?” treatment in the comment section!

Rumored Behind-The-Scenes Drama On Some Of Your Favorite Shows

October 12th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

What happens once the cameras turn off? Check out the juicy behind-the-scenes drama going on with some of your favorite shows.

The Separated Man: Is It Okay To Date A Guy Still In The Process Of Divorce?

September 23rd, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Corbis

Corbis

Relationships have become extremely complicated nowadays, and they really shouldn’t be. People are marrying less, divorcing more and settling for effortless no-strings-attached situations. I am not married, nor have I ever been married, and as unconventional of a person as I may think I am, there are some things that I still find sacred. Things such as marriage, dating and the value of family. I’m old-fashioned when it comes to courtships, and even more traditional when it comes to marriage. I want a union that is highly valued and sacred to both myself and my husband. I want to walk into a lifetime commitment with someone knowing that we meant the vows we spoke aloud.

However, as I get older and more in tune with the dating behaviors of today, I realize that not only is the way we date changing, but also the way we handle the ups and downs of marriage.

There was a debate that arose on Twitter recently. A user made a point of saying that once you’re married, you stay married until death or a legal divorce. They claimed that even when you’re legally separated, it still means you’re married. But I know some couples who don’t wait for the ink to dry, choosing to date other people when they’re separated. Such decisions started me thinking about how often this happens. Is it really okay to date around and dance around the idea of starting a new life with someone when you haven’t even closed the door on your marriage? Dating, while separated, is (not can be) difficult and comes with much drama.

Sitting in the lounge at work, a co-worker randomly shared with me that she’s involved with a married man. I didn’t know how to react, but she said it boldly as if it were nothing. An achievement to be proud of in a way. She disclosed that when they first started dating, she had no idea that he was married. Now that she knows, it hasn’t changed her opinion or shifted her status in terms of being involved with him. She shared with me how he left his wife and children to move in with her and her children. He uses her car as if it were his own and drops her off at work most days. And as I sat and listened to her drama-filled story of the children caught in the middle (both his and hers), the man’s battles with his wife who “doesn’t want to let go,” the house pop-ups and the vandalized property, I couldn’t help but look at her with a sour taste in my mouth. Nothing about her situation seemed stable, which is all the more reason not to date a man who hasn’t tied up his loose ends. 

If the relationship is truly over between a wedded couple, the marriage should and will end in divorce. By legally separating, it means, in my opinion, that some things are still being shared between a married couple. Reconciliation is still possible. Dating while separated can also be messy because an individual might not be ready to start dating again. For some of us, when we are fresh out of a relationship, we are eager to start anew. We are anxious to get back out there and explore. But deep down, when the dust settles, we might not even be ready emotionally to invest in someone new right away. A person battling the same feelings during a separation hasn’t given themselves time to learn the lessons their defunct marriage has laid out for them: Why did my marriage fail? What could I have done differently? Can we fix it? How will I do things differently in the future?

Some don’t take the time to search for these answers before jumping into a courtship with someone else. Some find the answers after they already started dating again and end up right back with their estranged spouse.

The same reason you shouldn’t rush into another relationship after a failed one is even more of reason, to me, to avoid dating while separated. Don’t get me wrong, for those of you who have tried it, it may have worked for you. But my question is, why not just get a divorce before putting yourself back out there? After seeing your marriage crumble after all the work and love you put into it, what’s the rush to do this love thing all over again?

Off-Screen Drama: 15 Controversies That Empire Accidentally Stirred Up

May 13th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Fox

Image Source: Fox

Empire may be the only show on TV with just as much drama happening off the screen as on it. From Diddy’s copyright claims to Mo’Nique’s emails, Empire is spilling tea and making headlines all over Hollywood. Here are a few of the crazy stories that spawned from the show’s success.

Get Em’ Bae: Should Your Man Fight Your Battles With Your Friends?

February 8th, 2015 - By Toya Sharee
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boyfriend fight your battles

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So by now if you’re familiar with my taste in TV, you know my guilty pleasure are the ladies featured on Lifetime’s Little Women: LA. The reality show is no different than Basketball Wives or Love and Hip Hop as a group of twenty and thirty-somethings navigate dating, friendship and motherhood with all the added challenges that being a dwarf can bring. Once you get past the height requirement you’ll find the same catty arguments, competitive relationships, and drink throwing that you’ll find on any VH-1 line up.

(**Warning: Spoiler Alert) Last week’s show featured cast mates Terra and Christy going head to head after Terra suspects Christy created unnecessary drama by revealing to friend Traci that Terra is pregnant. Traci has been trying desperately to get pregnant, and Christy who is known for pitting the friends against one another in the past defends her action saying that she wanted to prepare Traci for Terra’s big news since she felt she might feel resentful or jealous that she failed to get pregnant first. Terra ends up calling out Traci for being shady in a big blow up by a friendly bonfire, where Christy’s husband’s Todd runs to her defense. When Traci’s husband Erik’s suggest that Todd let the ladies hash it out on their own, Todd insists that a real man defends his woman, even if it is to her own friends.

Hmm…I can’t completely disagree with where Todd is coming from, but I must admit it’s always made me look at a man funny when he’s involved in drama and cat fights. As stereotypical as it may be, I’m used to men solving their problems with a few cuss words and clowning each other’s sex lives before having a beer over a game of 2K and forgetting why they were mad in the first place. When a guy gets overly involved in the “he said, she said” my respect for him instantly drops down a few notches.

I guess at the end of the day it’s less about what gender you are and more about maturity. Someone has to be the voice of reason and as much as I want my husband to have my back in situations where I feel I may be surrounded by snakes, I also need him to sit me down and be blunt about when I’m being a b**ch.  It’s important for couples to know their place in the partners’ relationships. Some situations don’t require your input and are best left worked out among those directly involved. There are three sides to every story: the person you love’s version, the other person’s point of view and the truth and it’s natural to side with the person you sleep next to every night. But just because you love them, doesn’t mean that they’re right. At the end of the day as much as I may not want my husband to be hurt, he’s a grown ass man and to some extent, can fight his own battles.

You also have to be ready to accept all the things you may not want to hear when everyone has kissed and made up. It’s all good when your better half is on the front line with you because you’ve decided you collectively hate your girl Tamika, but what about when you and Tamika decide to squash it and your man still remembers how upset she made you and all the times HE had to wipe away your tears? You can’t expect other people to forgive those who have caused you pain, just because you’ve decided you’re over it.

My husband is truly my right hand and I most definitely want him to back me up when it counts, but the truth is I know my friends best and it’s unfair to allow him to bully them when the beef is clearly between me and them. When you allow your man to fight your battles, boundaries get crossed that aren’t easy to come back from and he may start to believe he has license to disrespect your friends. It can leave you in an awkward position in the middle exploring where your loyalties lie. You don’t want to create an environment where your man is comfortable talking to your friends however he feels like. At the end of the day how your partner treats those you chose to have in your life says as much about the respect he has for you, as what he has for your friends.

Does your man get involved in you and your friends’ affairs?

Toya Sharee is a community health educator and parenting education coordinator who has a  passion for helping  young women build their self-esteem and make well-informed choices about their sexual health.  She also advocates for women’s reproductive rights and blogs about  everything from beauty to love and relationships. Follow her on Twitter @TheTrueTSharee or visit her blog, Bullets and Blessings.

Rehab For Christmas? Celebrities Who Did NOT Have A Happy Holiday

January 5th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Santa wasn’t nice to everyone this year. Along with presents, these celebrities got divorces, failed drug tests and prison visits for Christmas.

Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Chris Rock and Malaak Compton-Rock

Divorce is never easy, especially when the news comes during the holidays. But Malaak Compton-Rock has been having an extra unhappy holiday since Page Six spotted Chris Rock spending his holiday vacation in St. Barts with a mystery woman.

Watch: Tamar Quits ‘Braxton Family Values’ In Season 4 Teaser

June 16th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: WE tv

Source: WE tv

Those Braxton sisters stay with some drama, but have they finally reached the end of the road? WE tv recently debuted a teaser for season four of the popular series and it looks like the Braxton women have all reached their breaking point. For starters, Tamar basically quit the show during a super dramatic scene with the Braxton family therapist, Dr. Sherry.

“This is not who I am,” an emotional Tamar can be seen telling Dr. Sherry. “This is my last scene and season.”

Of course, we all know that Tamar can get really dramatic at times, so it’s hard to tell whether or not she was merely speaking from a place of hurt or if she actually plans on abandoning the show. So far, no announcements have been made regarding her future with BFV, but her departure wouldn’t be a complete shock. As you may recall, her WE tv spin-off,  “Tamar & Vince,” caused a lot of tension and even seemed to stir up a bit of jealousy amongst the sisters. I suppose we’ll have to stay tuned to see what’s really going on.

The other sister who seems to have reached her tipping point is Towanda. In another scene from the teaser, Towanda goes into complete meltdown mode.

“Nobody cares! Nobody cares about me,” she screams before knocking a bunch of drinking glasses off of a table.

This season is definitely going to be an interesting one. “Braxton Family Values” returns to WE tv in August.

Watch the teaser below. Will you be tuning in?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Tamala Jones Explains Why She Called Out Porsha Williams; Porsha Fires Back

March 17th, 2014 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Last week we told you that actress Tamala Jones called out RHoA star Porsha Williams over rumors that Porsha is engaged in a hot and heavy romance with Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue, son of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea. Though Porsha quickly came forward to clear up the rumors, she must not have come forward quickly enough. In no time, Tamala released a statement calling her out.

“Miss Porsha Williams … Now you know you should shame the devil & tell the truth! U grew up in the church & lying was never [ok] … You may have a man, but the one you’re claiming belongs to me! Check your pr or your head but don’t step on my toes,” Tamala tweeted.

After receiving a hail storm of criticism for not only dating a dictator’s son, but stooping to fighting with a woman on social media over a man, Tamala addressed why she found it necessary to call the newly divorced reality star out.

“I came at Porsha to prove she lying,” Tamala told an Instagram follower who came to her defense. “They don’t need anymore heat on how the country’s money is spent, especially when someone is lying about it I wrote to you because you stood up for me & thank you for that. God bless you.”

The “Castle” actress also defended her relationship with Mangue and Equatorial Guinea.

“I don’t care about money…I care about people. Who I date is irrelevant, what I do is. Equatorial Guinea has had a bad rep 4 too long .. I spend time there donating to the 1st ladies school 4 children .. I’m also planning to build a women’s & children health center .. Nobody ever shows the positive .. This country is beautiful & the people are not starving, their public housing is better than some people’s homes in the US .. I wish people would go see things for themselves instead of reading bs!!”

Interestingly, after remaining silent regarding Tamala’s attempt to call her out, Porsha finally responded.

” @TamalaJones TMZ came up with the story take it up with them and your man. You seem cool stop embarassing yourself #notinterestedinhim.”

“@TamalaJones Please stop tweeting me. DM me so I can teach you how to release an official statement to claim your man. #childish.”

Tamala’s publicist Mo Greene then responded to Porsha.

“@Porsha4real Hello Porsha, this is @tamalajones Publicist. Your Latest comment was very unnecessary. My client has not mentioned you in any negative regard. Please refrain from any publicity antics you are trying to pull. My client is a very well-known and respected actress and wishes not to be pull into any media or television drama. TY have a great Day.”

Messy.