All Articles Tagged "friends"
Soror Rachel just got engaged and her wedding will be in Austin, TX, taking place just two days prior to my freshman roommate Trish’s baby shower in Chicago. Of course, I have to cross my fingers and hope that those dates don’t conflict with the date of my twin sister’s grad school graduation from (*insert name of fancy university*).With all of these things on my plate, I’m just hoping it won’t interfere with me watching a new episode of Scandal…
At this point, if you’re like me, you may feel like should have accomplished more for yourself by now than just having good looks, a winning personality, a fancy degree (where my liberal arts folks at!?), your hopes, and being a gladiator for Olivia Pope. In your mid to late 20s, your peers have been making it rain fifties and hundreds at every social outing, while you frequently collect change from cushions and crevices so that you can fund a trip to the neighborhood bodega to buy a bag of UTZ sour cream and onion chips for dinner.
The Internet hasn’t helped either. It constantly updates you on every single life change and triumph that your peers encounter. Facebook and every other social media outlet have made everyone else’s advancements readily available for your consumption. After scrolling through your newsfeed, you feel like you’re still playing dress-up while everyone else is suited up for real. You may be happy for your friends and you can certainly “like” their actions on Facebook and Instagram, but it doesn’t make you a bad person for being a little over seeing it all.
Everyone that you know seems to be frying bigger fish and doing big things in their lives. You’re just finding your footing, and that makes you stressed about your future. Trust me, I can fully relate.
Top-tier careers, engagements, marriages, pregnancies, children, and/or benevolently living abroad while developing water irrigation systems and feeding the hungry children of Malawi–my peers seem to be doing it all. But there are two things I had to remind myself to do:
Relax, and breathe.
Life is not a race…even though it may feel like you’re always finishing last.
I learned that your peer’s success does not equal your failure, and if someone’s newsfeed is getting you down then you might need a break from social media in general. If other people’s happiness is making you feel left out, and affecting you on a basic level –destroying your mood one update at a time — then you should unplug. Stop reading about what other people are doing and work on yourself. Also, actively pursuing your own goals or even spending time to decide and pinpoint what your life goals are is just as valuable as achieving a goal.
There’s no satisfaction to be had when unfairly comparing yourself to someone who appears to be doing “better” than you. When you compare the worst aspects of yourself with someone’s best, it’s damaging to your sense of self – and it doesn’t help you accomplish your goals.
Additionally, you don’t really know the lives of the people that you’re comparing yourself to. You don’t know what struggles or difficulties they may be facing or what they had to overcome to get where they are. Their priorities may be completely different than yours and they may have made sacrifices that you wouldn’t be willing to make.
And hey, some of them could just be faking it like everyone else, in which case, you can’t compare yourself against inaccurate information. Many people are pretending that they’re more accomplished or happier than they actually are. And on top of that, nepotism isn’t just a word, it’s how a lot people are getting by nowadays. Knowing people, making connections and networking like it’s nobody’s business is getting a lot of people very far. Because a friend’s cousin’s sister’s nephew went to church with Jane Doe, they have an in, and you’re left feeling like you’re on the outs.
Try to make a list of your accomplishments, so that you can remind yourself of all that you’ve done and the things you want to do. Create a checklist that’s comprised of big things and small things, so that you’re always checking things off of your list. Do this so that you realize the importance of achieving conceivable small and big goals. And, finally, pace yourself. Take your time and enjoy your life. Incessantly obsessing about progression toward a large goal is like weighing yourself after every meal and hoping to have lost weight after each weigh in…we all know that things don’t work that way.
Have you ever noticed that the moment you end things with a guy, your friends come out of the woodworks with lists of complaints about him? Wondering why they didn’t they speak up sooner? Here are 14 things your friends only tell you about your guy after it’s over.
Way back in Girl Scouts, I learned the song, “Make new friends, but keep the old; One is silver and the other gold.” These lyrics, made relevant again when Diane Keaton recited them for her long-time pal Woody Allen at this year’s Golden Globes, seemed to cover it all. Welcome new people into your life, but don’t let the old ones slip away—simple enough.
True, as kids we were probably more focused on selling Thin Mints and Samoas than questioning the intricacies of platonic love, but what my scout leader failed to even hint at was the possibility that these bonds could evolve into something, well, not so golden.
That’s where I find myself today: reevaluating an old friendship that’s soured over the years. I met my friend—we’ll call her Sarah—when I was in my early 20s and new to NYC. Back then we ran all over town, stretching our meager post-grad salaries at street fairs and happy hours, and generally having a great time. But now that we’re both in our 30s, the air between us has become strained. Feelings are easily hurt and we’re less willing to be vulnerable around each other.
Sometimes I come home from hanging out with Sarah and feel exhausted. I’m hyper aware of small jabs (or at least what I perceive as jabs), and I feel the need to constantly shield myself. I’m not sure exactly how we got here. There’s no dramatic story to tell about her stealing my boyfriend or me tossing a cocktail in her face after a drunken argument. I suppose it was a series of small disappointments that have added up over the past 10 years (I know, totally boring).
So here I am wondering, do I end things with Sarah? Is it possible to break up with a friend?
For all the advice we hear about breakups of the romantic variety, friendship usually gets the shaft. Maybe it’s assumed that we’ll all be great Girl Scouts and just stick to the song. When we do shine a spotlight on adult friendship, it usually doesn’t play out in a meaningful way. Rather than inspiring stories, words of wisdom or stories of the nuanced phenomenon of breaking it off with a friend, we get all-out spectacle. Just look at the Real Housewives of…any city, really. Bickering besties fuel nearly all the drama on those shows, whether it’s NeNe vs. Kim, Bethenny vs. Jill, or Teresa vs. everyone. Are we to only explore female friendships that end in a fury of weave pulling and insult slinging?
This may explain my male coworker’s reaction when I asked his advice about my potential friendbreakup. “Drama!!” he replied. I tried to explain that it wasn’t about drama; It was about being genuine in my relationships and surrounding myself with only people I truly enjoy. “Look,” he said, “I have three good friends and they’ve been my friends since I was 10 years old. Once you’re my friend, you’re my friend for life.”
Read more about letting friends go at YourTango.com
As I sat in the hair salon this past weekend getting some long overdue Brazilian curly hair sewn into my head, it was only a matter of time before the hot topic of Valentine’s Day came up. One by one the stylists and their clients went around and commented on what they wanted, what they’d actually be getting and what they had been surprised with in the past. I’ve had more uneventful Valentine’s Days than amazing ones, but when I think of it some of the best ones were spent with people that many don’t typically associate with your boy Cupid: my family.
Do you remember candygrams? If not, I’m sure your school had some embarrassing system to prove just how popular someone was as they floated through their school day carrying more and more plastic roses or those disgusting candy hearts after each class. I was always the one waiting on a candygram from a crush that never came. A part of me was comforted by the fact that I was the girl who was always dating someone at another school (honestly, except that he wasn’t actually in high school at all). But I’ve never had a secret admirer, and in grade school my note always came back with “No” checked. But the one thing I could depend on for Valentine’s Day was that I would come home to little boxes of chocolates and cards spread across our dining room table courtesy of my mom. Just that little reminder that someone, somewhere thought I was special was better than a $1 store rose with a scraggly misspelled message delivered to my homeroom any day.
I hate to be in my Charlie Brown “what matters most” bag, but as I talked a manic friend down from over-analyzing and obsessing about how much to do and not do in a new relationship for Valentine’s Day, I had to remind her that it doesn’t matter how much a man does on one day, what matters most is how he acts for the other 364 days of the year. There will be men buying roses and candy for their “main” on February 14th only to spend the night with their sidepiece on February 15th. Valentine’s Day should be about the people who love you, support you and put up with you all year long. Those are the people you should be going out of your way to make feel special.
If you haven’t been doing so already, remember there are other sections in the Hallmark aisle besides “For Him”. I don’t mean to be a Valentine’s Day Grinch but let’s be honest: That big bear is eventually going to sit in the corner and get dusty while triggering your allergies all spring long, your flowers will die, and half of those candies are filled with disgusting coconut and chocolate nougat. It truly is the thought that counts. Even if you’ve been doing it all year, obsess just as much over letting your parents, your girls, your siblings and your kids know how much you love and appreciate them. You never know but you may have someone whose candygram got lost in the mail and that little box of butter creams may just make their day.
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.
Have you ever been sitting at a dinner table full of happy couples, looked around and wondered, “What am I doing wrong???” Or maybe you just don’t understand how your totally crazy friend has been in a happy relationship for three years, when you’re—let’s be honest—way saner than she is. Sane or not, here are some things that friend of yours was probably doing right when she was single.
I will begin by saying we do not have enough time to give this topic justice so I most likely will have to return to it in a few weeks in order to exhaust the topic in detail. But for now, here goes.
The issue of friends and what role they play in a relationship is one that is complicated/not complicated and filled with what you should do/what you will do. It makes perfect sense too. When I first got the note to touch on this topic it was attached to a story about a guy who was upset that a girl he was dating was sharing the details of their relationship in its embryonic phase. Let me be clear, when I say embryonic, I mean like the first few months before there are titles involved. As I read this, I cringed myself. I cringed because I’ve been turned off by similar actions too. I’ve wanted to almost end things immediately because I tend to live by a strict dating policy, “Stop telling everybody your damn business.” I fully understood why that guy was upset but I also understood why someone would not think it was a big deal.
Here’s why it’s complicated:
It’s complicated because when you don’t talk to your friends about your life is typically when you end up so far out there that it’s very hard to reign you back in. For example, I remember telling a friend this, “You get yourself in situations that you can’t even tell your friends about because you know your A$$ ain’t got NO business doing what you doing.” And that’s when it gets dark and in that case, I would say it’s complicated but it’s a good idea to tell your friends about your relationship.
Prime example: You keeping it under the wraps that the guy you’re dating is technically still married and in the process of a divorce.
Reason why you need to tell your friends: Because someone has to be the logical one to tell you that you should wait until he’s divorced to start dating him.
Here’s why it’s not complicated:
You actually know that your friends will interfere with your relationship in the name of your feelings and saying that it’s on your behalf. If you had to pick between sharing with your friends and not sharing with your friends, the easy option is to not share because it reduces risk. Going back to the example that I shared, your friends will make that situation complicated, not you, not the guy you are dating, not anyone else but your friends. They fail to realize that you’ve already decided what to do; they just need to learn how to be supportive instead of intrusive.
What you should do:
Easier said than done, but the best solution is to be able to share information with your friends without telling them all your business. You should find a way to share information about yourself but not the other person. I’ll tell you why. As I told the last young lady I was dating who did this, “I reserve the right to disclose information about my life, myself.” The point is, when you share information about the guy you’re dating or the relationship that you’re in with your friends you’re putting his business out on the streets too.
What you will do:
You’re going to share information with your friends; much of it is likely to be information that was best kept to yourself and your significant other. As a man, I had to get to the point where I was comfortable with this happening and also realizing that it is not a woman issue, but it’s a people issue. Men tell their boys stuff too, we just do it differently. (I’m going to carefully leave this alone because we don’t have the time today.) Because you will share information about your relationship with your friends and they will play a big role in your dating/relationships, just focus on how to do it healthy. Be very aware of what you should do and what you will do and know the difference. There’s nothing you can do to stop doing what you feel is right even if it’s not right to anyone else, but you can work on consistently being in the interest of doing it the right way.
From Hello Beautiful
Growing up, the only thing that could separate me and my best friends Alexis and Shavon from hanging out was being put on punishment by our mothers. Aside from that, all three of us were tied at the hip, oftentimes walking home from school and then getting on the phone later that night to discuss how fineStephán Urkél was or was going on between Dawson and Joey on the latest episode of “Dawson’s Creek.”
Things began to change when boys started getting our attention, but nonetheless, we made adjustments as girls and still maintained our relationship. In some cases, we became closer than ever when we learned those hard lessons only young love can teach you. But somewhere after college and the introduction to the real world, I realized having adult relationships would prove to be as daunting as a full-time job.
For the record, as a woman, having a solid core of female friends is not only important, it’s a lifeline. My friends provide different perspectives and oftentimes hard truths that I need to hear. However, with an aggressive work week that far exceeds 40 hours, coupled with an unrelenting fire and ambition that equates to long hours on the computer far past 5pm, sometimes picking up the phone to say ‘hey girl,’ is exhausting.
I know that sounds selfish at best, and lazy at worst, but it’s honest. It does not mean I love my girls any less. I have very few friends that understand that I can indeed love them from a distance, as well as love them sporadically, without becoming offended. These 20s that I am living in are the most detrimental years to my life and my career.
Read more at HelloBeautiful.com
She woke before the birds and the sun, your mother. She wandered to the kitchen, slipped on an apron, and she began to work. Her hands were busy: basting the ever-baking turkey, peeling and mashing the potatoes, boiling and cheesing the macaroni, and skinning and candying the yams. The stuffing, cornbread, cranberry sauce, salmon, ham, collard greens, and sweet potato pie yet to be completed and on the family table, but she would somehow have it all prepared by 4 p.m. She turned the kitchen into a workshop. And, when you and your siblings were a bit older, you joined her, helping to bring ease to the brave task of having to prepare a vast meal for a large family. She would share her recipes with humor as she overwhelmed the house with rich flavor. And, about six or seven hours after, the separate ingredients will have transformed into a generous meal. Long hours of preparation gives way to decadent consumption, and you and your family sit down for a grand meal, sampling everything that was made, filling yourselves with food and conversation until you feel too swollen to move.
However, this year, you can’t make it home –perhaps for the first time ever–for a number of reasons, including being broke or too busy. You’ve found yourself in a different city or different country, and you’re DEVASTATED about the fact that you won’t get the chance to eat your mother’s five-star pie or your sister’s incomparable eggplant Parmesan. That’s my story. But don’t fret. While it’s evident that you can’t enjoy the fine eats or familial company, there are ways to cope with spending the holiday away from home. Here’s what I’ve figure out.
You Can’t Go to Your Family, So Bring Your Family to You (Kinda Of)
Since you’ll be apart from your family for Thanksgiving, consider setting up your computer and turn on the video chat if you’re feeling lonely. You can prepare a meal virtually, alongside your family, while you converse with one another. Or, simply set up chat when it’s time for dinner. Your family members can place the computer at the end of the dinner table, and you can experience all the drama, love and confusion that’s associated with any family gathering.
Have a Good Network of Friends
There’s no feeling quite like being completely alone on a national holiday, particularly one that’s family-oriented. So, if you’re forced to be away from your family on such a day, look to friends. Look to the people around you and reach out…even if you might feel embarrassed. There’s no shame in not wanting to be alone–and friends will comfort you with food, fun and drinks to make up for the fact that your family isn’t around. Chances are, they’re celebrating without their clan too. Together, you and your friends can collaborate to make a lavish meal, potentially saving yourselves money and time.
Learn To Create New Traditions
Thanksgiving can be fulfilling, just as it can be exhausting. The good thing about being an adult and away from traditional obligations is to that you can make traditions of your own. Forgo the usual Thanksgiving turkey and take advantage of the day off of work in a different way. Grab a friend and explore your city, grab lunch at a great sushi place, grab early bird drink specials, and go shopping. Contrary to popular belief, not every store is closed, and a lot of them are kicking off their Black Friday sales early. Also, if you have a serious need for Thanksgiving cuisine and you don’t want to cook, there are a few restaurants that have carry out Thanksgiving food: Bob Evans, Boston Market, Buca di Beppo Italian Restaurants, Cowboy Chicken Wood Fire Rotisserie, Cracker Barrel, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, HoneyBaked Ham, Luby’s, Lucille’s Smokehouse Bar-B-Que, Popeyes and Ruth’s Chris Steak House. Also, consider ending your evening with a trip to a bar, a club or karaoke bar. Who says that holidays can’t be ALL fun. And if you want them to be more than fun, you can always volunteer to provide food to people in need.
No matter what you decide to do in your family’s absence, attempt to make the best of your day. Eat plenty, have fun and share it with someone else. Don’t pout or whine, but instead be thankful that you have a family who misses you, and plenty of loved ones who care for you, even if they’re not sitting right next to you on Thursday.
The holiday season always gets us thinking about family, but what about your friends? It’s also the season to spend time with your best friends (did you see The Best Man Holiday?) — especially if you are young person with limited finances and you have to pick ONE holiday to return home (usually Christmas) and the other(s) to kick it with friends (usually Thanksgiving and/or New Year’s Eve). And what better way to celebrate friends than for us to relive some of our favorite black buddy sitcoms and their hilarious, friendly moments.
“Living Single” was black folks’ Friends for sure. In a 90s kind of world, they were glad they had each other, and we (fans) were glad they had each other too while making us laugh along the way. We fell in love with the characters of our version of 20 somethings trying to make it in their careers, love and friendships in the Big Apple — including the always-hungry attorney and the extra roommate Maxine (Erika Alexander), the uptight magazine editor Khadijah (Queen Latifah), handyman Overton (John Henton), the bourgeois-wannabe Régine (Kim Fields), the troll-loving Synclaire (Kim Coles) and the Maxine–hating-then-loving stockbroker Kyle (T.C. Carson).
Do you use Facebook to expand your dating pool? You’re not the only one. And if you don’t, you might be missing out. Why? With Facebook there is a transparency because you can actually see potential partners’ photos, read their interactions, and extract a greater understanding of their their day to day reality.
You can even do a little investigative digging, asking mutual friends about them, analyzing photos, getting a feel for their personality based on how they interact with “friends” on their wall. Well … that’s if they are being honest and truly transparent. The danger with Facebook is that you can also create an identity for the intention of anything from getting a job, a date, or a social life (despite the reality that you sit at home feeling pretty cool about yourself for collecting a slew of “friends”).
Con artists are undoubtedly slinking around Facebook, so here’s where to spot the scammers:
Lie Alert! Relationship Status
Relationship status can be very deceptive. You can declare yourself as single, in a relationship, engaged, married, in a civil union, in a domestic partnership, in an open relationship, it’s complicated, separated, divorced, widowed — or avoid answering anything at all, the go-to for many guys who are playing the field of the free dating site that is Facebook.
Even if his status is “single,” don’t trust it. Maybe he hasn’t “gotten around” to changing his status yet. Do your digging before believing a Facebook relationship status. Check out a few photos. Or, just ask him straight up. If you trust him enough to go out on a date with him, you should be able to ask him the very simple question: “So, what’s your relationship status?” Simple.
Lie Alert! Friends
This is one of the areas that Facebook can create serious deception. You might seem to have 15 or just 2 friends in common and that automatically gives you a sense of comfort as you think “well he knows my friend from high school so he must be a good guy who I can trust.”
Not so. Fact is that you can friend request anyone and, even if they don’t know you from Adam (sorry all of you Adams out there), there is still a decent chance that you will be accepted; particularly if Facebook is used more for the purpose of business than keeping up with your true friends and family.
Read more at YourTango.com