All Articles Tagged "human nature"
You can try to categorize some behaviors as female and others as male, but really, it all depends on whose perspective you’re viewing it from. When it comes down to it, we’re all human,we tend to be driven by the same things, and we have the same insecurities, frustrations and desires. The difference is we express them in more “male” or “female” ways, but often we are guilty of the exact same behavior we criticize, we just don’t notice it because it looks different. In all of these ways, most couples are hypocritical and do not practice what they preach.
Perception is a tricky thing to deal with, especially someone else’s perception of you. In your mind you know what your motivation is for acting a certain way, or the reason why you do what you do. But when people begin to place their own reasons and beliefs on why you are the way you are, especially if it’s wrong, it can be a little frustrating.
There’s always a thorn with every rose that comes with your personality and for me, being nice and being very open has been a blessing and a curse. I’m an extremely open person, but very private as well. As much as I’ll put myself on blast on this site, or with my loved ones, I still hold certain cards to my chest. It’s not that I’m trying to hide anything, but there are just certain aspects about myself that are personal and sometimes you need to keep a little piece of you just to yourself. However, with doing so, it leads certain people in my life to develop what I like to call “the Puzzle Principle.”
The Dictionary of Kendra defines the “Puzzle Principle” as “the mental law that others use to solve who you are to them.” Meaning that to help them understand who you are, people are going to mentally solve you (as they would a puzzle) with pieces from their own understanding. Regardless of whether those pieces fit or not.
As people, we’ll always be conundrums to others, but some people seem adamant on filling you out; answering questions about you that don’t need to be answered, or piecing you together in their minds with incorrect puzzle pieces. As amusing as it is for me to hear the crack pot theories of who I am, it’s also very annoying.
I find that people who do this are people who demand answers in everything. It’s not good enough that an action was done, but you have to be accountable to them for why you did it. “Why did you hold that door open for that guy?” “Why did you apologize?” “Why did you wear your hair like this?” “I mean, I’m just trying to understand.”
It’s irritating. It’s irritating to feel like every move you make is being watched and evaluated to support some false claim about your personality. It’s maddening to have to explain some of your harmless quirks to someone who demands it. It’s punch-a-tree-worthy when someone feels like they can tell you more about yourself than you can.
But for all people who are incomplete puzzles to others, you cannot allow how people see you to define yourself. No one but you will ever have all the pieces to your personality, and when that puzzle is complete they still won’t be able to fully decipher the intricacies of who you are. Therefore, continue to hold your cards close to your chest if you want to. Don’t allow someone to make you show your hand to them to fulfill whatever shallow reasons they have for “needing to know” things about you.
Along with that, if someone is telling you a theory about yourself that is incorrect, feel free to set them straight (politely now, I’m all about the niceness, you know).
From my personal experiences a theory is only a theory until it’s proven, so people will continue to hold ideas about you until you feel like you need to either confirm or deny them. But it is up to you which pieces of yourself you want to expose. Exercise that freedom.
Kendra Koger likes jigsaw puzzles. Try piecing her together at her twitter page @kkoger.
My cousin’s a nurse and today I asked her how she likes her new job. She told me she likes her coworkers and enjoys what she does; but the upper management is a hot mess. Like many in upper management, her boss is drunk off that drug called power. If you don’t believe me, allow me to enlighten you. My cousin deals with patients whose lives often hang in the balance. Seconds can be the difference between life and death and decisions…the right decisions have got to be made quickly. Recently, there was a patient in the rehab center where she works, who was unresponsive. She couldn’t get a read on his blood pressure, he had an irregular heart rate and she said he was slipping in and out.
She checked his pulse and then decided to call the doctor. She suggested that they send the man, the patient to the hospital. The doctor agreed, that she should use her best judgment. After she’d sent the man to the hospital, she called her director of nursing (DON) and told her about what had happened and the decision she ultimately made. Instead of the DON insisted that before calling the doctor, my cousin call her to explain the situation first, then the doctor and then, finally after all that phone tag, then she should call the hospital. Really?
Is this type of protocol, this hierarchy, in the best interest of the patient or is this about making you feel special? That’s a rhetorical question because the answer is painfully obvious. The woman craved power even at the expense of someone else’s life. That’s pretty sick and pretty telling. But there are other, less egregious examples of this power-hungry behavior in several facets of our lives.
There are the power hungry men who can’t help but control every aspect of their romantic relationships, at the expense of their partner’s wishes. There are the power hungry friends who think they’re a better authority over your life than you are. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention those awful people we were forced to partner with for group projects from elementary school through college. Those people, who would always quick to question the lone black girl’s intelligence. I’ll never forget the day, one of my high school classmates always felt the need to rephrase every idea I proposed. The sentiment was the same but she rephrased every sentence, presenting it like it was a new idea. When I finally asked her why she kept doing that, she said, she just wanted to reword. Why? For what?
If we’re honest though, the quest for power is one that’s probably showed up a time our two in our own lives. How many times have you found yourself trying to one up the next person, trying to flex your little bit of authority around the job or in your personal relationships? If that’s you, it’s time to check yourself.
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There are things we tiptoe around, in conversation, when we’re in relationships. You relay the story of your lunch break: 1) Donna told me this incredulous story today. 2) The cafeteria chef has a thing for Italian food. We had pasta again. 3) I didn’t even get a chance to finish that article, there was too much discussion going on.
This is the for-the-boyfriend’s-benefit, snip and cut version, of the story. The truth is, Donna’s story attracted a fine bystander who couldn’t help but hear your conversation. He came over to join you two and mentioned the chef’s incessant repetitiveness and you never finished that article, because his smile was too amazing to miss a moment of it. Afterwards, when he asked you to dinner, you told him that you had a man and sent him merrily on his way.
You did the right thing, however, now you’re omitting pieces of the story because you don’t want to start tension within your union or you feel as if your significant other will feel less significant after hearing this story. Well, I’ve got news for you.
YOU’RE GOING TO BE ATTRACTED TO OTHER PEOPLE.
This isn’t a crime, inappropriate, or your fault. It’s a way of human life. During committed relationships, a lot of women and men have a few interesting people come their way. Admit it! There’s a brother at work that makes your eyebrow twitch every time he walks past. There’s that guy with the toned arms that works at the FedEx store. There’s even the occasional stud that looks damn near doppelgänger to your boo.
I’m going to let you in on a secret. The itch to cheat is almost always driven by the sensation of the forbidden and taboo. What fuels these two notions? Secrecy.
It’s within the moment that you wince at your omitted details, that a simple interaction has become taboo. You’ve hidden something so small from your man and now you feel guilty. So now, next time you see this brother in the cafeteria, you’ll feel a twinge of guilt when he says hello or you interact. That twinge turns into mystery, something you just can’t quite grasp, and everyone knows that the unattainable is the eye of temptation.
& It’s no one’s fault, but your own.
Here’s my philosophy: One of the components of staying faithful is reliant upon admitting your attraction to other people.
Now I’m not saying you’ve got to go into intricate details. You don’t have to tell your man that cafeteria dude cascaded down the stairs in an equestrian swagger and lit your soul on fire. That’ll probably have your man packing his bags. However, it’s cool to tell your significant other that someone stepped to you. A “he was cute, but eh” will suffice. Also, showing your partner that you’re able to walk away from something that piqued your curiosity might solidify their confidence in your relationship.
Pretending that you aren’t attracted to others, omitting silly details as not to offend him and acting as if he’s the only man on earth; is unhealthy. Fighting the pressures of infidelity by openly discussing your emotions with your partner will remove most of the mystery from that other person. Thus, you’ll see him as just another good-looking man that asked you out while you happened to be with the love of your life.
He was cute, he asked me out.
It’s cool; I’m already taken, thanks.
I saw. I conquered.
Also, if you’re going to take my advice, you can’t cringe when he starts to tell you about a woman that approached him. Tomato, toe-ma-toe: The equilibrium of a successful relationship depends on equality. Suppress the “Who is she, what’s her name, I’m coming to your job next week!” reaction. You would tell him he was overreacting if he said this about the cafeteria dude. Right? Remember, the harder you squeeze something the more likely it is to slip from your grasp. Besides, while he’s telling you this story, he’s with you. Right? Right.
Take your compliments. Smile and indulge in the euphoria of pheromones that happen when an exquisite brother asks you out. Turn it down politely and remind yourself of the brother home waiting for you. He’ll always love Halle and you’ll always love Denzel; but your reality is an attraction that is never tantamount to any passerby. Protect it.
“RivaFlowz” is a teacher and professional writer living in New York City. You can follow her on Twitter: @rivaflowz.
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In a recent interview with JuJu Chang for ABC’s “Nightline,” Nicki Minaj sat down to chat about everything from witnessing abuse during her childhood to being compared to Lady Gaga. Naturally, during the conversation the actual content of her music came into question. Late last year, after a video of Sophia Grace passionately singing Minaj’s song “Superbass” went viral, the artist said she and her crew developed a running joke: “Can Sophia sing this?” While she said she never wants to offend mothers with her music, she didn’t come into the industry to appeal to children.
Ok that’s… understandable. Even though you wear bright Barbie colors and speak/rap like cartoon characters, aka elements which are appealing to children, we’ll give you a pass on that one. I’d argue it’s the parents’ job to keep their children away from things they don’t want them to see or hear for as long as possible. But we’ll get to that.
The interview went on to address whether or not Minaj’s lyrics, and really her career at large, contain a “girl power” message. Watching the interview, I’m under the impression that, for whatever reason, ABC wanted to portray her in a very positive light. They highlighted Minaj’s song “Moment for Life” and aired clips of her explaining what it meant to be “bossed-up” as a woman in the industry.
True, those two examples would definitely paint her in the pro-girl power light; however the segment didn’t highlight one of Minaj’s most recent singles, “Stupid H*e” or the fact that she relies on one asset in particular during her music videos.(See her booty clapping in a cage during “Stupid H*e” or winding up in Big Sean’s “A*s.” ) Or even the fact that while she encourages women to be independent and successful, she often refers to herself and her competition as bytchs, though she didn’t seem too fond of the term in the interview. Contradictions.
On the other hand, we can’t deny that Minaj is achieving success based on her talent and business acumen. Her album, which has been criticized as being sub-par at best, is selling slowly but she’s going on a world tour to promote it, so even if she loses on album sales, she’ll make much more money touring. She’s signing endorsement deal after endorsement deal and she’s said time and time again that she refuses to rely on a man to provide success for her.
So what are we to make of all this?
If you were to ask me, I’d say nothing much.
We shouldn’t be looking toward any artist or entertainer to be a complete role model for us. Really, most people can’t be complete role models for us. If you examine any one person long enough, you’ll find something you definitely don’t want to emulate. This is as true for ordinary people as it is artists. The only difference is that with non-famous people you may have more insight into why they do the foolish things they do, whereas a celebrity may or may not feel the need to constantly explain him or herself, knowing that they’ll never have the approval of everyone.
While I won’t deny that I have a general interest in what celebrities may or may not do, when they act a fool, with the exception of a few, I can’t say that I’m truly surprised. 1. Because we’ve all been known to act a fool on occasion and 2. Because I don’t know, and therefore, have relatively low expectations for them. Jezebel reported that Minaj embraces being a feminist role model. I can see why she might think she fits that mold but I won’t look to her for that, simply because I have better examples.
Some people see a problem in the fact that impressionable people, children and adults alike, can start to internalize the images Minaj and other artists portray as some type of guidebook to life. It is a problem and people surely will take on celebrity role models. But children, in the care of their parents, shouldn’t only have those images to teach them what life’s about. And grown folks who willingly subscribe to Nicki’s antics as the best way to live life are…probably beyond help.
But more people than you might suspect are looking toward celebrities and Minaj isn’t the only one. There are people doubting the plausibility of successful marriages because so many Hollywood unions end in divorce. There are people personally offended because they feel Beyoncé lied to them about her pregnancy. And there are people who refuse to accept or acknowledge that Whitney Houston used drugs because they want to remember her fondly.
The best we can hope for from some celebrities is that they just might use their platform to do some good. And honestly, though not always consistently, I’ve seen Minaj do that.
I say all of that to say this, people, celebrities and common-folk alike, are complex. And being in the limelight doesn’t change that. People are never all good or all bad. The trick is learning what elements you may want to take from them and what elements you want to leave alone. Keeping that in mind, there’s no need to be surprised when Nicki Minaj is doing something positive like making it out of an abusive home and establishing a successful career as a woman in a male dominated industry. Just like there’s no need to be surprised when she releases a video that looks like it could have been shot at the now defunct Freaknik and aired on the similarly terminated, “Uncut.” She’s a human being. By nature, she’s full of contradictions and if we can expect anything from her, we can expect that we’ll agree with some of her choices and disagree with others.
By the way, you can watch the interview in its entirety below:
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Do humans have a natural inclination to be with (and sleep with) only one person for the rest of their lives or are we still too close to our animalistic nature to live this type of life?
We posed this question to some people walking the streets of New York. See what they had to say about this topic.
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