Yes, so I signed up for that "post a week 2011" bit (#postaweek2011)... and I need to do at least one. I have a queue going on in my head of posts that I need to upload, but haven't had the chance to yet. I'll upload a bit more this week to catch up and clear my head. Posts soon to be posted: commitment, vulnerability, life of a start-up chick, and emotional terrorists to name a few.
I've had quite a few light-bulbs go off this past week. This is the short list of my personal takeaways based on all of the things that have happened:
I get that my style of communication is often more forward that not, especially for the more laid-back west coasters I live with over here. My own sibling often gives me feedback that my style is harsh for him to deal with sometimes - but it always comes back to intent. The people that I consider to be in my inner circle have built that trust up with me - I know that no matter how difficult or shocking something they may say is, without a doubt their intention is good and genuine. I have to assume that to begin with. My brother and I always clarify this with each other now as we've gotten better at communicating as "adults". I love my family and close friends - and I know they love me. I want to protect and take care of my family and close friends - and I know they want to protect and take care of me. It's interesting the kinds of variety of communication one can have when it comes to giving and receiving feedback - and the kinds of roles people prefer to play.
Giving Feedback: Everyone wants to play the role of the person giving the feedback. Unfortunately, usually that is a right that has to be earned with trust. Of course, even with a trusting relationship, there are better ways of giving feedback and not-so-great ones. I'd suggest spending a little time framing the feedback conversation before giving it.
Framing: is to set the mood, the stage, the tone for how the conversation will go.
I've been meaning to post this up for quite some time - I have a queue of posts that need publishing, so I'll post them up more quickly now to clean out the queue. Now, to the five love languages.
The 5 Love Languages is a book by author Gary Chapman - and is one of those must-reads for both men and women about the world of love. I'll give you a quick summary of the big five - however, take the time to read it as Gary has some great examples in his book. Take the time to understand which of the five are important to you to receive from you partner and which of the five you give to your partner to show them love. Are they the same five that are important for them to receive to feel loved? Really interesting - both the book and website have a test (takes about 20 minutes), too.
1. Words of Affirmation: to this person, actions do not always speak louder than words. A person who has this high on their list needs to hear the unsolicited, "I love you", and regularly. "Thank you for taking out the trash, I appreciate you, you look beautiful, I love how kind you are, you can do it"... when the actions and words line up, the world's a better place for this person. On the opposite end, harsh/critical words can be devastating.
2. Quality Time: means your full undivided attention. Hanging out and watching the television or at a networking event is not quality time. Quality time does not include multiple interruptions or a cell phone in hand. For this type of person, truly being engaged and present means the world to them. Put the phone on silent, you can respond to those emails/texts a little bit later. If there is an emergency and/or you have to respond, do ask permission/apologize.
3. Receiving Gifts: is important to this person not for the material good, but the thought and care you put into this gesture of love. Sadness and tears will come if you forget a birthday or anniversary, and/or if you do not make some sort of regular love offering to this person.
4. Acts of Service: is about taking care of and taking away stress/work for the one you love. This can be shown by having a clean home for your partner, taking out the garbage, offering to do the dishes, being the IT help-desk person, ... To a person where this is important, if you break commitments, if you generally create more stress/work for them, if you are lazy --> generally, they are going to feel unloved by you.
5. Physical Touch: is not just about sex or intimate bedroom time. This is about consistent touches of affection: hugs, pats on the back, holding hands, ... reaffirming and secure actions/touches. This means you need to be accessible, be in close proximity, and be available more often than not. If you are one of those emotional terrorists, breaking that trust with violence or neglect is unforgivable (go get help if this is an issue for you).
I can't sleep... so I thought I'd write some of my thoughts down. The inner monologue that's been going on today. Spontaneous post that's unrelated to the post I was planning on posting. Hope you don't mind - I'm trying something out for a little while and we'll see how it goes. What am I trying out, you ask?
I've had a really fun past few days. I was feeling quite optimistic about the world, my life, things to come - I still am. Saw a good heart moving movie - The Dilemma (went to the movie with zero expectations, came out of the movie very pleased). Lots of catching up with friends, hosted a small get together, delicious foods, toxic and tasty libations - and today was my "be introverted" day. Quiet time. Apple TV/Netflix time. Nap time. Cleaning time. ... and yes, of course, thinking time. Maybe too much thinking time. Yes, I am working on getting to the point.
Last night was an evening of super highs, and wow, a super low where a demon of mine from decades ago came out at a couple points. I'm shocked, actually - and horrified. Intoxication loosened the rusty lock on that one. I thought I had moved past this demon of mine - I've been consciously working on it for years... with all the different people that have come into my life making an impact on my healing process. (I know, you're wondering what this demon is, but I'm having trouble writing it - so please be patient. I may not be able to even say what it is, because it's quite raw and out today...).
Really, now that this demon has reared its ugly head ... I'm at a loss at what to do: 1) Shove it under the rug again, put a lock on it and tell myself it's fine (that failed, obviously); 2) Go see a therapist of some sort (though, honestly, I don't have a high amount of trust in that system based on my limited experience/knowledge. Yes, I'm afraid to go; or 3) Take the lesson that I learned from an older post I did on letting go - and share/throw all of this out into the public forum - those raw emotions/thoughts that I have as I figure it out with you (though, that's a fiercely personal way to go about doing anything, and very scary to me). So scary. I'm thinking I may opt for #3 for now... try it out. I do know that #1 isn't good enough. #2 ... I don't know. I can't have demons like this showing up uninvited again. I have to really face it - and now.
My inspiration? This morning I was told that I was forgiven, that I was understood and that I am okay. Thank you.
A post on relationships, by request. I consider myself an expert in the realm of love and relationships - being obsessed and passionate about this topic. I interview people all the time, talk about it, read about it, write about it, ... think about it - a lot. I know a lot of what I say is not necessarily "p.c." - and it is what it is. It always comes down to this: the man must treasure the woman; the woman must respect the man. This is not to say the man doesn't have to respect the woman - he does. I'm talking about the critical points that are an absolute must for the right about of polarity to exist between a man and a woman in a relationship. Without this, what you've got is a friend with benefits, a really awesome roommate, ... a brother/sister.
So here's my original curated list of signs that the guy you are with or desperately pining after is not worth your time. I believe women need to be secure with themselves, expect better, and behave respectfully as respectable women. I'm appalled when I hear about women these days shamelessly throwing themselves at men, chasing after a boy even when he says he's not interested, and making excuses for it. Quit it. ***A woman needs to hold herself to higher standards than that.***
1. You're not a top priority to him: it takes him forever to get back to you, if at all. You deserve better. (same goes to you)
2. He doesn't spend quality time with you: quality time meaning TLC time, long walks, long talks, he asks you about you - and regularly, not once a month. A good man will always find a way to spend good quality time with you, regularly.
3. He doesn't walk side-by-side with you: pet peeve of mine - he walks 5 paces ahead or behind you...
4. He calls you "the girlfriend", "the wife", "the ball-n-chain", "DW": yuck, don't you have a name? Why not, "my ____"?
5. He doesn't care for your friends: a good man will always want to get to know your friends, be a part of your social life. A bad man will want to take you away from your social circles and keep you isolated (aka emotional abuse). It sucks - walk away.
6. He doesn't aim to please you (in bed): a good man will never feel good about the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" - a good man will want to make you happy, please you, romance you. Yes, this goes both ways. Show some enthusiasm.
7. He talks about how "hot" other women are: I think it's healthy to be open and comfortable with your boyfriend/husband/girlfriend/wife/partner... to talk about your interests/and harmless crushes with each other. Open and comfortable conversation and fun is good. There's a limit to this; overdo it and it's disrespectful.
8. He doesn't treat you like a lady: when a man opens doors for you, greets you with a hug/kiss, this is good. He should acknowledge you when you walk in to a room/place - good manners is a must (both ways)
9. He won't introduce you to his friends: he's hiding something. You're not his girlfriend. Not good.
10. He introduces you to his friends - and you get the feeling they know too much about your intimate details: when his friends look at you like the guy friend's whore - yea, he's probably talking about you like you are a whore to them.
11. His family has no idea you exist: If he's that excited about you - usually his mom/sister will be the first to know.
12. He tells you he doesn't want to be with you: this can be said in a variety of ways: "I don't know what I want...", "It's not you, it's me...", "You don't make me happy...", "I need more time..."
13. He drives recklessly when you're in the car: He certainly doesn't treasure you or your well being
14. He doesn't tell you you're beautiful: he should naturally compliment you and want to show you his adoration verbally and via his actions: hugs, words of affection, he'll look at you - face you, turn his body and head towards you, ...
15. He doesn't support your hobbies: he may say he does, but he rarely makes it to your events, acts as if it is a huge annoyance/ favor when he does, he couldn't really care any less whether you do it or not... Maybe he feels threatened. Maybe he finds you and your hobbies annoying. Whatever - this relationship is a no go, at least not for long.
16. He keeps making up requirements that you have to meet: for him to commit to you - you get a better job, you have a more stable job, you keep the home more clean, you do this or that. He's trying to change you and doesn't treasure you. Yuck. Move on.
17. Name calling: character is shown most clearly when a man is angry, upset, or unhappy. Name calling? Disgusting excuse of an existence of what is a little man. (Readers: stick out your pinky fingers now and say, "he's a little man".)
18. Physically threatening you: he's a little, little, tiny boy who needs to get his face ~shoved~ into monkey feces. Yuck.
19. He takes little or no action when you tell him when you're upset: A man that cares will do whatever it takes to make you happy - and he'll do it asap. Don't abuse this with a good man, either. A good man's upset when you're upset - he'll want to fix things for you and make it better asap.
20. He doesn't contact you: Like I said before,if a man wants you, nothing can keep him away. If he doesn't want you, nothing can make him stay. Don't force it - a good man who wants you will always find a way to contact you and be with you. He'll make it happen. Don't be one of those pathetic sad women that chase men down and manipulate to be with you. Yuck.
21. He doesn't respect you: you get the feeling he thinks you're dumb, you're materialistic, you're a gold-digger, you're lazy, you're a nag, you're unoriginal, ... (maybe you are) - but if he's genuinely into you, it doesn't matter. The right guy will adore you for you.
22. You're bacterial-ly incompatible with him: my girlfriends and I came up with this years ago - and it's true. Some people just do not literally smell right to you. There are some guys that you are not bacterial-ly compatible with - this means any time you and he are intimate, you end up with some sort of yeast infection or UTI or some annoyance you have to deal with. Not compatible. Gross.
23. He says something lame when you ask him what about you is most attractive to him: The lame man who is not right for you will say your boobs, your legs, your body, your hair... the right man for you will say your face, your eyes, your head, all of it, your heart, your voice, ... . :)
24. He cares more for your dog than he does you: Yea, that one should speak for itself. Again, you need to be his #1, and definitely above the dog, no matter how cute the critter is.
Have any others you want to share? Send them my way - I'd love to hear your thoughts/stories. Net - a man's actions will always tell you how you stack up in his life. A man that's worth it and deserves your loyalty will treasure you as his woman - not be so half-assed and absent.
I recommend the amazing work of John Gottman:
I'm on a TED kick - obviously. I'll put up the blog post I meant to today, this weekend related to love/relationships (yes, back to one of my favorite topics). This TED podcast, "Practical Wisdom" by Barry Schwartz is related to my other post titled "I am Worthy" and the keys to happiness - so I had to share.
In this podcast, Barry makes a passionate call for "practical wisdom" to our society that has been overrun by bureaucracy especially with the latest economic failures around the globe. We've too often taken the "easy way", turning off our critical thinking skills and doing what is expected, what is easiest, or what is most self-serving. Now, we're trying to "fix" everything with rules and incentives, and as Barry says, "rules often fail us... incentives backfire,... [and it is only through] practical wisdom [that we will be able to] rebuild our world.
Our rules and incentives need to be flexible, to take in exceptions, to remain true to what the intent and vision of why they exist in the first place. Rules and incentives affect real people - with real lives and stories. In the worlds of government, health, education, relationships, and business - let's not forget that. I've worked in too many companies that claim to care about the people - but are way too rigid to "walk the talk". Customers and employees are real people - each one with a different real life story. Rules/incentives are guidelines. Take the time to understand the people that are affected by the rules/incentives. Are you encouraging empathy and compassion for your people/clients/customers...? Are your people empowered to be virtuous and do the right thing? Rules/incentives are meant to be bent - and really serve the people they affect.
I’ve decided I want to blog more consistently. Rather than just thinking about doing it, I’m starting right now. I will be posting on this blog at least once a week for all of 2011 (goal is more like 2 posts a week)
I know it won’t be easy, but it might be fun, inspiring, awesome and wonderful. Therefore I’m promising to make use of The DailyPost, and the community of other bloggers with similiar goals, to help me along the way, including asking for help when I need it and encouraging others when I can. #postaweek2011 is the project - thought #postaday2011 was overly ambitious and communicative.
If you already read my blog, I hope you’ll continue to encourage me with comments and likes via my comments section directly on the blog post, contact me page, email, Twitter or Facebook along the way. Thank you so much for your support.