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Single Awareness Day Isn’t For Everyone

In Hate, Love, Relationships on February 14, 2011 at 11:10 am
 written by Sway

V-Day is about more than gifts!/bostonherald.com

It’s that time of year folks. Valentine’s Day aka “Single Awareness Day”. Today is the day people around the country will fall into one of these categories. They will:

  •  hate the fact that they don’t have a valentine (or hate Valentine’s Day) so they purposely wear all black and boycott the day and all of its red and pink glitter glory
  • hate the day because they do have a valentine and have been given the duty of  planning the “perfect” romantic day that their significant other won’t forget
  • love the day because they have a valentine and are the recipient of this “perfect” romantic day
  • feel neutral about the day and may or may not have a valentine, but don’t really care because they are treating today like a regular day

I am proud to say that I fall into the last category. I’m also proud to say that I going forward, I am choosing to be in this category every year. I’m not necessarily boycotting Valentine’s Day, I am boycotting what seems to be presented as the most significant part of the day according to flower, card, and chocolate companies alike: the gifting.

I can admit that a lot of single women see this day as the day that points out their relationship status and some don’t like to be reminded of it. The thought of going out on this night with a group of single girlfriends just to be surrounded by lovebirds over populating restaurants and walking down the street hand in hand with PDA on blast, is enough to make them want to stay home. But trust me, this day is a lot harder for people in a relationship. Well, I should say this day can be a lot more stressful. It seems society has made this day especially for the men to prove their undying love and commitment to their S.O. For some its redemption day–the day for them to attempt to  make up for any wrongdoing over the past year.

For others, it’s just another day to browse through Yelp looking for reservations to the highest Zagat rated pricy restaurant, have flowers shipped to their love’s office on last minute, and shell out big bucks giving them a gift that tops last year’s.

And for women in relationships, they hold some responsibility so it seems. Victoria’s Secret stores nationwide probably expect some of their biggest sales around this day as females look for body sprays and lotions with the  words “enchanting” or “sexy” in the title, and scour the racks for the perfect lingerie (or lingeree as I call it) to show off to their man.

Okay, okay, so when it comes to the gender roles on V-Day, maybe I’m generalizing here. But either way, I have come to the conclusion that I, nor my boyfriend, will play a part in any of it. Why you ask? This is all due to a book I read called Waiter’s Rant. This book, written by an anonymous ex-waiter, detailed the ups and downs that he encountered while working at an upscale NYC restaurant. One chapter in particular about Valentine’s Day made me realize something that I think I’ve always felt. Why celebrate a day with my loved one just because the card companies told me so? Why should we fall into yearly gifting and planning of elaborate affairs just because on this same day others are doing it?  Isn’t that what anniversaries, birthdays, and Christmas are for? I guess I feel like for males or females, Valentine’s Day is a just another day to compete against yourself. What kind of gift can you buy for your S.O. this year that will be better than the last? What kind of night can top all the past V-Day’s?

This isn’t a bitter rant everyone, it’s me realizing that I don’t need to be sucked into society’s idea of what this day should be about. I’m just not buying the hype (no pun intended). On this day, I will enjoy myself just by spending quality time with my significant other, and that is a gift good enough for me!

How do you all feel about Valentine’s Day? Yay or nay to celebrating it?

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Disliking Your Friend’s Significant Other Part 2

In Communication, Hate on December 13, 2010 at 10:30 am
 written by Sway

Can't we all just get along?.../tyra.com

 
 So you find out:

Your boy can’t stand your girlfriend.

or

Your best girlfriend reveals to you that they don’t like your boyfriend.

What to do? 

While “Part 1”  (click here)  focused on someone having to cope with one disliking their friend’s significant other, this post will focus primarily on the person in the relationship, who has to deal with their friend not liking their significant other. Is this you? Well before you accuse your friend of being envious of your great relationship, here are a few things to consider:

PROJECTION

How are you projecting your significant other to your friend?

Projection is everything when it comes to meeting someone for the first time. If you are in a situation where your friend has yet to meet your significant other, what you say about them prior to their meet is vital to their impression of them. Based off of what you say, your friend could already have their mind made up about how they feel about them well before they meet them.  And even if they’ve already met on good terms, then any later information you share about your relationship can affect their future feelings about them. Sharing positive information will most likely help your friend to gain respect for your bf/gf, while negative information will elicit criticism from them.

I’m not suggesting to lie or to choosing to not share things to your friend when something negative happens in your relationship. Your friends will be there for you to give you advice on anything, and sometimes you need that level headed, outside perspective to get you through the hard times. I am simply suggesting that when speaking of your significant other, be mindful of how you come across. If you only talk about your bf/gf to your friend when things are going bad in your relationship, then you can’t be upset at them for having a negative opinion on them.

POSITIVE vs. NEGATIVE

This is your relationship. Which means that you have the benefit of experiencing all faucets of your significant other. You not only see them at their worst but at their best.  Even if you divulged to your friend all the positives of your relationship, like the little cute idiosyncrasies your bf/gf does to make you smile, or all of the special sweet nothings they’ve said to you, or every nice thing they’ve done for you, they probably won’t keep track of it all.

Even if you were to mention a hundred and one good things your partner has done in your relationship, the bad things can end up being more memorable to your friend depending on severity. Why? Because bad things hold more weight. Think about it. I’m sure every bad thing that happens in your own relationship may go off as a red flag in your head. So imagine if you were to bring up every time your bf/gf annoys you, makes you angry, or does something wrong in your relationship, your friend may get such a negative impression of them that any good thing you tell them probably won’t make a difference.

PERSONALITY CONFLICT

There’s one thing that a positive perception can’t mediate: personality conflict. Sometimes for whatever reason, two people just don’t mesh well. This could be the case for your significant other and best friend. Maybe their personalities are complete opposites (like one is passive and the other is aggressive) or even, very similar. As ironic as it may seem, two people’s like personalities can easily be the catalyst for them to clash with each other because of their vast similarities.

Whatever the case, you can expect your friend’s negative perception of your bf/gf, on top of possible clashing personalities to make the situation even worse, which can lead to disaster. 

To think that tension and conflict will be present anytime your two favorite people are in the same vicinity, is enough to stress anyone out. So what to do if your situation falls into these categories? First, try speaking to them individually to see what issue each has with the other person. If the situation gets so bad that it has become torturous to hang out with them simultaneously, then it’s time to hash things out. Sit with both of them and try playing mediator. Be sure to let them know how important they both are to you (hence the reason for the sit-down). Since they both care about you enough to not want to stress you out, then maybe there will be a break through! You never know until you try it.

And if these factors aren’t the core of the problem, then lastly I want to introduce another possibility:

THEY ARE NOT GOOD FOR YOU

And this goes for your significant other. Did it ever cross your mind that your friend may dislike your bf/gf because they don’t think they are good for you? Maybe they’ve seen first hand accounts of your significant other not respecting you and it didn’t sit right with them. If you have a good friend, they will most likely voice their opinion about it because they have your best interest in mind. Re-evaluate your relationship. You may realize that your choice of a partner was the problem from the very beginning.

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Disliking Your Friend’s Significant Other Part 1

In Communication, Hate on November 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm
 written by Sway

One of my exes half jokingly calls me a boyfriend hater. Why you ask? Well because there have been times I didn’t really care for some of the guys one of my best friends dated. Let’s just say there have been cases where I haven’t gotten along meshed well with some of her boyfriends because of personality conflict, lol. It’s not that I hated them (hate is such a strong word), I just wasn’t impressed by them.

And I know what you’re thinking…they don’t have to impress me, they have to impress her. She is a grown adult and  is always going to make her own decisions on who she feel is worthy of her.

But the thing is, that my bestie is simply amazing. She’s a honest, intelligent, enthusiastic, pretty, caring, driven, open-minded, dependable, independent, optimistic, and loving person. She has a positive, calming aura. A beautiful spirit. She’s fun to be around. She’s genuine and always has people’s best interests in mind. And on the friend front, she has been there for me through thick and thin, and inspires me to be a better friend. And these are just a few of many characteristics she encompasses. So of course I’m going to think there is someone out there better for her if I see her with someone who doesn’t match up to her many great qualities.  

So how do you balance having the slightest dislike of your friend’s significant other all while being supportive of their relationship? It’s a tricky situation indeed my friends. One thing you have to keep in mind that as the person outside of the situation, the complete picture of what you see in their relationship will always be clearer to you, so you may see things about your friend’s significant other that they may not choose to see. 

Also keep these two things in mind:

WHEN GIVING ADVICE

There will probably be times where your friend will vent to you about a situation they are going through with their significant other. They vent to you because they not only trust you, and want your insight, but because they are most likely trying to sort out their feelings before they approach their bf/gf about it. Be sensitive to their situation and give your best advice. Try to not to let any personal thoughts you have about their other half influence the type of advice you give them. Example:

    Your friend talks to you about how much their bf/gf doesn’t appreciate them. Don’t respond by saying “Yeah I always thought they were a loser anyways, you should just drop them.”

Instead, open a dialogue. Ask more questions to get an idea of what they are talking about. Better yet ask them if they have ever talked to their bf/gf about the situation, and encourage them to do so if they haven’t.

WHILE HANGING OUT

Depending on how close you and your friend are, there will probably be several situations where you have to be in the same social setting with your friend’s bf/gf. Though it may be challenging, the best thing to do is to is to keep things as amicable as possible. Now I’m not saying to act fake or plaster a phony smile at all times, but just keep things positive. There’s no reason to cause tension in what should be an otherwise fun situation.

You also need to keep in mind that when it comes to things your friend tells you about their relationship you are only really getting your friend’s perspective of the situation. Sure, you can formulate an opinion just on the information that you know from them, but remember that it will be biased.

For the situation with my friend, when it came to giving advice, I found myself telling her things she should do based off of what I would do if I were in her shoes. In the end I had to remind myself not to judge her if she didn’t choose to take my advice because: A) when it comes to relationships everything is easier said than done, and B) she is the one who is invested in the relationship, so her decisions affect her more so than me.

Despite what you feel towards their significant other, you essentially need to be supportive of your friend through their relationship’s ups and downs. At the end of the day for my friend’s relationship, I knew she would make decisions that she felt were best for her whether I agreed to it or not. And being her friend and support system, meant that I had to respect that!

Have you ever disliked your friend’s boyfriend or girlfriend? If so, how did you handle it?

Stay tuned for part 2…

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Leading People On

In Attraction, Hate on September 9, 2010 at 1:56 pm

 written by Sway

But what? Wait...do you REALLY love him?/stylescientist.blogspot.com

Let’s keep it real ladies and gentlemen, it is cool to know when someone likes you. Finding out that someone thinks about you or wants you makes you feel good inside and can instantly boost your ego. But what you do when you discover someone has taken more interest in you than you have in them is important. You can do one of two options:

1) be an adult about the situation and express to the person how you really feel.

2) choose to lead them on with actions that don’t match your feelings.

Some may look at these two options as lose-lose situations.  Depending on the depth of their feelings for you, doing numero uno can cause unwanted drama and tension between you two. And doing the second option only digs you into a deep hole of deceit that you will have to find a way out of later.

So which one seems like the lesser of two evils…..Hhmmmm?

Clearly the answer is number 1. If you are in this sort of situation first ask yourself why you are leading this person on? Based on my experiences, there were only two reasons why I’ve done this in the past.

The first reason was I was bored with my dating life. There have been several occasions where I wasn’t really thrilled with my rotation of Time Fillers so I felt the need to add guys to the roster that really didn’t serve me any purpose but paying me attention.

The second and more likely reason, was because I was hurt. Hurt people hurt people, and most times I was hurting because I was still getting over a past relationship/break up. I’ve realized that the more hurt I was, the more likely I was to lead someone new in my life on, to fill the void and my broken heart.

At the end of the day, it all came down to me wanting attention. I wasn’t happy with my current dating situation and spending time with someone who was interested in me, made me feel better about it. But in actuality, once I realized someone felt more for me than I did them, there honestly wasn’t any good reason to keep them around because they would always expect more from the situation than I was willing to give. The mere act of us hanging out , came across as a sign that I liked them when it wasn’t the case. This was reason enough to consider letting them know the deal.  And when I actually did it, it was refreshing.

The cons: Yes, it was hard for me to have the conversation with the guy because it was difficult for me to figure out a way to let him know how I felt without coming across inconsiderate or mean. And yes, his feelings did get hurt. 

Here are the pros: I avoided hurting his feelings more, by having the conversation as soon as I realized how he felt. The conversation would have been ten times harder had I let it go on for too long. And eventually I would have had to find excuses for why I wouldn’t want to hang with him because it would have gotten to a point where I would be going through the motions. And probably the most beneficial pro would be that now that he knew where I stood, we could stop wasting time and use the time we were spending with each other to spend it with people who liked us just as much as we liked them.

So whenever you find yourself in this situation, just step up to the plate and tell them you only see them as a friend. If you’ve tried telling them how you feel based off actions alone and they still don’t get the hint, remember that this can be one of those situations where words speak louder than actions. In turn, you will really be saving yourself from a lot of unnecessary drama in the future. And if you feel bad about it,  just think of it as you doing a favor for both you and the other person. 🙂 

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Credit Card – Interest Rate Scams

In Hate, Relationships on July 22, 2010 at 9:04 am

Yesterday, I received a phone call from a strange arizona number. A recording comes on telling me that due to the recent rise in my credit score, I am eligible to have the interest rates lowered on my credit cards.
Telltale sign # 1 – No credit card company calls you with a recording and doesn’t ask for identifying information via touchtone.

Well, I was swayed because there was a recent, albeit small rise in my score. When I am transferred to a customer service agent, the individual proceeds to ask me questions about my debt level. No inquiry into whether I am who I say I am (which I haven’t even stated yet). I am getting suspicious at this point and begin to quiz the agent. What company do you work for? Card services sir, we represent a number of companies on behalf of their customers.
Telltale sign # 2 – Generic company name that holds no real value and is not distinguishable.

As I ramp up my interrogation, the phone starts ringing again as if I was transferred elsewhere. A lady picks up and states that there was an issue with the lines.
Telltale sign # 3 – No credible customer service company transfers you elsewhere without first giving you notice.

The new woman begins the same rant that the last guy gave me but she’s way more aggresive. She states that she is affiliated with Experian, the credit rating agency and while she is talking I notice a ton of background noise. Literally, I can hear every other customer service agent in the room.
Telltale sign # 4 – What credible company with a customer service department can’t afford a bulk order of noise cancelling headphones for their employees.

I ask her why I can’t call my credit card company and request a lower interest rate myself. She tells me that I don’t have the legal binding power necessary to request a lower interest rate.
Telltale sign # 5 – How the hell is a credit card contract not legally binding?

At this point I’m angry, annoyed, and confused. The female customer service agent is in the midst of her spiel, mid sentence, when the line just cuts off. HAH!! Ain’ t that a basket of crap. The full phone call didn’t last more than ten minutes, after which I called my REAL bank and confirmed my suspicions.

If you receive any of these types of calls, know that there isn’t anything a third party company can do for you that you couldn’t call your bank and request for yourself.

Happy Scamming Folks!!

Swag

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Keep your eyes above water

In Attraction, Hate, Relationships on July 20, 2010 at 11:52 am

image

I’m standing alone at the back of an elevator one day. I have plenty of room because this bad boy is fairly large, fitting about 15 people comfortably. As I begin to travel downstairs, the elevator stops a few floors below me and an older gentleman steps in wearing a pair of slacks, a blue button up and loafers. The doors close and we start to moving towards the bottom floor again. After another couple of floors pass, we stop again. This time, however, on boards a fairly attractive young lady. She is sporting a black skirt and suit jacket with matching heels.

The older gentleman steps backwards, making room for our new guest and we continue to make our way downstairs. As we travel, I peep the man peeping the girl. Since the elevator is so big, I can watch him, watch her, without him knowing. We are all facing the front of the elevator so his back is to me and her back is to both of us. Taking advantage of the situation, he glides his eyes down her backside and rests them on her legs (the only visible skin).

1-one thousand…2-one thousand…3-one thousand…ding. We all get of the elevator and walk our separate ways.

Honestly, I felt violated for her. I’m a guy so I understand why he checked her out (She did have killer calves). But damn, there is something shameful about a grown man not having any tact in the way that he goes about checking out an attractive woman. As an adult, you have to be more cognizant of your surroundings. Someone should not be able to know that you are undressing a woman with your eyes if they see you looking at her.

Fellas, if you want to know when your eyes have overstayed their welcome, here is a simple formula.

If she is standing still, then count to 2. If you get to 2, then you have ALREADY looked for too long. If she is walking, then count her footsteps. If she takes 2-3 full steps (depending upon her speed), you have ALREADY stared for too long and you need to bring your eyes back above water.

Don’t me wrong though. It’s summer time in New York, and this place is like none other. The city blossoms in the spring and everybody’s attire gets a little brighter. Ladies start showing a little more skin. There isn’t anything wrong with enjoying a woman’s beauty especially if she has it proudly on display. We all know how enticing it is to see a woman walk as if she knows she’s beautiful.

What isn’t ok, is when you have either broken your neck to catch a view or dry humped a passing woman with your eyeballs.

Have a little dignity and respect fellas.

Swag

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Forgiveness & Vindication

In Hate, Love on July 19, 2010 at 9:13 am



You know, Sway’s been speaking some truth about Emotional Baggage over on the Bag Lady post. It got me wondering though. Why is it so hard for people to love, let live and forgive.

Do you feel vindicated when you don’t forgive someone as if you are enacting some righteous punishment? Do you feel justified for hating the person who has wronged you?

Forgiveness is not reconciliation. You don’t have to make amends and you aren’t required to be friends. Forgiveness is also not forgetting what happened (that’s called psychological repression – like a backed up toilet, it will come back to haunt you).

What I mean is authentic, peace enducing  forgiveness. Some of us may even need to forgive ourselves as well. Below are three ways to help you stop emotionally prosecuting those who have wronged you and move forward with your life.

1) Reframe the situation – Bad things happen to everybody. It’s not  a matter of what happened but how you react. It may be difficult to do at first but try telling yourself it was meant to be this way. The Good and the Bad allowed you to refine what standards you can and cannot compromise.

2) Do You – Seriously, just DO YOU!! Stop worrying about past, present and future relationships. No person is completely defined by the interactions they have with others. Which means your worth isn’t completely based on having a significant others in your life. Many of us seek appreciation in others because it’s hard to value ourselves. Go try something you have never done before. Pursue a talent or hobby that has been waiting for some love. Don’t wait for the emotions to pass, make them pass by replacing them with better emotions.

3) Set Standards not Sentences – If you’ve been hurt, then most likely you will create standards and beliefs that will help you to avoid being hurt again. Smart and reasonable, I say. What you can’t do is make your standards a life sentence. If the next person that comes along doesn’t measure up to your standards when you meet them, most likely they never will. Stick to your guns and don’t sacrifice for the sake of ‘what-if”, ‘maybe’, or ‘they can change.’

Swag

Note – Forgiveness is just as necessary in a relationship as it is after one.

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Don’t Holler at Your Girl

In Attraction, Hate on July 16, 2010 at 4:34 pm
 
 

 This post is catered to the young females who will be going away to college this fall… 

“Ay ma!  Ayyy MA!….Aaaaayyyy MAAAAAA!…come here..”  A “distinguished young gentleman”  hollered at me from a black truck as I was walking by. What did I do? Kept it MOVING!

Some girls may consider it flattering when someone hollers at them. Well guess what? If a guy is shouting out to you, and telling (not asking) you to come over to his truck as he is sitting at a red light, that is NOT my idea of flattery.

*We won’t even discuss my personal favorite “holleration” of someone looking me straight in the eye and calling me out by the wrong color I’m wearing.. ie: They say “Ay girl in the red”  –but I’m wearing pink*

Let’s imagine that for every 15 girls these guys try to holler at, there are 2 to 3 girls that actually stop to listen to their advances. Damn those 2 to 3 girls, because they are the ones that keep the cycle perpetuating. These guys see that they are getting some sort of attention and even if the odds are against them, they probably figure that some attention is better than nothing.

Ladies know your self worth. Do yourself and other females a favor by not entertaining these guys. I do not care if he has a Beemer 6 Series,  a fresh line up, and looks like Idris Elba’s twin.  Seriously ask yourself, is this the way you deserve to be approached? If this guy thinks it’s acceptable to give you this kind of first impression, who knows how he would treat a relationship?

I remember going away to college and getting hollered at more in one day than I did over a few years at home (I really don’t mean to toot my own horn, but I’d like to think of myself as a PYT;-) ).It was so overwhelming at times mainly because I didn’t know how to respond. If I said “hi” and kept it moving, it seemed to create a false sense of hope that a conversation would follow when I knew it wouldn’t. Then the guys would usually get upset just because they thought the “hi” was an invitation to keep coming at me.

If I didn’t say anything at all, that still caused a bit of an issue. Usually guys would yell something smart to at me  and end the sentence with a profanity.

This is where electronics come handy.

Just put your headphones on and listen to music.

Or have your phone out and act like you are on a call…

AND PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR PHONE IS ON SILENT SO THAT IF A CALL COMES IN, NO ONE WILL HEAR IT, OR ELSE THAT WILL DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF “ACTING” LIKE YOU ARE ON A CALL….

This all takes preparation so make sure you have everything out before you walk down the street if you feel the holleration coming your way. You can usually spot it ahead of time if you see a group of guys staring your way you before you approach their area. 

Hope this helped a little…

What’s the worst way someone has hollered at you? And how did you handle the situation?

 Sway

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