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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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Being Respected

In Love, Relationships on August 30, 2010 at 8:12 am

written by Swag

“I’m over it. We’re done. I’m sick.”

If you are a closet Jersey Shore feen like me then you recognize those three short sentences. Sammi “Sweetheart” goes out of her way to make statements concerning her digest and unwillingness to continue her relationship with Ron. But in the same minute, she will take care of him in all his glorious, drunken stupor. These two are in desperate need of a high dosage, Love|Hate|Relate  (L|H|R) regimen. 

Sam and Ron’s relationship is a cycle of highs and lows, but neither one of them knows how to relate to the other in a healthy manner. I realize they are young and will try to refrain from judging their characters, especially since I can see that a relationship on a reality television show is designed for drama and probably destined for failure. We will only look at their actions.

Everybody in that house knew how strange Sam’s expression of love was. Why did she go out of her way to be hurt by this guy? Why couldn’t she see what everybody else did? Well, for starters, it is a mark of insecurity. In healthy relationships, Love’s resulting feelings don’t trump disrespect. The desire to love someone else should never trump the requirement to love yourself and loving yourself means demanding a baseline of respect…consistent respect. Both Sam and Ronnie have faults and below are some of their most glaring issues explained with past L|H|R articles:

Sam

I Can’t Read Your F’ing Mind – “I suck at tests. That’s why I didn’t go to college. (Ron’s commentary)” Sam tests Ron constantly. She expects him to know how to please her while communicating the exact opposite of her desires. It was not unreasonable to expect him to spend some alone time with her. However, it was unreasonable for her to be upset that he went to the club after she said it was cool. She expected him know better by reading her mind. That’s just an argument waiting to happen.

Holding on to That Thread of Hope – Ron is nowhere near as emotionally invested as Sammi is. After a dramatic, unsuccessful relationship in the first season, she decided to subject herself to the same problems, all over again. Her desire to salvage that decaying thread of hope places her heart in harm’s way once more and it’s up to her to decide to let it go. Ron is looking for something he wants, an easy cuddle. Sam is looking for something she needs, a sense of emotional security. This is the real root of the issue.

Relationship Negotiations – Sammi got swindled. She now owns a garbage relationship and won’t let herself give it up. Since they have history, that means this time around involves a re-negotiation. The terms of the contract should be modified so Sammi can be happier and more satisfied with her purchase but she is all bark and no bite. She is not willing to play hardball and demand Ron treat her like a girlfriend if he wants all the benefits. The relationship is not on her terms, so in the end, Ron can and will do whatever he wants.

Ron

Grass is Greener – It’s obvious Ron wanted to roam. He wanted to enjoy his time in Miami as a single guy. But what he saw was the opportunity to have his cake and eat it too. He realized he could go hard at the club and still come home to Sam. He would get drunk to have an alibi  (I don’t remember) and he would get pissed off every time Sammi and him went out together so he could feel justified (Look how bitchy she is, I don’t deserve this). Not being completely invested changed the way he valued her as a person.

The Cookie Jar – It’s really selfish for Ron to treat Sam like he actually wants to be a responsible mate. She mistakenly puts her heart in his care and he injures it over and over again because he never wanted her heart, he only wanted to smoosh (cuddle/spoon) on command, which is just the Jersey Shore way of saying he wants the cookies (physical intimacy) without the cookie jar (commitment). Deep down he probably knows this, but since the relationship is on his terms, he benefits from the fiasco.

Couple

I Love it When You Yell at Me – Ron and Sam truly do need healthier conflict resolution skills. Their biggest mistake was believing that the conflict could be swept under the rug and they could go back to cuddling again. It’s fine to no longer be angry in the moment but that doesn’t mean the conflict is over. The conflict is over when the rules of the road are enforced. If you establish a boundary (I don’t like it when you do this), you have to also establish a consequence (If you keep doing it, this is what will happen). Sammi never invoked/enforced proper penalties and Ron knew she never would. It’s like a mother telling her child to stop jumping on the couch and the child defiantly saying “Make Me.” Instead of making him, she just repeats her request with more force.

True Love – Love can not be summed up in three words. While it does have associated feelings, True Love is a choice and an action. Ron never loved Sam because he never acted like it, but the real power lies with Sammi. Who’s going to love someone who doesn’t know how to love their self. It’s not that she didn’t deserve it, but if you don’t believe you should get a better deal, you’ll sign the first crappy contract that comes your way. The person who sold you this rust bucket of a relationship is only going to do the bare minimum required to keep you from selling it or sending it to the junkyard.

I wish I could say Ron and Sammi are the exception, but we all know we have had relationships that mimicked some of their dysfunction. Relationships are never about how much we feel for our significant others. They are about how much we are willing to do for them. No feeling lasts forever, even the heart-pounding elation we connect with love. Even though you can feel love, you can’t expect to always feel loving. It must be a choice. Let us allow Sam and Ronnie’s plight to be a quick lesson in establishing healthy relationships as we await the next episode with guilty anticipation.

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I Love It When You Yell At Me

In Compatibility on August 6, 2010 at 9:21 am

A good friend of mine and I were discussing dating a while back. She told me that, usually, she doesn’t feel very inclined to continue talking to a guy unless there is a small amount of drama involved. Now, was she referring to wife, ex, children, or mistress type drama? No, because things that serious rarely come to light as a relationship just takes flight. She was talking about the drama that arises when you realize the person you are courting doesn’t share the same expectations or beliefs that you do. Honestly, at the time, I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why it was necessary to introduce or seek out turmoil in the beginning of a relationship.

Recently though, I have come to terms with the idea. I don’t think it should be something sought after or artificially created but how two people initially react to disagreements is a much a better barometer of future relationship health than how good everything feels in the beginning.

Imagine dating someone for upwards of three months. The relationship is cake batter and rainbows. The sex is earthquakes and comet tails. You just can’t get enough of one another. Infatuous and passionate love have kicked in so you are on cloud nine, without a care in the world. Unfortunately, it would be unfair to believe that these feelings would last forever. Sooner or later, the tics that made the person so cute before become annoyances that irk the hell out of you. But even those aren’t a big deal, because you can adjust to them. They only become glaring blemishes when the spotlight of conflict and disagreement illuminates them.

The conflict, the arguments, the ‘I can’t stand you’ moments are what really define a relationship. The only feelings we seem to never really get used to are grief and anger. Unlike, passion, we usually get angry more, not less, when reacting to the same stimulus. If our partner does something repeatedly that angers us, there is no desensitization curve. We don’t get used to it over time. We become more angry with every reoccurrence.

That’s why conflict resolution skills are the single most important part of a relationship, after communication. If you want to know whether you and your partner will last, wait to see what happens when drama ramps up. See what it is like when you are at each other’s throats before you make the great leap into commitment. Find out whether your partner has the ability to engage you in a mature fashion despite disagreeing with you or being angry.

Learn his or her argumentative style. See what happens when you don’t have the fluffy feelings of love to buoy your emotions. It may save you a lot of time, stress, heartache….shattered windows…..burnt clothes……keyed cars……changed numbers……black eyes……broken dishes……..

Not that I would know or anything.

Swag

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