Love Living, Quit Hating, Everyone Relating

Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Being the Wing(wo)man

In Compatibility on March 2, 2011 at 3:48 pm

  written by Sway

tyra.com

I just realized recently that out of the majority of my friends, I am one of the only ones that is in a relationship. Times that were once spent going on double and triple dates with my man in tow, are now just my man and I or us surrounded by a group of single friends.

And by all means, I have no problem with it. There have been times in the past where I was one of the few single people in my circle so it’s not that big of deal to me.

So it seems that having the “booed up” status has automatically earned me the new title of wingman…ahem wing woman for my friends when we go out. And though I don’t feel like the expert, I thought I’d write some tips on how to be the perfect wing woman based off of my experiences. Note: These tips are not gender specific and can be applied to wingmen also.

BE ENCOURAGING– So you’re out and about and one of your friends sees someone they find attractive but may not feel comfortable approaching them. Encourage them to talk to them! And if they are too shy, remember that’s what you are there for…lol.

CONFIDENCE IS KEY-Maybe you aren’t normally assertive or outgoing when it comes to approaching the opposite sex, but if you plan on being a wingwoman, you have to let shyness go by the waistside. There’s no way to get someone’s attention or make a memorable impression on someone if you don’t have that initial confidence.

KNOW YOUR ROLE– If you are single, avoid being greedy, and trying to steal someone away from your friend. That defeats the whole purpose of being a wingwoman in the first place. Know your purpose! You are aiding your friend in their romantic pursuits, not in your own (and if you are taken, you should be ashamed of yourself).

FILL IN THE BLANKS– You know, it’s funny. I’ve realized that there has to be a certain balance when it comes to playing the wingwoman. You are there to come in where your friend may fall short and you want to get the interest of your friend’s conquest, but not so much so that they are more interested in you than her. I know that there is no way of preventing someone being attracted to you over your friend, but keeping your friend as the main focus when breaking the ice with her conquest should help you to draw a clear line in showing them what your motives are. Your duty as a wingwoman isn’t to knock your friend out of the limelight and steal her shine, it’s to present her in the most appealing way possible. Which leads me to this next point…

DON’T OVER-DO IT-You want to present her in the most appealing way possible but that doesn’t mean going on and on rattling off a list of her life accomplishments. You are not a used car salesman, so please don’t try and sell your friend to her conquest. If they are interested in her, they will be open to your approach. If not,  move on. Think of yourself as her recruiter, not her spokesperson. Your job is to recruit, introduce, and let things happen from there.

KNOW WHEN TO PULL OUT-(That’s what she said?)<PAUSE> The introduction is made between your friend and her conquest. If they are hitting it off quite well, then that’s when you know you can dust your shoulders off for a job well done. There’s no need in lurking around unless you ALL are having a good time. So it’s up to you to gage when three is a crowd. But let’s just say she’s not feeling him after a while and doesn’t have the courage to tell him? Feel free to assist in removing herself from the situation. If your friend seems stuck, give her lines to get out. Her saying she “needs to get back to her friends” as a reason to cut her conversation short with her now ex-conquest is acceptable. There is absolutely nothing wrong using your friends as an excuse!

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.

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS POSTS

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…

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS POSTS

Sway’s Sound Off: Leaving My Friends for My Boyfriend?

In Relationships, Sound Off on September 29, 2010 at 9:00 am
 written by Sway

Myyyy girlfriends....there through thick and thin..."

Let me tell you right off the bat, that I am sounding off about myself.  

I am guilty.  

Framed…  

Of what, you ask? It’s hard to admit, but for the purpose of the post I will tell you.  

I am guilty of forgetting about my girlfriends sometimes.  

Yes it is inevitable, that once someone gets into a relationship, they will hang out with their friends a bit less than before (well sometimes).  Instead of having to divide their time to just work/school, family, extracurriculars/responsibilities, and friends, they now have to add their significant other in the mix which. And this usually results in less time allotted to one of the other areas.  

And for me, that area is my friends. I’ve realized over the years that I have a pattern of getting into a relationship and hanging out with and/or calling my girls significantly less than before being attached. It’s not like I cut all ties to them or ignore them, but sometimes I will “think about going” to something they invited me to just in case something  my boyfriend wants to do comes up. I know, I know, it’s no bueno…  

What I’ve noticed is that while this trend happens to both genders (admit it guys, you know you’ve had that feeling of wanting to spend all your free time with your new girl because they excite you and make you feel all giddy inside), females tend to fall victim to it more often.  

When females are single, we attach ourselves to our friends and live for girls nights out at the club. We shop, get mani’s and pedi’s together, plan lunch and dinner dates, and go to happy hours galore.  

Lauren, Audrina, and Lo always carve out "she-time" for each other/stylebakeryteen.com

Then all of a sudden we get a boyfriend and BOOM!…girl-time is now diminished to meeting up when we “have the time”.  

Guys are a different story. Example-when guys are single, they go clubbing, watch ESPN with the boys, play their PS3, and play ball. But what happens when they get a girlfriend?  

Guys always have time in their schedules for "he-time"

They go clubbing, watch ESPN with the boys, play their PS3, and play ball, lol.  

From my experiences, nothing really changes too drastically. I’ve noticed that guys don’t seem to place their friends on the back burner as much as women do once they get into a relationship. I’ve had this conversation with a few of my girlfriends and they all agreed.  

Sadly, I have been guilty of this. And some of my friends have been guilty as well. You ladies may be guilty of it and don’t even realize it (The times when I discover that I hang out with my boyfriend’s friends more than my own is when I think about this).  

But I guess the question is, what is it about getting into relationships that causes us females to detach ourselves from our true blue friends?   

Your girls have always been there for you. They took you out for an all night drinking binge to forget your nasty boss when you got laid off. They were the ones to throw you a surprise party for your birthday. They let you borrow their favorite formal dress when you had nothing to wear for a last-minute gala invite. And when that guy who occupied all your old girl-time for months broke up with you, your friends were at your doorstep with kleenex on hand and shoulders to cry on.  

My own true girlfriends have done so much for me. And while I cherish them, sometimes I feel like I fail to show it. I never want to be that girl who my friends think has “disappeared off the face of the earth” just because I have a man. I never want my friends to feel like they can’t come to me with a problem because I’ll be too busy for them.  

I refuse to be a "friend" like Heidi Montag!

There is a way to balance my-time (time with myself), we-time (time with my boyfriend), and she-time (time with my girls). I am definitely better at it than I was before.  But I’m going to have to take notes from my boyfriend and other males in relationships on this one, and imitate what they do. After all, if they can balance he-time and we-time successfully, then there is no reason why I can’t either.

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS POSTS

Friends of the Opposite Sex – pt.1

In Attraction, Relationships on July 26, 2010 at 12:53 am

The fact is that people need other people and they always will. It’s a result of humans taking nine months to be born, two years to learn basic communication, and five years to have real control over their motor skills. We grow up needing other people to teach, feed, and support us. It can be debated whether we need anyone for emotional support but the point that we don’t need anybody else, ever is a hard sell.

In the same token, I think people have friends in order to fill needs that no one person can fill. Living up to your potential is achieved through growth. Meeting, befriending, and empathizing with new people is a route to that end.

I have been discussing the idea of friendships with others. More exclusively though, I have been talking about having friends of the opposite sex while being in a relationship. Is this ok? Is it a recipe for failure? Below are some of the issues that pertain to opposite sex (or the sex you are attracted to) friendships while being in a relationship.

How long have you known the individual?
Did you know your friend before your current relationship? If so, then you are probably still friends for a reason. Whether they are a confidant or casual friend, your friend plays some role in your life. As long as you maintain healthy boundaries then you should continue the friendship. If your current partner has a problem with this situation then this may have more to do with his or her insecurities than your wrongdoing.

How well do you know each other?
The longer you have known someone, the more likely it is that you two are fairly close. Your partner may not like the idea of someone else being privy to as much knowledge about you as he or she is. Remember, while there is a such thing as feeding your partner’s insecurities (bad thing) there is also the need to value your his or her beliefs (good thing).
Making sure your partner is comfortable with the situation is a step towards valuing them as….well….as your partner. If you are really good friends with someone before entering into a relationship, make sure to communicate this as a nonissue. When healthy friends become close enough, they are essentially family and no one would or should tell you that you can no longer talk to your family in order to be with them. 

Is any level of attraction involved?
Attraction is a natural part of life. When having friends, attraction is very possible but not necessarily a game changer. You must be weary of the ‘grass is greener’ effect. Being mature in a relationship means knowing what to do when you experience this newfound attraction. It can seem very exciting and worthwhile but don’t let this cloud your judgment. It must also be noted that if your friend is attracted to you as well, they always have less invested in your current relationship than you do and may not have your best interests in mind.

Are you using your attraction as an excuse?
There are times when we are with someone for so long that it’s more of a hassle to break up with them than it is to stay together. At this point in a relationship that people are prone to justifying their actions. Attraction then becomes an escape or excuse to escape. Take an honest look at your relationship. Are you satisfied and happy with your investment and the corresponding rewards? Are you doing what it takes to keep the relationship aflame? If not, then attraction may very well become an excuse to leave. In fact, you have a higher risk of becoming attracted to someone else period, let alone a friend.

Our complex nature as human beings requires us to have a variety of relationships. We grow through our experiences with others and it would be unfair to only rely on one person for consistent stimulation and inspiration. Having strong, healthy relationships outside of your intimate relationship requires setting strong, healthy boundaries. So be aware of your personal motivations and communicate to your partner the value of your friendships. This transparency will show your partner that you value his or her opinions and feelings.

Swag

CLICK HERE FOR PREVIOUS POSTS

%d bloggers like this: