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5 Things You Need to Start Doing

Posted in Lifestyle by

Pink and red flowers--roses and peonies--are laid out on a concrete floor. Overlaid is the title "5 Things You Need To Start Doing"

Last week was all about 5 Things You Need to Stop Doing. If I left it at that, it would feel like doing bicep curls on just my left arm, or throwing out the trash without putting a new bag in the trash can. Things, big and small, need to be balanced: so if you stop doing some things, you should also start doing other things.

Just like last week, these are lifestyle areas to draw out your inner happiness and confidence, as well as spread some positivity around for others. You will have to work at it and it won’t happen over night, but one day you’ll catch yourself doing one of these things naturally and that little lightbulb in your head will go off, likely accompanied with the realization that you’ve achieved some growth.

 

#1 Start Speaking Up

We live in a time and age when people are being encouraged to find their voice. Some are doing this well, like Emma Watson and Halsey, and others are…well, not so great. There is still a time and place to shut your trap and nod your head while blending in with the wall paper, but those instances are falling into the majority. It’s time to start taking small and big steps towards having your voice heard.

Let’s start little. The next time you’re with a group of friends or coworkers and everyone is asking “where do you want to go for lunch?” but no one is coming up with an answer, speak up! Even if you truly don’t care if your get salads or pizza or just raid the vending machines, you’ll be the hero for giving a definite answer, rather than just keeping the question game alive. It’s so simple, but it will give you a bit of a confidence boost and people will start to pay attention to your existence.

How about a medium step? The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, say so. Tell your BFF “I’m having a rough week and need a girl’s night”. Go to your boss and say “this project is bigger than I anticipated and I could use more resources to make sure it’s done on time and done well”. Feeling underwhelmed? It’s okay to say “no hard feelings, but this date isn’t going very well. Why don’t we just get the check now, shake hands, and call it a night?” rather than suffering through another hour and then pretending like you had a good time and should do it again sometime.

Now we’re ready for a big step, and it’s going to be uncomfortable. But necessary. And worth it. This is the step where you start speaking up when things are uncomfortable, rather than gritting your teeth and bearing with it because for some terrible reason, you think that’s how it should be. This is where you start challenging voices of authority that aren’t keeping up with the times, that are delivering false information, that can’t defend or rationalize their actions. It’s time to start calling out instances of mansplaining and hepeating and sexism and racism. I won’t lie, it will be hella awkward in the moment. But later, when you’re driving home and reviewing your day, you’ll feel a lot better knowing that you stood up and made a stand.

 

#2 Start Thinking with Confidence and Love

The saying “beauty comes from within” refers to kindness and a good personality. Wanna know where those things come from? Confidence and self love. I’ll wait for you to pick of the pieces of your blown mind at this realization.

But seriously, we’ve got to start learning to love ourselves, and that starts with the way we talk to and about ourselves. Every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to sleep (or as often as you can), tell yourself that you are great, you are worthy, everything if fine. It’s cheesy and you’ll feel silly, but it will make such a difference in how you present and carry yourself.

The best part? You can totally fake it, and it still counts. In the beginning, you might not believe yourself when you think “I am beautiful” or “I am worthy of love”, but you need to say it anyway, and with as much conviction as you can muster. The saying is “fake it until you make it”. And there’s science behind it to prove it works. 

I’ll leave on this note: how you treat yourself sets the standard for how other people can treat you.

Related Reading: 6 Mantras To Live By In 2018

A bike basket is filled with bright pink flowers to symbolize the love of self. Give yourself a gift of happiness and flowers.

 

#3 Start Challenging Your Conditioning 

It’s like Ms. Norbury said, “You’ve got to stop calling each other sluts and whores. It just makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores.” We need to start examining our behavior, language, reactions, ideas, roles, and everything and figure out if it’s something we do because we like it and it feel right, or if it’s something we’ve been secretly trained to do. Our words and actions reinforce other words and actions, like the idea that sexual activity it okay for guys but not for girls, because that’s just wrong.

There’s this idea that the first thought through your head is what you’ve been conditioned to think. Things like “ew, that girl is so fat” or “I have a flat tire so I should call my boyfriend to fix it”. But it’s your second thought that defines you: “that girl is rocking her skin; good for her” or “I should call my boyfriend to teach me to fix my flat tire so I can do it myself next time.” It’s time to start rethinking and going with that second thought. That also means thinking about yourself differently (see #2 above!).

 

#4 Start Half-Assing Things

In the wise words of Amy Phoeler, “The doing is the thing.” It’s not going to be perfect the first time you do it, so you have to start somewhere. So it’s just about the doing, not the result.

I am not a fitness person. I do not love the gym or have a clue about what to do when I’m there. But it’s important to be active and healthy, so I go. In the beginning, I went for the minimum twenty minutes, did a little of this, barely touched that, and then went home. And I celebrated! It was an absolutely terrible workout, but it was more of a workout than I had done before. I congratulate myself on going, on just showing up and doing the bare minimum, because I was focusing on building the habit, of just getting out of my shell and doing it. Bit by bit, my workouts started to increase in length and purpose and I’ve improved. If I had tried to be perfect on day one, it would have been too much pressure and I wouldn’t have even started.

So really, this is about “starting to start”.

A woman sits on a stump by the beach, the wind blowing her blonde hair.

 

#5 Start Going For What you Want

Sitting around wishing for something isn’t going to get you anywhere except Sadville. Want a better job? Start applying. Want love? Stop wondering why you can’t meet anyone when all you do is sit in the dark watching Netflix; go out and make the first move! Or adopt a puppy. Either works.

You can start small (see #4), but you have to start. Saying “maybe next year” is just another way of saying “I want it, but not badly enough to do anything about it, so it will never happen.” Get out of that cycle, grab life for the reigns, and start taking control! Because you can do it, you do deserve it, and it is worth it.

 

When you’re ready to start, I’d love to hear from you! Let’s help each other stay on course towards growth, so don’t be afraid to reach out.

March 15, 2018
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When It’s Been a Long Week, and It’s Only Monday…

Posted in Lifestyle by

Monday

It’s really hard for me to get motivated sometimes. I start thinking about things I should do, like clean my bathroom, dust my room and write “thank you” cards from Christmas, but I don’t do them. I have a lot of doubts about myself and my decisions, even if I don’t show or say anything. This weekend got me on a pretty low level. Let me reiterate this first weekend in March for you and tell you how I was built up, torn down, but still standing.

Thursday

I recently joined a company that is essentially a Costco for travelling. If you know what I’m talking about, you already know what it is, and for those of you who don’t, I’m sorry but I can’t explain it here. It’s kind of like me explaining how I liked a movie, but you have to see it to know what I’m talking about. So I joined  a few weeks ago and had invited my friends to check it out. I took one friend who is incredibly smart in business. He owns his own business and has built it all pretty much by himself. He asked a lot of questions, and by the time we were heading back home, he had me thinking a lot about my life; especially my financial decisions. Yes, this group has potential to make residual income, but you have to work hard at it and I think it’s easier to explain to strangers than people who know me well. It really took its toll on me when NONE of my friends were as excited about it as I was.

victoria-palacios-355597-unsplash

So I found myself freaking out, trying to figure out what the hell I was doing. I have been a temp employee at my 9-5 job for 7 months with an hourly rate that isn’t enough to pay my necessary bills each month. I work some weekends with high school kids for hours and make less money in two days than I make in one day at my weekly job. I’ll take babysitting, house-sitting and pet-sitting jobs for extra income. I’ve been looking at different jobs, but with all the debt I have, I don’t have a lot of flexibility to relocate. I have four credit cards I need to pay off on top of my other debt and my car is barely halfway through the lease period. It seems like I have more than I can financially handle. As the saying goes, “I’ve bit off more than I can chew”.

Related Reading: 7 Ways to Maximize Your Budget, The Two Step: A Bilateral Move

Friday

I decided to do some work for the blog during my lunch period at work (posting on social media (if Belle hadn’t already) and trying to figure out IFTTT (IF This Than That), an app that I was recommended but am still figuring out the ins and outs of). I was also trying to budget because I knew my payment dates were coming up soon, because February is really the worst month. First it’s too short, then it makes you realize how single and lonely you are. I’m not a fan of February.

After I got off work, Belle and I headed down to Highlands Ranch to judge a high school speech and debate tournament. We’re paid by round, and each round has 5-6 kids and lasts about an hour usually. I enjoy doing this, but it is exhausting and my hand cramps up after a couple of rounds from writing critiques, but the kids make it worth it.

Instead of driving all the way back home, we stayed with my parents, who live twenty minutes away from the school. It was 8:30 p.m. when we left and I had made $27.

 

Saturday

Belle and I got up at 6:00 a.m. to arrive at the high school at 7:30. From there, we stayed until about 2 p.m (which is a SHORT day, usually we are there to well after 8 p.m.). By the time we were done with that I had earned $54 in total (almost enough to cover my utility bill for the month).

Since we had an early day, I decided to message my ex that lives in Denver (let’s call him Peter). Okay, I know what you’re thinking- but we had barely dated, then were Friends with Benefits, then decided to hang out and grab a drink casually. It’s fine. As much as Belle would disagree… Anyways, Peter wanted to go to REI and get new hiking boots and wanted me to come with. I told him when I could be there, and then he told me he had plans in an hour to meet up with a friend of his that I didn’t like. And Peter knew I didn’t like him and I avoid seeing him because he’s an a**hole. So I texted back saying I’d changed my mind and would just go home.

The reason why Peter and I never dated was because he was so hot and cold. He’d want me to hang out with his friends, but tell me he didn’t want to when I invited him to hang out with mine. He’d spent the night at my house ONCE during the 2 years we’d been doing whatever it is we’re doing, and has given me one compliment to which I cried because it was so unexpected.

aricka-lewis-208108-unsplash

The way he reacted to me backing out was incredibly frustrating. He told me that it was f***ed up I made him wait on me and that I was being dramatic- “typical Elena”. I couldn’t understand why he would still want to be friends with me after saying all these horrible things that I’d done to him. He had bailed on my birthday because he had “s*** going on” that I wouldn’t understand, he told me he liked having sex with me and he missed me, but not like that- as a friend hanging out, and claimed that I always thought people (meaning him) are screwing me over, when it’s probably me that’s to blame… So I told him it’d be better if we weren’t friends. He took that well by telling me to “stop being so dramatic and you may find someone who you can have a relationship with” and unfriending me from Facebook. Really regretting my decision on breaking ties with this guy…

Related Reading: My Toxic Relationship, The Things He Said, Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore 

Sunday

I made plans to meet up with one of my closest friends. I expected it to have the same kind of conversation we usually have: how the guy she’d been off and on for for years was still treating her like s***, how we wished we could vacation and had loads of money to spend, etc. But this time was different. I told her about what had happened the day before with Peter. She then proceeded to tell me how Peter had reached out to her begging her to go on a date with him and he would talk to me about it to make sure it was okay… So not only had he EVER asked me if he could date one of my best friends, he was just going for it, meanwhile texting me to come over at 10 p.m. on a Saturday night and calling me a “dramatic” person. “I’ll buy your Uber, just come over.” Sweet bro.

 

By the time Monday rolled around…

So here I was completely humiliated and disappointed in myself and my poor decisions. I was struggling financially and felt like I was back to square one. I had gone back to the same guy who treated me like garbage, and my friend had to awkwardly tell me how he had been pushy with her and that she had felt awkward and never replied. I felt like a complete failure. A part of me thought Peter was right, that maybe I was a s*** friend and that’s why so many of my “friends” had run away when I told them about an idea I was really excited about. I felt inconsiderate, not good enough, not successful and not pretty.

So I sat on my floor and cried.

Then I got a message from my friend with a motivational video saying how I was good enough. Peter had unfriended me on social media, so I wouldn’t be able to see what he was up to anymore, which was good for me. I went to a wedding shower and won a contest matching Disney songs to the movies (obviously with 100%). I went to dinner with my friend, who I hadn’t seen in years, and his fiance and had a really good time. My parents called me to see how I was doing and my sister had bought the K-Cups I liked for the Kureg for the morning. There were good things happening, I just needed to acknowledge the worst, react to it and get past it.

adam-jang-260876-unsplash

No matter how low you may feel in this life, there will always be more good than bad. Don’t let the turkeys get ya down, because you are beautiful and good enough, no matter what anybody says.

 

Related Reading: Cherish: A Story of Silver Linings, Share the Love, 6 Mantras to Live by in 2018

March 5, 2018
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The Things He Said

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

what he said

 

I’ve been in the dating game for far too long. So far, I’ve had two “real” relationships that went beyond the dating realms: commitment, ‘I love you’s, meeting the family etc. That’s not to say my dating life has been complete failure; I was close to that relationship status with a couple of guys. But there was always something that wasn’t right, something off that my gut knew better than my head. Looking back, it seems clear why those relationships never turned into ‘my forever’. The way he would respond to what I said or wanted was degrading and would make me feel stupid at times. I decided to write a post about a couple guys I’ve dated recently and what they said in different scenarios.

Here’s a list of all the things he’s said to me while we were dating:

 

The Bad

When he wouldn’t commit to spending time with me and my friends and I ignored his call:

“You are a child”

When I invited him to my birthday party two weeks in advance and he said he would come, then backed out the night of:

“You all pissy now”

When I told him I was over it (the first time)

“I know I f***** up.

But I’m ready to grow the f*** up and stop being that person to you.
I really am going to try and not being that total f*** up..”

When I said I didn’t see this working out:

“Trust me, I know this won’t really work. And I know 100% cause I feel like I don’t care.”

When I started not to care and had little effort:

“I hope you grow up”

When I stopped responding:

“I’ll f*** someone else

When I told him to stop sending me stupid, pointless snapchats:

“Someone’s pissy. Have fun doing nothing at work” 

When he accused me of cheating on him:

“I was blackout drunk

You never let me know that I made you happy. You never let me know you.”

 

Related Reading: Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

 

kaboompics

The Good

When I was gone on vacation for 5 days:

“I MISS YOU”

When he realized I was serious when I said I was done:

“I f***ed up

I’m ready to grow the f*** up

I just want to hold your hand.”

When I remembered his birthday and got him something:

“You are too nice to me”

After we met for the first time and he found me on Facebook:

“I thought you were really cute last night and had to remember to somehow get a hold of you”

When we were both home alone:

“Stay with me”

When we had “pillow talk”

“You’re so beautiful”

When we were driving to dinner

“How did I get so lucky”

 

 

After I Broke Up With Him:

 

kaboompics

 

“I will only love you

You are what matters to me

I will do anything for you

You are the one I’m supposed to be with. 

I’m losing everything that matters to me.

You are my forever.”

 

Weeks after I broke up with him:

“I hope you know I care about you a lot

I will always love you

I’m sorry”

 

Those things made me feel good for a time, and like the good could outweigh the bad. Ultimately, I knew things wouldn’t be the same, and I was tired of being called crazy or a b****. So I made the decision to walk away. Turns out it was a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it was the right thing to do.

 

Related Reading: 3 Reasons to Love Being Single

 

January 11, 2018
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What Should I Read Next?

Posted in Books, Lifestyle by

what to read

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, we will earn a commission, at no additional cost to you. 

 

When I finish reading a book, I always find myself in a sort of depression. I feel gratified that I’ve just finished another great read, but then I don’t know where to go next! If this sounds like you, I’ve composed a short list of the books that I’ve read recently/highly recommend. I’ve also added my “want to read” list at the end for even more ideas for you!

 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

Leaving Time – Jodi Picoult

I read this book at the end of the summer. I actually listened to the book through my libraries App, on my drive to and from work during the work week. The story is about a pre-teen girl who has been looking for her mother, since she disappeared years prior. Leaving Time dives into the past of a woman who is a mother, scientist and wife who faces hardship, heartbreak and a devastating reality.

Topics: Mystery, Realism, Family, Relationships, Skepticism

 

 

 

Ready Player One Ernest ClineReady Player One – Ernest Cline

I read this book a few weeks ago, recommended to me by Belle. At first when she explained it to me, I was skeptical. It didn’t seem like the type of book I usually read. I was right, but I also had a hard time pausing the audio book!

Ready Player One takes place in 2044, where reality has become what everyone fears it would: poor and  damaged and people dying with the planet. However, the one saving grace is the world-wide virtual reality, the OASIS. The creator of the OASIS has died and left an entire universe full of games and puzzles waiting to be solved. Once they all are, fame and fortune awaits the winner; but there can only be one.

Topics: Mystery, Science Fiction, Relationships, Nerds, Futuristic

 

 

the perfume collector kathleen tessaro

The Perfume Collector – Kathleen Tassaro

My grandma recommended this book to me earlier this year. After reading the back cover, I decided to give it a shot. The Perfume Collector is about a newly-wed, Grace, who resides in London. She receives a letter from a mysterious woman in Paris saying she’s inherited all of this woman’s belongings. Grace must discover who this mystery woman is, and why she’s left everything in her name by digging into a stranger’s past as well as her own.

Topics: Relationships, Family, History

 

 

 

The Husband's Secret - Liane Moriarty

The Husband’s SecretLiane Moriarty

My sister recommended I read What Alice Forgot, but since it was unavailable as an audio book, I decided to try something else by Liane Moriarty.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick is the perfect wife and mother, and is now burdened with her husband’s dark secret. A letter will change everything for Cecilia and her family, as well as others. The Husband’s Secret is written from a different point of view each chapter. Soon, the truth has become revealed changing everyone’s lives forever.

Topics: Love, Mystery, Relationships, Family

 

 

 

Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden

 Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

I decided to read this book because I remembered how it had been a best seller years back when I was younger. I wouldn’t have been able to understand then, so now seemed as good a time as ever to read.

Nitta Sayuri tells her story of how she was sold to become a Geisha at a young age. Memoirs of a Geisha covers Sayuri’s life struggles as a child, becoming a geisha and life during WWII in Japan. The story is extremely engaging and powerful; however prepare yourself for a long read.

Topics: Family, Relationships, History, Geisha, Memoir

Note: Check out the movie that came out on this book in 2005

 

Related Reading: Belle’s 5 Favorite Books, Elena’s 5 Favorite Books

 

Elena’s “Want to Read” List

The Devil in the White City – Erik Larson

What Alice Forgot – Liane Moriarty

Big Little Lies– Liane Moriarty

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl– Anne Frank

Lilac Girls – Martha Hall Kelly

Small Great Things – Jodi Picoult

All the Light We Cannot See – Anthony Doerr

Harry Potter Series– J.K. Rowling

 

November 6, 2017
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How to Handle Getting Hit on at a Bar

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

getting hit on

 

Ah the legal drinking age, where for some people means “more people I can casually hit on in public”.  The one liners usually start when I approach the bar with credit card in hand waiting for the bar tender to notice me. It’s that moment when I hear the: “Interesting drink choice”, “What a stereotypical white-girl drink”, or, my favorite, “You want a shot?”.

Not to sound conceded in any way, but this happens on a regular basis when Belle and I go out. This is mostly because we look like a power couple- a blonde and brunette. She’ll deny it, but the majority of the time we get free things, it’s because of her (the power of blonde hair). As flattering as it is to be offered a drink, sometimes it’s uncomfortable. So, if you’ve found yourself in the position where someone is swooping in and breathing their whisky-on-the-rocks-breath in your face, you’re not alone.

Here are some simple ways I’ve handled being hit on in a bar:

Being Smart

A stranger just offered to buy me a drink, so I need to be smart about accepting it. Sometimes I’ll say no if I’ve already had enough to drink or I’m just really not interested. In the case I do accept, I make sure I get it directly from the bartender and watch them make it to avoid the chance or getting drugged. There are already a couple of things out there that can detect drugs in drinks (coasters, straws, cups). However, these are not out or very popular yet. There is a nail polish you can wear (even if it’s just on one nail) that can detect common date rape drugs. Although it’s not available to the public yet, you can keep up with it’s status by visiting Under Cover Colors website.

 

Politeness

If a stranger is offering to buy me a drink, I say “thank you”, regardless of their reasoning for buying it. I’m plenty grateful, they just saved me ten bucks. I’ll usually converse with them for a while, however if I’m really not feelin’ it, I’ll say so and peace out.

 

Conversation

I never know when a connection will spark unless I engage with the other person. I may not be physically attracted to the person offering me a drink, but they could have an interesting story. Honestly, half the time someone is offering a drink, it’s just to talk. There’s so many stereotypes people think about while out, but I try not to jump to conclusions. If I am absolutely not into it, I won’t accept a drink.

Drinking in a bar

Photo Credit Michael Discenza

 

Honesty

If I am interested in this stranger who has offered me a drink, I take action: flirt back, give them my number. However, if I’m really not feeling it, I just say so. I know myself, and if I know this won’t go anywhere, I tell them that and excuse myself.  If I’m in a relationship, that’s also important to mention. I say this while I accept the drink (because free is free): “I am in a committed relationship, but I’d be happy to accept this drink and get to know you. What’s your name?” People appreciate honesty and being upfront rather than realizing later I’ve just been using them for a free drink. It’s okay to accept, as long as I don’t lead that person on.

 

Share A Drink

 If this stranger brings up a topic that seems insensitive or annoying, I let them know I’m getting uncomfortable. If they proceed to push the conversation further, I always remember that they did buy the drink… It’s only right to give it back. Some options worth considering:  I either hand the drink  back, stating that I’m not interested (honesty) or I set the glass down on the closest bar or table, and if all else fails or I’m in the appropriate setting, I can choose to dump it on their hot-head. If they are going to be pushy and persistent after I’ve already said no, that calls for a different tactic to get my point across.  

October 18, 2017
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Dating 101: 7 Red Flags You Shouldn’t Ignore

Posted in Lifestyle, Relationships by

Don't ignore

 

Dating is fun, it’s exciting, and if you’re a girl, it’s really nice on your wallet. But what happens when you start to notice certain traits that could cause issues later? Or things friends or family mention they are noticing that are worrisome? I know myself best, my family and friends know me well and this person I’m dating is just getting to know me. So when I start to hesitate, or friends and family are bringing negative things up about this new person, I know I shouldn’t ignore them.

 

Here are 7 red flags I’ve faced:

 

He won’t spend the night

We all have busy lives, but if my date decides getting up a little earlier to head home in the morning is more of a hassle then throwing his pants on and leaving right after sleeping together, it’s been a casual encounter. This shows lack of interest in investing their time into developing a relationship with me. Spending the night after sleeping together says more than the sex did. It means they still want to spend time with me afterwards, and weren’t just looking for a good time. 

 

Not communicating after spending the night

As petty as this may seem, this is the biggest issue I run into. I usually send out a text a day or two after that to try and plan another get together, and although he may say he’s game for that, the ball is in his court. If there’s no response with a plan to meet up again, it’s safe to say I’ve been duped. A person who doesn’t put in the effort now, won’t put it in later.

 

Always making the plans

I’ve had guys who have driven 40 minutes to 2 days to come and take me on a date. I always thought it was fair of me to choose where we went, since I was familiar with the area. After doing this nearly every time though, that gets boring and it’d be nice for that other person to take initiative with what we do. If I’m constantly making the plans  and getting that iconic answer of “I don’t care”, well guess what? I just stopped caring too. I’m doing all the work without it being reciprocated, I can only imagine what a relationship would be like.

 

Not offering to pay the bill

If my date asks me if I want to split the bill, my first instinct is to think of this as not a date. Call it selfish or rude, but if you ask me out, I expect to be taken care of. You wanted me here, you showed and interest and now I want you to be polite. However, on almost every first date I’ve been on, I’ve always offered to at least split the bill. Sometimes I’ll offer to tip, not because it’s polite, but because I want to. You still took the time to take me out and drive to meet me, and although I do expect my date to pick up the check, I will always offer to contribute.

 

No apologizies

Dating someone who won’t take responsibility for even the smallest mistake tells me a lot about their character. If it’s apparent that I’m upset, or bothered by something they did, that should be addressed sincerely. This means I need to communicate and say what is bothering me of course, but if the response is “I’m sorry I upset you” vs. “I’m sorry you’re upset about this”, I see that as them either accepting or not taking responsibility that they made me upset. If issues are addressed and still not resolved or give me an uneasy feeling, I don’t ignore it. Either there is something deeper that isn’t being addressed, or my feelings aren’t being acknowledged. 

 

Lying

I don’t mean telling a little white lie, it’s natural for someone to tell you you look nice even though that shirt may be unflattering. I mean the big lies, the kind that can alter a future relationship: “I didn’t get your text”, “I was busy with *insert BS excuse here*”, “I’m just not in a good place right now”. If he gets defensive about the topic, there is something else going on, even if the story is consistent. I always trust my gut; if they can’t explain something with a cool head, it’s probably a bigger deal than I think.

 

Jumping into a relationship

The first date went great, he spent the night and we’re cuddling and everything is good. Then comes the “I think that went well, does this mean I can call you my boy/girlfriend?”. There’s a lot more to dating a person than what we’ll learn in one or two dates. When I was asked this, I was surprised and said no. If we’re going to be official, it should have everything exclusively- honesty, loyalty, arguments, dinners, flowers, etc. If he’s already this eager to start a relationship, just think how fast the rest will come: moving in together, marriage, kids… It’s okay to take things slow, better even. 

 

Conclusion

There are probably more red flags that you’ll identify in your gut that I haven’t mentioned here. Don’t ignore that gut feeling, listen to your friends and don’t let the flags pile up.

October 17, 2017
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16 Personality Types

Posted in Lifestyle by

 

What personality type are you

We’ve all been asked the question: who are you? Describe yourself in one word. Is your personality more of a Serena or a Blair, a Monica or a Rachel? Some of us have thought it through ahead of time, picked the perfect words and are waiting to dazzle everyone with our self-awareness like a pocketful of surprise confetti. Some are lucky enough to just know the direct definition of their name.

Whether you’re person A (confetti) or person B (“Belle” means beautiful and yes, yes it is a perfect fit thankyouverymuch), it never hurts to get to know yourself in different, more extensive ways. Especially if you’re finding yourself in an identity crisis of which job should I take? what am I good at? how will I ever find love?

You could take personality quiz after personality quiz, identifying what color your aura is (we are both rocking red), which Game of Thrones house you belong in (Fire and Blood, y’all), or what sandwich you are (B=grilled cheese, E=soggy veggie wrap. There are no words.), or you can do something a bit more…scientific?

Maybe you’ve heard of the Myer Briggs test: a big, long, expensive personality test that requires a proctor and life coach and soul sucking hours to identify you as one of 16 personality types, broken down into four traits. Sound like fun? All joking aside, if you get the chance to take the test (i.e. your boss is paying for it), buckle up and enjoy the ride because you’ll likely learn a lot. Sad and poor like a soggy veggie wrap, but still want to take the test? Enter 16 Personalities, a free version (with a premium option) that takes less time, gives you similar answers, and has cool tag names and pictures to accompany your personality type.

Personality results and what they mean:

Let’s break it down:

There are four traits, each broken down into two sides. No, it’s not possible to be as identified as someone in the middle, although you certainly can pull from each on a personal level. It’s about the majority, the “most of the time” that leads to your overall type.

First and foremost is Introvert or Extrovert, or I/E, which looks at focus and interaction. It’s common for people to say “I’m capable of talking to people and am outgoing, therefore I’m an extrovert!”, to which we commonly respond to with “ERRRR! Wrong.” The division between I and E happens along two primary lines: one, you either gain (E) or lose (I) energy by being around people, and two, you either think outwardly (E) or inwardly (I). Being talkative or quiet, liking to be the center of attention or not are also key factors, but please, please do away with the idea that one is always superior to the other, or that introverts need to be retrained or other terrible things like that. Because that’s just wrong. We love both.

The second type is Sensing or Intuition, or S/N, which focuses on information. Sensors are generally realistic, specific, and practical. Intuitive people prefer ideas and concepts and can get a bit dreamy and poetic with their ideas.

The third looks to decision making, with Thinking and Feeling, or T/F. This one is pretty straight forward: you’re a Thinker if you make decisions based on logic and values like justice and fairness, or you’re a Feeler if you make decisions based on emotions and values like harmony and forgiveness.

Last but not least is Judging and Perceiving, or J/P, which reflects your outer life. These terms are a bit strange, so don’t freak if someone calls you a Judger; it just means that you respect deadlines, like to have a plan, and see things through to the end. If you’re a Perceiving, you prefer things to be more open ended, often improvise, and see rules to be more flexible.

We both took the test, and it’s no surprise to see some similarities and some differences, because that’s what makes for a great friendship! Certain types get along better with others and in different situations, another reason why it’s beneficial to know your type: to better identify who you’re good with! Continue reading to get to know more about your fabulous authors, then jump over to take the test for yourself!

A book is laid out, open, with a pair of eye glasses folded on top. Bottles of green, yellow, and blue liquid are beneath it. Next to the image, in text, is "Belle's Results: INTJ The Architect"

That first letter threw you for a loop, didn’t it? “How can this loud, magnificent, grilled-cheese gal be an introvert!?” you might find yourself asking. Remember what we said about doing away with the disillusionment that introverts are shy? Yup, case in point.

Architect personalities are amongst the rarest, only 2% of the population. INTJs have strong, often abrasive personalities and enjoy questioning, deconstructing, and rebuilding ideas and arguments. Life is a chess-board made to be maneuvered with logical, rational reasoning paired with starry-eyed ambition.

Reading through the breakdown of the type, I constantly found myself sitting up straighter in my seat, waving my inner hand in a “So me! That’s me!” type of way, especially with the strengths and weaknesses. Want to know how impressive I am?

  • Quick and intelligent
  • Self-confident
  • Independent and decisive
  • Determined
  • Open-minded, as long as it’s backed with reasoning
  • Jack-of-all-trades

Want to know how I’m less awesome?

  • Arrogant (haven’t picked up on that yet? You haven’t been reading closely enough then.)
  • Judgmental (if you’re my speed, you’re not worth my time)
  • Overly analytical (just ask Elena. I drive her nuts sometimes.)
  • Hate high-structured environments (can I get an amen!)
  • Clueless in romance (this one actually made me laugh, but in a “so true!” sort of way)

Reading through, I found that one, I’m amazing, and two, I am so happy I have Elena. That girl puts up with my dark wit, relentless righteousness, need (and I mean need) for things to happen and happen in a certain way, and lack of tact when it comes to feelings and relationships. But I’m also great for her (and others, of course) because I can offer a different outlook, insist on getting the best, and push her into action. And I think I’m pretty funny.

A woman in jeans and a black jacket walks on the outside of a balcony rail beside the water. Next to it, in text, it reads "Elena's Results: ENFJ The Protagonist"

Yes, you read that right, I am the protagonist, the main character, the lead actress, the hero, a “natural born leader” personality. However, in a subtle comparison to today’s culture, I have the personality of a teacher, a politician, a coach, someone who inspires others and makes up about 2% of the population. My results mean that I thrive off of others doing well and strive to help them become better people.

I originally took this test because I had a friend who sent it to me over a Facebook message. He wanted me to take a look at my results and notice how accurate the test was, so I filled out the test, partly out of boredom but mostly out of curiosity. I have to say that my results did resemble a lot of who I am, however after you take this test, be prepared to read; if you think this post is long, you haven’t read anything yet.

What qualities I’ve got going for me:

  • Tolerant
  • Reliable
  • Charismatic
  • Altruistic
  • Natural Leader

My flaws:

  • Overly Idealistic
  • Too Selfless
  • Too Sensitive
  • Fluctuating Self-Esteem
  • Struggle to Make Tough Decisions

It is impressive how much I do relate to these characteristics, and I do agree that I do every one of those. Sometimes I do dream about certain things but then remember I have no money and there’s no way I can actually do those things, or I give so much of myself to someone and it’s not reciprocated. I’ll admit, sometimes I do need a good cry, and yes, I do squeeze the breath out of the dog or cat for comfort while crying during a Hallmark movie by myself with my pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, but all of these things are what help me relate to some of the best people in my life.

Belle and I are such a good fit with so many things because we balance each other out with logic and emotion, and when we argue it’s always about meaningless things because if they truly mattered, we’d just want what was best for the other.

But these qualities are just the outline of the rest that is to come. There are 8 categories that explore your personality type:

  1. Introduction
  2. Strengths & Weaknesses (above)
  3. Romantic Relationships
  4. Friendships
  5. Parenthood
  6. Career Paths
  7. Workplace Habits
  8. Conclusion

We’ve given you the base of what our personalities are about. The cool part is that even though our test results are specific to us and how we did on the personality test, anyone can see the results if they know the name of your personality. We encourage you to look up the categories that are most important to you in your life now. Having work issues? Check out the Career Path and Workplace Habits (could even emphasize on some that you really relate to on your resume). Curious as to why you’re still single? Check out the Romantic Relationships. Regardless of which interests you have, the system will remember you and you can look back at your results whenever you like.

October 16, 2017
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