Category Archives: Friends

Why We as Women Need to Ease Up On Men. — The Good Men Project

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the plow man better watch out - feb 16, 2008 #...

Why are men the way they are?  Click on the link below and read this great post…

Why We as Women Need to Ease Up On Men. — The Good Men Project.

Yep. They have emotions and insecurities just like us.  Who’da thunk it?

Is it possible to have a relationship where a man can be vulnerable and not come across as weak or immature to his special lady?

What do you think?

I think we need to let go of gender stereotypes and accept people as they are.  In the end, I think we would have less disappointments because we avoided the you-are-supposed-to-be-act-ect-like-this game.

What would authenticity in a relationship look like in you life?

I will leave you with this quote…

“Real connection (and if it’s LOVE, then real love)–goes beyond those not-so-perfect and superficial and idiosyncratic things that simply make us individuals. The trust and longevity of a relationship between two individuals is established through time and learning each other, and discovering a harmony at the core of their connection. And it becomes powerful because of where it resides–at the center of who we are–the very essence of our being.”

-Kelli Jae Baeli

Blessings,

Louise

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thegodmolecule: here is a tribe in Africa where…

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Mother and child, Zimbabwe

This is a beautiful and creative expression of love and nurturing of a child. Please read…

thegodmolecule: here is a tribe in Africa where….

  • If you had to write a song  for your child what would it be?
  • What are some of the lyrics?
  • If  you had a parent who decided to write a song from the moment he/she decided he/she wanted to conceive you, what would you have hoped it would have been?
  • If you had to write a song for your future child with your significant other, could you?  Why/why not?

I leave you with this quote…

“Family means no one gets left behind or forgotten.”  David Ogden Stiers

Blessings,

Louise


Read more at 

Question number 11: What Happens if One Doesn’t Grieve For Their Loved One?

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The original Angel of Grief in Rome.

The original Angel of Grief in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dear Louise,

What Happens if One Doesn’t Grieve For Their Loved One?

Hi,

Thank you for your question.  I believe that when a person makes a decision, generally they feel that it’s the best decision they can make for themselves at that moment. Therefore, if a person doesn’t grieve for their loved one then I dare say there must be a good reason.

Let’s look at some of the reasons one might not grieve for their loved one…

1. To do so can be scary. The person may not be ready to accept the fact that the one they love is gone.

2. There could be a fear of expressing the level of intense emotions that grieving can bring about. To succumb to these emotions may make one feel overwhelmed and out of control.

3. This person might feel as though they need to be strong for other loved ones who may be having a hard time.

4. Maybe they are grieving. Perhaps they  are doing it in a way that is unique to who they are which makes it harder for others to understand.

5. Maybe they are grieving, but they choose to release their emotions privately.

6. Lastly, and this one is hard to write, maybe they are not grieving, because the loved one may not have been loved by them for reasons only they know.

This is not an exhaustive list. I’m sure that there are many reason for this type of behavior.  However, I think I should mention that there is almost no wrong way to grieve. The only exception would be if the person were to do something that would endanger their life or the lives of others. If you know someone whom you feel is not grieving the loss of a loved one be patient with him or her.  Be available for them. Accept them and their timetable.  Let them know that whenever they want to talk or pray you are there.  Keep an eye on them, (Please be subtle) Just in case you can impart a kindness without them asking.

The fact that you ask this question says a lot about you.  You seem like a person who cares. If you want more information, do some research on the Internet.  You will find many sites that can offer more insight.

On a personal note, I would like to apologize for the late response to this question.  This question came while I was grieving the death of my brother and I just couldn’t bring myself to answer it.  It took many months before I could get to a place where I could start writing again. I hope it’s not too late.

In conclusion, I will leave you with this quote…

Grief is a most peculiar thing; we’re so helpless in the face of it. It’s like a window that will simply open of its own accord. The room grows cold, and we can do nothing but shiver. But it opens a little less each time, and a little less; and one day we wonder what has become of it.” Arthur Golden, Memoirs of a Geisha

Blessings,

Louise

Question number 10: Why are men slow when it comes to asking me out?

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Dear Louise, 

I am a beautiful single woman and I am tired of it.  I know a lot of guys but none of them are asking me out.  I know for a fact that there are one or two who are attracted to me but they are not making any moves.  What is up with guys nowadays?  I feel like they are lazy, or too intimidated to ask me out.  What is the deal?

Sincerely,

Tired

Dear Tired,

Come my child… Let me give you a hug… There, there little one.  All will be well.  I want to start by apologizing for the late reply.  I recently relocated to NYC and the move was a little bit hectic.  Yet I have missed you, my readers much!  Ok, back to your question.  Unfortunately, yours is a common problem.  I have heard countless complaints about women who feel like they are left on a shelf somewhere constantly overlooked by men and I want you to know that my heart goes out to you.  There is a group of strong, independent, beautiful women who are perplexed because they are still single and rightly so. If you are the package, (beautiful, educated, employed, intelligent, funny, kind, you name it…) why are you single???  This is mind-boggling…  Well I have been talking to my group of male confidants to find an answer and I will share with you some of the things I have found out…

1. Men are confused

Why are men confused, you ask?  because you are sending mixed signals!  I said it!  Don’t bother to deny it!  Yes you are!!!  Listen, you walk into a room you notice him immediately and you know he notices you. You become excited then you begin to play what I call ‘crazy games’.  He tries to say hi to you but you ignore him.  You let him say hi to you but you spend the bulk of your time talking to everyone but him.  You put him in the friend zone.  You say mean things to him.  Why?  Because this is your version of playing “hard to get”.  Heaven forbid he would think that you were open.  He might mistake it for being easy.  Should you be easy?  Of course not!  But I think that the definitions of easy and hard to get needs to be looked at again.  Ask yourself, what should being easy or playing hard to get look like in my life?

2. Men are realistic

Before a guy approaches you he studies you and pretty much knows if you are ready to be approached by him for real.  Its kind of scary what he knows about you by the time he  has a serious conversation with you. He may already know that you wouldn’t give him the time of day because he doesn’t dress right or present himself like the guy he knows you actually have a crush on… Do you know that there is a a group of men who feels like they are on the shelf as well?  this is because a lot of women are too busy chasing mr. popularity, mr. dress well/looks fine, mr. deep voice tall man with shiny shoes and he knows for a fact that he doesn’t fall within that category.  Why bother if you know you are wasting your time.  It’s not realistic. That’s what he said…

3. Men are intimidated

I know, I know… Steve Harvey has asked us to switch the word out for ashamed.  In his book, “Act Like a Lady Think Like a Man”  he mentioned that a man might feel shame because he doesn’t feel like he is at the level he needs to be to court a woman like you and I agree with him. However, I don’t know if shame encompasses everything.   When he look at someone he is interested he sees you as high and exalted.  Sometimes women can be scary.  Especially if they don’t-need-a-man-for-anything!  I was talking to a male friend of mine the other day and he shared with me that men wanted to be the ‘Hero’ in the life of the women they loved.  He wants to be able to save the day for her, but we live in a place where unfortunately a lot of women are not allowing men the chance to be there for them.  Here’s an example…  I was in room filled with people at an event that just ended.  The event coordinators were primarily women – beautiful women.  They began the clean up process which included breaking down tables and putting chairs away.  When a few of them went lift a table a few men volunteered to help.  They instantly said no that they had it under control.  I watch the men insist (you could tell they wanted to do something nice for these ladies) but the ladies insisted vehemently that they “Have got this”.  Attention Ladies: If a man wants to be chivalrous please, Please, PLEASE let them. Get used to having the opposite sex cater to you.  Not just your romantic partner, your father, uncle, brother, male friend, neighbor.  Enjoy the perks of being a woman.  We all know that you can do it for yourself.  Everyone knows that you are more than capable of handling anything that comes your way, but isn’t it nice when someone else steps in and helps out just because they want to be nice.. to you???  I have seen women become so angry over a man trying to be polite that he gave up.  it’s intimidating to try to swim through all of that force.  Be careful that your wonder woman persona doesn’t get in the way of love.  To everything there is a season.  There’s a time to give and a time to receive.  I beg of you, please, when the opportunity comes, receive gracefully.

Ok… I think I have said enough for now.

I will leave you with this quote. “You don’t have to be perfect to let somebody love you. Remember, being yourself is the best way to make somebody fall in love with you.”  -Unknown

All the best,

Louise

Have any advice?  Share it!  If you have any comments, feel free to post them below.  Any questions can be sent to lifeaccordingtolouise1@gmail.com

Question number eight: How can I help a friend who is grieving the loss of a loved one?

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Dear Louise,

My friend is suffering due to a death in their immediate family.  I want to reach out to help but I don’t want to intrude. Do you have some tips on how I can be supportive without overstepping my boundaries?

Sincerely,

-A Friend Who Cares

Dear Friend,

There are very few things in life worst than experiencing the death of a loved one. Providing support for someone who is grieving can be challenging.  With one wrong move we can say or do something that might act as a trigger and create more pain to an already hard situation.  However, it is not good to stand back and do nothing.  I have lived long enough to have lost, unfortunately, many loved ones.  I have also had the privilege to be able to support friends and family who were in mourning.   What I have learned along the way is that what the mourner needs from others the most for us to apply the principles of L.O.V.E.  I created this acronym to stand for the following:  L- Listen, O- Observe, V-Value, E-Empathize

1. Listen:

Take time to listen.  Listening is a skill that needs to be learned.  You are effectively listening when you let the other person speak freely without interruption, without interruption, without interruption!!!  This is not the time to give advice or share your opinion, story, point of view etc…  If you truly want to listen, then you must truly be quiet and allow the other person to speak for as long as they want until THEY feel that they have been heard.  A person who is grieving may want to talk about their feelings and need someone whom they can trust to speak to.  If that person is you please remember that its about them not you.  This will require humility, and patience.

 

2. Observe:

In other words, pay attention to your surroundings to the person who is mourning. Become acclimated with their mannerism and look for opportunities to help.  Buy groceries if you notice they are missing.  If the doorbell is ringing, answer it.  Paying attention allows you to help in specific ways.  For example, you notice you’re your friend’s home is a little untidy and you know there are guest coming.  You can offer to help clean.  This is more beneficial then saying, “If you need anything let me know.” Most people who are mourning are generally so overwhelmed that they wouldn’t even know what to ask for.  So offer to give rides to out of town relatives instead.  You will find more to do by building your observation skills.  By the way, always give them the option to say no and respect it.

3. Value:

Value is about respect.  Do not judge mourner behavior or words in a negative light.  You might see a person who is grieving say or do something strange.  If it is not hurting anyone, leave him or her to it.  Their journey is their own.  They have a right to their feelings and emotions.   They have a right to do what they need to in order to find healing and peace.  Never belittle them, instead, quietly support them.

4. Empathize:

To truly understand somebody, you have to walk in their shoes.  You will see behavior that may not make any sense if you judge it from your worldview and perspective.  You must try to image what life looks like at that moment using their filter.  When in doubt always ask yourself, “If I were in their shoes, what would I have done?” This will help you be more sensitive to their needs and enable you to be able to help effectively.

There is a lot of information out there on this topic.  I encourage you to read books on this topic, look up blogs, and talk to some professional counselors and clergy for advice.  The sad truth is this.  Sooner or later we will all be in a positions where our friend will need our help because they are grieving.  May we all be ready…  I will leave you with this quote.

Grief is not a disorder, a disease or a sign of weakness. It is an emotional, physical and spiritual necessity, the price you pay for love. The only cure for grief is to grieve. – Earl Grollman

Blessings,

Louise

If you have any comments, feel free to post them below.  Any questions can be sent to lifeaccordingtolouise1@gmail.com

Question number seven: How can resist emotional blackmail?

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Pug Blackmail

Dear Louise,

I am thinking about breaking up with one of my friends.  This person always has to have their way and when they don’t they use guilt as a stick to beat me down.  It’s usually very subtle and I am tired of being around them.  I don’t even like who I am when I am with them.  I have spoken to this person about this behavior and they denied it saying that it was my issue.  They also said that I am too sensitive and they are only keeping it “real”.  Whatever that means!  What should I do?

– Fed up

Dear Fed up,

If what you are telling me is true then it sounds like you are dealing with a manipulative tactic called Emotional Blackmail (EB).

1. What is Emotional Blackmail?

Psychotherapist, Susan Forward defined emotional blackmail (EB) as a powerful form of manipulation in which blackmailers who are close to the victim threatens punishment, either directly or indirectly, in order to get what they want.  This can only work of the emotional blackmailer (EB) is a close relation or friend.  These individuals know where you feel the most vulnerable and will use it against you if it will help them.  You know you have been the victim of emotional blackmail when you feel emotionally drained, insecure, guilty or vulnerable in response to something someone said after you have rejected their request.

2. Examples of Emotional Blackmail…

The emotional blackmailer will say or imply some of the following:

“After all I’ve done for you…”

“How could you be so selfish…”

“I would do it for you…”

They bank on the fact that their victim want love and acceptance and have no problem using fear, obligation and guilt to get their way.  If you feel that you are being a victim of EB, here is one tactic that might help you.

3. Flat out rejection

If you feel you are being emotionally blackmailed into doing something that you don’t want to. For instance, you are being pressured to host a game night at your home when its inconvenient.  Flat out refuse. (This will take courage, mind you…) They may say, “What’s the problem? Why can’t you? I do it all the time!” Don’t worry about the emotions of guilt or shame that will rise within you.  They are there only because they have been triggered by this individual.  When you get a chance, privately go over the event to see if what you did what in fact rational.  You may find that it was but you are still feeling guilty.  Think about what is making you feel guilty.  Does it make sense?  If not.  Let it go.   Be warned, true EB’s will try to corner you into submission before you had time to think it through.  Don’t let them.  Rinse and repeat and the offender will probably leave you alone.  Sometimes completely alone!  You may lose a friend, but the good news is this.  If they do go way they were never your friend to begin with.

I hope you find this helpful.  I will leave you with this quote.

“If we are going to be kind, let it be out of simple generosity, not because we fear guilt or retribution.”
J.M. Coetzee

All the best,

Louise

For more information, Susan Forward wrote a great book on the subject called (you guessed it!) “Emotional Blackmail”. Check it out!

Are you a victim of Emotional Blackmail? Feel free to share your story or offer any advice here.  I just ask that you remain respectful in what you say. If you have any questions for me send them to lifeaccordingtolouise1@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!  Just remember, I am not a licensed therapist therefore not liable for any advice that is shared here. – Blessings! 

 

Question number five: How do I protect a new relationship from judgemental friends?

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Dear Louise,

My friends don’t like my boyfriend because he doesn’t meet their standards.  They say I can do better and laugh at the idea of us being together.  I love my boyfriend and think that he is the sweetest guy I ever met. I also love my friends. What should I do?

Conflicted

Dear Conflicted,

I don’t like the fact that your friends laughed at the idea of you being in a relationship with your boyfriend.  That is just rude!  You have the right to have friends and a boyfriend. However, if they are truly your friends, they love you and want the best for you.  Ideally, it would be great if everyone got along but sometimes that doesn’t happen even when all parties involved genuinely love each other (or in this case – you).  It’s during these moments  you need to lovingly but firmly clarify your boundaries through communication.  The following are some suggestions for you to do prayerfully…

1. Be clear about what you want 

You need to be clear about what you want in this situation.  Think about it.  What is it about your relationship that you love? Are you confident about where you stand in your relationship? Is that being expressed by you to the world? If you want to keep your boyfriend that is your decision and yours alone.  Others may express their opinions but they cannot force you to do anything without your permission. Also, ask yourself, ‘what kind of relationship do I want with my friends within the context of my love life?’ How much involvement will you allow?  Now you must understand that whatever behavior you expect from them you should expect give as well.  Whether you decided to stand your ground and stay in your relationship or breakup with your boyfriend then next thing you should do is this…

2. Re-enforce your boundaries

Once you make your decision stand by them unapologetically.  This is an issue of self-worth.  You should feel confident in your abilities to make a decision.  You also, want to be in a place where you are not bothered too much if your decision is not met with the full backing of your friends and loved ones.  I suggest you have a private conversation with your friends.  This situation might be resolved with a simple heart to heart conversation asking for support and respect. However, respectfully resolve yourself to live your life the way you decide if they choose not to deviate from their position.  When you are ok with yourself, the world tends to be ok with you. If not, you won’t notice, because it won’t matter.

3. Be open

It’s all about getting into a space where you can be open to think clearly and logically.  The truth is that there is a chance that  your friends might be right and your boyfriend is not worthy of your love.  If that is the case, these steps allows your mind to be clear enough to make rational observations and decisions.  When you reinforce your belief in your capabilities not only will you express yourself effectively, you will be able to listen effectively as well and appreciate it.  Your friends might point out some things that you haven’t noticed which may cause you to change your mind.

Please remember to engage with one another respectfully.  Remember that you love each other.  Come from a place of grace and understanding with the intention of resolving this issue.  I will leave you with this quote.

“Whenever, you’re in conflict with someone, there is one factor that can make the difference between damaging your relationship and deepening it.  That factor is attitude.”  William James

All the best,

Louise

I know that more can be said on this subject.  So come on!  What do you think? Do you have any comments, or advice?  Feel free to post them!  I just ask that you remain respectful in what you say.   If you have any questions for me send them to lifeaccordingtolouise1@gmail.com.  I would love to hear from you!  Just remember, I am not a licensed therapist therefore not liable for any advice that is shared here. – Blessings!