Tag Archives: trust

Mean Girls

Earlier this month, researchers at Iowa State University published “Frenemies, Fraitors, and Mean-em-aitors: Priming Effects of Viewing Physical and Relational Aggression in the Media on Women“. The study, which observed 250 college women, found that viewing mean girl antics such as social exclusion, gossip and emotional bullying on shows like Basketball Wives, Love & Hip-Hop and Real Housewives of Atlanta, primed viewers to be more aggressive towards each other. The part of me that believes in Sisterhood, found this surprising, disturbing and sad. The part of me that is logical, viewed this as a sign that we are weak-minded, easily influenced and lack moral fortitude. The part of me that is in entertainment said ‘here we go, blaming television for our problems again’.  When Essence Magazine first published a related article on their website, I posted the following comment:

“They say if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. The fact that a person’s behavior can be altered by watching other people’s ignorant behavior on television is very sad and disappointing. I think it speaks more to how weak-minded and fickle these women are if they begin to emulate the bad behavior they see (on television). So then my question becomes this: if they are inundated with more positive behavior represented on television, will they adapt and emulate that positive behavior also? I’m just saying, while we’re brainwashing, we should make it worthwhile.”
 

I’ve previously admitted to watching reality shows. Lately, I’ve found myself wondering “whose reality is this really“, where women are constantly backstabbing, backbiting, fighting and behaving as if they are wild animals fighting over the last scraps of prey, that they didn’t even hunt? This behavior is evident on Basketball Wives (which has turned into WWE Part 2 in Miami), Love & Hip Hop concluded their season after lots of fist fights and drink throwing, no matter what city they were in, and Real Housewives of Atlanta has turned into Sheree versus Everybody Else. Not to mention the woman who threw a ziplock bag full of flour on Kim Kardarshian while she walked the red carpet at a recent charity event. Who does that? Mean Girls do that.

I’ve never been the type of woman to surround myself with a lot of other women. I was raised to believe that you only need one really good girlfriend and a few close girlfriends, but no more than five. I’ve lived like that for almost 40 years now. I’ve learned through experience that the more women present in a room, the more problems could arise. In my younger years, I had more than my fair share of girls and young women who were jealous of me for what I viewed to be silly and superficial reasons, so I preferred to keep to myself. I believed that things would improve as women matured, and if not, that’s okay because I enjoy my company just fine. 

Then something happened.

I met a Mean Girl. Unbeknownst to me, she was already in my midst – like a snake. She is someone I’ve known for the last few years and considered to be a dear sister-friend. I was clearly wrong and had ignored her character flaws, possibly out of love or because I just wasn’t paying attention. Maybe she was just that slick. Well, recently she showed her true colors, as snakes often do. For the last few years, I’ve been so busy working on things in my life that were important to me (traveling, building the Super Woman Brand, sending my son to college, and enjoying my life), and avoiding men with hidden agendas, that I completely overlooked the woman who had come into my life with a hidden agenda of her own and envy in her heart. She flew right in under the radar and nested herself into my life for the sole purpose of getting whatever benefits were attached to being associated with me and being known as my friend. And she got away with it for years. Once she couldn’t get her way any longer, because I have my own life, goals and dreams, she began to show herself to not be a good friend, but to be a superficial, insecure, vindictive and malicious person. My life had never revolved around her to begin with, but for some strange reason, she assumed she was my only friend and that I somehow relied on her for my mere existence. I found that to be hilarious. She actually had the blatant audacity to send me a text message that said “you’re gonna need me before I need you“. For what?  When I think back, that wasn’t true, and wouldn’t be true. She hadn’t contributed to any of my personal or business accomplishments. She hadn’t introduced me to anyone of importance. She hadn’t done anything truly significant. So again, I ask – for what? She doesn’t have anything that I would covet and my only competition is myself

Just like the Mean Girls on reality television, she began to say terrible and untrue things about me (mostly behind my back to anyone she thought would listen, because that’s what cowards do). I immediately recognized this as an attempt on her part to make her feel superior because she is insecure. Strangely enough, she’s at a time in her life where she should be happy. She’s recently got married and has a beautiful blended family, bought a house and has a grandchild. So when others would be relishing in their life’s accomplishments, this woman is directing her energy into attempting to discredit or harm me. Obviously, she’s not very happy. However, I’m not responsible for her happiness and nor will I take responsibility for her unhappiness.

Mean Girls develop their own false truth. A false truth that is often laced with insecurities and judgment against others, that they persuade themselves into believing in order to compensate for what they lack as an individual. Fortunately, for me (a) I have real girlfriends (b) I have self-esteem and confidence that is virtually unbreakable by another human being, and (c) I have a life. Therefore, I’m not too concerned about this woman and the lies that she attempts to spread out of anger and animosity. No one of any importance knows her or cares about the venom she’s spitting. I’m also not too concerned about any other women like her, regardless of who they are. Personally, I believe that if she were both a mature and respectable woman, she’d have a conversation with me, face-to-face, woman-to-woman, instead of talking about me to other people behind my back like a second grader. Instead of telling other people what (she thinks) I am or not, she’d tell me directly what her problem is with me. Instead of her stalking my Facebook pages to see what I’m doing, and who I’m doing it with, she’d be enjoying her new husband and family. Instead of telling other people how much money (she thinks) I have or don’t, she’d be building her own career. By the way, if she wants to count my money and assets, she should make sure to include my copyrights, trademarks, service marks, intellectual property and stock dividends. I don’t have a lot of material possessions because I don’t need them to be happy. I have everything that I truly need; God, food, clothing, shelter, family, career … and a fabulous shoe collection.

I truly pity Mean Girls. They are so consumed with making other people miserable, being dishonest, fighting and being manipulative, that they miss out of the joys of true friendship and sisterhood. They are so concerned with the latest trends and material possessions, that they forget what life is truly about. No matter how much stuff you buy, you can’t take it with you when you die. No matter how much stuff you buy, it won’t make you a happier or a better person. No matter how much stuff you buy, it’s not going to add value to who you are, because you’re likely buying it to impress people who don’t like you very much or are just as materialistic. If a woman considers her material possessions, her mean attitude, who she’s married to, what kind of car she drives or what city she resides in to be the sole determining factors of her worth in comparison to another woman’s, she has a very sad existence.

She’s not just a Mean Girl… she’s also a Sad Girl.

I learned to be more observant of people who try to come into my life, as a result of this experience. But I still don’t have time to revolve my life around someone else’s to make them feel good about themselves. I’m responsible for myself. My goals and achievements are mine to either attain or take responsbility for if I fail. Plus, jealous words from unhappy individuals don’t hold any weight in my world. My world is already Super.  

*Those I trust most, are those who have earned my trust, by not betraying my trust* – Urban Confucius

 

Superheroes Need Heroes, Too

Some days I am divided between the human woman that I am inside, and the superhuman woman I have become. The expectations are great. These are two conflicting sides always at battle for balance in my life. They need each other. They can’t survive without the other. They are co-dependant entities in one body with one entity born from the other. It’s not the same as having multiple or split personalities. It’s a dualism that a lot of people who are entertainers and creatives have. It’s that dualism that allows us to be “on” and able to entertain people one moment, and become quiet and shy the moment that curtain closes. 

In spite of my internal struggle with my duality, I recognize that I’m so blessed to have friends around me. This keeps me from being “alone” in this world. I have very close, understanding friends that I have relationships with. Some of my friends I’ve known since high school. Some I’ve known only for a few weeks. Some are “super” women like Kimberly Swift, Charmaine Fuller, Kimberly Cooley and Regina Nyatui. Some are “super” men like Michael Burnett and Lloyd Parchment who are both intelligent, sexy, strong, good men that remind me that men like them do exist in this world. Without their perspective and encouragement to live my single life fully, I’d drown in heartache. There are a few more people that are on my list and they know who they are. They are the people outside of my bloodline that I can confide in and trust with my authentic self without fear of judgement. They make me laugh, comfort me when I cry and have an understanding of me as a person that others don’t. I trust that they won’t sale any stories to the tabloids and they always have my best interest in mind. They don’t allow me to fall and lay down. They don’t allow me to be right when I’m wrong. They know I’m crazy but they don’t discourage my brand of crazy because they know it has its benefits. They make me get up and keep going, even when I don’t feel like it. They remind me of my worth and never let me leave the house looking a hot mess. They protect me and I feel safe with them in my life. I don’t think they even realize the impact they have on my life. I pray that I can repay them for their unconditional friendship one day soon.   

There’s a reason why these particular people are my friends and have outlasted many of my intimate relationships. To someone on the outside looking in, the friendships might seem like a fluke. I’ve had men I’ve dated even verbally challenge the strength and validity of my friendships because they couldn’t believe I have these amazing people in my life. Well, amazing people, have amazing friends. My friends are all different people with different personalities and different talents. My friends keep me balanced and they keep me sane. They help and encourage me to be Super and they still love me when I’m not. They give me tough love when I need it and allow me to be vulnerable also. Some of my friends are near me and some are far away. What demonstrates genuine friendship is that no matter how many days, weeks, months or years go by, with one phone call, we can catch up. The positive energy doesn’t vanish if we’re in different cities, timezones or states. I appreciate them for that. They are my heroes. Superheroes need heroes, too.

I will always need, love, appreciate and value them all, even the ones I didn’t name. I am ME because of THEM. I am Super Woman because I have Super Friends.  If you want to know who I am, look at my closest friends. They are a direct reflection of me, and I of them.

What about your friends? 

 

The Water Bill is High

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his manservant or maidservant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor. – Bible, Exodus 20:17

This scripture is one that is pivotal when dealing with relationships between men and women. Particularly in a day and age where Black women are made to feel that there aren’t enough available Black men in the world, so to them it’s reasonable to become involved with a married or committed man. And with many Black men feeling that Black women are desperate for a relationship or attention that they would easily fall into the arms of another man hoping for something better than what they have at home, it is becoming common practice in our society to pursue another man’s woman. This scripture is one of the ten commandments and it warns us against being envious of what someone else has, regardless of what it is. However, it amazes me how people feel that it is within their rights to attempt to infiltrate someone else’s relationship because it looks good to them from the outside. People who do this often believe that what someone else has comes easy to that person. They fail to recognize that a good relationship takes work. HARD work; along with commitment, understanding and good communication. None of those elements comes easy, even when you have a really good connection and attraction to someone. As a person you have to make a conscious decision to have a good relationship, then you have to put the necessary actions behind that decision. People looking for an easy relationship often lack the work ethic that it takes to maintain a relationship.  

I recently went from being single to committed. During the last four years of being a single woman, I never dated or became involved with a man that had a girlfriend or wife. If I did, I didn’t know it. There are reasons I didn’t date married or committed men. One reason is trust. If  a man would cheat on his girlfriend or wife, there’s a huge possibility that he would also cheat on me. Another reason is respect. If  a man doesn’t respect his own relationship, he will not respect mine. And the most important reason to me is Karma. I didn’t want to do anything to anyone else, that I wouldn’t want to have happen to me. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had numerous opportunities to be the type of woman who messes around with married men. I’ve received “offers” from men to be their “other woman”, but the cost to me was too great. The cost to my morals and values was one that they couldn’t properly compensate me for. They couldn’t afford other woman’s insurance. So I sent them back to their wives and suggested that they make an effort to become better husbands. If any of these men’s wives were to ask me what happened, I would tell them. I don’t owe any loyalty to those men. They were the one’s willing to break their marriage vows, not me. And having had the misfortune of being a married woman (once upon a time) whose husband cheated, I know the pain that betrayal can bring. Every one’s situation is different and every woman doesn’t leave an unfaithful husband, and vice versa. However, the truth, regardless of how painful, is still the truth. I prefer to live with the truth, than to live a lie. You can’t make good decisions in life based on a lie.

The one thing I’m noticing now that I’m in a relationship is how many men I meet want to be “friends”, as if I’m so naive at thirty-six years old that I don’t know what they really mean. That’s an example of coveting your neighbor. They have no idea what it takes to be with me. They have no knowledge to the fact that many, many men have tried, and failed, in the arena with me. They have no idea of my flaws or moods. Sex is easy. Friendship is difficult because people often realize later that they want more or can’t handle more. And a relationship is life-altering. When I was single, if a man approached me with the “friends” line, I knew immediately they wouldn’t be boyfriend or potential husband material for me. They didn’t think I was worthy of commitment. I was dating with the purpose of finding a spouse. When a man says that to me now that I’m in a relationship, I know the same is true and that he really wouldn’t make a good friend at all – platonic or otherwise. And of course, my boyfriend is having similar experiences with women. Women are a mess, too. Sometimes they are worse than men are because they can be more aggressive and relentless. They can’t believe that someone else got the man they wanted, even though they never told him they were interested or had feelings towards him. The same can be said for men. To that I say, oh well, your inability to communicate your feelings are not anyone else’s fault.  And even if you had, it doesn’t mean you’d have the same type of relationship with that person.

Everything ain’t for everybody. I say that for a reason. Everyone isn’t compatible, regardless of physical attraction. It is not physical attraction alone that makes a good relationship. So many things factor into having a healthy, trusting relationship with the opposite sex. There are a lot of beautiful women and gorgeous men that are single. Appearances only mask our character for a short time. Eventually the facade comes down and the real person is revealed. In a relationship you have to be able to show your true, authentic self and accept the true and authentic self of your partner. Relationships are not for fickle, superficial people who believe that it doesn’t ever rain. Relationships are for strong, resilient, forgiving people who keep an umbrella on hand

First rule to relationships – You attract who and what you are. Two fickle, superficial people who are delusional in a relationship are doomed to fail. One fickle, superficial person in a relationship is a headache to their partner. However, two people with the same understanding of what it takes to maintain a relationship will be more successful, come rain or shine.

The next time you approach someone who tells you they are married or in a relationship consider the possibility that they have flaws and issues that you may not be capable of handling. The person they are with is their choice and their choice has nothing to do with your desires or lust. Respect their relationship. I went to a Tyler Perry play once and his character Madea said, “People always think the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. But when they get over there, they find out their neighbor was using ChemLawn and the water bill is high as hell”.

Breakthrough

It is said that in order to rebuild something, first you have to tear it down. I’ve been feeling that lately. Anything that can go wrong, does. Every step I take leads me into a wall. Every investment I make fails to result in a return. Or so it seems as I look out the window of my world. No one can ever tell me that God  doesn’t have a sense of humor. He laughs at me regularly. He gives me hurdles and when I jump them, He makes the next ones higher, just to see if I can jump those, too.  

I know that everyday isn’t easy. It isn’t supposed to be. Often the things worth having take the most work and are the hardest to acquire. No matter who you are, how much money you make, or where you live, there are days when you feel tested. Some days we are tested heavily, and other days, not as much. It’s the growth that comes afterwards that you can look forward to and then appreciate.

It is better not to fight the change, the challenge or the test. Embrace it. Embrace it fully and face whatever fears you have about it. When it is all done, you will be blessed, even if you can’t see it. We aren’t given tests or challenges in our lives to break us down. We are given them to build us up and make us able to face the next challenge and appreciate the blessings we receive in return. If life was easy all the time, we wouldn’t live it completely. We’d become complacent and bored. We’d become too comfortable. The challenges and the triumphs are what make living worth living.

As you are going through your challenges, don’t seclude yourself from others. Don’t reject your friends and those who care for you. When we go into hiding because we are facing adversity, others don’t see the adversity, they only feel the rejection from us. Your friends and loved ones may understand you better than you know. But if you don’t give them the chance to be in your corner, they won’t know you need them. Also, having someone to confide in helps to relieve some of the stress you feel from the test you’re facing. Holding emotions inside often creates more stress and problems in the long run. Plus, some tests aren’t tests specifically just for us. Some tests help to reveal who around you should or shouldn’t remain in your life by testing their resilience in your time of difficulty. Admitting you need help, love and support from others does not make you weak. The admission reaffirms your strength. When you are able to trust in others, you prove yourself to be trustworthy.

Going through challenges in life makes you human. Embrace your humanity.

I Found The Button!

I found the button! I am so excited! I feel like a scientist that just discovered something life altering in her laboratory under a chair. It’s a phenomenon. Something truly extraordinary. But what’s funny is this; I had it all along but had never used it. I just needed someone to make me aware of its existence. The person who made me aware is someone whom I lovingly refer to as my “brother” – Mr. CharlesAnthony Woods.  CharlesAnthony was the first man to ever tell me a theory about men and sex. This theory is extremely helpful for single women who desire to become someone’s wife, but have difficulty weeding their way through the steadily declining world of dating.  I know you’re absolutely dying to know what I’m referring to.  It’s the button that makes men you don’t have any interest in, go away. And here it is!

***drum roll please***

“I’m celibate”.

Yes, I said “I’m celibate“. Now you’re confused and wondering what this woman, who writes erotic fiction, is talking about.  Here’s an explanation:

CharlesAnthony once told me that I should be celibate until I meet a man willing to be with me even though I was celibate. He told me that if I tell a man I’m celibate and he still calls me, that man is one that I should consider worthy of my time, attention and affection. THAT led to the discovery of the button.

I don’t believe in a woman playing games with men. I truly believe that if you don’t have any interest in a man, in most instances you should just be honest and tell him so. You should do so with a smile and grace, while not embarassing or insulting the man. Single women often have to come up with some outrageous tales in order to escape the pursuit of men we’re not interested in. I’ve “lied” before, too, because a man wouldn’t take “no” with a smile and grace as a definitive “NO“. I remember when telling a man you were a lesbian would run him away; now men look at that as an invitation for a menage-a-trois. There was also a time when telling a man you were married or committed resulted in him saying “he’s a lucky man” and walking away. Those tall tales don’t work for single women anymore. We have to become more creative in dismissing a potential disaster from our paths. Hence, the discovery of the button that makes men you’re not interested in, go away.

Men enjoy sex. They see an attractive woman and the first thing they want to know about is what sex with her may potentially be like. Then they wonder what her name is and if she’s single or not. After that, they wonder about her personality. Remember ladies, in the male mind it goes like this – sex first, then name, followed by status and finally, personality. So when a man contacts you (via Facebook, tweet, email or IM, because that’s how it is done today), in finding out his motives, the button comes in very handy.

Here’s how you use the button.

When a man approaches you and he begins telling you how sexy you are and all the things he wants to do to you, tell the man that you are celibate and plan to remain celibate until you are in a committed relationship resulting in marriage. It doesn’t have to be true. It just allows you to see up front what that man REALLY wants from you. If all he wants is sex, you will never hear from him again. Unless he’s contacting you (via Facebook, text, or IM) to ask if you are still celibate, in which case, the answer is stillYES“.

If the man continues to call you and he isn’t just talking about sex (when, how and where he wants to get it), that man is likely one who truly wants to know your name, status and personality. He also respects that you are celibate (whether it is true or not) and is willing to take steps to get to know you as a woman and person prior to moving forward with a physically intimate relationship.  Yes, I know, it’s not nice or ladylike to lie, but sometimes it is necessary for our survival.

Lately, there have been a lot of men that have approached me with only one thing on their minds. They make assumptions about me because I write erotic fiction and look incredibly sexy in my lingerie on the cover of my book, “The Goodie Bag”. They assume that I’m a sexually deprived and desperate woman, and they also assume that they will get inside“The Goodie Bag” with nothing but a request. NOTgoingtohappen.com . I’ve told those men that I’m celibate, and trust me, I’ve never heard from them again. I don’t regret it at all. That one word has helped me avoid potential disaster. I, like so many other single women, don’t want a man who only thinks with the head between his legs. If saying I’m celibate will keep those types of men away from me, I will gladly push the button.  Over and over again, until the man who wants more from me comes along.