Category Archives: Communication

How to Establish Healthy Communication From the Start – The Best Question to Ask Prior to Any Potential Relationship

When I think about dating and relationships, I do believe that there is potential between any two people given that they both share a mutual interest for each other. However, there are many dating scenarios in which the attraction just stays at the attraction level but never progresses further due to inconsistent communication or lack of it from one or both people. This is what I call a missed opportunity and also an unfortunate situation simply due to the fact that two people did not establish a healthy communication pattern or it fails to be initiated at all. This usually happens for a few reasons. One or both people might be unsure of how the other person feels about them so instead of pursuing it any further, they just sit back and expect the other person to contact them not realizing that the other person is doing the same thing! So the outcome is that you have two people who are equally attracted to each other but nothing happens because neither want to really make a first move or have to overextend themselves at the risk of getting hurt. Another reason a person might not reach out as often is due to a busy schedule or maybe having a fear that they might annoy the other person if they message too much. Whatever the reason is, these all hinder two people from exploring love and developing a genuine connection.

Communication should not be up in the air and left uncertain if you like someone because it sends a mixed message. This is why I also don’t believe “playing hard to get” is effective because if you have two people doing the same thing as I mentioned, then both people never end up getting together. While yes, this tactic can build lingering attraction up to some point but what is the point of attraction if the end goal doesn’t lead two people in seeing where that attraction leads? That is like bringing a beautiful meal out to you at a restaurant but you are not allowed to eat it. You can stare at it but you do not get the pleasure of tasting it. My point is, mutual attraction that is left at a standstill or remains stagnant will eventually lead one or both people to move on because it is not going anywhere anytime soon.

So how can this be prevented? Once you actually are in contact with someone that you like and want to continue to get to know, I think the best question to ask this person is, “How often would you like me to contact you?” What I love about this is that it is direct AF and conveys that you are leading the relationship and want to be in touch but also am mindful of what the other person feels most comfortable with. If the other person responds in a way that suggests they do not want to be in contact with you much at all, this is a good thing because then you know not to invest as much of your time and you might consider walking away altogether. Time is our most valuable spiritual asset so if someone hints any disinterest, that is your cue to keep it moving. If the person expresses that they want to be in contact more frequently, then you know the person is interested in you and you now have a sense of how often you should be in touch with them without overstepping their boundaries and taking up too much of their time. I think it is a win/win set up and one that leaves a good first impression. It is appealing when someone is proactive and steps it up rather than playing a guessing game because most guessing games often lead to a game over.

My Thoughts on Ultimatums – Why They Should Be Avoided

Many people use ultimatums within their relationships in hopes to change a behavior or to get what they want from the other person. My immediate thought is, if you have to give an ultimatum–then you are not with the right person. Why? If you were with the right person, both people would be on the same page in which there would be no need to give an ultimatum. For example, if you have to say to someone, “I will only date you if….(fill in the blank) then it shows that you are not accepting the person for who they are and you are potentially forcing someone to change against their will. Meaning that even if the person complies and gives in to the ultimatum, it often times is not their personal choice and can cause resentment over time. Rather than trying to force upon a change within the relationship with an ultimatum, it is much healthier to communicate with your partner what your needs, expectations, and boundaries are from the start. If you find that your significant other is falling short of what you ultimately are looking for in a life partner, even after you have spelled it out and have had open discussions about it–rather than giving an ultimatum, you are actually just better off breaking it off because chances are, the person’s behavior was not going to change anyhow and as I mentioned before, it is clear that both people were not in sync enough with one another. Too often I see people trying to change their partners with various tactics including ultimatums and they simply fail because it just reveals the incompatibility between two people and that they do not belong together.

Let’s look at the flip side of the coin for just a moment. What if you are the recipient of an ultimatum? Hypothetically, what if your partner is imposing an ultimatum on you? Now what? Again, the bottom line is that you have two people with a totally different outlook on the relationship and chances are, the relationship is not built to last. I also consider ultimatums to be a control tactic and a red flag immediately goes up if I were to be in a situation where someone has to give me one. Personally, I have a ‘take it or leave it’ approach to my relationships so if a person is going to give me an ultimatum, my response is, “We are better off breaking up because I’m not going to do something that I am not comfortable with.” Again, I do not want anyone putting demands on me that go against my value system and the core of who I am. If someone cannot accept me for me then I know that I am in a much better position terminating the relationship on the spot and being alone as opposed to continuing a relationship that easily can turn into a very toxic and controlling one. It is a lose/lose situation either way because ultimatums tend to cause separation, tension, and future problems. If one person complies, they are setting themselves up for an unhealthy relationship by giving their partner the power to continue to control them. If the recipient decides to end the relationship, then the other person is at a loss of their partner when they might have been able to find a healthy solution or communicate in a way that would have prevented a permanent break up.

This leads me to my final point that ultimatums should be avoided altogether as there are much better ways to promote healthy change through providing positive support to one another, making a commitment to express self openly and honestly at all times, and offering fair compromises to create unison. If you find that you are in a relationship where your partner is placing unreasonable demands on you or that you are with someone who is not capable of making the changes needed on their own terms to ensure a lasting future, then do not forget that you always have the option to walk away, never look back, and start over–and there is nothing wrong with that.

How to Give a Thoughtful Holiday Card

During the holiday season, it is a great time to mail out holiday cards to your family, friends, and loved ones to show that you are thinking about them and that you care. I have noticed in recent years that people nowadays will mail printed cards that feature beautiful photos; however, the card is completely blank. There is no handwritten message and there is not even a handwritten signature. I don’t understand when it became socially acceptable to just mail a blank card to someone. That is like buying someone a beautiful birthday card and mailing it blank without a single inscription. The recipient would probably be confused as to why it was blank and even sent in the first place if there is nothing written in it.

The reason why I point this is out is that if you are going to take the time to mail someone a holiday card (or any card for that matter), the most important aspect of the card is the actual message! Even if you do not have much space to write a message, at the very least sign your name and address their name on it. The little details go a long way in my opinion. I rather someone save their stamp and not send me a holiday card if it is just going to be blank–just like everyone else’s.

Remember that a personal touch goes a long way and people will appreciate the card more for its content than how pretty the photos are or how sparkly and cool looking it appears. Now if you took the time to actually make a card yourself, this is another way of adding your own personal touch which never goes unnoticed. I understand that many people don’t have the time and creativity to execute a handmade card to their liking but usually the other person will like the thought that went into it. However, if you are not an artist, don’t worry about it! Again, I think the most important aspect of the card is to write a message, so be sure to not leave out that important detail if you are going to give someone a card because that message could really warm up someone’s heart and make their day.

How to Set Healthy Boundaries Within Your Personal Relationships

It is important with any personal relationship, to set healthy boundaries from the very onset of the relationship. By “personal relationship,” I am not referring strictly to romantic ones but also friendships, family members, and professional relationships within the workplace. I think too often, people don’t really set their standards and expectations too concisely so it is easy for someone to feel like they are getting taken advantage of which is why it is beneficial to be mindful about how to set healthy boundaries from the start.

Communicate and Be Honest – It is most essential to be concrete when expressing to others what your boundaries are. This can be done with your words or your actions and sometimes a combination of both. If someone does something that bothers you, then you need to speak up and convey that to the other person. No one is a mind reader which is a reason why it is important to tell someone immediately if there is an issue so that it does not become an ongoing problem. Being as open and honest as possible is a good thing and one should never feel that they have to hide what they are feeling in order to maintain a relationship with the other person.

Apply Consequences When Necessary – Sometimes consequences are needed in order to shape a person’s behavior and show how you expect to be treated. I would consider this to be a tough love tactic but one that often works because most people don’t really learn a lesson unless there’s a consequence in place. I am not saying that you need to stoop to their level but find a way to implement a consequence and see if the other person’s behavior changes for the better.

Be Willing to Walk Away – The other person will always have the upper hand if you settle and tolerate their bad behavior. If you have the ability to walk away, you gain respect and send the message that you are not putting up with anyone’s nonsense. Although taking time away from this person might be temporary, it might be a good time to assess if you should remove yourself from this person altogether. People come and go and sometimes you have to weed out the bad ones who don’t have a place in your life to begin with.

What to Do When Someone Tries to Make You Jealous

There are going to be times when people go out of their way to try to make you jealous, whether it be intentional on their part or sometimes it could be done inadvertently. Whatever the case may be, there are different approaches to handle these situations. Every situation is situational in that it depends on the person (such as someone close to you or someone who is more of an acquaintance) and if it was an action or maybe a comment said to you. Regardless, first and foremost, never let someone get the best of you and give it no serious thought. In other words, just dismiss it as opposed to thinking about it to the point where it will bring you down. From there, you have some options as to how you want to go about it in terms of dealing with the person who is trying to make you jealous.

Ignore It Altogether – If someone is trying to make you jealous, chances are that this person wants to impact you negatively or wants to evoke some sort of reaction out of you. It is for this reason that it can be better psychology to just ignore it completely because the person will eventually give up this behavior if they know that you are mentally strong and that it has no effect on you whatsoever. It is kind of like the expression, “talking to a brick wall” and you’re the wall where there is absolutely no response. As a result, the other person will eventually get bored after awhile.

Call the Person Out on It – If you know the person very well, I think it is okay at times to actually call the person out on their behavior as a way to correct it. Sometimes people truly are not self aware enough to realize how something they said or done to make someone jealous is inappropriate, rude, hurtful, etc. Although it might feel a little uncomfortable to confront someone, I don’t think it hurts to speak up because you might actually be doing the person a favor so that they do not continue to do this–not only to you but to others.

Consider Cutting This Person Out of Your Life – I know this sounds harsh but if there is someone within your social circle who has developed a pattern of trying to stir up feelings of jealousy onto you, I would strongly question why this person is in your life to begin with. I understand if the person is a co worker whom you see daily that it might be hard to let this person go or if the person is a family member, then this could also be a challenge; however, you can at the very least limit your contact with this person. On the other hand, if this is a person whom you choose to have as a part of your life such as a friend or significant other, I think it might be a good time to reassess if this person is worth keeping close to you.

Learn To Read the Signs – A Change in Behavioral Patterns Often Dictate the Truth

When it comes to trying to understand others, people naturally tend to develop patterns that are consistent over time. For example, when you send a text to someone you are close to, you generally have a sense of when they are going to get back to you (rather instantly or perhaps in a few hours) and the way in which they correspond with you. Some people might write a series of short messages whereas someone might take the time to write one long message. The use of emojis is a pattern as well with some people using them frequently, not at all, or every so often. My point is, after getting to know someone, you start to pick up on subtle patterns and know what you can expect from this person.

I generally believe that patterns are a very good thing because they create emotional security and reliability where what you see is what you get. Patterns set up certain standards that you will form about the other person. Personally, I do not have the patience for people who are inconsistent with their communication style and who are rather unpredictable; however this is a pattern that I recognize can be a foundation within one’s personality. Meaning that if this is the way some people are, this is still a part of their pattern of being more spontaneous and unstructured–essentially this is who they are as people. In other words, don’t mistake spontaneity as not being a pattern, it definitely can be classified as one if this person is spontaneous on the regular.

I recommend paying attention to an individual’s behavioral patterns because this can often indicate many things about this person such as their character, personality traits, values, feelings towards you, etc. They are always very telling if you take the time to examine them. When there is a major change in one’s behavioral pattern, you need to keep your eyes open and collect these emotional cues as usually there are more than one (it can be either good or bad) in better understanding the truth. I don’t think there is much room for people to be blindsided by others because if one takes the time to simply notice a shift in behavior, it is actually quite clear the outcome. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to get blindsided, of course there are rare occasions where it can happen but what I am saying is that it can easily be prevented if you are sensing a change in one’s behavior. Sometimes the emotional cues can be very indistinct but they tend to always be there. Unfortunately, I think people’s perception can often blind people from the truth. Perception is NOT always the reality–I once read somewhere that reality is reality. I do agree with this statement. If someone is treating you differently than what you were once used to, take these signs at face value because this is the present reality. I don’t care how things once were, you have to be living in the present moment and not your past. You also cannot ignore the signs and think to yourself, “Oh this is temporary” or “It doesn’t really mean anything is different.” By thinking this way, you will be left blindsided which is why it is important to catch when someone’s patterns change as soon as they begin to happen.

The Pros and Cons of Telling Someone That You Like Them

When you come across someone who you genuinely like, there comes a time where you might wonder if you should take it a step further and say something to this person or if you are better off not saying a word. Everyone’s dating life is situational, so there truly is not a one size fits all answer to this; however, there are some factors to think about before making a decision on what’s best for your personal situation and to prevent making any hasty decisions.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself first before considering the pros and cons of telling someone that you like them:

– How long have you known this person?
Timing is everything when it comes to building personal relationships. If it is too soon, the other person might not have developed the same feelings towards you or if too much time was taken before saying something, the person might have lost patience and interest with the slow pace of the relationship and already has moved on. Needless to say, timing is definitely a factor.

– How did you meet this person? (From work, school, online, mutual friend, etc.)

The way in which you met this person can influence whether or not it is a wise choice to say something. I say that because if you met this person at your workplace, it might not be worth expressing your interest because the other person might prefer to keep things more professional. If you met online, it might be more acceptable to say something as both of you went on a dating app in hopes of meeting someone and might both have the same desire to start a relationship.

– Do you think this person feels the same way about you?
It can be very tricky to know where you stand in the other person’s mind, whether they view you strictly as a friend, crush, casual fling, or a potential love interest. Although you might not be a mind reader, it is sensible to think about whether or not the other person likes you enough for the relationship to progress. If the feelings are not mutual, you could run the risk of making the current relationship that you have with this person extremely awkward.

After thinking about some crucial details in regards to your situation, we can now discuss the pros and cons in telling someone that you like them. I think it can be a good idea to say something if you have spent enough quality time with the other person for feelings to naturally develop and if you do sense there is even a hint of a mutual interest. The reason being that this way, you don’t waste anyone’s time and can see where the relationship goes. I also do believe that it is healthy to be able to express your emotions in order to stay true to yourself and not have to hold back in any way. If it turns out that the other person does not feel the same and you hold zero emotional attachment to the outcome, then it is also not a bad idea to say something because if you get rejected, at least it is better to know now than to find this out after investing too much time with this person. Even if the outcome is not in your favor, it still is more beneficial to know this information as soon as possible so that you can move on to a more meaningful and fulfilling relationship down the line.

As previously mentioned, the only major con to saying something is that you could get outright rejected; however, rejection does not need to be perceived as such a bad thing as it is a part of life and should be embraced for building inner strength and personal growth. I say that because often times, people need to fail now in order to succeed later. If you are emotionally attached to the outcome and already know that your ego is going to be deeply crushed if the person does not like you in return, then it might be better to not say anything and to continue to just take it one day at a time.

Ideally, if you do not form any emotional attachment to the outcome, then you are not at risk of getting hurt and can move on rather quickly. This is the ultimate goal because then no matter their response, you still have the upper hand in the situation by being in control of your destiny and in knowing that you are totally fine either way! 😉

When Words and Actions Don’t Line Up – Which is More of an Indicator of a Person’s True Intent?

[I was going through my saved drafts and stumbled upon this title I wrote from June of 2020 so I guess this was a topic that was on my mind a year ago but one that I never took the time to develop. So I figured I might as well write my thoughts on this].

They always say, “Actions speak louder than words.” However, aren’t there instances where a person’s words can speak louder than their actions? Or better yet, when a person’s actions and words are consistently equal with one another? Unfortunately, many people tend to send mixed messages (whether intended or not) so it is not always easy to understand someone’s intent when their actions and words don’t go hand in hand. This is where you have to rely more heavily on your intuition as opposed to your perception. Typically, your intuition will guide you in the right direction. When you experience moments of doubt, trust what your intuition is telling you. If you ever sense a lack of clarity, it exists for a reason so take it seriously.

Aside from your intuition which we are naturally born with, some people have sharper intuition than others. Meaning that intuition is not enough in really understanding whether or not a person’s actions or words are more reliable. I find that this is why you need to understand what is more important to that specific person. For example, for me personally, given the choice–I value words more than actions. In my interactions with others, I prefer to use my words and be direct with people as a way to communicate as opposed to actions alone. That does not mean that I cannot be deciphered based on the actions I take but what it does mean is that my words can be taken at total face value. What I say is what I mean–there typically is not a hidden meaning behind my words. I try to make an effort to chose my words wisely and I appreciate when people communicate concisely the way I do, although I am aware enough to know that not everyone is like me in that way. Although this is my preference, there are people who don’t really take their words as seriously or even choose to use their words as often as they prefer to communicate with their actions. This is why you need to examine an individual to see what they value more as this will tend to determine how they communicate with the outside world. People are always conveying their true selves through both their words and actions but at the end of the day, people are going to best express themselves through their desired form of communication.

3 Ways to Leave a Positive Emotional Impact on Others

I think when you are naturally more driven by emotions and have a higher EI (emotional intelligence), it comes natural to consciously question, “Do I emotionally impact others in a positive way?” If this is something that never really crosses your mind, then it might be time to bring some self awareness on this subject matter–especially if you consider yourself more of thinker type (one who uses their head more than their heart) or you classify yourself as an emotionless individual.

There is nothing wrong with not being a feeler type as I recognize there are many people who are not built to operate in this way. I do not think anyone should have to change their foundation or that it is even a realistic request as our genetics strongly dictate how we are hardwired to function. However, I do believe that in order to improve your personal and professional relationships, be successful in any business and/or career, and just have more positive everyday encounters, paying attention to the emotional impact you leave on others is essential. Taking the time to just be aware of how you treat others is the first major step. Even if you are emotionally clueless and have no idea how to really emotionally impact others in a positive way, there are certain practices that can implemented to increase the likelihood that a person will develop a positive feeling towards you.

Be a Good Listener and Acknowledge What They Say – In order to really develop a connection with someone, it is important to be a good listener because people want to be able to express themselves and feel like they are truly being heard. To take it a step further, not only remember what the person tells you but acknowledge what they say by applying what they tell you. For example, if the person tells you the type of music that they listen to, you can apply this information by then actually listening to their music to show your interest. From there, you can then make music suggestions based on what they tell you that they like. If you try to suggest music that you like but it’s not something they really like, then this is not really acknowledging their personal interests.

Give Meaningful Validation – People generally like to receive validation from others but when genuine and meaningful validation is given, it has a much higher emotional impact on someone than just giving validation for the sake of it. For example, if someone is an athlete, telling the person they are a great athlete might not hold too much meaning to them because this is what they do and they already are aware of their athletic strengths. If you further get to know the person on a deeper level to learn their other positive attributes which aren’t validated all too often and then compliment them on it, this will definitely make you stand out from others who just compliment them on what is obvious to them.

Show Engagement With Your Body Language – When there isn’t a verbal exchange, people will heavily rely on body language as it is very telling and can either positively or negatively rub someone the wrong way. Body language that is more open and inviting such as smiling, making eye contact, and just giving off a general positive vibe will definitely leave a more favorable impression by showing you are open and engaged in them personally. I understand there will be times that you will not want to attract too much attention from strangers but if you are entering a new social environment or workplace where first impressions matter, it might be a good idea to pay closer attention to your body language. When someone is standoffish with their body language such as never smiling, having their arms crossed, socially obvious to their surroundings, or just caught up in their own world, then this will send the message of detachment when this might not necessarily be the case.

When People Really Are Too Busy – Learn How to Accept it (or Move On)

Often times if someone is too busy, it is seen as quite a negative thing. People automatically interpret that the person is just not that interested or perhaps aloof and detached. While in many cases this can be the case, this is NOT always the case–some people really are too busy. Some people may have multiple things in their lives to balance whether it is their career, education, and/or family life. Some people truly do not have as much free time. Does this mean that they do not want to hang out with you? My answer is: Not necessarily. (So there is no need to take it personally!)

As a professional makeup artist, I work in a services profession which requires that I work most weekends and this can vary from weekend to weekend just depending on how many bookings I have. While most people are off on the weekends to hang out, this is not often the case for me unless I am working during a slow season such as the winter. This also means that making concrete weekend plans weeks in advance can be dicey and sometimes the little free time that is left for myself on a weekend I just prefer to be left alone to sleep, relax, or work out.

I recognize that people with extremely busy schedules can be frustrating to hang out with but there are a few ways to navigate this.

Respect the Other Person’s Space and Time – If their time is limited, do not ask for too much of their time because they may just not have the time to give. If you are understanding of their time and space, they will not feel pressured and will be more inclined to want to spend time with you once they have some free time in their schedules.

Be Patient if They Take Longer to Respond – Although we live in a world where sending a text message is quick and easy, not everyone is physically on their phones at all times to reply. The worst thing you can do is double text or constantly send them messages to get their attention. If they are genuinely busy then there is no need to remind them of your presence as they will get back to you at their earliest convenience.

Find Hobbies and Personal Interests to Occupy Your Time – If you know of set times that this person is usually unavailable, find hobbies and things to do during that time rather than always waiting around for them. It is good to have your own separate life with your own personal interests that does not involve the other person.

Work Around Their Schedule – It is important to be as accommodating and flexible as possible when trying to make plans with this person. If they have to cancel last minute due to a work function or something that is of importance, then do not give them a hard time about it and just let them be the ones to reschedule it with you. They will make the time for you if you allow them to.

Know the Difference Between Whether the Person Actually is Too Busy or Just Not That Into You – As I mentioned, there will be instances where you come across someone who is not direct enough to say they are uninterested but will rather just appear to be too busy all the time. Unfortunately, this means they are trying to spell out that they are too busy to spend their time with you. In this scenario, you are better off leaving this person alone altogether. If they are interested in reconnecting, then they will find a way to do so.

[Final Note: Also keep in mind that if you find that the person never has enough time to spend with you as you would like, it might be a good idea to find someone who has the same expectations as you of how much quality time is spent with one another. Each person can grow very resentful towards each other if they feel as though one person is not getting enough time while the other feels they are giving more than they actually have to give. In order to strike the right balance, it is important to have these open conversations. If you find that this will always cause a conflict without much of a solution, then find someone who has the same expectations as you in terms of how much time is spent together and apart.]