Should We Just Abandon Toxic People?

Toxic people. They’ve become a header in blog posts nowadays. You see everything from “Why You Should Get Rid Of Them” to “How To Get Rid Of Them“. You see it’s all good trying to get rid of negativity in your life to keep a positive atmosphere and all that zen but then why is the go-to decision to eliminate them.

I happen to be friends with someone who used to be very toxic and no I didn’t sentence them to an eternity of doom in hell. I love people and I believe if you try to see and understand how and why people became the way they are, you may be of help to them. I also understand that some people do not want to be helped. Those are special circumstances. Without further ado, here are ways you could save a toxic person:

A toxic person is often manipulative and has already exerted some form of control over you, your emotions and actions.

First, REALIZE THEY’RE TOXIC – Once you accept the fact that these people are not normal, average, well-adjusted members of the society and are often struggling with some form of deep emotional injury. When you have come to terms with that, you can now realize that your defenses have to be way stronger than they normally are

Next, TELL THEM WHAT YOU DISCOVERED – Whether they be significant other or just friends, you have to tell them that they are toxic, not necessarily their entire being but their behavior towards you is. Tell them like you mean every letter of the words you speak. Do not hesitate or sound unsure, otherwise, you may open a new window for them to hurt you emotionally with some sort of guilt.

Now, you have to ESTABLISH EMOTIONAL BOUNDARIES and EMOTIONAL DISTANCE- This may sound really harsh but this is tough love and it works this way. This way you can see things objectively and be able to deal with them. Most toxic people manipulate you emotionally so the emotional distance can help you break free from the grip they may already have on you.

Once this is put in place, there are certain things you should always keep in mind:

  • They might get worse at first before they get better.
  • They may never change, don’t expect it. If this happens, it’s your cue to leave.
  • They should be treated with empathy. Don’t judge them.
  • You don’t have to explain yourself all the time. ( The temptation might arise from guilt trip).
  • You don’t have to help them through EVERY crises.
  • You should understand the cycle of their behaviour.
  • You should FORGIVE but don’t be NAIVE

With this in mind and their best interests at heart, here are some more ways you could be of help:

DON’T NORMALIZE ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR

This may be difficult to do at first, because, you may be oblivious to the behavior and you may be used to it. Don’t let abusive behavior continue and definitely do not make excuses for it. Let them know what is abusive and how you feel and never let it repeat. It’s a process so work on it every day. Squash negative talk and never let it get to you as before.

Learn to pick up the cues and know when you’re being abused

USE SUPPORT SYSTEMS

A lot of these times, these people who have become toxic to us are people who happen to be very close to us and we lean on them for some sort of support. In cases like this, new support systems have to be formed to enable them to lose their power over and you and enable both of you to fix what is broken and heal properly.

Finally, pick your battles wisely and try as much as possible to rise above every challenge you may face. At the end of the day, it’s always a personal decision for someone to change. You can only do so much for someone. If you see no improvements and no willingness to change, pack your bags and leave. That’s right, I went there. Take care of yourself because no-one else will do it for you.

 

 

 

April Showers, May Flowers

I’m back again for another monthly recap of all that’s been going on. It’s been amazing guys and the heading could not be any more fitting. The last week of April was so hectic. It was almost as if April was trying to overcompensate for what I have no idea. Anyways you know the drill by now. Let’s get the headings started:

1 BLOG

I grew so much this month. I doubled my views for the month. So last month total page views were 2000views, 1.3k of which came from last month alone. But this past month, I had 2001 views. Yes! I doubled my goal of last month Continue reading “April Showers, May Flowers”

Are You Ready To Make Your Next Decision?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. We all have to make them or at least force someone else to make them for us. One way or the other, it’s a horror we all have to face. Since, it is a necessary evil, which it doesn’t have to be, what becomes important is how well we are at making decisions. Decision making could be one of two ways:

  • Intuitive – Going with your gut instinct
  • Reasoned – Using facts and figures
  • Both – A reasonable combination of each

Each method of decision making has its own use. You can’t make a decision in the stock market for example solely on how you felt that Monday morning. Unless you’re some prediction guru. You’d have to read all the weird graphs we skip through on the news. Same applies to food. You won’t stop eating fast food just because a percentage of people die from it. If you love, you eat it.

One key is to know when to apply each method of decision making.

To make a good decision, you must first know what you’re deciding about. This should be obvious but sometimes we don’t realize the consequences of our decisions which often leads to regret and lots of wishes. The next step is to gather as much information as possible. You don’t want to buy a new phone and discover two days later that the camera is bad and it’s been all over the internet. Go out and get yourself enlightened. Always seek alternatives. Explore your options. Weigh the pros and cons. Then choose and make a reasonable decision.

The best decision is the optimum decision taken after putting every factor into consideration at the time the decision was made.

There are certain pitfalls that arise whenever someone has to make a decision. A few of them are:

  • “Halo Effect” – This is when something is deemed good just because it possesses one or two characteristics you admire. For example, because a person attended your college, it means they’ll make good employees.
  • “Horns Effect” – Just like the halo effect, here, one negative characteristic, makes everything else look bad.
  • Emotional attachments which can cause a lot of bias.

Hasty decisions are as bad as those that take too much time to make. Be moderate and choose wisely.

Decision making is a skill that takes a lot of time to perfect and even then the circumstances may not allow you undergo the right process you may need. The goal is to always make a better decision than the previous time you had to. That way, you can ensure growth and self- development.

Just a few things to remember:

  1. Life is unpredictable, there are no guarantees.
  2. Doing nothing should never be an option.
  3. Never let fear stop you.
  4. When you choose, never second guess yourself.

Small Changes for a New Life

I’m Old. Not like dinosaur old, but I’m far from a spring chicken. The fact that I use the term ‘spring chicken’ just goes to show how old I am.

Ugh.

They say you’re as old as you feel, and for me, I do feel dinosaur old. Well, I did until recently.  As a freelance writer and social media consultant, I spend a lot of time on my ever-growing backside. Sometimes, in life, you get to a point where just have to look at yourself and wonder what the hell went wrong.dinosaur-1430240_1920

For me, that point came when I realized that I was over 250 pounds of all fat, and I’m pretty sure the only thing holding my body together was the tub of ice cream I downed every week. Yeah, things were bad. That was the first small change I made in my life. Actually, it’s a pretty big change and the one that really kick-starts everything else. I had decided enough was enough. I was sick of being fat and the only way to fix it is to work for it. So I did. With kids, family, dog, and life, finding time to sit down and work PLUS do something to stop becoming the Blob was becoming difficult. At least, that was my excuse.

I just don’t have the time.’ Like everyone else had a crap load of time except me.

So, the next thing I did was find a schedule that worked for all (albeit a bit wonky). Unfortunately, this new schedule has me up around midnight, so ouch there. I tend to get up between 12:00 am and 3:00 am to start my day, so it’s still a work in progress to get up and get going.

The biggest part about my change is the addition of a 3 mile walk first thing in the morning. Doing this before I eat help raise and maintain higher metabolism rates in my body, allowing my body to burn off food more efficiently throughout the day. More than that, this early morning walk helps my mind focus and when I unplug during the walk, my mind actually clears and seems to just see things more clearly.

For this walk, I’m not out there trying to run and kill myself, but I am walking brisk enough to sweat and be out of breath at times. That’s very important. If you simply take a leisurely stroll in the morning, your body won’t improve. You need to get your blood flowing and your muscles working to get the true effects of a workout, even if it is only walking. It’s hard. It will be hard. This is where the want comes in to say ‘Get up and get out there, fatty!’ And so I do.pexels-photo-221210 

Do not get down if things seem to slow or be tough. That’s my final little change. I am constantly getting down on myself about everything. To me, it’s as if the entire world rest on my every decision and action – of course, we all know it doesn’t. So, I would tell anyone trying to improve themselves, stop beating yourself up all the time.

Slips happen. Get over it and keep on going. Nobody is perfect. Remember that.

It’s about a month later. I’m getting used to the screwy early schedule and walking first thing in the morning, even before I eat anything, is helping my metabolism stay up and actually increasing my focus throughout the day. When I can, I try to throw a second walk in, but as long as I get my good walk in, I’m a happy camper. My weight has even dropped about fifteen pounds, which makes me want to continue to work.

If you think it’s time for a change in your life, chances are it is. Nobody knows you and your life better than you, and nobody can change your life but you. In the end, it comes down to how much do you really want to change? If you truly want it, anything is possible… Even change.

This is a guest post by Joshua Cook. Please feel free to visit his site below.

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Joshua Cook is a father, blogger, and social media consultant enjoying the beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest. Recently starting the Cook Consulting and Content Creation firm, Josh is happy to be able to bring his life changing experiences and ideas out to help others.

YEAR REVIEW: 25%

I can’t believe it’s April already. I was going to write a review of each month as I went by to track my progress and see how well I was doing but February messed everything up. That month was so stressful. March just stressed me even more. Anyways I’m grateful for all of it. Here’s all I’ve achieved so far:

1 BLOG

I’m very proud of my achievements this quarter. I started this blog on Dec 13th, 2016 and I started with 12 days of Christmas. I did so because I had put off starting for too long and I’m very happy I did. But I like to count my beginning from January. I didn’t know you could promote blogs in Facebook groups. I just posted and hoped for the best. I discovered you could, last month and I got a whooping 2000 views. I had set a goal for 1000 and I beat it twice over. I feel so proud. I met genuine people I instantly felt connected with. I’ve made new friends in my niche and outside it. I also met ladies that have inspired me and I was finally able to define my niche and target audience. I picked College, Life and Inspiration, as my categories show. There definitely will be personal posts here and there but mainly, these.

2 SOCIAL MEDIA

I couldn’t work on social media s much as I would have loved to. I was doing a lot of trial and error deciding which social media I wanted to focus on and how to do it. Since I started with Instagram, it’s always at the top. However, I had to make some tough choices. I decided that I didn’t just want a random set of followers there, who probably wouldn’t like what i have to offer. Now, I’m trying to find my ideal reader and Lord, it couldn’t be any more difficult. I started using Twitter but I’m looking for good accounts to follow so if you follow me, I’ll follow back. I’m yet to use Pinterest but I am using StumbleUpon and it brings quite some traffic here. I’m also using Bloglovin though I haven’t paid much attention to it. I’d appreciate any tips or ideas to improve my social media.

3 VIRTUAL ASSISTANCE

In an attempt to get some extra cash so I can invest in my blog, I decide to pick up virtual assistance. For years, I’ve been looking at the possibilities of picking it up and now I’m in the world of blogging, I finally got the hang of it. I even got my first client after putting up a post on a Facebook Group asking for VA resources. Isn’t God great? I really like the job because I help people grow something they love and being a part of that is amazing to me. I do mainly social media, but I want to expand to email management, blog management and administrative support and I need clients for that. If you are interested or know anyone who is, feel free to contact me. My services are affordable.

4 ACADEMICS

For someone who loves education, academics never comes first in these lists. Anyway, I’m happy that I’ll complete my basic medical sciences on Friday as I write my NBME exams. Medical school is tough and I’m happy to be halfway through. After which I’ll start my clinicals hopefully and after approximately two years of rotations and some exams, I should be certified as a doctor. I’m keeping n open mind and my fingers crossed. I know God has great plans for me.

5 HEALTH

I completely stopped exercising and checking what I eat because I’ve had so much on my plate. Once this exam is done, first thing Monday morning after prayers is exercise. I added a lot and my tummy is a small pouch now. I really have to burn everything off. By next quarter, I should be a brand new person. I really miss the feeling of exercise and the near-death feeling that comes with it. Spiritually, I’m glad I was able to deal with some really pressing personal issues, never to come up again. I feel free and brand new. I know that by the end of next quarter I would be very far up from where I am now and I’m excited for it.

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Phew! That was quite a read. I hope you enjoyed it. II’m planning to start writing posts on relationships very soon. I have some things I’d like to share so be on the lookout. If there is any kind of post you’d like to see, you can comment and I look into it. I read every comment posted and it makes me so so happy ( I never understood this when other bloggers wrote it till now ). I’m also open to suggestions and tips to help me in any of these areas.

Thank you for being part of this amazing journey. God bless you all and keep you. Have a beautiful day and an awesome month!

What Kind of Influence are You?

Monkey see, monkey do. Thank God we’re not monkeys because if we had to learn everything we know by just shadowing the actions we see around us, Lord knows the disaster that would surface. At some point, which was when we were babies, it was a usual thing to imitate what we saw because our eyes were the most important form of communication after the mouth ( the oral stage). As we grew, we realized, things were not as black and white as they should be and everything that was done was not based on a set of hard and fast rules. Basically, different situation, different actions. Which brings me to this, what kind of influence are you?

Influence. The word itself has power. It is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something, or the effect itself. People spend millions of dollars buying books and instructional videos to teach them how to gain influence. With influence comes power and with power comes the keys to the kingdom. I personally couldn’t care less about how much influence you have, a thousand or ten thousand, what do you with it. This question is what causes the general public to place so much pressure on the celebrities of nowadays that causes them to crack. Parents saying “my daughter looks up to you” and “my son adores you”, makes you want to always stay in line to always remain a good influence.

I am writing this because we need more and more good influences in our lives. While I feel like we should not put the burden of shaping our children and youths into the hands of those who have achieved fame for anything but being a good influence, I also feel like if you happen to be in such a position, it wouldn’t hurt to use your new-found voice to raise awareness on something. I am really grateful for people who from their little homes try everything in their power to make a change. I also happen to believe strongly in the butterfly effect, that the phenomenon whereby a minute localized change in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, in reference to the chaos theory. A little goes a long way, and even if it doesn’t, you may have affected the one life that is required to create the explosive one you desire. We all know how a single tweet, no more than 140 characters can cause massive effects, how much more your actions.

Today is kind of #motivationmonday from me to you. Think about it. What kind of influence can you create. Is it speaking up about bullying, rape or just maybe raising awareness for that little cause nearby. Recommendation letters for the students nearby trying to get into one school or the other. They’re already on the right path and your influence could help them get there. I saw a blogger recommending blogs she liked for an affiliate program on a Facebook group and I couldn’t be more pleased,. All for free.

Even the simplest things matter, like your actions. Recently,a video of a guy separating a fight went viral, later he was honored for what he did. His action, turning the fight around and his very witty words raised public awareness and someone else used their influence to thank him publicly. Hopefully more and more youths will find fighting in neighborhoods with high number of fight outbreaks not cool and those who are scared of breaking fights, because it’s not their business will have a change of heart. Whatever and whoever, wherever you are, just please be a good influence.

To close, here’s this simply put by Ann Voskamp

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Time To Re-Focus

I may be talking to you. I may be talking to me. You’ll never know.

ANGER TRIGGER

Today is Monday, the first day of the week, and it’s the perfect time to do things right to make the week go smoothly. Yesterday, I got angry. Instagram changed its algorithm again and engagement on my page came crashing down to the floor. I have about 1.2K followers with an average engagement of 80-100 likes and 10 comments per post. It’s not much but I was proud of it. Now, it dropped to 20 likes per post, the comment section too embarrassing to speak of. To make matters worse, I was reading blogs on a group thread and I saw a blogger complaining of being locked out of her Facebook account; her stats dropped to about 75 per day, from 250-450 per day. She has had her blog for approx 42 days, just over a month. I was awed by her success, and curious. My quick guess was that she had put in a lot of work on social media promotions, and she attested to that. The best part was that her friends and family had no part in her success. It was all her.

RASH DECISIONS

Just after I finished praising her, and also sympathizing with her for her account loss, I became mad. Why didn’t I do as well? My blog is twice as old as hers with half the success; maybe one-third. I was sad and broken. Why did I have to fail so much? Everyone else seemed to be doing just fine. But was this true? I put in a lot of work into blogging and I have to juggle it with school and all, but that’s just life for you. Guess what I did? Since the anger started from Instagram, I went over to my unfollowers app and unfollowed everybody who didn’t follow me back. I saved some people because I really like their feeds but the rest, all gone. I also discovered that you could remove followers – that is people who follow you, that you don’t want anymore; you could remove them from being your followers. My reason was that I could not have over 1000 people who don’t care following me. I didn’t want my page to look like it was unreal, or that I bought followers. I was wrong.

I was simultaneously complaining to my friend about the drop and how I was just tired of trying to be appeal to people. He told me to take deep breaths. Then he asked me: “Why do you blog?”. “Because I love it”, I replied. “Then why did you remove your followers?”, he asked. I was dumbfounded. I didn’t know what to say. He continued: “You started the blog to be an inspiration to people. If you want to inspire people, why take away the opportunity for them to be inspired. Now, they can’t see what you post, or hear what you have to say. Is that what you want?”

REMORSE

I became sad all over again. I had become so engrossed in the thought of getting to 10K followers with at least 5% engagement so that some big company can sponsor me and I can make a little change out of something I love doing. I forgot the main reason I started this and had become completely sidetracked. I felt really remorseful. I don’t know the usernames of the people I removed but I’m so sorry, wherever you are. My pride got the best of me and I let numbers define me. I was so concerned about statistics that I forgot that these were real people, with real stories, real joys, real problems, and real hopes. Yes, I want success but I don’t want it if it means selling my soul or losing my morals. The deals, sponsorship, and endorsements will come when they will and I’ll be right here when they do. I’m here to inspire and I never want to forget that.

FINAL WORDS

To you reading this, whatever you do, don’t forget why you started. Don’t sell yourself short. Like the song “I Hope You Dance” the lyrics say “When you come close to selling out, reconsider”. I hope you do reconsider. At school, work and your personal endeavors, never ever forget what your initial vision was . Only change for the better, not because of what you could get or what people say. Don’t ever forget it.