Give People the Same Energy They Give You

Stop accepting bread crumbs from people while giving them endless amounts of your time, patience, and energy. You are human, and humans have limits. Moreso, you deserve better than what you’re getting back in terms of reciprocity.

Imagine giving someone an entire Subway sandwich, but when you’re hungry they give you crumbs. You’re okay with that because at least they gave you something. You expect yourself to always be giving and altruistic, but it’s perfectly fine (or not fine) for others to give you almost nothing in return. Stop doing that to yourself. You deserve better.

Start managing your expectations. I don’t mean standards. I mean expectations of people. Standards are like boundaries. They’re the things you don’t budge on. Expectations are more flexible. If you are a person who goes out of their way for people on instinct, you need to learn to adjust according to what you are given in return. It seems petty, and at times it will be. But it’s also being fair to yourself. If you don’t know how to be fair to yourself, how can you truly be fair to anyone else?

Any relationship requires a healthy balance of energy. A one-sided friendship, for example, isn’t really much of a friendship at all. You make all the plans, you plan the birthday parties, buy the presents, listen to them when they’re down, help them move, etc.

Do they do any of these things for you? If not, you need to change your expectations. Instead of doing all of the above, you should only do what your friend reciprocates. Nothing more.

That is now what you expect out of YOURSELF when it comes to that person. If that becomes an issue, then state why you’ve changed your behavior to match theirs. By stating it, you’ve expressed the expectation you have of THEM and the ball is in their court to figure out what they expect from the friendship. It should ALWAYS be fair.

The friend may decide not to meet your expectations, and that’s fine. That’s where compromise comes in. You have to decide if the compromise is worth keeping the friendship.

That’s where your standards/boundaries come in, the things you’re not willing to budge on. They should always be realistic. If it all works out, then great! If not, it’s not your fault. You still did the right thing. This can also be applied to marriages and long-term/short-term relationships.

Stop allowing yourself to be walked all over by people. Stop accepting bread crumbs when you’re worth an entire buffet. Know your worth and demand to be treated fairly especially now in the social media age. You have to stand your ground.

Remember that, no matter what, you are enough.

11 Effective Ways to Conquer Low Self-Esteem

Low self-esteem is a lifelong struggle for most of us. As someone who has had a longstanding battle with a negative self image, I get it. There are days when I just don’t feel pretty no matter what I do.

And believe me I put in the effort. I get up in the morning and do my best like many people do. I get enough sleep. I eat breakfast. I work out (sometimes). I put hundreds of sticky notes on my mirror telling me how awesome I am. I even try to read each one every single day.

Yet, try as I might, it never feels like it’s enough some days.

So the question remains. Is there such a thing as “life after low self-esteem?”

The short answer is: absolutely. However, it’s not going to be an easy journey. Luckily for you, there’s a few tips below to help you get started.

Stop the Comparisons

Your value as a person isn’t measurable. In fact, it’s immeasurable. That means it’s time to stop with the comparisons. Someone has a nicer car? House? Job? So what? Material things can be gone in an instant. At the end of the day, all you have is yourself. You and your unique life are more valuable than any material possession.

Avoid Social Media

Look, social media is designed to make you feel inadequate. You log on every day just to figure out a way to get “likes” or whatever popularity currency is being used at the time. How many likes you have seemingly determines how funny, smart, or likable you are. But here’s the thing. Such a system doesn’t exist in the real world. So leave it on social media where it belongs and avoid it.

Don’t Assume People Will Hate You

How many of you have struggled with this? You avoid socializing because you assume you’ll be hated the moment people look at you. Seems a little unfair though, right? Think of it this way. What kind of person would go out of their way to hate someone they don’t even know? It definitely sounds like a personal problem, doesn’t it? It just isn’t yours. Not everyone will have a problem with you. Give people the same chance you’d want them to give you.

Social Skills Are Just That: A Skill

There tends to be a stigma towards socially awkward people. People even go so far as to treat it like some sort of disease. Luckily for you, it’s not. In fact, with practice, anyone can overcome it. I know most of you hate the dreaded act of small talk. However, it’s a useful skill to develop when interacting with new people. Over time, it’ll become so second nature you won’t even realize you’re doing it.

Embarrassment is a Choice

I don’t care how poised of a person you are. We all goof up sometimes. Whether it’s tripping and falling in public or having a booger in your nose, life happens. However, you can choose what you’re embarrassed about. Everyone trips, and everyone at some point doesn’t realize they have a gigantic booger in their nose. So really, what’s the big deal? Blow your nose, pick yourself up off the ground, and keep it pushing. Learn to laugh at yourself, too.

What You Think Isn’t Always Reality

You walked into a store and felt like everyone was staring at you. Their eyes burned into your skin, and it seemed like they were judging you and deeming you unworthy. You ran out of the store and vowed to never return. Remember what I said earlier? People who decide to dislike you at first sight have problems of their own. Let them deal with that and remember this. It is not the event that destroys us. It is our interpretation. Those people simply could have been looking to see who was entering out of curiosity and nothing more. By the time you walk past them, they most likely won’t remember or think anything else of your presence.

Counseling Isn’t an Admission of Failure

Low self-esteem can often lead to bouts of depression. Seeking help doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a person or that something is wrong with you. Just as we all get sick physically, we also get sick mentally. Just like some treatments require physical therapy to regain strength, the brain also needs counseling. Catching a cold doesn’t mean you’ve failed as a person, right? The same is true of any mental illness.

Passive-Aggressiveness Solves Little

Part of overcoming low self-esteem is learning how to communicate your feelings. Often, people with a negative self-image can resort to passive-aggressive behavior instead of being assertive. Have you ever given someone the silent treatment when they’ve made you upset? Did giving them the silent treatment really solve anything or simply delay the inevitable conversation where you revealed what you were upset about? By being assertive and calmly expressing your frustration at the beginning, the issue could have been quickly neutralized. Passive-aggressiveness doesn’t give you peace of mind. It simply drags on issues for much longer than necessary.

It’s Time to Set Boundaries

It’s time to stop being a “people pleaser.” If something makes you uncomfortable, it’s okay to say so. Each one of us has limits, both physically and mentally. Setting boundaries is one of the several pillars that hold up your overall well-being. Because, how can you be fair to anyone else if you’re not fair to yourself?

Letting Go is a Skill Too

Often we can get attached to the wrong thing. We can get involved in abusive relationships or one-sided friendships. We find it hard to let go of these relationships because, subconsciously, we feel we deserve to be in them. It can take time to develop a mindset where we truly recognize these relationships as what they are: toxic. Again, this isn’t something that’s learned overnight. It takes time and effort just like everything else on this list.

You’ve Already Accomplished Enough

Recently, I spoke to my classmates from high school. Many of them expressed how they felt like they hadn’t done enough or weren’t “successful enough.” I reassured them that as long as they were living and breathing that they were accomplishing more than what anyone could ask of them. No matter where you are in life, your very existence is an automatic success story. You are enough, were always enough, and always will be enough.

 

I hope this list helped you. As someone who used to struggle deeply with self-image, it took a long time to develop the self-awareness needed to fight back against my depression and low self-esteem. And I don’t always get it right each time.

Listen, you’re still going to have your days where you feel like utter crap. But guess what? Everybody feels that way from time to time. Yes, you are a unique, special person. But you’re also not alone in your fight. So join me and everyone like us as we beat low self-esteem into submission.

8 Easy Ways a Bad Book Review Can Help You

 

All book reviews aren’t created equal. In fact, some can be downright nasty. The very first review of my book, My Horrible Gay Dating Life, was well…horrible.

Unfortunately, negative book reviews take a toll on the writer. Like many others, I fell into the trap of self-doubt and confusion. Was I the only one whose first book review was negative? Did this mean I shouldn’t write anything else? Where did I go from here?

Bad book reviews are a part of the profession. They’re also necessary and can help you become better. So, the question becomes: how does a writer benefit from negative reviews? Well, I have a few ideas based on my own experience.

You Learn Not to React

A rookie mistake is to immediately respond to a bad book review. This can range from a simple “Thank You” comment to a long, angry letter. Regardless, a response isn’t necessary. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind. Your time is better suited on other things, such as writing.

You Learn to Spotlight the Positives

Not every review you receive will be negative. Or positive. It’s usually a mixture of the two. When you get caught up in the bad reviews you tend to forget about the positive feedback. Take the time to remind yourself that people enjoyed your book. Your sanity will thank you for it.

You Learn to Just Ignore it

Bad feedback is a part of every day life. Responding to negativity is exhausting in general. Taking the time to focus on it will drain your passion for your craft. At times, it’s best to just “keep scrolling.”

You Stop Taking it Personally

It’s easy to take every review to heart. After all, this is a book that you poured all of your heart and soul into. You probably see it as an extension of your very being, right? Most reviewers don’t know anything about you beyond your book. So, there’s no need to take what they write as a personal attack. You haven’t committed a crime. You’ve made a work of art.

You Learn How to Take Criticism

The best bad book reviews are the ones where the critic offers helpful advice. If you look hard enough, you can find a bit of truth in even the worst feedback. No one is a perfect writer. Every time your fingers touch the keyboard, you have a chance to improve your craft. Being open to criticism is a crucial part of that process.

You Learn Not Everybody is a Critic

There’s a difference between a seasoned reviewer and a troll who just wants to bash everything. If you’ve spent any amount of time on the Internet, trolls should be easy to spot. What is there to gain from troll reviews? Usually nothing, right? Hone in on the reviews from critics who have something of value to say.

You Learn Not Everybody Will Like it (Or Has to)

Think of all the books you’ve ever read. Did you like every single one? Most likely there were some you weren’t impressed with. And that’s okay. You don’t have to like everything you read, and not everyone has to like your book.

You Remember Why You Write in the First Place

Whether it’s because it’s your calling or because you want to make money, there’s a reason you’re doing this. De-cluttering your mind of negativity and self-doubt helps put that into perspective.

So, What’s Next?

Now that you know bad book reviews can be useful tools, it’s business as usual. Start another book or revise the one you’ve already completed. It’s up to you. Just remember that somebody is going to love what you put out there.

 

Mean Motor Scooter “Hindu Flying Machine” Review

Mean Motor Scooter’s Hindu Flying Machine is more of a journey than an album, but it’s a particularly pleasant ride nonetheless. Over the course of ten tracks, peculiarities are to be expected. For the most part, they work. A track-by-track review begins below.

We’re Not Alone – Right after the first few riffs, the song plunges the listener into a feast of powerful bass lines. The double time is a surprisingly effective push, and the lo-fi vocals strike an interesting aural imagery of a long-forgotten time.

“Wavespotting” – Sporadic drums guide us through the jungle of a 60s comic scene. The power chords partnered with the bass fuel the ride even further like a vintage mustang sailing in the air above the Mississippi River. It’s a short ride, but it gives enough kick to keep the listener (and possibly a crowd) hyped.

“Sea Serpent” – This one set off with a nearly clean guitar riff, dropping in some serious punches with the full blown band. The vocals are over-driven, reminiscent of Franz Ferdinand.

“Cosmonaut” – Reverb and distortion are king here. What makes this track a standout is its similarity to “Welcome to the Black Parade” by MCR, rendering rendering a satisfying listen between each section. The interlude in particular was a nice touch, and its overall quality is a nice surprise.

“Lizard Man” – Things begin to pick up with “Lizard Man.” While not much of a standout as its predecessors, it features a pretty nice, although short, guitar solo.

“Shape Shifter” – It begins to feel a little routine by this point. The keyboard adds a nice touch, while the bassline is jumpy as always. The female vocals once again pour plenty of life into the track.

“Sam, the Homosapein” – The opening’s immediately sounds very AC/DC, yet with a clean and playful rhythm. The lyrics bring tangible imagery to the mind, and one can clearly visualize the footsteps of the Homosapein.

“Come and Get It” ­– The overall vintage feel is revitalized here. Still in a bit of a routine sonic-wise, but this time it works in the album’s favor.

“Dr.Benway” – This track is more like a succession to the previous track than a song on its own. The keyboard is much more pronounced than in previous tracks.

“Brainhole” – We finally reach the closing track of the album as well as the frenetic journey it took us on. While “Brainhole” could have been better suited for a “middle track,” it still works here. We get a nice summary of the musical themes and motifs.

Verdict: There are indeed some surprises here and there, and the song Cosmonaut is one to keep an eye on. Even though a main criticism its “routine” nature, that’s actually where the album shines the most. It’s familiar. There’s plenty to digest here, and overall Hindu Flying Machine is worth more than one listen.

Girl Keep It! Mariah Carey to Perform New Year’s Eve Special…Again

 

Mariah Carey is returning to the stage…the one we’re trying to forget about. Yes,  social media backlash, a media circus, and public embarrassment can’t keep a good diva down. The “Dreamlover” songstress announced on Instagram her plans to return to Dick Clark’s “New Years Rockin’ Eve” event.

Still incredulous? I don’t blame you, but there’s proof below.

Take 2. #RockinEve #NYE 🎉🥂

A post shared by Mariah Carey (@mariahcarey) on

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m counting her out just yet. Mariah Carey is, if nothing else, resilient. Many times during her long (and successful) career, she’s been counted out by the media. However, at some point it’s time to just bow out gracefully. The girl has hits on top of hits to her name. There’s really no reason for her to perform to begin with. I get that she wants to be “seen,” but really? There has to be some other way to handle whatever new project she’s hoping this will call attention to.

I mean, it’s going to take her performing a miracle on stage to make us forget this:

If nothing else, expect this to be entertaining…even if it’s for all the wrong reasons. Will you be tuning in?

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Cardi B Sounds…Unfortunate on New Single “Bartier Cardi”

 

Cardi B stans, whatever you call yourselves, don’t kill me just yet. See, I really wanted to like this song. As unintelligible as “Bodack Yellow” is, it’s still my go-to gym bop. This new single? Well…let’s just say I tried my hardest.

Teaming up with 21 Savage, Cardi B unleashed her second single from her upcoming project after much anticipation. I’m honestly not feeling it, but maybe you’ll like it. Find out for sure below.

I’ll give it to Cardi. The girl’s got plenty of energy. However, does that make up for the lack of enunciation? To be a little harsh, it sounds like this was made by any old SoundCloud rapper from your hometown. It’s just not polished. Be honest with yourself. How many words could you even make out while you were listening?

Perhaps my overly-analytical take on the single is due to Cardi B’s recent chart milestone. The “Love & Hip Hop” trailblazer earned the coveted #1 spot on the Billboard chart earlier this year, after all. The last female rapper who accomplished that was Lauryn Hill in 1998. There’s some perspective for you. We won’t start comparing Lauryn Hill’s music to Cardi B. There’s no point in being “obvious-petty.” What I will do, however, is have a healthy degree of expectation.

Unfortunately, I may have expected too much. What do you think?

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9 OkCupid Users Tell Their Dating Horror Stories

 

I think we can all agree dating apps suck. Yes, they’re user-friendly and simple to navigate, but they’re also full of strange, mentally-deranged people. You can log onto an app right now and see that same weirdo who’s ALWAYS online. Go do it right now, then come back.

See what I mean? OkCupid users posted on Reddit about their awful dating experiences, and they’re honestly pretty depressing. Want to see for yourself? Go ahead. You’ll feel much better afterward. Tuck into their stories below.

“There are Still Guys Like This?”

We went to go see a movie. It was awkward for a first date and we couldn’t talk. He invited me over to his place. He had mentioned when texting that he had roommates. So, we get to his house and his “roommates” are his parents. He introduced me to them as his friend, it was awkward. Well then we went upstairs to his room. We sat on his couch and started watching tv. Mind you he hasn’t made any moves, we haven’t even held hands yet. I laid next to him and snuggled up and we were watching tv for about an hour when all the sudden I feel his hand going down my pants. I grabbed it and pushed it up and then I said that I had to leave. On my way driving back from my house I got a text message that said he doesn’t think we should talk anymore because I don’t seem like his type.

“Did You Mention That Saying About the Boat and the Ocean?”

I made a thread about this kind of recently, but I still feel shitty about it so I don’t care.

Going on first date ever, things seem to be going well, girl seems really sweet, invites me back to her place, clothes start coming off, she laughs at my penis and makes snide remarks at me. Later messages at least one woman in my area talking negatively about my anatomy who then messages me to warn me that some crazy chick messaged her about me.

“I Honestly Want to Hug This Guy”

It was a first date. And it was my fault. Oh god, looking back I just cringe.

I was 19 at the time, my first REAL relationship of first love had ended. It was about two months after the breakup…which wasn’t enough time. And my dad had died about 8 months prior to the date. It was suicide. We got along pretty well, but the conversation drifted from one topic to the next during dinner. And what were the two fucking topics I decided to talk about? My most recent first love and my dad killing himself. I was too stupid to realize how uncomfortable she was. But I can picture it in my head and how much she wanted to leave. But I had given her a ride there.

It was Match.com and that was our only date.

“Who Wants That Perfect Love Story Anywaaaaaay?”

93% match, we meet for drinks. Things are going swimmingly until the date is wrappibg up and she starts talking some shit about a family member. Its hard to explain what she said because I was too distracted by what happened next:

When she gives her credit card to the bartender (splitting the bill, I was paying cash for mine) she murmurs to me, “That card’s not gonna work.”

“How come?”

Right on cue, bartender comes back. “Sorry, but this card expired eight months ago.”

She tries two more cards, both of which fail. “I’m gonna make a run for it,” she says.

Now, while I am not a regular, I visit this place occasionally. I have also worked in bars so I know this is a horrible thing to do. So before she cam bolt, I pay her tab.

She thanks me by running outside and across the street to her car and makes the fsdtest getaway ever.

There was no second date.

“FetLife is a Fetish Website FYI”

First ten minutes he told me about his fetlife profile and the chains attached to his ceiling. Fun! Then he had an anxiety attack in the middle of E 14th St. and proceeded to throw up into a trashbin for ten minutes while I stared at cabs go by.

“Puts the Catfish TV Show to Shame”

Bwahahaha which one?

The oddest was when she showed up being 7 months pregnant. Nothing about it on her profile. No pictures, no questions, no sidebar, nuttin’.

“We All Have a Friend Like This”

Nothing to horrible.

One guy wanted to meet at like 1am and there was nothing open. It was late summer. We went to Laurelhurst park to share a bottle of wine and I drank most of it while he rambled about being an ex-Christian. He asked if he could kiss me and drunk on a bottle of wine I shrugged. He kissed me and immediately after I tossed a ton of cookies into the lake. I just lurched off the bench and heaved into the pond and then rolled over into a little ball of drunken misery. Dude drove me home and shook me awake (how I didn’t end up dead IDK) and I stumbled into the door promptly slamming it in his face with a mumbled, ‘thanks’. I also think I cried drunkenly about my ex who dumped me that night over the great banana peel in the wrong trash can incident.

Anyhow, drunk lake guy texted me for a 2nd date. I did not reply. About 2 years or 1.5 years after I get a text. It’s drunk lake guy. He wants to hook up. I was like “wtf dude???”

“I Mean…If Co-Dependency Is Your Thing”

I had one where the guy showed up and announced that he hadn’t slept in 36 hours because his wife usually tells him when to go to bed and since they split she’s refusing to remind him even though they still live in the same house.

Um. Yah. No thanks.

“At Least She Tried”

the time a guy showed up for a museum date, walked inside with me, and proceeded to have a panic attack. he claimed he had worked out so hard at the gym and that’s why he was nauseous/couldn’t breathe. i’m nurturing by nature so i stuck around way too long – i ended up buying him some food and awkwardly trying to soothe him in front of the museum, but eventually i decided he was clearly too socially crippled to bother. i think i lasted like an hour.

How unfortunate. If you thought that was bad, think again. My dating life is even worse. In fact, my OkCupid date will put every story on this list to shame. Don’t believe me? Read my e-book titled My Horrible Gay Dating Life and see for yourself.

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Aaron Carter Confirms Bisexuality

 

This has been quite the year for Aaron Carter, bisexual implications aside. After a harrowing journey to overcome his drug addiction, the “I Want Candy” singer is ready to fully embrace his sexuality.

Speaking to Jeffrey Masters about his change of heart after initially only planning to date women, Carter revealed:

“I definitely embrace my bisexuality and, you know, it’s still new to me. Who knows what the future has to bring.Whether it’s a relationship with a guy…I’m single, and I look forward to what the future has to bring when it comes to a good relationship.”

Most of you will recall how Aaron Carter snatched us from our seats with that tweet. At first, he told TMZ that he had no interest in women. Isn’t it funny how things change so quickly? Oh, and about that tweet. Here’s what he said initially:

Don’t expect proto-Bieber to fly out of the gates with his new boyfriend any time soon though. When Jeffrey Masters asked if he still had misgivings about dating a man, Aaron said:

“No, I don’t feel like that. I don’t know, I’m still confused about it. About bisexuality…I don’t know, I’m single right now. I don’t know what’s gonna come my way.”

And how will these revelations shape his upcoming music? Well, he’s still figuring that part out.

“It’s something that I’ve already thought about for the album after this one. It’s already been thought through.”

Aaron, honey, if you need some help, I know a rapper who recently revealed he uses Grindr. I’m just saying. Birds of a feather, my dear.

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Eminem Teases New Music Video With Beyonce

 

Newly homosexual Eminem is in “pre-hype mode” for his upcoming album Revival. The song hasn’t gained much traction on the Billboard charts, but there’s still hope. What the rapper needs is a key visual to really kick-start this new era of his. So how is he planning on catching our interest this time around?

Enter Beyonce, the visual artist.

According to the short video released by the Eminem, it looks like he’s going to be serving us THEATER, hunny! Check out a teaser clip from newly-released duet “Walk On Water” below.

It looks quite interesting, but only time will tell at this point. Beyonce’s other duet with Ed Sheeran, “Perfect,” managed to knock it out of the park. Maybe there’s still hope.

Or maybe I could just, you know, enjoy the song. There’s also that…

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Eminem Admits to Using Grindr

 

Is Eminem gay? I know, what a tabloid-y question. But according to Slim Shady himself, he may be playing both sides of the fence. Interesting.

In a recent interview with Vulture magazine, the “Lose Yourself” rapper was asked about his dating life, and his response was…well…unexpected.

When asked if he dates anyone, he responded:

“It’s tough. Since my divorce I’ve had a few dates and nothing’s panned out in a way that I wanted to make it public. Dating’s just not where I’m at lately.”

Of course, it get more interesting from there. Here’s a direct pull from the actual interview:

Interviewer: “When you were dating, how’d you meet people? Tinder?”
Eminem: “I mean, yeah.”

Interviewer: “Are you being serious?”
Eminem: “Yeah, Tinder.”

Interviewer: “Really?”
Eminem: “[Laughs] And Grindr. I also used to go to strip clubs.”

He also professed his love of going to strip clubs, telling the interviewer, “What can I say? Going to strip clubs is how I was meeting some chicks. It was an interesting time for me.”

So there you have it. Eminem just casually admitted to using a gay hookup app. Yes, the same rapper who at one time was infamous for his love of homophobic slurs. But you know what they say. The ones who constantly use the slurs are the ones who like to…you know what? Never mind. I’ll just leave it at that for now. I’m still in shock.

Of course, this is Eminem we’re talking about. I’m sure he’ll either deny or say it was all a joke by the time I finish typing this article out.

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