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Your Self Care Might Just Be Self-Indulgence

Self care seems to be getting a lot more exposure thanks to social media. More people want to improve their lives and grow positively. As a result, it’s “trendy” to focus more on ourselves.

However, there seems to be a trend lately to confuse self care with self-indulgence and selfishness. Yes, we’re focusing more on ourselves. That’s great. What isn’t great is taking it so far that we forget to be considerate of others.

So, what are some examples of “self care” that aren’t self care at all? Let’s dig right into it!

Flaking Out, Then Playing the Victim

We all know this person. They are never on time for anything. We can tell them weeks in advance. They can get multiple reminders the week leading up to the event. And they will still either fail to show up or arrive extremely late.

Then, when questioned, they lash out. They blame you for being unfair to them. You’re “expecting too much of them” by wanting your time to be respected. So, you end up feeling bad for being so “needy.”

Stop doing that.

First, this is prime example of self-indulgence. You are putting your wants ahead of being considerate. Second, people have the right to hold you accountable for being inconsiderate.

Yes, some of us suffer from anxiety, depression, you name it. You should still work to treat people fairly and with respect.

Going Out So Much You Forget About Yourself

On the other hand, we have the individual who goes out too much. Every night they can be found at the club/bar/movies having a good time.

It’s important to have a good time. We need to let loose more often in my opinion. The issue is that it often comes into conflict with self care. We forget to pay bills because we partied too hard the night before. Gym visits become less frequent. We may even start performing poorly at work.

When this happens, it’s time to take a step back. Are you avoiding something? Is there a stressor at home, for instance, you don’t want to deal with? For some, it’s a bill they’re stressing over. Others are avoiding a roommate.

Figure out what it is that compels you to go out so frequently. Then, properly address it.

Living Beyond Your Means in the Name of “Treating Yourself”

Speaking of partying too much, do you have a budget? If not, maybe it’s time to start one.

Society convinces us that the “good life” involves needless shopping. In return, we end up overspending and digging ourselves into debt.

We think, “Well, life’s already hard. What’s the point in moderation?”

Then, we end up buying that pricey, new video game. We go out to eat more often than we can afford. The credit car gets maxed out more often. And pretty soon, we’re back where we started. It’s a never-ending cycle.

We don’t practice moderation enough.

It’s possible to still purchase that new video game when you can afford it. You don’t have to suffer under a mountain of credit card debt. You simply have to live within your means.

Staying up All Night Watching TV

I’m the biggest culprit when it comes to staying up too late. There’s not enough hours in the day, right? You get off work, and the last thing you want to do is call it a night. It means you’ll just have to wake up and go straight back to work.

Depressing, right?

The problem is I end up feeling exhausted and miserable the next day. Then, the weekend arrives, and I spend most of it catching up on the sleep I’ve missed.

I don’t even get to enjoy my weekend because I’ve spent so much of it recharging. Then, it’s time to go back to work on Monday. What did I solve?

No matter what, getting a full night’s rest is important. Yes, we have a finite number of hours in our day. Absolutely, work can get tiresome some days. But we only have so much energy too. It’s important that we conserve it.

Overeating Comfort Food

Here’s another one that gets me. Have you ever reached a point in your diet where you’re just…over it? Okay, nearly every diet ends up this way. We get on the scale after a week, notice we haven’t lost any weight, and give up.

What’s the point? I put in all this work, and I get nothing? Might as well eat what I want, when I want. At least it’ll taste good.

And yes, it certainly does, but we still didn’t feel good. We don’t feel like we’re taking care of ourselves or making a positive change.

The occasional brownie won’t set you back light years, but eating an entire tray won’t get you to your health goal. You have to keep your destination in mind.

Extreme Dieting

On the other end of the healthy eating spectrum, we have extreme or “fad” diets. These promise to get you to lose 50 pounds in 14 days. Super easy and exactly what we need, right? Wrong. This is not only unhealthy but also unsafe.

Proper weight loss involves a gradual journey. Unfortunately, we’re no longer designed to wait. We want results to show up the next day. However, patience is just as important as moderation in this case.

It’s so tempting to try that fad diet and lose that weight as soon as possible. But if the healthy mindset and eating habits aren’t in place, it’s going to be a waste of time.

Living to be the Center of Attention

You’ve got to make everything about you. A conversation is boring or pointless unless it’s about you at some point. Your situation is more important than anyone else’s.

And you probably don’t even realize you do it.

These traits don’t inherently make you a bad person. We all want to be seen as special and important at some point. The problem is when we try to cover up our insecurities and low self-worth by being self-centered.

We want all the attention because we feel without it we’ll fade into obscurity. People will abandon us. We’ll never find true love. You get the picture. As a result, we believe we’ll be doomed to a miserable existence.

We’re wrong, of course.

You don’t have to be the center of attention in order to feel good about yourself. Address what it is you’re insecure about, and the need for attention will lessen with time.

Trying to Do This All On Your Own

People let me down a lot in my life. As a result, I felt I had to do everything myself.

The problem is this only put more on my shoulders than I could handle. Yes, I’d love the fact that I didn’t have to rely on others. But in the end, so much more could have been accomplished had I asked for help.

It goes back to not being afraid to hold people accountable. You are not required to carry large physical, emotional, or mental workloads on your own.

Speak up. Let people know when they’ve let you down and how. Don’t be afraid to tell others you’ve got too much on your plate. It’s okay to have limits. Don’t wait until you’re buried under it all to raise your hand. Someone might not see you at first.

Checking Your Self-Worth

It all starts with self-worth. If your self-esteem isn’t in order, it’s hard to keep yourself on track. I highly recommend reading my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, for more guidance.

Practice self care, not self-indulgence.

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10 Examples of Self Care You Can Start Right Now

Yeah, we have examples of self care thrown at us almost daily. We just don’t seem to have time for it. Self-improvement seems daunting and time-consuming at first. And you’re not wrong. It’s not a quick or easy process, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth it.

We have busy, demanding lives. Where do we even begin? What do we need to bring with us? How long is it all going to take?

The most difficult part of any journey involves taking the first step. Once we set ourselves in motion, we know we’re expected to commit to our chosen path. Thankfully, it doesn’t take much to get started.

Now let’s make the starting point a lot more accessible, shall we?

A Few Easy Things

  1. Compliment something about someone.
  2. Donate to a charity, no matter what size the donation is.
  3. Give away old clothes.
  4. Create a budget.
  5. Do something nice for someone that they’ll never know about.
  6. Rearrange your furniture.
  7. Attend a Meetup and speak to everyone there.
  8. Pick one thing you’ve been procrastinating about and get it done today.
  9. Write down at least 50 things you’re grateful about.
  10. Learn how to cook something new.
  11. Send someone a care package for literally no reason.
  12. Make encouraging post-its and place them on your mirror.

Make Encouragement Contagious

We don’t encourage each other enough. As a result, we fail to uplift those around us sufficiently. And as humans, we already have a negativity bias.

So, I can’t stress this enough. Spread encouragement like you’re trying to sell Herbalife. Believe you can make a difference, and you will. Sure, it won’t be readily apparent, but change takes time. And the more gradual the change, the harder it will be for things to backslide.

If you believe in something enough, it will often catch on without you realizing it. We take on a certain demeanor, a certain rhythm when we choose self-improvment.

Suddenly, people want to know what makes us tick. What is it about us lately? Why are we so happy (even if we’re not at the moment)?

The Wisdom in Being Grateful

Need more examples of self care? I wrote a book about self-improvement titled Life After Low Self-Esteem. In it, I mention writing down 50 things you’re grateful for. Why 50?

Many of us don’t even think we have that much to be thankful for, but try it anyway. You’ll more than likely surprise yourself. There are also sheets here you can reference for self-improvement as well.

Just remember. Take that first step, and the rest will follow.

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I Quit My Job During COVID-19. I Regret Nothing

You can take all the sick days you want. It won’t matter if you don’t have peace of mind. That’s what I learned during this COVID-19 crisis.

I am a person who is driven and likes to succeed. No matter what new role I fall into, I usually end up in a leadership position at some point. I take on challenges, and most of the time I conquer them.

This was not one of those times, but I still made it.

What Was My Job?

I was a claims adjuster for a major auto insurance carrier. It’s a tough job, one that isn’t for everybody. However, true to my personality, I was determined. I thought determination would be enough.

Basically, imagine running a marathon every day while people shoot projectiles at you. That’s how my work day usually went. I’d leave with a mountain of claims only to return with even more.

It became increasingly discouraging, but I was told it was just the nature of the job. So, I stuck with it. I wasn’t going to give up. That was never the plan.

When I Knew It Was More Than Stress

When I began to wake up and have panic attacks, I began to reconsider the role. Pretty soon, I was only getting up to 4 hours of sleep at night. I was drinking heavily. And the claims only seemed to get more complex and more demanding.

I take antidepressants, but they seemed to have no effect in regulating my mood. I would get nauseated just after taking them. In the middle of obtaining a recorded statement, I had to excuse myself to vomit in the restroom.

I knew then that it wasn’t just stress. It was the job itself.

When I Knew It Was Time to Leave

To this day, I still can’t completely explain what came over me. I got up, got dressed, and sat down at my workstation in my living room like always. We had been working from home for about a month at this point.

I turned on my laptop, said good morning to my co-workers via Skype, and I paused.

Then, I started typing out my resignation letter and packing up my workstation. Before I knew it, I’d turned everything into our branch office and was without a job. I felt the most free I’d felt in a long time.

And I was terrified.

There Can Be Courage in Walking Away

I didn’t know what to think when I returned home jobless during the COVID-19 crisis. Then, I began to panic again. What had I done? How would I take care of myself? What would become of me?

But then I had to remind myself that I was driven, ambitious, and determined. Most companies had paused hiring, but there were still plenty that hadn’t. I applied for jobs vigorously until landed something a month later.

I was able to spend the interim catching up on sleep, focusing on self-care, and planning my next move. It was the most restful time of my entire life.

I write all this to say I don’t condone just quitting your job without a plan like I did. But I also understand those who do so in order to protect their mental health. Society expects us to be overworked, underpaid, and in perfect health at all times.

I don’t regret walking away from what I thought was an amazing opportunity. Panic attacks are no longer part of my morning routine, and I plan to keep it that way. I don’t feel shame for quitting a job during the COVID-19 crisis.

And I don’t regret choosing myself.

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It’s Okay to Be Wrong & Learn From It

Nobody likes to lose. As people, we gravitate towards positive outcomes. So, it makes sense that few of us believe it’s okay to be wrong.

Still, it’s important to find the lesson in making mistakes, no matter how big or small. So, let’s dismantle those fears and start growing.

It Doesn’t Mean You’re Unintelligent

There is no one person on earth who knows everything. At some point, you’ll make a mistake. You’ll say the wrong thing or take the wrong course of action. It’s inevitable.

Gaining knowledge can’t happen without fumbling something up. We only managed to get as far as we have as a species because of trial and error. So, give yourself a break! You’re doing fine.

It Doesn’t Make You a Failure

You’re not a failure because you get it wrong sometimes. Everyone “fails” at some point, even the people you look up to. Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first job. Now, she’s a household name.

It’s all about perception.

Yoda said it best: “The best teacher, failure is.” You can let the setback destroy you, or you can find the opportunity in it.

It Demonstrates Your Capacity to Grow & Learn

Think about it. If you knew everything, wouldn’t life be boring? Thankfully, there’s still so much we don’t know. You live in a universe with endless possibilities. As a result, your capacity to learn is infinite.

You can grow from being wrong. In fact, admitting you’re wrong is one of the main contributors of growth. Stop being afraid of making mistakes. You’re only stunting your growth by doing so.

Still, I know it’s not an easy task to take on. Some of us may need a confidence booth, or you may be struggling with self-doubt. I spoke about dealing with negative emotions in an earlier post.

I also encourage you to read my book, Life After Low Self-Esteem. If you or anyone you know struggles with feelings of low self-worth, please read and recommend it!

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In Case You’re Forgetting to Choose Yourself Today

You forgot to choose yourself again, didn’t you? Don’t fret. We all do it, no matter how tough we think we are. There comes a time where we need to re-calibrate and try again.

We can’t always get it right, but we can always strive for optimal growth. Let’s shift ourselves back into our center.

Some Friendly Reminders

  1. It’s okay to NOT be okay.
  2. You don’t have to explain yourself to anyone.
  3. Do correct your mistakes when you’re wrong. It’s okay to be wrong.
  4. If you don’t feel supported by your friends tell them! Communicate.
  5. Your CAN achieve your goals, even if they’re far off.
  6. You deserve to see the beauty in everything without failing to see your own.
  7. Find ways to get excited, to replenish yourself, and to seek new challenges.
  8. Prioritize yourself and your needs without guilt.

We Forget Self-Care Because Our Culture Tells Us To

We work jobs where we’re penalized for taking sick days. Calling in induces panic and terror. We stress over the fact that our grief period for a loved one may exceed a week.

As a result, we become afraid of being human.

Despite contrary stimuli, you still deserve to take care of yourself. Don’t allow society to convince you otherwise. You’re not weak or needy because you need more time. Hell, we ALL need more time. You’re just the first to realize it.

Sometimes, We Don’t Think We’re Worthy

We get in a slump sometimes. We don’t believe we deserve to be happy. This can last one day or several months. It happens, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.

If you can’t choose yourself because you feel unworthy, I recommend reading my book about self-esteem. These feelings can be overcome with practice and patience.

Just don’t forget that you deserve all the best in life, no matter what you feel today.

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Polyamory Wasn’t for Me, and That’s Okay

I tried polyamory. It didn’t work for me.

Like every breakup, I took it pretty hard. I convinced myself I wasn’t mentally or emotionally strong enough to handle a polyamorous relationship. So, I sat back and truly analyzed my emotions until I realized something.

I am not wired for polyamory, and that’s okay.

Like many, I had a lot of misconceptions about why I needed to open myself to poly relationships and consider giving up my monogamous ways. I quickly found that I have limits. And if nothing else I’m a person who wants his limits respected.

So what led me to discovering this epiphany? Let’s examine a few points that resound with me.

Polyamory Isn’t a Cure-All

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve encountered a couple on a dating app seeking to “open up” their relationship to a third party. One partner initiated the idea, while the other reluctantly agreed to be open-minded about it.

One couple in particular stands out in my memory. Todd (bisexual man) wanted to explore relationships with other men. Meanwhile, Linda (heterosexual woman) wanted to exclusively date her boyfriend.

Underneath all this was a myriad of miscommunication, issues with trust, and little respect for boundaries. We’ll get to boundaries later.

Todd had a tendency to cheat on Linda and cover up the fact. Todd suggested to Linda after multiple incidents that they explore polyamory. Linda gave in because she wanted the relationship to work.

Even though Linda consented to being in a poly relationship, Todd previously broke her trust multiple times. Opening up a relationship doesn’t eliminate cheating. In fact, in some cases, cheating can be increased.

Todd could decide that he now has free reign to have sex with, go on dates with, and become involved with whoever he wants, neglecting his original partner in the process. This is self-centered and not rooted in love and respect.

Monogamy Doesn’t Always Mean Selfish

I often heard that phrase, “Monogamy is inherently selfish. You can’t be someone’s everything, and you can’t expect them to be yours.”

Okay, let’s dissect that a bit.

Yes, we push this magical belief that we’ll one day meet the man/girl of our dreams, who will complete us in every way imaginable. Yes, said belief/goal fails to live up to our expectations most of the time.

However, most of that can be tied back to co-dependence rather than just monogamy. And co-dependence can manifest in poly relationships too.

Think about it like this. Is it not possible for someone to want multiple partners because they’re also trying to fill something within themselves and feel completed?

Your main partner can’t satisfy you in X,Y,Z ways, so you decide to date or seek as many people as it takes in order to feel fulfilled in those areas. Such a mindset can also devolve into co-dependence just like monogamy. It just looks different.

You Are Allowed to Have Boundaries & Expectations

No matter your dating preference, you’re allowed to have boundaries. Not only that, you should expect those boundaries to be respected.

For example, sexual health and safety should be important whether you’re poly or monogamous. Poly doesn’t mean everyone gets to do whatever they want. There are still consequences to be considered.

So, then what if you can’t emotionally, physically, or spiritually handle being involved with more than one person? Is that also a boundary? Yes, and it should be respected.

To put it simply, I chose not to engage with partners with multiple relationships because:

1. Emotionally, the relationship overwhelms me.

2. I wanted to reduce the chance STI exposure.

STI’s obviously aren’t exclusive to poly relationships, but things happen. In fact, the gap between monogamous and non-mongamous STI rates is smaller than you think.

Negative Emotions Don’t Make You Weak

I recently posted about addressing negative emotions. It’s important to express any misgivings or general unease. You are not weak or mentally-fragile because you get upset. Our experiences and personalities form the paradigms that shape our preferences.

No matter what route you take, you need to communicate, listen to understand, and set clear boundaries. Poly works for many people, and I truly believe it’s an amazing alternative for many. But it’s not for everyone, and that’s okay too.

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How to Express Your Feelings, Even When You’re Wrong

It may be a hidden topic you didn’t know you needed to discuss. Yet, like many, you want to know how to express your feelings, even if you feel like you’re overreacting.

There’s a specific kind of danger we associate with expressing emotions, especially when we feel our emotional response is “wrong.” We’ve been conditioned to shy away from showing our feelings to avoid being seen as weak or hysterical to others.

Research shows that suppressing emotions can lead to problems with our health and mental well-being, yet many hesitate to explore healthy ways to overcome negative emotions.

Let’s discover a few ways to express ourselves, even when we feel like we’re being irrational.

Pause & Acknowledge

When you feel an overwhelming emotion setting in, it’s time to pause instead of react. You can count to ten, take deep breaths, or even excuse yourself to take a walk.

Then, it’s time to acknowledge the event that upset you. Did someone say something that angered you? Why does it anger you? Once you pinpoint where the emotion is coming from, don’t forget that it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling.

Take Action

Now that you know why you’re feeling the way that you do, it’s time to address it. Make sure you’re calm and ready to tackle a potentially difficult subject if necessary.

For instance, if someone said something that offended you, pinpoint why it offended you and calmly explain it to the individual. It’s important to be assertive and not aggressive or passive-aggressive in your approach. There are sheets on that here.

The Discomfort Won’t Last

The best news? Over time, it’ll become much more easier to identify the source of negative emotions and properly address them. It simply takes practice and time. You’re not going to get it right every time, and that’s okay.

Be Ready to Learn

You’re going to get it wrong sometimes. You’ll make a wrong assumption about something someone said, only to feel foolish for getting upset. Don’t let that deter you. We all make mistakes, and we all jump to conclusions.

The beauty of expressing your emotions is that there’s always an opportunity to learn from these mistakes. Take advantage of these opportunities as they arise and optimize your emotional growth.

Be Ready to Grow

Now that you know how to express your feelings, put it into practice! And don’t forget to take everything one day at a time.

Many who struggle with self-expression can also suffer from low self-esteem. I wrote a fairly handy book, Life After Low Self-Esteem, about overcoming those pesky self-doubts, and I encourage you to read it!

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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. You deserve better than what you’re getting back in terms of reciprocity. Give people the same energy they give you.

Our culture teaches us that we must be altruistic, 100% selfless human beings at all times. So, we strut around giving our energy away freely to anyone who asks for it, and we wonder why we’re endlessly exhausted.

Lets explore ways to conserve that energy and apply it to aspects of your life that will yield a bigger and more satisfying return for you.

Re-Discover What You Want Out of Life & Love

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 by writing down any goals, dreams, and aspirations you may have. Then, consider your core values as a person. What do you believe in? What makes you happy? What do you have to have in order to function as a person?

Personally, I recommend creating a vision board. Not sure how to start one? You can click here for an easy how-to guide. I’ve also got some worksheets you can use if you need a confidence boost. Once completed, you can move on to something that’s a little more challenging.

Set Boundaries & Manage Expectations

What’s the difference between expectations and standards?

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 appear to 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 arrangements, you plan the birthday parties, buy the presents, listen to them when they’re down, help them move, etc.

How do I manage my expectations?

Do your friends do any of the above-mentioned 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.

What if they don’t meet my expectation?

The friend may decide not to meet your expectations, and that’s fine. That’s what compromise is for. 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 thought process also works for marriages and long-term/short-term relationships.

Check Your Balance

Imagine you have a bank filled with your energy. Every day you withdraw funds in order to power your relationships. Now, every bank account has a specific limit, right? At a certain point, that account needs to be filled up, or it will overdraft.

So what happens when you run out of funds? You not only won’t have enough “energy” to give out, but you won’t have any to give yourself either. So, how can manage your account when the funds you give out are never returned?

You’re always the one to initiate conversations, always the one offering emotional support, and always the one showing up for something. But when the time comes, those who are accepting your funds aren’t doing the same, so you’re always in the red.

Invest in people who will match the funds you’re giving out. Make time for individuals who aren’t emotionally selfish and self-centered, and watch how your outlook changes. You’ll feel supported, loved, and most of all appreciated.

Reclaim Yourself

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. You have to stand your ground and give people the same energy they give you.

Remember that, no matter what, you are enough.

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14 People & the Worst Thing a Friend Ever Did to Them

We’ve all had some fairly crappy friends growing up. You may even have some crappy friends now.

Have you ever had a friend so crappy they screwed your fiance in your bed? Threatened your life? Stolen from you? Probably. Hopefully not. Below are some crazy stories of people telling us the worst thing a friend ever did to them.

Hope He Had On His Petty Boots That Day

It seems like a small thing but I drove my friend to school every day. Never once asked for gas money. One day I told him my car was going to be in the shop for 2 weeks and we’d have to take the bus. He said okay. I found out that he was driving himself to school for those 2 weeks instead of going 3 minutes out of his way to pick me up.

So I get my car back and he calls me. “Hey man, are you driving to school again?” “Yes.” There he was waiting on the corner for me. Drove right passed him, and it basically killed the friendship.

Pretty Sure They Made a Movie About This Too

I had a “friend” that did many things to me. The woman was a veterinarian and also had a master’s in English. Some standouts:

  • She announced that she was writing a novel and emailed me the outline. It followed my life story (as taken from my personal blog) to the tee.
  • In the same vein, she took blog posts I wrote and, after some minor changes, declared them “short stories” that she planned to enter in writing contests.
  • She tried to get me to write her a new story to enter in a writing contest. She wanted me to base it upon my early childhood years.
  • At the time I knew her, I was training for a marathon that held great personal significance to me. I became badly injured at work which meant I couldn’t train anymore. I was extremely upset about this. She decided that the very next day was the ideal time to begin running. She ran every day for a couple weeks and texted me about the run each time afterwards, saying things like “That felt great!” and “Sucks you can’t do this anymore for a while!”
  • She joked about having my pets killed and/or eaten alive by wild animals. Coming from a veterinarian, I found this horrifying.
  • She stalked me online, and, to a lesser degree, in person after I refused to continue talking to her.

Sorry, Cole. It Must Not Have Been That Impressive

About 3 1/2 years ago, my wife (then girlfriend) and I got into a big fight (over something completely ridiculous), and broke up for about a day.

During that ~18 hour breakup, a friend that I had known for about 12 years, sent her a lengthy FaceBook message declaring his attraction for her, how she needs a “real man,” and sent her a picture of his dick with a message that read something like “This is just from typing you this message, Chelsea. I’ve dreamed about us ever since Trevor introduced me to you.”

We got back together the next day. I confronted my friend about it, and he played it off like it was an accident. “Man, I was drunk! You know I say dumb shit when I’m drunk! That wasn’t even my dick, it was just a joke! Haha!”

Burn in hell, Cole.

Okay, But You Didn’t Have to Read Him THAT Bad Lol

I moved across the country and had a going away party. One of my best friends sent two different texts of excuses/lies to my and my girlfriend, apparently not taking into account that we would talk about why he didn’t show up and quickly realize he was full of shit. He went dark for the last 4 days we were in town, then blocked me on social media. He unblocked me a few weeks later when I proposed to my girlfriend- I guess he saw something on Facebook about it- then proceeded to tell me what a horrible mistake it was to A) move and B) marry her.

So fuck him. He can stay where he is, 32 years old with no career and friends, drinking and smoking weed in his government-funded apartment, leeching off the system because of some bullshit concussion he got 11 years ago in a drunken scrap. He’s on reddit and I hope he reads this.

Three’s a Crowd, But Still…

Two of them. They started dating and essentially cut me out of their life for awhile while also keeping their relationship secret. Everything is fine now but that’s not how your best friends should behave towards you. How hard is it to say “Yes, we’re dating.” instead of making it awkward when I find them both in the pizza shop after ignoring my calls/texts for the past few weeks…

Edit: it honestly bothers me still to think about it. The way they both looked at me like deer in headlights. Most awkward moment of my life.

This Is Just Unforgivable

Clogged my toilet. Shit has never been the same.

Send Me Their Address.

Called me a fuck-up for dislocating my knee the same week I was receiving radiation therapy for cancer.

I Mean…Is It Ever That Serious?

My best friend asked me to chose between him and a girl I was dating. When I told him I wouldn’t choose (and explained that there was room in my life for both) he threatened to commit suicide.

This wasn’t a case of me not spending enough time with him or something like that. I had just started dating this girl. My friend was pseudo dating one of her friends. He messed it up and decided that if he couldn’t have a girlfriend neither of us should.

Ladies & Gentlemen, a Sentient Pile of Garbage

Slept with my brother, in my bed, at my sister’s wedding.

Sometimes It’s Your Own Family

Friend was also family, on my mother’s side. We were very close even though we had a considerable gap in age (about 11 years). She slept with my fiance and now they are married and have kids.

You Dodged a Bullet, Hun

Stopped talking and hanging out with me after I came out to him.

He Didn’t Respect Either One of You

My best bud who was like a brother to me decided to have sex with my crush, in my driveway.

Sis, the Cat? Really?

She stole an entire months worth of my adderall prescription I had just filled from my purse. When I casually confronted her about it, she played dumb and suggested her CAT might have gotten into my purse and batted them down the hall. I’m so mad.

This One Takes the Cake

Robbed my house at gunpoint after getting kicked out for stealing.

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Okay, You’re Ugly. So The F**k What?

Listen, I had to make peace with something on my road to self-improvement. Most of my life, I’d been called ugly a lot more frequently than my peers. It was devastating. It was discouraging. It was my initiation into the world of hopelessness…until I learned better.

And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are people who are viewed as conventionally attractive or unattractive. Sure, I could tell myself that I was still beautiful, and I do. But was I conventionally attractive like the Instagram models and my hot friend who got asked out 20 times a week?

Maybe I wasn’t mainstream attractive. In fact, maybe most people who only went for mainstream attractiveness would consider me ugly.

So the f**k what?

Okay, so you’re not what most would consider super attractive. And? Does that mean you’re completely undeserving of love and respect? No, it absolutely doesn’t. Yes, beautiful people are treated differently than “ugly” people. I don’t have to tell you that. You see it every day, and some of them lord it over everyone else. And the world rewards them for it.

Still, you are capable of finding love just like they are. Look at celebrities like Flavor Flav, who had multiple seasons of a reality show where GORGEOUS women fought literal tooth and nail for a chance to be with him. Yes, the guy also had money, but it’s Flavor Flav! Is he THAT rich?

Just because we find someone unattractive doesn’t mean they deserve to lead a miserable existence in life. Part of my journey to improving my self-image was accepting all of me, even the parts I didn’t like. Except, I wanted to be honest, not just make myself feel better.

Maybe I wasn’t a magazine, a TV show, or even Grindr’s version of attractive, but so f**king what? I’m a good person, I help people, and I know now without a doubt that I am worthy of loving someone and being loved in return. Every one of us deserves that.

I’m sure you also have plenty of positive traits outside of your physical appearance. Write them down, say them out loud to yourself, and look in the mirror and say, “I may be ugly to some people, but so the f**k what!”

And say it like you’re Olivia Pope. Get your bottom lip trembling, show all of those teeth, snarl at your reflection, whatever it takes to get your point across. Repeat that mantra to yourself as many times as it takes until the word “ugly” has no power left anymore. Make the word as humdrum and unassuming as a conjunction. Give that power back to you.

If you’re pretty and reading this, I’m not saying you need to ease up and give us a chance. I don’t want a pity date (or f**k). I just want you to know that my “ugliness” isn’t going to stop me from seeking the same things you do. It may be a little bit more difficult, but that’s fine. Nothing worth truly having is easily-gained. I’m sure you know that. I mean…I HOPE you know that.

I’d hate for you to realize too late that “ugliness” also has its advantages. Cuz we’re certainly starting to catch on.