When It’s Baby Plus Business Plan

Starting a business when you’re about to welcome a new baby – or if you recently have already – may seem unrealistic and well, foolhardy to some. It may also be necessary and while Plato may have surmised that “necessity is the mother of invention,” many single mothers (and women in general) likely identify more with Euripides: Nothing has more strength than dire necessity.

Women have the resolve for doing what needs to be done, and being confronted with motherhood tends to cement that determination. Fortunately, you are raising a baby in an era in which developing and running a home-based business is easier than ever – but don’t confuse “easy” with stress-free! You will feel overwhelmed at times, you will not get enough sleep, and you will have moments of incredible self-doubt, particularly if you have self-esteem issues or are working through past trauma. If you need a little extra help working on yourself while you work on your business, reach out to BLK – Balancing Life and Kids – to help you discover and harness the power and strength within you.

Getting started requires multitasking

Your challenges don’t just include working while taking care of an infant; mothers have been doing that for years. Unless you have a healthy nest egg, you will need to find a way to keep paying the bills while you’re getting your business off the ground. Take advantage of the many online apps and platforms that exist today to find some temporary “gigs” or piecemeal work. Once your baby arrives you may not be able to perform any offsite, such as grocery deliveries or picture-taking gigs, but the opportunities are still plentiful and varied – from selling items online to taking surveys or renting out a parking spot. And who knows? The experience may prompt ideas for your own business and how you can do or make something better.

You’ve likely already put thought into what type of business you want to pursue but if not, choose something that you know you’re good at. This may or may not have anything to do with previous jobs you’ve worked at because you had to in order to support yourself, so now is the perfect opportunity to pursue that passion. If you love weddings and events and pay attention to every detail, then an event or wedding planning business may be the ideal fit. If you love baking, a pastry or cake business is a great at-home business and easy to promote on social media. A few recommendations from your early customers can go a long way and soon you may be able to hire part-time help. Whether your strength is words or numbers, research ways you can turn your talents and experience into a successful business.

Once you have your business idea, plan, and name, formalize things even further with a Tax ID Number, also referred to as an Employer Identification Number or EIN. It’s easy to apply for one from the Internal Revenue Service. The 9-digit number it assigns becomes your company’s unique identifier so the IRS can track your payroll taxes, as well as your other quarterly or annual business tax filings. You’ll also need it to open your business bank account and to obtain bank credit or financing.

Getting a rhythm

Babies have a way of throwing a wrench into plans, so lay out your home office environment to help you work as efficiently as possible while you’re juggling infant demands. In the early weeks, this may mean having a bassinet in your office, as well as a comfortable chair for feedings. Another approach is to temporarily move your desk in the nursery if there is room to accommodate your workspace.

Accept the realities and limitations of your home-based business. You will still be tired, and may not be able to spend as much time with your baby, outside of meeting their needs, as you thought. However, you will also save money on daycare and have the peace of mind that comes with being your infant’s primary caregiver in those early weeks and months. However, don’t let that stop you from calling in reinforcements when you need them. Ask friends and family members to give you some relief, not just for sleep, but for during important phone calls or when you need to focus on other important business matters. As you can afford it, you can use a reputable babysitting service or app to get some occasional or even regular relief.

Be proud of yourself

Sometimes it’s inexplicably easier for women to be their worst critics than for them to be proud of their accomplishments, particularly when exhausted and alone. Don’t fall into this trap. Remember the positives of your situation: You get to make the decisions about your time, your money, your business, and your child. You own your successes as well as your failures, and as you pick yourself up time and again, you are more prepared to confront and conquer the next challenge. And if you ever need more help in discovering just how capable you are as an entrepreneur, a woman, and a human being, BLK can help.

Written by: Cindy Albridge

10 Easy and Cost-Effective Dating Ideas

People can only dream about a perfect and inexpensive date, but only a few of them can make it happen.

When it’s about planning a date, couples usually don’t want anything costly. But they expect some cute little efforts to appreciate, for sure. Don’t misinterpret this point that some people might love royalty and dine at a fine restaurant with your partner, but still, if you think about it, it doesn’t seem practical at all.

If you are in a long-term relationship, it’s never a great choice to enjoy expensive dates many times a week. After all, you both may have financial concerns. That is the reason for having a list of free or inexpensive dating plans in your mind is an incredible idea.

You don’t have to spend a lot to enjoy some quality time with your partner, and the list mentioned below is the evidence.

1.    Set-up a Picnic in Your Backyard

Planning a picnic is one of the best ideas, especially if you feel like taking your date out to dinner or lunch but don’t like to spend much on it. Prepare delicious food (It doesn’t require to look fancy) for your girlfriend or boyfriend and present it in your backyard. Make it more about the extraordinary experience and less about the food or meal. If you put some effort into making your picnic place just perfect, your date will appreciate these little but special efforts for sure. Preparations for picnics cannot complete, without setting up a blanket or a few pillows on the ground of your backyard. Consider placing a short round table on the picnic blanket and set a few candles on it if you wish to experience something unusual or romantic.

You can likewise take a couple of flat but small rocks from your yard and use them as a table to place glasses or jars and prevent them from falling due to the uneven surface of your ground. You can decorate your picnic blanket with a few flowers and can get those even from your backyard. I repeat, nothing fancy is required. The creativity and attention to every single detail will make this picnic memorable for you guys. Also, it gives you an amazingly different experience. It’s going to be the best casual and inexpensive dining experience you’ve ever had.

2.    Use Fire Pit on Your Date

Have you experienced roasting on an open fire in your childhood? If yes, then you might miss this activity. So, why not bring out your emotions with this cute little thought. There are so many incredibly portable fire pits out there if you don’t have a built-in one. Be cautioned that fire pits are better utilized on a stone porch because they can harm wood decks if not raised properly. Get some crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate for your yummy meal. Set it at a distance away enough to keep you protected from the flames of the fire and buy long roasting sticks. Also, get enough wood for the fire. Once you managed all these elements, the only concern left for your date is how you can prepare perfect marshmallows.

3.    Plan a Day Trip

If you live near a major city with some great attractions, you can easily plan a day trip. You have to pay only the gas expenses if you bring your snacks with you. Find out some beautiful areas nearby or search on Google to look out for fun places around. You can plan a date on the beach, go for a bicycle ride, or spend a day in your neighboring city.

If these plans sound casual to you, then it’s time to be creative!

Plan a long trip to your romantic places. Go back as far as you can. The fact of the matter is to head to the places where you guys made exceptional memories and live those precious moments again. Those places might be where you propose to each other, where you had your first kiss, or where you buy your first apartment together. Follow the exact timing of those events (if possible) and visit them accordingly.

4.    Plan an Outdoor Movie Night

“Movie and dinner” might be one of the basic dating plans ever. Yet dinner and an outdoor movie? Now that sounds quite interesting. Transform the typical into phenomenal by placing a movie projector in your backyard. No need to worry! If you don’t have a built-in one. Because it simply requires a projector, rope, sheet, tape, and a few pillows to make yourselves feel relaxed, and a romantic movie, of course.  Tie a rope between two pillars or trees and hang your sheet. Tape the knots if you are not sure about the stability. Set your white sheet, and the movie screen is complete now. Outdoor blankets, pillows, and other furniture are the best seating options. Because using indoor furniture will be risky and result in tarnishes or grass stains. Make sure you have different and enough snacks and, obviously, a large popcorn box.

5.    Plan a Game Night

Game night can be a fun plan for friends. However, it tends to be similarly enjoyable for a couple. Even if you have only a regular cards deck, that works too; there are many different card games that demand just two intelligent players. You and your partner can also play board games. If you have those, search through them. Check if there are any fun games that you both can enjoy together. Games like love letter, roll for it, or trivia games will be fine. Video games often make perfect date nights too. Search for those in which you and your partner can team up and play through different controllers. All you need is to buy just a couple of video games to make your date memorable or fun.

Puzzles are not excessively costly. There are many to be found under the cost of 10$ only. Usually, you don’t require a tough one unless you want to convert your date from game night to a puzzle night. You can also try a ​digital puzzle. The inspiring thing about solving a puzzle together is that you can complete it in a few minutes with your cooperation. There’s an unusual feeling of satisfaction when you are struggling to find a specific piece and finally discover it. The sense of achievement that you feel after completing the puzzle as a team is beautiful. Even you can stick the puzzle together with glue and frame it as a picture on your wall. It will always remind you about your date. However, it will cost you a little and make more sense than just buying a 100$ painting for your wall.

6.    Go Out for a Cup of Coffee

Coffee, tea, or dessert are inexpensive rather than going out for dinner. Even if you are willing to spend a little more, you can try new options that you wouldn’t order usually. Small cafes, bakeries, or coffee shops make incredible dates as they are perfect places for having pleasant conversations or gossips. You can make this date memorable by taking pictures in your crazy and funny poses. For that, you don’t need any extra arrangements other than having a smartphone, selfie-stick, or an optional tripod will be more than enough to carry for your date.

7.    Go Fishing

Get close and enjoy a pleasant conversation while waiting for the first bite of your meal. Fresh-caught fishes taste absolutely delicious, and these can be the best lunch or dinner ever. Even it doesn’t require being an expert, throw your fish on that grill and let the magic begin. You only need your equipment for this activity. But if you don’t have any, you can buy them easily because those are not even costly.

8.    Enjoy a Spa Night at Home

Give your partners a great massage because it is the best opportunity to impress them and turn them on. It can be very romantic when you set up the spot with some scented candles or flowers. Clearly, it’s less expensive as it only requires a few candles, flowers, or some essential oils that I guess you already have at your home.

9.    Go for a Hike

Hikes that incorporate beautiful scenes like waterfalls can be the most romantic. Enjoying the view of sunset or sunrise from a pleasant spot during hiking, close to your favorite lake or beach, can be a great refreshment. You need to stop and appreciate the beauty of nature without having your smart gadgets on this beautiful journey. But simply getting out for a walk together can also be sufficient for both of you to enjoy nature.

10. Enjoy Snow falling

If you guys are lucky enough to live in an area where you can enjoy the snow falling, sledding, or some other winter activities can be fun for all age groups. Play with the snow, make snowballs, and throw them on your partner. You have no idea how these moments will become the best memory of your life.

Things to Remember When Going on a Date

Be on Time

Try not to be late. It is a basic rule, yet many of you easily neglect it. Nobody likes to waste their time waiting for too long, and clearly, being late is disrespectful. Give yourself sufficient time to get dressed and try to show up at the decided place about10 minutes earlier. If you can’t make it on time, call or text your date to inform her.

Dress Up Accordingly

Try not to get over-dressed. Clearly, you want to look stunning for your date and make an attempt to impress your partner by being well-dressed. Yet it’s good to dress as per the occasion you are going to. Suppose you and your partner planned a picnic and you chose a black dress or high heels, you would really feel awkward when you see your partner is in a casual t-shirt. So, try to get dressed according to the event.

Focus More on Your Partner

Don’t talk too much about yourself that you start looking like a self-obsessed person. Dates are supposed to be great opportunities for both of you to know each other more before getting into a relationship or being committed. So, if you can’t control yourself from talking blabla about yourself, then you’ll ruin your date and leave an everlasting terrible impression. Also, keep in mind, it is not a stand-up comedy show, it’s a date. Try to get some information about your dates like their interests, dislikes, jobs, hobbies but nothing too serious.

Be in the Present

Try not to discuss past relationships. Even getting a little information about their past experiences or feelings is a big “NO-NO”. It is inappropriate to ask on a date, especially when your intention is to spend some quality time with your partner. Because many people get offended or uncomfortable while talking about their past. If you talk about your ex, it might give your date hints that you haven’t really moved on yet.

Stay in an Active Mind State

Try not to drink too much on your date. If you’re a person who loses self-control after getting drunk, you know very well what to do then. Also, it’s always ideal to remain in an active state of mind to recall all the stuff that happened on your date so you guys can discuss it later or have some memories.

You invest a great deal of cash, energy, and time setting up a great life for your family. However, always remember your life as a couple too. It’s essential for both of you to stay attached, and dates are the best ways to do that. The best thing about romantic dates is: they don’t cost you a lot if you know the right options and you’re with the right person.

It only requires a little bit of creativity to plan romantic, memorable, and cost-effective dates for your partners.

If you are looking for help in creating a better connection with your partner, schedule a call with me here.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Loving Yourself While Loving Your Partner

“An outstanding love doesn’t come from two half-fulfilled people coming together to make one whole, complete life. Outstanding love comes from two whole people coming together to share and enhance their already full and beautiful lives.”

-Pia Scade

INTRODUCTION

Love is incredible. It tends to be interpreted as synthetic, electrical responses in the mind or raised to magnificent levels of respect and functionality in our lives. Feeling love, and being loved, are experienced and understood differently amongst people and it manifests itself in various forms: parental love differs from what you feel about your friends, your love towards your partner is unique to you, loving your own self is a bittersweet journey or something as trivial as loving your comfort food holds paramount significance in your life. Irrespective of its form, it is idealistic to believe that all love welcomes us to be bold and uncover our most profound selves. In the same breath, it is also safe to say that love can feel like an unwanted spotlight that uncovers our dirtiest secrets.

With such dynamically understood and at times conflicting contexts, it should not shock anyone that there is a solid connection between self-esteem and the wellbeing of our connections. There is an inherent and scientifically proven dependence between a positive outlook towards yourself and a healthy relationship with your partner. If you have a low ability to be self-aware, that influences your actions, which subsequently influence your associations with others. That said, your battle to adore yourself doesn’t cheapen the affection you need to share, nor does it render you unlovable. Your capacity to adore yourself simply changes the manner in which you experience a caring relationship. The idea of practicing self-love while in a romantic relationship is something that gets neglected in status-quo. By the end of this article, you should be able to clearly understand what self-love is, how it looks within a relationship, it’s significance and a couple of ways to achieve it.

WHAT IS SELF-LOVE?

In order to understand how the concept of loving yourself and loving others is so intricately woven together, we must first have a clearer understanding of what self-love is in the first place. Self-love is a condition of appreciation for oneself that develops from activities that help our physical, mental and emotional development. It implies having a high respect for your own prosperity and joy, dealing with your own necessities and not forfeiting your growth to satisfy others. The foundation of self-love is to never settle for anything less than you deserve and that you worked towards; it is to ensure that you are not making due with short of what you merit.

Self-esteem can mean something else for every individual since we as a whole have various approaches to deal with ourselves. Figuring out what self-esteem resembles for you as an individual is a significant piece of your emotional well-being, for the characteristic feature of this kind of love is that it is only generated and sustained from your internal efforts and factors.

What shouldn’t be confused with this ideal is that urgent, human need to always be in competition and victorious over others. It isn’t being childish or vain. It isn’t restrictive on certain ideal results. What’s more, it’s not the misrepresented feeling of significance that comes from exemplary narcissism. When you truly love yourself, you consider it to be simply the unqualified help, care, and sympathy you give yourself that means great wellbeing, extraordinary confidence, bliss, all out equilibrium and prosperity.

  • Importance of self-love

It’s imperative to adore yourself due to the straightforward truth that you can’t deal with others until you deal with yourself first. At the point when you completely love yourself, this offers you the chance to travel through the world with more profound sympathy for other people.

Self-love is important to carrying on with a sound way of life, and an essential worth that can produce internal harmony and energy. Additionally, you’ll have more prominent strength to withstand any difficult life occasion or individual misfortune. Despondency, uneasiness, stress, and the fixation on flawlessness, will evaporate despite unadulterated idealism that confidence makes!

  • Principles of self-love

When we aim to practice self-love in our life, we must always remember the ideals that it is built upon, so that we can implement it in our lives more positively and constructively:

  • You are the fundamental centre: It all begins with you and closures with you. You will be with yourself forever. Which implies, you need to work from a position of self-cherishing, instead of self-hatred.
  • You care for yourself the most: Nobody knows better compared to you, what fulfils you, or what harms you most; Nobody can settle on better decisions for you, or offer you a superior input of what you need to do – other than yourself. Nobody is here for your otherworldly development – however you.
  • You are simply the only individual that can determine your growth or downfall: You decide your demeanour, the manner in which you respond, and your standpoint every day. So, in the event that you love yourself, you will be aware of the manner in which you feel and how you feel it, and accord your actions respectively.
  • Indicators of self-love that should be personalised

This is what self-love may look like for you:

  • Talking to and about yourself with love
  • Prioritizing yourself
  • Giving yourself a break from critical and anxious self-judgement
  • Trusting yourself
  • Being true to yourself
  • Being nice to yourself
  • Setting healthy boundaries
  • Forgiving yourself when you aren’t being true or nice to yourself
  • Suggestions to increase self-love

The following are a couple of steps you can take to begin executing confidence in your life

  • Avow yourself, credit and celebrate your achievements
  • Focus on positive and confident body language and image
  • Curate new hobbies and indulge in creativity
  • Work out and practice good eating habits
  • Maintain healthy personal hygiene
  • Take some ‘me’ time to introspect and get to know yourself better
  • Allow yourself to make mistakes, but learn from them rather than criticising yourself too much

Regardless of whether you don’t feel especially amazing, consider how far you’ve come, how beautifully you’ve endured and grown irrespective of circumstances. You’re here, at the present time, alive and amazing past your insight. Also, show restraint toward yourself. Self-esteem may not occur incidentally. In any case, with time, it will settle itself into your heart. Indeed, you may battle, yet you’ll think back on these minutes and perceive how they were venturing stones on your excursion to being the best you.

LOVING YOURSELF WHILE LOVING OTHERS

It may very well be hard to be seeing someone you don’t have a lot of confidence in. Frequently the weaknesses will prompt struggle, and once in a while the contention will prompt a separation. A typical suggestion is that you need to figure out how to cherish yourself before you even get into a relationship.

Obviously it assists with entering a relationship with a solid sensation of confidence. However, we can likewise believe that in the event that you are in an association where confidence is missing, and the space between you is poor, aggravating, and hurtful, things can be convoluted.

Learning self-esteem, and manifesting that actively in our everyday lives is a progressing cycle. It is anything but a switch you can simply flick on.

Methods to develop self-love if you are in a relationship

  1. Keep a level of room and freedom.

It’s unfortunate to permit the relationship to retain your character and to lose yourself personally. Keep your own customs, your own exercises, and your own companions. Part ways doing whatever you might want to do to sustain your spirit. Independence of thought and personality is of utmost importance.

  • Recall you are the expert of your own satisfaction.

The person who is your partner can improve the satisfaction that you support in yourself, yet it isn’t their duty to fulfil you. Ensure you assume the liability yourself. It’s arguably troublesome and it’s a diligent effort, however it’s freeing since you won’t permit your bliss to be directed by your conditions or by others. Rather than hoping to transform others, you work on yourself and ensure you address your own issues. Embrace the little day by day minutes you need to sustain yourself, such as plunking down with some tea or requiring ten minutes to think. This can help calm your brain, permitting you be available and to discover a snapshot of satisfaction in your day. Working through past torment is a continuous cycle, and keeping in mind that it’s nice to do it, it doesn’t need to keep you away from picking bliss.

  • Find in yourself what your accomplice finds in you.

People with low self-esteem are always suspicious of everything positive that is being said about them. Ask them what they find in you and what it is about you that they love. If you happen to do this routinely, where you have a conscious conversation about what your partner likes in you and vice versa, you will gradually take it installed and disguise it and begin to trust it about yourself. You may come to realise, “My highs aren’t that high however my lows aren’t so low.” A relationship is a mutually agreed upon bond based on trust, faith and love. It is a journey of identifying yourself individually as well as with your partner.

  • Try not to get dispirited when you see your imperfections.

While a relationship may bring out the most cheerful and loving version of you, it will likewise reflect your flaws. Things you have figured out how to live with about yourself may disturb your partner. Humans as a whole remain imperfect. A few things can be disregarded; others may be something you need to deal with. In any case, don’t allow it to get you down or hinder self-esteem. Having flaws doesn’t define a relationship, it doesn’t determine the kind of person you are. The mechanism to learn out of and overcome said flaws is what is a characteristic feature.

  • Excuse yourself for your failings.

Holding resentment against yourself impedes confidence. Disagreements and fights are bound to happen in every human relationship. At times, you end up saying more than what you’d decently do. While feeling regretful is normal, try not to thrash yourself about it.

  • Remember that love is an activity, not an inclination.

Inspirational personalities have always taught us that adoration is something you decide to do, not a feeling that you feel. Regardless of whether you don’t feel like you love yourself, decide to act in a self-adoring way. Make time to sustain yourself and satisfy your own necessities. The most ideal approach to do this is to plan “personal time” regularly. This is a period where you put yourself first over every other activity and/or person. Do basic exercises that you appreciate and enjoy, that are solely for you and no one else influences your decisions.

  • Do not empower terrible conduct

It’s extremely important to set boundaries and stopping points for what you’re willing to permit from your partner. If they’re cold one day, hot the following, and you act like this thrill ride of a relationship is absolutely fine with you, they’ll trust it and normalise this eccentric behaviour! If you let one case of impolite conduct slide, it’ll make it seem this is acceptable. They’ll have returned to their imprudent ways by tomorrow. The issue here is that they want to have you anyway they need. Try not to permit it! Prize conduct you appreciate with your consideration and pull away from them when they do the inverse. Your accomplice will just carry on as severely as they probably are aware they can pull off, so persevere and don’t keep their principles. Compose your own.

  • Treat yourself the manner in which you need to be dealt with

In the event that you need your partner to believe you’re simply the best individual ever, you should deal with yourself like the best individual ever. Zero in on your objectives, undertakings, and dreams. Recollect how extraordinary they are! Nobody comprehends your requirements better than you do, so it’s dependent upon you to characterize them for the world. Your partner is figuring out how to appreciate you dependent on how you treasure yourself. Deal with yourself like the most uncommon fortune of a person and there’s no uncertainty your accomplice will be propelled to substantiate themselves commendable.

  • Advantages of focusing on self-love while loving someone else

At the point when you love yourself, you can:

  • impart yourself to your accomplice unafraid.
  • confide in your accomplice’s adoration for you.
  • communicate your requirements without blame.
  • battle reasonable.
  • be autonomous from your accomplice.
  • have more self-esteem to draw in better relationships in the future.
  • understand that a relationship ought to be an association, not a mutually dependent circumstance.

Loving yourself assumes a quite large part in your associations with others. At the point when you shift your attitude to see your relationship with yourself very much like some other relationship you want with another person, your relationship will flourish. Remember that the relationship you have with yourself is the one relationship that you know without a doubt you will have for the remainder of life, so why not make it the best relationship you have?

If you would like to talk to someone about learning how to love yourself more, book a call with me here.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

increasing communication with your partner

In this mobile age, we ignore face-to-face conversations with our loved ones. We sit on the sofas staring at phone screens while our faces get illuminated by its bright screen. But, in this race for being present online every time, we miss the satisfaction of face-to-face conversation with our loved ones. Crucial conversations are left out, and feelings remain unshared. As a result, we feel disconnected and separated from them, which remains true with our partners. Sometimes communication gaps increase to such an extent that it ends with heartbreak. Therefore, it is essential to communicate with your partner sharing your feelings and daily experiences to remain bound by love and feel connected.

WHY SHOULD YOU INCREASE COMMUNICATION WITH YOUR PARTNER?

Simply life is too long to spend alone. So, open up to your partner. Don’t remain in your cocoon. The process of sharing might seem hard in the beginning. But once you start sharing your problems, experiences, challenges, feelings, and even the things you enjoy. You will start realizing its beauty. You will feel light.

It doesn’t matter if your partner does not know how to handle the situation you are facing. But sharing it with them will help you to solve the problem faster as you feel supported. And even if you fail, you would know that you have your partner’s back. Hence, it is never too late to start sharing, no matter how much has passed. Your partner will always appreciate your initiative and will help you in your journey till the end. As we know, “Two is better than one,” it’s time to stop dealing and struggling with things alone. Let your partner peek into your heart and let them share the stress.

WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR COMMUNICATION

Sometimes you might not know how to have a friendly conversation with your partner, so here are ways you can follow to improve your communication:

  1. Listening is a skill that not many people have. Everyone is always jumping in to put their thoughts on the matter that they forget about hearing what others have to say. They have their thoughts rolling inside their mind that wouldn’t let anyone else’s thoughts enter. So, to have a pleasant conversation with your partner and make them feel nice, put all the ideas away and listen for a while to what they have to say. Present your views after they have finished. This will attract your partner to have more conversations with you.
  2. Put all the devices away while having a conversation with your partner. Your mobile or laptop anything that can pull your attention. Dedicate the time entirely to your partner, and don’t let silly things distract you. Appreciate the time you spend with them.
  3. Don’t try to be someone you are not. Be natural and say what you genuinely think. Presenting a fake self will make it harder for you to have a pleasant conversation with your loved ones. Sharing past mistakes is hard, but you will lay the foundation of trust and a strong relationship by doing so.
  4. Pick up the non-verbal communication. You must know how your partner feels even if no words are uttered. You must understand gestures like folding hands and eye signs.
  5. Don’t bring up old issues that are different. Stay focused on the topic you are discussing and try to understand their feelings too. Listen to what they have to say and don’t drift away in the thought of the previous issue, who did what. Be available in the present and have a productive talk with them.
  6. If you are wrong, then accept it. Don’t think that last time it was you who backed out, and so now they have to. No! Accept the mistakes and move on. Don’t dwell in the past, or you will never be happy.
  7. Responding to your partner’s questions is also essential. If you keep listening to their talks and do not respond, they will think that all their talk is falling on deaf ears. So be responsible and responsive to your partner.
  8. Believe in your partner. Have faith in them that they can overcome their shortcomings and achieve whatever they want to. You must support them in their journey towards a goal, no matter how small or big it might be.
  9. If you are having a tough time, share it with your partner and be open to their comments and advice. If you share your problems, then the stress that only you carried would be shared by your partner, and the tough times will pass soon with your partner’s support.

Now you must have understood how to improve your communication with your partner. Follow the above steps and see the magic.

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR PARTNER IF YOU’RE HAVING COMMUNICATION PROBLEMS LATELY

To improve your communication with your partner, you must know how they feel. But as the conversation is a two-way thing, you must also communicate your ideas with your partner. Here are few questions that you can use to resolve the communication gap in your relationship.

  1. What can I do to help you? With this question, you must aim at all the problems they face in life and if there is anything in your power that you can do to help resolve the issue. This will show how much you care about them and how much they mean to you.
  2. Do I understand you correctly? While asking this question, you must consider the tone of your voice. Miscommunication is what ruins a perfect relationship so make sure this doesn’t happen with yours. With this question, you make sure if what they said matches with what you thought they said.
  3. What would you like to bottom line? Your relationship will not last long if there is even a single unresolved conflict with your partner. Therefore, you need to resolve all the disputes. Remind your partner what the bottom line is and ask them what they want the bottom line to be. This question is sure to guide you towards a better relationship.
  4. Would you like to talk about it again? After having a bad or good conversation with your partner, you must have a follow-up question to see if both of you are on the same page and if you are not, you can go all over it again. Not every conflict can be resolved quickly, so give it some time.
  5. Would you like to know what I want? If you put in some effort in your relationship, you will see that your partner is also putting in efforts. Every relationship is a give-and-take, so let your partner know what you want and what you expect from them. With this question, your partner will get to know about your needs and can work on them.
  6. Is there something that I must know? Put this question out there so that your partner can realize how much you love them. Do not try to force this question and let them tell you.

Asking these questions from your partner will make your communication better. One thing that you must remember is to monitor your speaking style. They must not feel that you are forcing it on them.

COMMUNICATION BARRIERS

Some barriers prevent your communication with your partner, and you must break them before they break your relationship. Some of these barriers are:

  1. These days there are so many gadgets around people that keep them distracted. Interruption can be a barrier between you and your partner. Therefore, remove all the things that distract or might interrupt you while you are having a pleasant conversation.
  2. An emotional and physical barrier is the most significant barrier to look out for. You must consider that your partner might be exhausted after a tough day at work and might want some rest. So, don’t start the conversation right away as soon as you see them. Let them sleep, and then you can have the conversation with your partner peacefully.
  3. Every person in this world is unique, and their talking style is also different. A communication style barrier is when you cannot understand your partner’s style, like some people tend to get loud while trying to prove their point. Therefore, this loud voice must not be mistaken for anger. Try to know your partner’s communication style. It is hard to change your communication style but remain calm and keep trying to improve yourself.
  4. Belief is another communication barrier. This is when your partner has preconceived beliefs and ideas. Have an open and productive conversation with your partner on such things. You both must know about each other’s beliefs regarding marriage, god and religion, politics, etc.
  5. The expectation is one of the most significant barriers as your partner will expect you not to dismiss the ideas or decisions made by them. This is sure to hamper the communication between you and your partner. If you want to overcome this barrier, then be supportive of your partner’s decisions and ideas. You can give your advice if they are wrong somewhere and with that remain positive.
  6. The physical safety barrier is the one thing that must never be present in a relationship as it will not only destroy the communication but the relationship itself. If your partner is fearful, it is sure to affect your communication, so win your partner over with love and care instead of hurt and anger.

So remember all these barriers and work towards removing them from your relationship. A barrier-free environment is crucial for effective communication.

BE POSITIVE AND SUPPORTIVE

Sometimes communication with your partner becomes less because they fear how you will react. Therefore, they try to hide things from you, and this decreases the communication with your partner. Support your partner in every up and down in their life; try to give them helpful advice. Keep reminding them that they can share anything with you. This way, you will create an environment that is supportive and positive.

If you are always unsupportive about your partner’s decisions, this will become a barrier. Your partner will think twice before sharing anything because they will think that you will reject their decision. Be positive, and give your suggestion but don’t force them to go the way you want them to go.

I hope you now understand how to improve your communication with your partner and why it is essential. So try to implement these with your partner. It might be challenging initially, but soon you will realize that your partner will also start sharing their feelings. This will make your relationship the strongest it has ever been.

If you are looking for a coach or counselor to help you within your marriage, schedule a call with me here.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Identifying abuse in a relationship

(Trigger warning: mention of sexual violence; mental trauma; physical and emotional abuse)

We’ve all heard the age-old saying that human beings are social animals. We are inherently wired to find connections with people and have interpersonal relationships. We create and nurture bonds with different types of people in every segment of our lives: from our childhood when our parents were the beginning and the end of our imagination; to making best friends as adolescents; adulthood lets us welcome spouses and diversifies our circle when work buddies, neighbors, pen pals, etc. are brought into the mix. While the face of the relationship may be different, the underlying principle remains the same: a healthy relationship is built on mutual trust and respect for one another. When this fundamental aspect of any relationship is challenged, the imbalance is highly likely to transform into what we call an ‘abusive relationship’.

WHAT IS AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP?

A relationship that witnesses any form of maltreatment or disrespectful and intense obsessive behavior by one person that leads to the physical, mental, emotional, financial or sexual degradation of another is what is called an abusive and unhealthy relationship. The common misconception among people is that such abuse is solely physical.

 Physical harm is but just one form of it, and like it’s mentioned, there are many different yet overlapping ones too. While this blog aims to highlight how one can identify abuse in a relationship, it is important for us to understand how this menace manifests itself in the society, so that we know how to recognize and report it.

May this blog act as a handbook of questions that one may answer to identify relationship abuse in any form that it presents itself in. We also aim to highlight a few steps they can take to come out of it and report it to relevant authorities.

SIGNS OF AN ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP

If your partner in any relationship indulges in the following tactics that are harsh and diminish your self-esteem relentlessly, aim to make you feel ashamed of your inadequacies, indicate at controlling your life or threaten you in any way, you may want to evaluate your relationship’s nature:

  • Name-calling: They use derogatory names  for you like ‘a loser’ or have awful pet names for you that make you feel as if you’re beneath them almost blatantly, on a regular basis.
  • Threats: They use constant and aggressive tones of threat, and there’s a certain sense of fear you have about this. They might physically hurt you, financially isolate you or emotionally break you.
  • Character assassination: When they ‘always’ make you feel bad about yourself by targeting your personality and painting you in the wrong. For instance:You’re always in the wrong.”
  • Swearing: Yelling, shouting belittling expletives or shouting in anger is bound to make anyone look scary and intimidating. This will result in you feeling small and inferior to them, which is exactly what they’re looking for.
  • Financial control: An abuser would always want to isolate you from the resources of the relationship and consolidate them with themselves. They’ll make sure you’re financially dependent on them so that you can’t escape from their toxic cycle of abuse. It gives them an egoistic kick that you have to ask for money from them.
  • Patronizing: It refers to when a person says something in sham kindness with a sense of superiority. As an example: “Aw, I’m sure you tried your best but maybe this just isn’t your cup of tea.”
  • Involve third party actors: They always want to ensure that they have a lot of people backing their actions. An abuser generally uses phrases like ‘everybody’ or ‘they say’. For example: “Everybody thinks you’re wrong in thisfight.” They want to put you in a bad light in front of friends and colleagues.
  • Public embarrassment: They humiliate you in front of friends, family and stranger crowds alike. They might pick aggressive fights, reveal the secrets you trusted them with to everyone, insult your appearance or other protected attributes or make fun of your insecurities and flaws in public.
  • Uncommunicative: They’d rather walk out in an important conversation than sit through ‘that painful ordeal’. An abuser is usually unwilling to have positive communication and targeting the problem to mitigate it. They make it a point to ‘stomp out the room and bang the door behind them’ in a difficult situation.
  • Playing the victim: They will portray themselves to be the one who’s been wronged and deprived of a healthy relationship and put the entire blame on you for making it unhappy and toxic.
  • Dismissiveness: You can tell when your partner disregards conversations that are important to you by simply calling them ‘nothing’. They aren’t considerate of your feelings and do not engage with them. Body language like eye-rolling, smirking, headshaking, and sighing is something to keep an eye out for.
  • Unpredictability: Their actions are largely beyond what you can predict and manage, you don’t know what’s going on in their mind and it becomes difficult for you to protect yourself in such cases of abuse because it is sudden and uncontrollable. An abuser has extremities of any emotion: unfathomable rage; unbridled affection; or a moody attitude. They’ll always keep you active on your toes around them.
  • Inappropriate and sarcastic ‘jokes’:  ‘Jokes’ that make you look foolish, that’re either entirely fabricated or reveal a truth, are the go-to move for your abuser since they may have deep emotional impacts on you and the way you look at yourself. They claim to be ‘having fun’ and telling you to ‘loosen up’.
  • Belittling your accomplishments: They may say that you’re successful only because they backed you, or that your achievements don’t really have much worth.
  • Demeans your interests: They will go out of their way to make sure you know that they don’t ‘approve’ of your habits and fields of interests because it’s a ‘waste of time’ or ‘not worth it’.  They might also tell you that you’re not meant to play a certain sport or you don’t have the knack of sketching, etc.
  • Pushing your buttons: Your abuser will bring up the very thing that annoys you, once they have that knowledge, at every chance they get.
  • Jealousy: They are unhealthily obsessed of you and controlling of how you talk and to whom. They are accusatory.
  • Physical violence: An abuser, in a fit of anger or instability, may consciously try to harm you physically and/or sexually. They may resort to slapping, punching, choking, shooting, kicking, stabbing etc.
  • Gaslighting: It is when an abuser denies having an argument at all, and is aimed to make you question your own memory and sanity.
  • Using guilt: An abuser’s favourite thing to do is to use guilt to make you regret your own actions rather than correcting theirs. They might tell you that you ‘owe’ them in order to get what they want.  
  • Denying their abuse: They would not take the blame of abuse if you complain about or confront them, rather put the blame on you for ‘starting a fight’. They’ll go on to say that you have anger and trust issues, and are acting victimised.
  • Trivializing: They don’t pay heed to when you want to discuss your emotions and hurt feelings with them, they go on to ignore it, or worse, call them worthless or ‘overreactions’.  
  • Blaming you for their problems: They accuse you of being everything that’s going wrong in their life, or the cause of it. For instance: “you didn’t support me enough and that lead to me getting fired”
  • Monitoring your whereabouts: They follow your every move and insist that they know where you are every second of the day, what you’re doing and with whom. They get angry when you don’t respond to texts or calls.
  • Digital spying: If they stalk you online, insist on you giving them your passwords, or incessantly check your browser history, you must note that it indicates a toxic relationship.
  • Imbalance decision-making powers: They don’t include you in the decision making process and make decisions for you, without consulting or asking. For example: closing a joint account in a bank without a word with you. 
  • Direct orders: They feel that they are speaking to you from a position of power, and you’re obliged to follow everything they tell you to do. They give you ‘orders’ that you’re supposed to follow without ever questioning their intent.  
  • Outbursts: You become the subject of their moody outbursts and they don’t take responsibility for all the harms they caused you in that time. They get angry for the smallest of things.
  • Demanding respect: You don’t feel inherently respectful towards them, yet they make you feel obliged to. They can do whatever they feel like without every suffering consequences, but  you’re expected to defer to them.
  • Shutting down communication: They want to isolate you from other people outside of your relationship with them. They ignore you at home, and you don’t have anyone else to talk to outside. They keep you from socialising with others, sharing your interests or making friends. They come with alternative plans or demand that you don’t go.
  • Dehumanizing you: They’’’ quite literally treat you like an inanimate object who doesn’t deserve to be heard, or seen or appreciated. For instance: they’ll look somewhere else when you’re talking to them, and not give you appropriate attention.
  • Trying to come between you and your family: They’ll make excuses to not attend family functions, lie about their availability or restrict you from interacting with your own family.  
  • Tuning you out: You don’t know anything about their life since they refuse to share details with you, or have normal and healthy conversations that is a must for any relationship. They’ll change the subject when you talk about their day, actively hide their actions from you, or downright ignore you.
  • Indifference: They’re indifferent and callous with regard to their feelings or actions about you. For instance, seeing you cry or being hurt doesn’t bother them and they do nothing to bring you comfort or console you.
  • Interrupting: An abuser doesn’t think it is wrong to interrupt your activity just to get what they want done on an ‘urgent’ basis. They feel it’s absolutely fine if they can stop you from texting someone just because they want your attention. This isn’t reciprocated on their side.

NOTE: Seeking help and reporting abuses of such kind is extremely important for both an individual and the society at large. An abuser must always suffer the consequences of what they consciously choose to do over a prolonged period of time. While the victims must show courage and need to have the support of the masses in this difficult time, we must always ensure that we have the basic decency to give them the liberty of time and space to proceed in this journey of healing.

WHAT CAN ONE DO?

On that note, here are a few things that you can do if you could relate to the aforementioned points and identify a pattern of abuse in your relationship with someone. This is also beneficial for those who can report abuse on behalf of someone who is unable to on their own:

  • Trust your instincts: if you feel you are falling prey to a vicious cycle of relationship abuse mentally or emotionally, always trust your gut. You may overthink it into believing that it is ‘all in your head’, but always ensure that you objectively evaluate your partner’s actions to achieve a fair conclusion.
  • In cases of physical violence: if you fear someone will attack you, you must involve the appropriate legal authorities as soon as possible. Any precursor to violence, or suspicion, should also be reported as a precautionary measure. Seeking legal assistance is always important.
  • Exit the relationship: The only way to escape this monotonous and toxic circle is to exit the relationship. That may be a break up, a divorce, a mutual agreement or an angry fight- the means to achieve it might vary, but the solution remains constant. Make sure you cut all ties with the abuser, pledge to move onward and upward without ever looking back.
  • Seeking help: A professional counsellor or therapist, the local court, a trusted friend or guardian, a local women’s shelter, the nearest hospital or police station that one can find- it is wise to seek help from any of these before it’s too late, rather than letting an offender repeat the cycle of abuse.
  • Set personal boundaries: Take a conversation with your partner about what you aspire out of that relationship, how you wish to get there, what are the problems you’re facing and how you must both be willing to contribute equally to solve them. Set a standard for what is right and wrong, a list of do’s and don’ts  and ensure that all parties in that relationship agree and stick to it.
  • Give yourself time: Recovering from abuse takes time. Allow yourself this time to find your normal. Reach out to anyone you trust and feel comfortable with, who will support you in this journey. Find new hobbies, dissociate yourself with anything that reminds you of that traumatic experience and help yourself love you again.

We must all work collectively to ensure that relationships remain exactly what they’re meant for: a safe and faithful space built on love, trust, and respect. Doing our individual bit in being kind to everyone, ensuring that we don’t let others feel uncomfortable in our presence, and being a positive and joyous part of someone’s life will go a long way in ensuring that society recognizes and changes how abuse in relationships is extremely problematic. By punishing offenders appropriately, and rehabilitating and supporting survivors, we can one day achieve a wholesome environment for each and every individual in this society, irrespective of their class, caste, race, or sexual orientation. Join us making every relationship a #healthyrelationship.

If you or anyone you know are dealing with abuse, please reach out to me or to a domestic abuse line to seek help.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS.

-tootles!

xoxo

The Importance of communication in marriage

You might think that commitment, love, and honesty are essential elements of a happy married life.

Somehow, it’s right!

But what if you are missing something more essential?

How often do you consider the importance of communication in a marriage? Since two persons are spending most of the time under the same roof, doesn’t imply that they can effectively communicate with each other. To support a happy marriage and build a strong bond with your other half, it is very important that there should be effective communication in your relationship.

A happy married life flourishes with the equal exchange of beliefs, desires, and emotions. Indeed, communication is perhaps the basic foundation of a successful marriage. Most marriages go through unpleasant moments, which can completely change the way of communication, a couple used to have. Many couples make bad habits and devastating patterns when things aren’t working out in a good way.

It’s even worse than it sounds!

So, as a couple, you need to know the importance of communication in your marriage, which will lead you to a better life.

Communication Makes Your Bond Stronger

How can somebody know the reality of another person like who they really are? We don’t have the instincts or the capability to read the thoughts of other people. By sharing your personal experiences or ups and downs, you can connect intimately with somebody for sure. The same works well for a happy marriage too. Rather than just having body contact, it’s also essential to have an emotional attachment with your life partner. When you have shared even small events of your life, doesn’t matter what it is (something about your past memories, or wishes like a long drive, paint the walls together, etc.), this openness will unite the couple forever and cause them to feel like a single unit. When you start realizing what is in your life partner’s heart and mind, you can resolve any problem efficiently and quickly.

Communication Leads to Better Understanding

Communication is a great approach to express your emotions and heart feelings with your partner. It’s not essential to show the affection and love that you feel for your partner in words. But being vocal and expressive is the best possible way of showing your emotions towards your partner, which would prompt a better understanding.

Couples who often communicate, talk about their lives, or speak with one another not only have a great connection, yet, it additionally assists them to have a much stronger bond with one another. At this point, when you understand your partner and the hectic events they might be managing, there would be little chances for misconception or misinterpretation.

Lack of Communication Leads to Dishonesty

There are times when you don’t even want to communicate with each other when you try to give silly excuses and will probably stop the conversation right there. It might work in your support once or twice. However, over some time, you might start to escape any situation by telling lies. When there isn’t anything to hide from your partner, why do you need to make up false stories and ruin your chances of having a happy married life? At first, it might sound right to hide some stuff from your partner, but this behavior only shows that you don’t respect your partner and relationship. You owe it to your partners to let them know what is happening in your life, and try to handle the situations together and move forward.

Lack of Communication Leads to Separation

How about we look at this topic from a different angle. What are the consequences of not communicating with your partner? When your partner doesn’t share any stuff with you, that means he/she isn’t willing to share his/her life too. Keep things secret or personal, avoid any argument or misunderstanding, want to be separated instead of spending quality time together, all these aspects can play a huge role in your separation or breaking your bond. It might not be the situation of every couple, yet sometimes, not being emotionally attached to your partner might give you thoughts of finding this connection in someone else. Regardless of how much a person can try to prevent themselves from choosing this path, but when your heart isn’t happy or satisfied, it always tries to find its satisfaction at any cost.

Types of Communication in a Marriage

Casual Talk

You can talk about all that is important or other crazy events that occurred during the day. You enjoy together and make some extraordinary memories discussing some cheerful parts of your life. This sort of communication assists you in making a much stronger connection with your soulmate since you share some happy and fun moments together.

Discussion About Challenges

Each marriage has its own ups and downs. So, it is essential to discuss and analyze the qualities and shortcomings of your relationship with one another. Such discussions assist the relationship in becoming strong. Furthermore, it helps with settling on any significant changes or choices throughout everyday life.

Connection Building Communication

It is a proactive sort of discussion that isn’t affected due to some need or interest, dissimilar to the communication referenced above. These sorts of communications inspire having beautiful conversations that incorporate discussing your desires, dreams, fears, hopes, and so on. It includes significant discussions that can prompt strong connections. These are exceptionally intimate discussions as it gives you insights of the private life of your partner.

Guidelines for Effective Communication in a Marriage

Start Face-To-Face Communication

Phone calls, emails, or text messages are not the right choice for having deep conversions. In a marriage, even less complicated conversations should happen face-to-face. Face-to-face communication assists you and your partner in giving the required clarity. It will bring confidence back in your marriage. If you can’t manage to talk face to face, you should postpone the discussion for later.

Plan Your Communication

Communication should not happen anytime without being planned. Effective communication should be well-planned when both of you are ready and free to discuss. In this way, you can ask your partners if they can save some time for the conversation. The suggested time to initiate a complicated conversation is before you go to sleep or after having your dinner. But avoid starting a discussion while in bed.

Learn to Handle Disagreements

Sometimes people are confused about what causes a lack of effective communication in a marriage. Mostly, it’s just because you don’t know how to resolve or handle disagreements in a positive way. In the end, you begin to push each other away and make things worse and impossible to resolve even in the future.

It is the reason I generally highlight the significance of “don’t play the blame game” because it’s only going to make your partner tired. Focus on how you’re coming to your final conclusion. For instance, there is a huge gap between “your work is more important than spending time with me” and “I miss spending quality time with you”

One more thing to remember, when your partner is sharing some stuff that makes them feel emotional, you should prove that you’ve understood it properly by repeating it once again. Like “Alright, I see what you’re trying to say. I can improve my routine and spend some time with you after my work.”

If you really want things to work out, start doing efforts!

Stay in the Present

Try to focus on the present while discussing marriage issues with your partner. Referencing the previous events will negatively influence the present. Every one of you might have messed up many events. Thus, if you remind your partner, it will cause frustrations and create a communication gap. Just focus on the present issue and stick to it. Ensure it adds value to your relationship. As you start communicating, try to be polite and respectful.

Learn to Listen

You can observe many people initiate arguments to make their point rather than listening to their partners in a fight. If you like to fix communication problems in your marriage, you should figure out how to listen and understand. Your goal should be resolving the issue, not winning the argument.

Work on your listening abilities, try to figure out what your partner wants to say, and use it as a tool to assist you in analyzing the situation from their perspective. Put yourself in their shoes! If you find yourself wrong, accept your mistake immediately. Showing sensibility and humility will get you much further than pointing fingers at your partner to prove yourself right.

One great idea for settling down issues altogether is to start asking questions to your partner when you’re sure about their answers. It helps both of you to agree on some common perspectives. The more agreements or similarities you find, the simpler it will be to find solutions.

Use Non-Verbal Signs

Non-verbal communication is as strong as verbal communication. It includes body language, revealing the situation of the person in an argument. It is essential to maintain eye contact with your partner while talking about anything. Direct eye contact implies that you are interested and participating in the discussion. In many cases, body language reveals our state of mind in any argument. The last thing you can do is to show your lack of engagement in the conversation. However, it is significant to find out positive non-verbal gestures to communicate effectively.

Don’t Respond Too Quickly

Most married couples respond too soon if their partners mess up. It is very casual for all human beings to react quickly to bad events, yet it should not be instant. Try as hard as you can to control yourself. Give yourself enough time to think about the issue that may result in a better situation or a good starting point. When you discuss immediately, your frustration will take charge of your speech, and it might become hate speech.

Communicating with your partner doesn’t mean sharing all the stuff on your mind like news, frustration, anger, and head out for your ways. Effective communication implies that being there for each other whenever your partner needs your support and emotionally comforts them. Many couples think that communication means say things whatever they want and then leave the room. Actually, when you open up to your partner, you likewise open the chances of receiving information. Generally, in life or marriage, we all really want to be needed by someone. And when your partner is there for you, no situations are bad enough, and no arguments are significant enough to split you apart from your partner.

So. regardless of how tired you are or how much work you need to do, ensure you take out some time in a day to have some significant discussion with your partner. In case that you find nothing to discuss, get silly or crazy, and share some generous laughter with one another. It is essential to speak your heart out consistently to keep the affection alive in your marriage.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Is Arguing a Natural Part of Every Relationship?

Arguments in any relationship are considered a negative thing. People see disagreements as a contemplative crack in a relationship. Even some people also state that the process of arguing with your partner provides awareness of different opinions and facilitates talk. So, arguments and conflicts are somehow essential that would be useful for healthy relationships. Specifically, if you are arguing with your partner for their own good. In this way, the topics which bring arguments will also tell you about the importance of your relationship. It gives you a chance to think about your core values and being vocal about how you are feeling about your relationship.

No one is perfect. We may realize that we are vulnerable, but you don’t have to make your partners feel like they are vulnerable too. We expect a lot from our partners, so we think they are perfect in many ways, and they know everything. But sometimes, we might think our partners behave typically, as they don’t get what we actually want to tell them. Passing judgments about what our partners know is an easy task but trying to understand their point is hard. Respecting their opinions and take time to understand them is very important for a healthy relationship. It doesn’t matter what your assumptions are, but it is more important to think about what we both need together to keep your relationship or marriage alive.

Arguing with your partner is good and can be beneficial to your relationship. Some of the benefits are:

  • It allows you to communicate with your partner about your feelings, needs, and preferences.
  • It prevents you from frustration.
  • It helps you to know about partner needs and preferences also.
  • It helps you in finding out the real issue.
  • It helps in the growth of the relationship.
  • It builds understanding.
  • It helps you in saving your relationship.
  • It prevents divorce.

All couples argue. It is a natural phenomenon, but when you find yourself fighting more, then it’s time to wonder about “Are we completely lost it? or How many times we have to argue over the same topic?”

A clinical psychologist in New York City, Joseph Cilona, discusses that There is no accurate formula used frequently to navigate conflict in a relationship. Before thinking that your relationship is doomed due to continuous fighting over a week, you have to calm yourself down because it is common to disagree with your partner in a relationship. A Ph.D. and a clinical psychologist, Ramani Durvasula, says that occasional arguments with your partner are a good thing. She also says that When partners fight each other, it means they care about each other. When you don’t argue in a relationship, it means one of you has given up. It also states that you are not sharing your true feelings, and you don’t trust that your partner can understand your feelings. So, it is significant to fight fairly instead of wondering how much you guys fight with each other.

Here are some tips which help you to fight productively.

Stay Quiet for Some Time

Take a pause. So, you can’t throw out something hurtful that you will regret later. Sometimes it is difficult to think before you speak in a heating argument when you are emotional. Staying quiet for some moment will allow you to clear your mind before you initiate the discussion again. A few seconds will give you enough time to think about how much you care about your partner? And how can you say these things to your partner that sound terrible? In this way, the situation will become calm, and kind and you will become more likely to hear what your partner is saying.

Use “I” Instead of “You” Phrases

A psychotherapist in New York, Meg Batterson, describes that If you start with blame or accusation, then your partner will never hear what you wanted to say. Instead, they feel at fault, and you wouldn’t get through it. Using words like “I’m hurt” instead of “You hurt me” will change the argument in a productive dialogue, and the partner will go defensive. You are in a partnership, and you have to be strong enough to make your relationship stronger. So, share what you are feeling with your partner. It will provide you solutions to your problems, and you both get close to each other.

Prevent Character Accusation

Unfortunately, people start character assassination of each other in their arguments which make things worse. They make their arguments, personal attacks like name-calling or how they look, etc. It is very unhealthy for your relationship. So, one should avoid it.

Stay Focus on the Main Issue

A relationship expert and psychologist, John Gottman, says that one of the main reasons for diversity is when your partner attacks your character rather than telling you the main reason that upsets them.

You are constantly fighting over the same issue, and you are upset that this will become problematic for your relationship. So instead of accusing your partner of some of their faults, tell them.

Speak Less and Listen More

There is always more tendency to speak than to listen when we are fighting over something. We are eager to express our all feelings rather than listening to what our partners feel or think.

The person who has the issue should be the one who has to listen more. Batterson says that You should listen first and let your partner know that you are hearing him instead of defending yourself and your feelings. This technique is beneficial because it shows that you care about your relationship more than you care about your thoughts or perspectives. It will let your partner know that you are listening and you know from where they are coming. You will have a more productive dialogue about the issue and, then the conflict will get settled alternatively.

Change Your Way to Say Things

The reality is after some time, we’ll come to know that how exactly our partner will respond, as it is a scripted discussion. Batterson suggests that if you want to fight better, change the way to say things. Because you are fighting over the same issues, you are now the consequences also. So, change how you say stuff. The important thing is that you frame your arguments in a kind and respectful way so that you are also giving a chance to your partner to express their thoughts to you.

Don’t Avoid Your Arguments

Some people keep their conflicts to themselves when they are angry with each other. Because they don’t like to argue and don’t want to harm their relationship at any cost. But It is saying that Avoiding the problems in a relationship is more harmful than it is helpful for your relationship.

People who are more likely to talk about their conflicts to their partners are happier in their relationships. People who stay silent and blame their partners for lack of communication are more unhappy in their relationships. The social scientist and the bestselling author, Joseph Grenny, conducted a study in which he says that people that don’t talk about their problems and try to avoid them, then as a result, it will get worse. The biggest mistake you make is to fool yourself and don’t think about the problems that will reduce the chance of an argument.

Never Use the Term “Divorce” in Your Arguments

Don’t ever threaten about leaving your partner in your arguments. It will have a damaging influence on your relationship. It is easy to let your emotions out, but you should try not to threaten them by talking about divorce. Your words have a lasting impact on your partner and cause them to feel insecure in the relationship even after your flight is over with them.

Never Resort to Any Abuse

According to experts, if fighting with your partner leads you towards physical or mental abuse, then it is a red flag for you, and you have to need psychological help. Couple arguing is healthy when there is no emotional or physical abuse present in their fight.

Durvasula says that Sometimes seeing with an open eye can help you observe that your communication is going towards the wrong side. And you will feel things have crossed the line, then talk to a therapist, couple counselor, or someone trustworthy as soon as possible. If you are arguing a lot, and it is now making you depressed, then you both need professional help. Also, when you both can’t get rid of it by yourselves. Cilona also says the same thing, if one of you in a relationship is upset, has a feeling of fear, or any other negative vibe related to your relationship, then it’s time to address it.

Difference Between Healthy Arguments and Toxic Arguments

While we know that arguing in a relationship is healthy and beneficial, that doesn’t mean you will make it a routine task. It doesn’t mean you should pick a fight now and then because arguing is healthy. It is essential to know the type and level of arguments. Just because you like to win and make your partner lose in the discussion, your argument becomes a disaster for your relationship. You should always be constructive. Again, the problem isn’t in arguing but how you choose to put your points across. You don’t have to know the difference between toxic arguments and constructive arguments. Don’t get confused between the toxic fights with healthy arguments. You should know the proper way to argue with your partner, and your choice of words also makes a difference.

Arguments turn into toxic ones when it starts including, abuses, hurting each other, and calling each other disrespectfully. Big arguments are the signs of fading love and unsuccessful relationships. So, you can argue but in a good way.

Do not attack your partner while arguing. It is not a war. There is a difference between arguing for good reasons or bad ones. The conclusion of your arguments should be a win-win situation for both of you. You should try to make your tone soft and sweet while arguing with your partner. Talking loudly or screaming at the other person always make the situation difficult and worse. Your arguments should be an exchange of views do not an exchange of bad words. If it occurs by chance, then set your ego aside and apologize to your partner. Your purpose behind the arguments should be expressing your views, not taking revenge on your partners. Generally, we observe that women love to talk about any issue while men always seem interested in avoiding the discussion. In these cases, find some spare time. Don’t insist on discussing the issue at the same time when it occurs or when your partner is not comfortable discussing it. Stay on the same topic while arguing. It seems that some people dig out graves in the name of arguing. Using an old memory just in the name of a weapon or use it against your partner is the most irritating thing. You can avoid situations in which arguments turn into dirty ones. So, take a break for some time and relax and then talk about the issue again.

Accepting the perspectives of each other in a good way is very healthy for relationships. Arguing in the right spirit is good and constructive. Arguing with your partner is natural. It is justified as both the people in a relationship have some differences at some point. No argument is better than your relationship with your partner at the end of the day. It all matters how you deal with it.

As always be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Raising a narcassist’s kids

One of the things that I wish that I was more mindful of when I had my children was who their father was. I wish I wasn’t so blinded by the love I so desperately was searching for in him and actually saw who he was. I wish that I could change my circumstances and outcomes, but I cannot. And now I am raising two offsprings of a narcissistic sociopath.

I love my children to life. They mean everything to me and they are the reasons why I fight to ensure that they have a good life; a life better than what I had growing up. But man oh man, are they like their father at times. It is amazing to see just how much of myself and their father these children have inside of them, and how each of us come out. I do not take stock in astrilogical signs, but I swore that because my daughter’s birthday is the day before mine that she would be more like me and because my son is 2 weeks after his father he would be more like him. That is NOT what happened. My son is more like me and my daughter is more like her father.

One of the biggest debates that many people have is whether nature or nurture plays more of an impact on raising kids. Because I am raising these children, I can now firmly chime in that as much as I want to say that it’s how you nurture your child, nature plays a major role on who your children are shaped into becoming. I see so much of their father in my children that sometimes it scares me. At times, I question whether I am doing a a good enough job in raising my kids, teaching them good morals, and showing them how we should be towards each other and others. We have had so many clashes within the past year and it just baffles me how much of an impact nature really has on upbringing.

My kids are amazing little people. They are smart, funny, charasmatic, helpful, kid, and happy kids. You can tell that I have had a huge hand in helping them to be good little people. But I see the rough edges, the lack of accountability, the blaming others for their mistakes. I know- they are just kids. But this isn’t “just kids”….

Raising kids is hard. Raising kids with a narcassist is even harder. Raising kids with narcassistic tendencies is sometimes impossible. Yet here I am, tackling the impossible.

Are you struggling with your kids? Are you having trouble getting through to them and dealing with their difficult behaviors? Schedule a call with me.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

Black Men Love black women

If we listen to the rap music that’s playing or talk to women who have dated (and been heartbroken by black men), it may seem as if black men do not love black women. The societal message that “black culture” portrays is that our men do like us. Our men even hate us. But my experience with the men that I’ve encountered tells me that this narrative just isn’t true.

In a recent article that I read on xonecole, the writer asked 20 men about things that they wanted women to know. I found it extremely interesting that one of those things were that they loved black women (no matter their skin color and hair texture) as long as they possessed qualities that attracted them. One man even went as far as to say that he ONLY wanted to date black women. Another man made a point to note that men didn’t care whether women made more money than them, they only cared about the ATTITUDE these women had as a result of making more money. These men were saying things that I have learned to be true across the board.

Let me make a few points clear before I continue with this article. Point 1- a man who’s had his heart broken will most likely be standoffish to relationships and love. Not because he doesn’t want a relationship and love, but because he has had a negative experience with it in the past and he is afraid that it will happen to him again. Point 2- A man has to be ready for a relationship for him to entertain the idea of one. We, as women, expect a man to be on the same page as us WITHOUT HAVING SAID CONVERSATION, then get mad when that man isn’t in a “relationship space” like we are. Point 3- women need to stop makng assumptions about what men want; we also need to stop expecting men to know what we want without us telling them. This is insanity. I’m just saying.

I grew up around a LOT of boys who turned into men. One thing that I have always seen growing up is that boys/men will take sex from anyone who is offering it, but they crave relationships and intimacy. I have had many conversations with men who craved relationships (friendships), equality, and genuine affection from their partner. We were raised to believe one of two things: either the man is the breadwinner and provider for the household, or that the woman is to be independent and take care of herself. There was never an in-between where men are the breadwinners but the women contribute to make the household flow effectively. Men crave that in-between. Every man that I know is a breadwinner but they don’t want to feel like someone only wants them for their money. They LOVE black women- it’s actually amazing to hear them describe women and their attributes (which are not sexual might I add). I spoke to a man who has been married for the last 15 years, and he said to me “I love my wife. My favorite thing about her is the fact that she is my friend and my lawyer. She will tell it to me straight, then handle whatever mess I got myself into. I wouldn’t be where I am without her”.

We women have placed these extremely high (and sometimes unattainable) expectations on what we believe men want from us. We think that we need to be perfect, with a big booty, our hair must always be in place, and our face must be beat to the high heavens. In reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Almost every man that I asked said that they prefer a natural face, they couldn’t care about our hair as long as it looks nice, and that booty or no booty doesn’t matter- as long as WE are attractive and have a great personality they will be head over heels for us. And skin color is irrelevant to most men! Sure, some have their preference, but overall men do not care. We do. I remember having a conversation with a friend and he said “your girlfriend is super pretty-do you think she would talk to me?” I replied “I thought you only like light skinned girls?” He said “I’m attracted to personality. The skin tone might catch my attention but if the personality is great I’m hooked”. We create expectations about what men like! What they actually like is completely opposite from what we trained ourselves to believe.

The biggest issue that I’ve heard women have with black men is that they “don’t like our attitude” and would rather deal with a WHITE WOMEN because they are easier to handle. WHEW!! I couldn’t believe how many times I had heard this. Let’s look at a few truths. 1- men either date/marry someone who is like their mother or the opposite of their mother. Most men in my age bracket (30-40ish) grew up with strong mother’s who took care of the household, may have been a single working mother taking care of multiple children, and/or raised by strong grandparents. These men are attracted to strong women who are able to be indepedant and take care of home with/without a man in it. For the men who grew up with mother’s who were abused, addicted to drugs, or absent, they are still looking for strong women because this is the OPPOSITE of what they grew up with. 2- I’ve noticed that a majority of women in that same age bracket are stressed, tired, single mothers who need help (even if they won’t ask for any). They’ve also dealt with more than 1 man who promised them the world but only gave them McDonald’s and have now built up a disdain for men in general. This makes for a bad precursor when they do meet a man who is interested in a stable relationship. 3- many of us have been through some form of disappointment, let down, heartbreak, and/or trauma in our early years that we were taught to PUSH DOWN and GET OVER. After having to do this over and over as we were growing up, we’ve built this shell/wall around us that comes off as angry, “bitter”, reclusive, or unapproachable. All of these issues combined together have allowed for the opportunities to be presented that allowed for the belief that “black men don’t like black women because they are always angry”. When in reality, by the time we meet one another each of us are dealing with trauma that we project onto each other. Projected trauma only leads to people hurting each other, which in turn add onto the trauma. It’s a vicious cyle.

I am in my early 30’s. I have encountered many men, both within my familial dynmanic (including close friends) and people that I have met through work, business dealings, networking, etc. I have seldom encountered a black man who didn’t love black women. And I mean they LOVED black women. From the resiliency, to the independance, to the nurturing and mothering ability, to the physical attraction- they loved black women. A family member of mine made it a point to tell me that he loved women so much that he couldn’t just settle for one- he needed to have multiple women in his life because they all served a purpose for him- spiritually, mentally, emotionally, physically, and sexually. Because I am now a trauma-informed life and relationship coach, I see things differently. I realize that I am blessed to have experienced men who loved women, respected women, and protected women around me my entire upbringing. I know that many people have not experienced that and it plays a major part on the role they see themselves and other women play in relation to men. It’s easy to believe that men do not love and respect us if they haven’t seen and experienced it. Actually, we have seen it, in the form on celebrity’s. Russell Wilson & Cierra, Remy Ma & Papoose, and any other successful celebrity that you can think of (sorry- I’m not big on celebrity’s). We think it’s unattainable for us but it’s not.

If you only take away 1 thing from this article, let it be this: you attract what you are ready for. Whatever space you are in mentally and emotionally is the same space that you will attract to you. If you are dealing with personal issues, holding on to things that happened in the past, or are unwilling to let go of someone emtionally, you will attract people who are in those same spaces, which makes for a troublesome encounter. If you want to meet someone who is going to love YOU, then you must first love yourself. If you want to meet someone who will take care of and protect you, you must first learn to take care of and protect yourself. You can only ask for a partner that will match you and your energy levels. Happiness can only attract happiness. Ever heard of the saying “misery loves company” or “hurt people hurt people”? It’s true. If you want to change the type of people that you attract and change the types of relationships that you are encountering, then you must first do the work within yourself. I can help.

Black men love black women. Do black women love black men, and do black women love themselves? I love black men. And from my expierences, black men love the hell out of us back. I hope that anyone reading this can understand just how true my statement is.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraordinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo

If you would like to learn more about what I do, check out my website; if you would ike to book a call with me, use this link. If you want to shoot me a message saying hello on Instagram, I would love to hear from you!

Marriage: 5 Truths & a Lie

When we think about marriage, most people think about the wedding day. The dress, the tux, the food, the party, the vows- the glitz and the glamour. You don’t hear people talk about the days that follow the wedding day. Getting married is such a huge deal, but being married is this far-out concept; what exactly does that look like? I decided to do a 5 truths & a lie about marriage- from MY perspective.

Truth #1: You’ll go through waves of being in love with your partner and falling out of love with them.

We tend to confuse being IN LOVE with someone and having love for someone. Loving someone is a daily, conscious choice. You are choosing to overlook bad habits, choosing to not pick certain arguments, choosing to still cook for them even after they’ve gotten on your last nerves. But being in love with someone is the cumulation of a bunch of positive actions that this person has done for you which causes you to crave them. You can love someone and not want to be around them every day or have a sexual attraction for them. Being in love with someone makes you want to be with them all the time, they are sexually and physcially attractive to you, their presence brings you peace. It’s normal for you to fall in and out of love with your partner, because we are not perfect. They (or we) will do things that are annoying, there will be fights/arguments, schedules and work and kids and life gets in the way. It happens. We just need to be mindful when we realize that it is happening and make a conscious effort to do the things that are needed to fall back in love again. Whether that be more date nights, more time spent relaxing together, more time talking insteading of arguing- whatever you need at your current stage of life to ensure that you’re falling in love over and over again, make sure you communicate that to your partner.

Truth #2: You are going to want to leave your partner, at least once.

During the course of a HOPEFULLY long and fruitful marriage, things are going to happen that will cause you to get to a point in which you’ll feel like you want to leave the relationship. The fights may grow in intensity, you may wonder “what if” you chose a different path, work and home life can become overwhelming- you may get to a point where you just want to quit. If you’ve had feelings like this BEFORE you were married, chances are these feellings will arise during your marriage also. And it is completely normal. Things get tough in life, and there is no difference for marriage. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve wanted to (or actually did) break up with my partner. But when the dust settled and I came to my senses, home was where I wanted to be, and that included being with my partner. Tough times don’t last, especially if you seek counseling, therapy, or coaching to help you get through them.

Turth #3: Sex and intimacy decreases if you don’t make them a priority.

When two people get comfortable with each other, they tend to let things slip. It may not happen overnight, but gradually over time. Until one day you wake up and realize that you’ve been super cranky for the last week and it’s been 4 months since you’ve had sex with your partner. Life happens, especially if you have kids and a super busy schedule. It can easily be overlooked and put off to the side when you’re always tired after a long day of work. But since we are talking about this now, let’s not let it get to that point. be intentional about keeping up the intimacy and sex in your household. Plan date nights (they don’t have to be on the same day every week), plan sex nights, steal intimate moments throughout the day. Send sexy pictures and text messages, and kiss often- especially when you’re mad at one another. The easiest way to get over an argument is to talk it out, come up with a solution, then have sex afterwards. I know, I know- females are extremely emotional beings and tend to dry up when they are angry with their partners. But what I’ve learned over the years is that’s when the intimacy is needed the most. The more disconnected you feel with your partner, the more you need to invite intimacy into the equation. Inviting intimacy in keeps tensions low, allows you to have a clearer head, and is an easy way to ask for or give forgiveness (especially if that’s hard for one of you to say). Now, I’m not telling you to fuck all of your problems away, but I am telling you to not take sex off of the table when you are having problems. Allow the sex and intimacy to help you resolve the problems.

Truth #4: You will hurt each other.

Remember earlier when I said that we weren’t perfect? It is human nature to try to hurt someone who’s hurt you first. Especially if they hurt you deeply. We can’t help it. That doesn’t change just because you are married and committed. If anything, it gives you better leverage to hurt that person even more because you’ve learned all you can about them and now you have ammunition. It will happen. There are some hurts that are inflicted unintentionally- those hurts are workable and you can come back from. Tensions were running high, there was a lot of stress for some task or another to get done, or things were just not going well for a really long time. We get it- your back was against the wall and you lashed out and you hurt them. Unfortunately, this is life and it happens. It’t not the end of the world, or your marriage, but it will take time to mend the wound and rebuild that trust. If you have a good partner (or even a great one), the effort to fix and repair it is worth it. There are other hurts however that are done with the intent to break you down and cause emotional and psychological pain. Those hurts don’t get better, they only get worse. And you should leave. Quickly.

Truth #5: Parenting will put a strain on your relationship, especially if you are step-parenting.

Parenting is not easy. Single parenting is downright difficult. But co- & step-parenting can leave you wondering if a marriage is really worth it. There are a lot of different factors that go into parenting- how you were raised vs how the other parent was raised, what discipline looks like to each of you, what rewards and gifts look like to each of you. Trying to find an alignment within the household where two people come to an agreement on how to raise little people can be difficult. Especially because kids are extremely smart little manipulators that know how to play one parent against the other. But add a 3rd parent into the equation and sometimes this is a recipe for disaster. Creating a routine for two people can be tricky but it’s definitely manageable. Once you start having children, this tricky schedule turns into calendars and reminders and sticky notes of a life. We aren’t taking into account the new personalities that you now have to juggle because they are constatly growing and evolving. My kids literally turn into a new person every 6 months- it’s hard to keep up with and they belong to me. Add my partner in and now I potentially have a house filled with landmines that we are all actively trying to avoid. How do we handle this?

I have a few different ideas for solutions that have worked with my clients in the past; if something seems like a good fit for you, by all means- have at it!

  1. have a conversation about what each parent’s role with the child(ren) are. Who is responsible for appointments, games, homework, trips, discipline, etc. The clearer you get on who will do what, the easier tasks are to handle
  2. Have a conversation with your kids about what the roles for the parents are, and the rules for the household (if you are co-parenting with another parent). Explain that what happens at the other parent’s house may not be acceptable in yours, and vic versa
  3. Talk about the tough parenting moments that you’ve had with the other parent. My daughter has made me cry more than once, and being able to talk to my partner about why I reacted how I did allowes him to be empathic with me but also gives him understanding on how to talk to my daughter about why what she did or said was wrong and how it affected me
  4. Don’t try to handle parenting all on your own. You have a partner who is EQUAL in your household and in the child(rens) lives- use it to your advantage
  5. Don’t let your kids run games on you. Because they will try to, and if you and your partner do not have good communication they will succeed.

Lie: Being married is completely different from being in a committed relationship.

I’ve heard from so many people who said that marriage is totally different from a relationship, and I asked them to explain to me how it was so. My answers? Marriage is a “committment before God”, or “marriage is a binding agreement”, or -my favorite- “marriage you can’t walk away from”. The absolute truth is that there is no difference. If you are in a committed relationship with someone- a relationship where you are living together, raising a family together, making sacrafices for your partner’s peace and happiness- you have a marriage. Sure, there aren’t any papers or rings, but what do those things actually do that makes the word MARRIAGE any more significant than a committed relationship? I can only speak for myself, but the committment I have to my partner ensures that I am not walking away from him. Ring or no ring, paper or no paper, we are in this for life. Isn’t that what a “marriage” is supposed to be anyway? An agreement between two people (and maybe some witnesses) that no matter what, they will do what it takes to ensure that the household and each other are good until death does them part? But, I will take the perks of having the title, and the name, and the health insurance. A ring doens’t hurt either. *wink, wink*

The greatest takeaway that I want people to walk away with is this: marriage isn’t one-size-fits-all. You have to tailor your marriage to you and your partner, and ensure that what you guys are doing works for YOU. We have all been embedded with what our parents think a marriage shoud look like, and those ideologies may not work for you today. Create your won pattern, your own routine, your own peace and happiness. Make it work for you, and make your marriage last as long as you want it to last. Hopefully, that’s forever.

As always, be legendary KINGS; be extraodinary QUEENS!

-tootles!

xoxo