Ask Toi: My Girlfriend Makes Excuses for Dates?!

Well this is new.  What woman doesn’t want to go on a date?  Seriously red flags for me.  Unless you have a birthday she’s secretly planning something big, or yeah that’s all I got, what would prevent her from going?  Is she suffering from depression?  I know I talk about it a lot but that’s because people are truly suffering in silence.

As a boyfriend I would have to ask follow up questions.  Just a simple cancellation isn’t enough to come to a conclusion.  She also could be under a deadline for work in which case you would have known that ahead of time.  I would ask her when she was available and that you want to spend time with her and miss her. 

Long ago are the days when men are out making things happen.  Women are out making it happen too. It could be a balance issue.  If she hasn’t figured out how to make all the turning wheels spin at the same time then she just needs to be reminded you are here as a support system.

My next question is where is your relationship?  I hate to be the heavy but what was your interest before hand. I’ve had many times dated men who were emotionally unavailable and after many times of asking for time etc I simply moved on.  I on one hand was up front but some women feel like the writing is on the wall and just move on.  I’m not saying I condone the behavior I’m just offering perspective.  Whatever is going on a conversation is definitely necessary. Men have feelings and she still needs to be mindful of yours but you have to be willing to speak up.  Good luck keep me updated!

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Ask Toi: Do you believe in discernment?

Yes I do its my internal checker.  Some people call it many things such as intuition, etc but whatever you call it listen to it.

Now let’s not excuse discernment with the little voice that tells you or suggest wrong.  Discernment is the ability to judge and help you to make better decision.  If you meet a new man and something inside of you doesn’t feel well, discernment is working to protect you.

We all have the ability to discern which is to judge a thing or a person and see if it lines up and makes you feel at peace about something.  Some people will ignore it and find themselves in all kinds of things.

So yes I believe it, I use it and I listen to it.

Control Yourself Girl!

If you know me you know at one point in time I had to be in total control.  Yes I would go through a level of anxiety if something was happening beyond my control.

Growing up my parents definitely called the shots so when I went to college that was my first goal.  I was going to say when and where.  Nobody was going to control me.  Now growing up in church I was taught that God has the final say but outside of him Toi was definitely the one will the bullhorn.

My freshman year in college was a disaster.  Like the kind that can only be seen on television.  I won’t get too specific but let’s just say my trying to do too much at one time led to one of the most fun, but stressful moments in my life.  So much for me calling the shots! I almost hit rock bottom and transferred to a different school.

When I had my daughter is when I finally learned my lesson of control.  I had her in 2009.  She was 6 weeks early and at birth placed in the nicu.  My being a control freak came to a screaming halt.  All the preparations I had done didn’t matter.  When I finally brought her home, my house wasn’t even ready so me and my parents became cozy little home dwellers. All the times that I had tried to control so many types of relationships, friends, or jobs all came to a halt.  Think about how successful you have been trying to control all the players?  Do you remember all the stress and anger that comes along?  Honestly, let me be honest its way too much work. 

If I am truly honest the amount of foolishness that I had invited into my life trying to control things led to many years of hospital visits, sicknesses, headache and heartache.  I honestly feel like I’m my most liberated self now from controlling me.  Yes ladies, there will be a moment of time when the only player you can control in this game is YOU.  Things around you will not change until you stop and take a look at what you are putting out.

My real friends and shout out to them have seen me at my literal worst.  If it wasn’t for real friendships I would be in this world with no one but Jesus and that’s the truth.  You can really mess up friendships by having your girls through your actions do what you want.  Folks don’t want to be around the one always running game as if someone hasn’t seen you a mile away.

If you are the type that controls your spouse let me tell you the amount of resentment that your man feels is real.  You can’t police your man or son your man into anything.  Yes you read correctly I said son your man.  Son your man is when you want to control where he goes, who he talks to, his friends he can be around, how often he goes out, etc.  There’s a certain level of respect when two people can be them, and still be able to come together as a couple.  If your mood swings, adult tantrum, withholding sex, and overall nagging is your way of controlling your spouse I know you won’t have him long.  He may be with you now but there’s a breaking point that will occur.

It’s time to use that negative energy and turn it into making you the best you that you can be.  You have so much growth inside of you.  You have so much happiness to achieve.  Lets find that woman and leave that controlling little girl where she belongs, in the past.

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Take the Band-aid off

Little kids love getting band aids or at least my kids do.  They come in all kinds of colors, characters, etc.  They are there in a pinch for minor abrasions.  However band aids don’t always work in all situations.

You ever cut your hand really bad?  If you are gushing out and the cut is deep enough, a band-aid is a joke.  You need some gauze, pressure, and a doctor to supply some stitches in order for it to heal.  Band-aid are supposed to be a buffer to keep germs out.

When life happens we put band aids on things that require more attention.  We put band aids on things that need surgery, removal, or even repair.  If you are in a situation where a band-aid will not work it’s time to deal with the issue.

Yes for a Monday this could be a heavy lesson but let me just say, you know that band aids are a temporary fix.  Since its a temporary fix, what are you doing about the bigger issue.  Since band aids come in so many shapes and colors one can hide their issues well.  What are you covering today that needs your attention.

Life throws many curve balls.  Sometimes you can be overwhelmed.  However if you use a band-aid on an open deep cut, that band-aid may be cute now but it can and will show signs of infection.  Ever see someone with a nasty attitude all the time?  The band-aid is their attitude they can hide behind it and act anyway they want.  However the real issue is they have issues lying dormant that become seeds of bigger problems down the line.

Another issue with band aids is leaving them on past there time.  If you ever have left the band-aid on too long then you know how dirty they look and gross they can get.  Sometimes in leaving them on too long you invite more issues.  Apply that to your life.  The issue may have been minor but now with the extended wearing of the band-aid your issues can’t air, can’t heal, can’t get better.

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Lastly not all minor cuts and abrasions even need a band-aid in the first place.  Sometimes you just need to let some air on it and it will be fine.

How do you recognize the difference? The way the issue is coming out.  When you get a cut or scrap the amount of blood that comes from it will be a factor.  So if you get into an argument with a loved one and its about something minor that doesn’t require immediate attention then ok.  If you are involved in an argument that is about anything that is putting you in jeopardy of your peace or safety then the band-aid is necessary.

If removing yourself temporarily from something helps than ok there’s your band-aid.  Once you have a cool down moment then peel the band-aid off, address the situation and allow healing to come in.  However if temporarily leaving the situation or person alone hasn’t resolved you may need more attention, prayer, pressure, exit plan, etc.

Someone reading this may think this is so off base and reaching but think about it.  The very thing you say is okay but keeps creeping up sometimes show exactly where you are. If you think you don’t need to apply the principle of the band-aid let me assure you, your heart knows better.

Revamp your Valentines Day – Step your game up! Couples Edition

Sigh it’s that time of the year where the single gag and the coupled try to pour the gift giving on super thick.

Well ladies and gentleman-shout out to my male readers, it’s time to step it up.  So yes for my male readers who need me to say it yes Valentine’s day is super commercialized.  There you got it a female admitting to its high price crazy of the day, however as a female I say let me give you a better way of addressing this day.

So ladies, doesn’t chocolates, flowers and cards sound beautiful? Of course it does but let’s get creative.  One of the reasons why we as women love the day is we want to feel like we are number one.  Let me help you out on a little secret.  If your boo treats you like crap all year and grabs a bouquet of store-bought flowers and that does it for you, we’ll then maybe we need a separate blog for you.  My hope is that your boo is yours, and is generally thoughtful all year-long.

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Ladies let’s own that we can be some complex beings so if your boo got only the cliché candy and flowers and you secretly and generally are disappointed well maybe it’s because you aren’t communicating your needs.  Yes your man is supposed to express his love for you however wouldn’t it be nice to have a little direction.  There’s no written law that says you can’t tell him what you like.

For the ladies who says I’m not telling him what I want because that takes the happiness of the holiday away practice those smiles you’re going to need them.  Ladies let’s not be selfish, we also have to be willing to step it up too.  Men love gifts just as much as we do.  Yes your man wants to be showered too.  So no more card and shirts.  How about gifting him with a day out.  My other suggestion is to go small and meaningful.  Buy a bunch of little gifts and turn it into a scavenger hunt.  This idea will allow you as a woman to add personal touches that take the holiday to another cool level.

Another thing about Valentine’s day is the art of being romanced.  Yes so while you’re buying gifts gentleman think about making her night or weekend one for the books by being concerned about how to make her smile.  If you never cooked her a meal, partner up with a good cook and make it a night in she will always remember.  Restaurants will be super booked and overpriced anyway so keep the magic burning from start to finish in the confines of your own home.

Another suggestion for making it a great holiday is to be creative and think outside the box.  It’s winter and all types of cold turn your home into a little picnic area for you and your sweetie.  Yes nothing says love like a little one on one time.  How about indulge in your sweet tooth.  Yes bake together.  What? Yes get some cute aprons and turn the heat up by getting a recipe and baking together it could lead to a little baking later.

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Turn your home into an indoor spa for two.  This can be done by going to your local Wal-Mart or target and obtaining in luxurious but inexpensive finds and allowing you to take turns pampering your significant other.  Also don’t be afraid to shop early.  Stores are already gearing up for the day.

The purpose is to keep one another in mind while you get trinkets of your personal expression to each other.

My hope is that you think out the box and make it yours.  Don’t worry about what your significant other will be posting on Facebook and Instagram always keep in mind just because it’s posted doesn’t always make it a love made in heaven.  Your only job is make the night or weekend special for you and your mate just as special as they mean to YOU.

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Ask Toi: How do I handle a boss that doesn’t take responsibility of actions?

Well its Friday let’s first be grateful for that.  Let me say to any former bosses I have that all have been gracious but not all have gotten it right.  I’ve been avoiding this Ask Toi for a few days just because I have had personal experience with this on so many levels. I don’t know of anyone who has never had conflict with their bosses at any given point.  It’s how you handle it that counts.

A boss that doesn’t take responsibility for his/her actions can be one of the most annoying things ever.  It can depend on the severity of what is going on that can make for a hostile work environment.  You have to be willing to have an action plan and make some hard decisions.

Bosses are human you have to be willing to extend a certain amount of grace.  Yes grace.  You I’m sure have made mistakes on a job and no doubt didn’t want someone to blow up about it.  My first suggestion in your action plan is to write down what is happening with your boss.  When you write it down remove how you feel.  I didn’t say remove it from your mind.

Once you have written it down, set an appointment to meet with your boss and communicate what it is you are seeing and be willing to listen.  If you want you can come prepared with solutions to the problem as well.  If after you have met and spoken to your boss you felt a sense of resolve than great if not let’s explore more steps.

Depending on your company there could be set procedures for when you haven’t resolved conflict.  Follow those rules.  If that means having a meeting with human relations than set the meeting.  Your objective is to be heard but not come off as a complainer.

After you have met, taken the necessary protocols within your company you have to be willing to make hard decisions.  Some situations we have to move on and they aren’t worth much energy but then there are some issues that can’t be ignored.  Disrespect can be viewed differently from person to person.  If you are being berated or yelled at in front of other co workers that is a huge no no.  I had a boss once that thought this type of behavior was okay.  He/she would constantly yell about something and make a scene.  I talked to this boss several times and nothing, it continued.  I gave my two weeks’ notice and moved on.

I had a boss that thought it was ok to play the throw me under the bus game.  It was constantly my fault no matter what.  Some positions this is going to be the norm to an extent, however after a while and especially when you show your boss that it’s not your fault and they can’t look pass again you have decisions to make.  Some bosses don’t get that once they throw you under the bus to others that other team members don’t treat you with respect since that boss has shown the same level of disrespect and this is when hostile working environments are created.

Yes sometimes after meetings and communication some bosses just are with flaws and those flaws just can’t be worked with.  They are the boss and we are to respect them as such but pass small personality clashes, anything that goes against company policies, anything that is disrespectful where you can’t do your job, anything that is deemed inappropriate should always start with communication.

My issues with some company structures is that they are about that bottom line.  Some bosses have the accolades to be in their position but lack interpersonal skills.  Some bosses rise to the top but forget what it’s like to be at your position.  Your objective is to do an outstanding job.  Your objective is to get all task completed.  You are not there to be your bosses friend.  You are not required to have or maintain a relationship after you clock in or out.  If you can’t just stay focus while you are at the job and you can’t be under your bosses supervision then make an exit plan.   Never discuss with other co workers how you feel.  They will for the most part undercut you when the timing is right.  Also don’t discuss with others due to the fact that if you are moved to another department, the backlash will follow you and you don’t need the aggravation.

If you leave your job altogether and your job does an exit interview, complete it.  This isn’t the time to tell your boss where to go.  This is the time to give your sound input on what would make your boss better.  Just because it didn’t work out for you doesn’t mean it won’t work out altogether for the next person. Always remain professional even when you really don’t want to.  Nothing is worst than burning bridges.  Some people are just unwilling to listen until they are hit with losing their best worker.

I wish you much success even if that means finding the job and environment that best serves you.  As always if you can help it never leave one situation until you have a back up.  If you simply can’t wait for a back up then make that decision after careful thought.  Good luck!

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Cracking the He Completes me Myth

It’s a snowy day where I am so if you are dealing with the same weather I wish you warmth and the best hot tea or hot chocolate you can find.

So if this is your first time readying today let me just say that today’s topic might catch you off guard cause the dose of real is going to be strong today.  To my regulars, well let’s dive right in.

To my newly engaged, wanting to be married, or already married let’s debunk a myth today….he completes me.  I don’t know where this phase started but we must end this and quick.  Love is a beautiful thing no doubt but to suggest that a man or a woman completes you is just not true.

To complete something is to say that you aren’t whole.  Words have life and death in them.  We have to be careful of what we put out in the atmosphere.  A man doesn’t come on the scene and all of a sudden is a missing part of you.  I honestly think this is some conception we got from watching too many romantic comedies.

Set aside the wedding day and let’s talk about the marriage.  What’s the average wedding cost these days?  I’ll go with the about $30,000.  That’s almost someone’s yearly salary.  With all these reality television shows, the theme of go bigger or go home helps feed into all the prep of having these over glorified weddings.  Now don’t get me wrong we as little girls have dreams of what a wedding day will look like, but we need to also put time into what our marriage looks like.

One thing that will come up when you get married if you haven’t dealt with it is any issues you haven’t dealt with in your childhood.  Yes I’m guessing with ring shopping no one told you that part.  If you have issues you have laid dormant they have a way of popping up in the course of your marriage.  His being in your life will not fix that.

To my married ladies, how much time did you actually prepare for the marriage?  Did you go to pre-marital counseling? Did it help? Did you have to go to counseling during the marriage? Did you have serious talks about how you would navigate during the marriage with all the major topics?  These things are really important to do.

Do I think a man comes in your life and is everything you ever wanted.  Yes that’s how it should be.  Can he be like Kevin hart calls his fiance, a rib? Yes something that is a PART of you but not all of you.  We have to debunk this myth cause some women get married and forget themselves trying to be a perfect wife and don’t create a balance.  We have to debunk this myth so the minute this man leaves us or doesn’t behave the way we want them to we don’t lose it.  Yes if you and your husband break up there’s an immediate sadness and a lot of emotions that comes along with separation but some women can’t navigate without their man.

I’ve heard so many times I just can’t live without him and to them it’s a real feeling.  My mother told me real quick before I got married, love that man and be the best you can for him but keep in the back of your mind that you can be single at any time.  She was quick to let me know that life happens and you need to know that.  How many men die and the wife doesn’t know anything about how the finances were being handled, can’t write a check, doesn’t drive, can’t work, and is totally dependent.  Ladies I’m not suggesting that you live single-minded in a marriage that goes against everything I believe in.  What I am saying is that you got to be a whole women who is fine with a man, love that man, but also be able to be yourself with or without that man.

If you think I’m off let’s examine this a little further.  How many women who complain all the time about losing themselves in a relationship? A whole lot.  They will be the same ones who will say I just did everything to make the man happy.  Making your husband happy should be along with also making yourself happy and finding that balance.

Ladies we all know what it’s like to let anything whether husband or not just take over.  Lets change the he completes me to he compliments me or to just he makes me the happy.  We can be whole women who find the love that makes us just love love.