Tag Archives: gossip

Miss Congeniality’s Sister: Sandra Bullied

When Ms. Bullock’s forgotten sister gets bullied in school, more hurtful gossip’s sure to be on the horizon than usual. Bringing up sister.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have two daughters and one of them gets cyber bullied and bullied in school, while her sister is Miss Popular. This makes the picked on one feel even worse. How do help her? — Torn Dad

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Dear Torn Dad,

I’m sorry to hear about your family’s pain and your daughters’ (both of them) situation. While it’s pretty easy to see how difficult your bullied daughter must have it, it may be less obvious what your more popular daughter is feeling around her sister’s situation at their school. Some of her feelings might surprise you — they may have common ground in shame while experiencing/expressing it very differently. Aside from informing and involving school officials (and why not any other support groups your family may be involved with, such as your church or cyber bullying organizations), holding regularly scheduled supportive and strategic family meetings towards encourage your daughters (and by extension, your family) to work as a team (solidarity, identifying and less loneliness for both) to soothe if not conquer the abusiveness, and build up self-esteem. From A-Z in the process, enable the sisters’ truthful sharing by embracing both seemingly positive and negative emotions offered. Shedding light on them is the most important part, not that someone may have what may on the surface appear to be “inappropriate” feelings (i.e., shame or embarrassment of either the situation or her sibling). If they weren’t close before, sharing this experience may help them forge a bond that could long outlive your family unit.

Some previous GWBW posts (search “bully” at our site for others):

Bull Dozing Billy

Bully Schoolyard, Parents Want Discipline

(building character) Dodgeball, In or Out of Bounds?

Basic cyber bullying TIPS:

• Delete messages from offenders without reading them

• Don’t try to seek revenge or cyber bully back, or someone else

Awareness of why teens bully:

• It gives them attention

• They think everyone cyberbullies

Stay aware of your kids’ friends on- and offline. Talk openly and regularly about their online activities, and restrict computer time to homework and approved sites and (email) lists.

No Bully Zone,

BadWitch

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Your Witches are in a period of time when family issues are omnipresent for us each. Send some love and light to GoodWitch and her fam today especially. Thank you.

Image: Chris Whitehead, Getty Images

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Dressed for Success? Or GNO?

When your smart friend makes inappropriate work clothes choices, how do you tell her it’s not Girl’s Night Out? Telling the empress she might be better off naked than hoochie.  — BadWitch

P.S. Happy Martin Luther King Day. Spread the Dream.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I met my best friend at our work. Sometimes she dresses like a hoochie mama. Or like she’s ready for the club more than a meeting. How do I tell her? I don’t want to hurt her feelings.  — What Not to Wear

 

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Dear What Not to Wear,

It’s tough when your girlfriend thinks she’s amazing crazy, sexy, cool in the VIP lounge and the queen of the boardroom, too. Props for her confidence, but should someone’s self-esteem be tied to their sexuality, it can be an extra confusing line to tow. We know that no woman enjoys having anyone tell her she doesn’t look her best or most professional (and in certain environs, the line for appropriate women’s work apparel can be even thinner). Challenge! Be a BFF by telling your girl the truth but with the intention of helping her excel in the workplace by reinforcing the best of what makes her confident.

You know her personality best (and the healthy dosage of reality you can administer before she ODs and crashes), so keep that in mind while telling her something like this: “As your office BFF, you know how much I admire your skills and how smart you are here at work. But having gone clubbing with you, too, sometimes it seems to me that you confuse your two lives through your choice of work clothes. In the office I want your image to reflect your successful work, so I’m suggesting that you might consider clothes that people who aren’t your BFFs can recognize your smarts right away in. Maybe longer skirts and higher tops (fill-in-her-offenses), are more appropriate work clothes? The only reason I wanted to tell you this is so you can do something productive about it. I only ever have your best interest in mind.” Then drop it. If she is ready, she will take in what you suggest and enact her own spin on it, if not, she will probably still hear it subconsciously and file it away for later.

Smart friends speak up with love,

BadWitch

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Dear What Not to Wear,

Much like telling a friend their mate is cheating on them, tread very carefully. If your friend is dressing like a “hootchie mama” obviously she draws a lot of her sense of self-worth from her sexiness. Asking her to tamp that down or letting her know you find it inappropriate, it may be taken as more of a personal slap than intended.

I find television to be very instructive. Style Network’s “How Do I look?” may be a great addition to your DVR cue. Then maybe a night with some wine, TV and well-placed comments. This show has friends tell friends when their “look” is inappropriate—either too trashy or, well, too trashy. The show even offers coaching for contestants, as well as makeovers, so you hear first-hand how to talk someone down off the Hootchie Mama Wagon.

Watch the show before-hand and decide whether you want to take your friend to dinner (definitely with wine) and discuss the issue of whether you want to do a covert, “Let’s watch some TV at my house. I saw the funniest new makeover show!” Perhaps check into some resources for personal shoppers and fashion consultants. Give your friend the opportunity to discover other sides about herself.

And lastly, somewhere in all this, let your friend know that she is a sexy, beautiful woman to the degree that flaunting her sexuality can create unnecessary competition, jealousies and unwanted attention. Let her know that you love and respect her. Let her know she’s sexy even wearing a garbage bag. Help her see her sexuality in more ways than a super short hemline and low cut blouse.

Be a friend. Tell the truth—one way or another.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

 

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

 

 

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Money, Irresponsibility & Angry Siblings

When adult siblings view responsibility and money differently, someone can end up eating an angry, bitter sandwich.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I know I’m a shit but I can’t take it anymore. My sister is a total loser and left everything for me to do with our aging, frail mother. I love her and wouldn’t not take care of her! All her life our parents helped that family charity case out, and now she’s nowhere to be found, but mom always asks me if she’s ok and needs money!!! I have to do every f**g thing by myself and I already know she’s going to get at least half of all of it when mom dies. Should I seek legal recourse? Mom would never go for it I can already tell you.   Under the Bus

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Dear Under the Bus,

Muffin, I hear ya. Make your own daily life easier (if only by the law), by as early on as the situation makes appropriate, taking control and getting Power of Attorney. It’s tough enough you have to do all the work, it’s untenable to feel or be obligated to get approvals and sign-offs from absent (or even unqualified) siblings. I’m afraid the broad strokes of your scenario are so common as to be stereotypical: the care of aging parents often falls on one sibling while the other(s) very often do absolutely nothing to help and disappear (if they ever scuttled into the light) back into the woodwork. I know. I know. This is life at its unfairest of all, Snow White. Addressing possible extenuating circumstances why a sibling may choose not to help an aging parent(s) can range from super clear and absolutely legit to totally false and lazy — so I will not insult you by pointing out any of those reasons. If I had The Answer to this problem (that will only increase in our aging population), I would have a truly golden inheritance (but I thank the Universe that not all siblings are absent burdens!). Instead, I will just offer you the support that sometimes responsible and fair-playing adults left out in the cold need: despite appearances, you are not alone. If you have one, lean on your belief system that says the just will be vindicated — whether with a heavenly reservation or frequent karmic reward points. I say, don’t focus on people’s shortcomings and their inability/unwillingness, rather work on your own weaknesses, expand your own abilities, willingness in life, and reward own damn self by simply recognizing your love for a parent(s) who likely gave you all they had to give, and possibly sacrificed silently for your betterment over their own immediate gratification, and — this is the trick and the trickiest of all, I find — be your own best parent in the darkest times. [And you know what, BadWitch thinks that aging parents are very probably getting the best choices made for them by the one child who is actually doing all the hands on work, than by a committee confederacy of reluctant dunces, anyway…]

Get out of under & drive your bus,

BadWitch

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Dear Under the Bus,

I wish your situation was an anomaly, but I’ve heard it too many times before. My heart and my prayers go out to you and your aging mother.  Personally, I recognize how lucky I am to have siblings that care as much and work as hard (if not harder) in some cases than I do in caring for my elderly parents. But every time I call a doctor or caregiver about my parents, I hear the shock that a child is following up to help her parents. What?! Apparently responsibility is a virtue some just do not know how to step up to.

My suggestions? Write up a letter of expectations for your sibling. Outline not only the hours but expenses you have incurred in order to take care of your mother. (Yes, I would include gas and mileage, as well as phone costs.) Outline what you would like her help with. Be clear though, she’s not stepping up without some push back. Don’t give her critical jobs (paying caregivers, rent, etc.) But have her follow up with docs and caregivers and report back to you. Sadly, you will probably have to check up on her in some micromanaging way. Yes, even following up with the doctors after she does so you know she is giving you thorough, accurate reports.

This will frustrate you initially and piss you off to no end. But the truth is, you need to treat your sister like a tenured employee with no sense of responsibility. You want to fire her. You want to yell and kick her to the curb, but you can’t. She’s family, not an employee. But in the end if you can show her how to step up and help you, you may have the assistance you want in the end.

However, just in case she continues to be self-obsessed, irresponsible and unavailable, even after you have outlined what’s what, keep a thorough record of your expense and hours of work for your mother, as well as all the times you asked for assistance and her response. At some point very soon, you will have a document, which clearly shows her lack of care in black and white. Then consult an attorney to see if you have any recourse. If yes, time to talk turkey with your sister so she knows to step up or lose out.

The truth is you will never change how your mother babies your sister. A mother can go to the grave making excuses for the ones she loves rather than facing a hurtful truth. Is it really your job to make your mom fee any worse than she already does because her kid’s a flake?

You may have to suck it up. It sucks, but your mom needs care and you can only do so much to make someone else step up to assist you. In truth, my suggestions may still lead to more work, no help and no recourse, but as with all things in life, you gotta try the best you can to make things work out. Not trying will leave you empty, angry and bitter. And if in the end your sister does not step up and help, you just have to accept it because that is what is. The inheritance your mother intends to leave your sister is not because of the work she has or has not done. It is because your mom (for better or for worse) loves her child and wants to leave her part of what she’s accomplished in this life as a reminder of that love.

Your job is not to make your mom see your sister is a flake. Your job is not to try and ruin whatever imaginary, co-dependant relationship they have before your mom leaves this earth. Your job is to do your best to live the best life you can for you, which, yes, includes taking responsibility and caring for your mom. Bottom line: life is not always fair, but karma is. Know that in some way at some point in time the Universe will say “thank you,” for all you’ve done. But whatever you do, do it with an open heart of love and giving. Gifts steeped in resentment can leave a nasty after taste—for you and your mother. Know that you are doing what you do for the right reasons and everybody who needs to know that, really does. Including your mom, whether she’s able to express that to you or not. But you know. Find a way to make peace that you know what you do and you are proud of what you do. I am proud of you.

Mantra: I give because I want to and the giving feeds me as much as those I give of my time, energy and dedication. I cannot compare what I give to someone else, I can only express my best work every day and express my gratitude to myself for doing so. I am at peace leaving the ultimate judgment and tally to karma, knowing all is divinely perfect— even if I cannot see how or why right now.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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Image: Jose Luis Merino

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. All rights reserved.

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Cheating Boyfriend, Third Wheel Jealousy

This is IT. GWBW is taking a break all August. Please RSS or EM subscribe now. SEE YOU BACK HERE MON, SEPT 13 — that’s a new date.

Not all coffee and emails are created equally. How to tell if you’re a wronged third wheel or worrying needlessly.      — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Do you two consider coffee and emailing an ex- cheating on a current? My partner says I have nothing to worry about, but an ex- found him at a social and they’ve been chatting ever since, and I seriously think they met for the coffee they kept talking about. I’m trying not to be jealous but he complained about me to this guy! WTF? Third Wheel

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Dear Third Wheel,

If both of you are under the impression you’re in a committed exclusive relationship at the same time, I don’t see why you wouldn’t want to know, and if your partner treats you as an equal, then you shouldn’t be left out of (the understanding about) this supposedly innocent coffee. I think your instincts are right about the complaining, unless he’s a total gossip (and maybe he is) — why is he seeing this person he’s supposedly done with and whom he still has complaints? Something sounds cheesy in Danish land. Danger, Will Robinson!

Ask and don’t worry about sounding jealous. Being reasonable is being responsible to yourself, Wheelie.

No lumps,

BadWitch

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Dear Third Wheel,

Don’t put yourself in the outsider looking in position. You are the current and the ex is the ex. First and foremost keep your positioning straight in your head. This is not the time to come off like the jealous mate who’s ready to assume the position of second fiddle. First and foremost believe in you and that no one has the ability to take away what is yours. Remember, if it flies away of its own accord, you can do better.

Now, it could be that the ex is just moving into the realm of friend. I currently have two exes on my Facebook. Of course, there are other exes who did not get friended—despite the messages—because, well, the vibe was not right. Before you hit freak-out that there is an ex on the screen, make sure the vibe has actually crossed into something beyond friendship. Coffee does not necessarily mean the line has been crossed.

Now, how do you know you’ve been complained about? I mean, was this some kind of public wall post (which would have its own comments regarding propriety)? Or have you been peeking in message folders and email? Be sure before you defend reasonable boundaries of your relationship, you are respecting reasonable boundaries of privacy. That being said, I guess I wonder at what was said. Is it a light jab at your cooking or actual complaints about deal breaking issues that are better left out of convos with exes? Either way, if you are uncomfortable with your relationship particulars being on the table for conversation, tell your partner. Honest communication will do best. Of course, if there is some illegal search and seizure involved in the acquisition of this information, be prepared to deal with the backlash.

All I can suggest is honest communication. Speak up where you feel uncomfortable. Ask for what you want. But remember, if you are doing some jealous shrew act rather than the trusting and trustworthy (to not invade privacy) partner, you have more issues to discuss.

If you feel uncomfortable, ask. Ask about the relationship. Ask about the new found friendship, what broke them up and what feels good about friending this person now. Don’t ask like a jealous partner. Ask like an interested partner. “I noticed you friended…” Let your partner know that you are interested by who is let into the Facebook inner circle and why.

I know why my exes are there. One is funny as hell and his day-to-day is more interesting then most peoples super happy incredible moments. The other is brilliant, seriously. He rarely posts but each one makes you think. My guess, is your partner knows why this person is back on the wallposts. Don’t fret in silence. Ask for the whys.

Fret less, know more,

GoodWitch

==

Image: Third Wheel

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


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High School Reunion: The Potentially Non-Musical

After stepping off the graduation stage, whether goth, jock or class clown, one thing’s for sure: most of us get to live a lot more life. Comparing ambition, failure, success…or cutting this class, too.    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My 20th high school reunion is coming up and I’m worrying about going. I haven’t done anything, nothing’s changed for me, and I know all these people will be far along and successful. I guess my only problem is I was very popular back in the day, and really want to go party and just see some old friends just for the hell of it. Do you think it’s worth it? — Ex-King of the Hill

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Dear Ex-King of the Hill,

Darlin’, the only concern I have for you and yours are that each of the reunions tend to reflect where we are as a group in broad, general developmental ways — and the 20 is all about showboating. You seem like a pretty confident guy back in the day, and now for simply stating that you “really want to go and just see some old friends for the hell of it.” So beyond having answered your own question, here are the two cents you asked for.

High school elicits such a range of emotion and associations for us all, but brush aside that fairy dust (or old dusty crap, in others’ cases) and just go and add another today chapter to the tome that is the Book of Your Life. Hell, whether shunned outsider or Prom King, if anyone is remotely interested in going and seeing what some of their old friends have gotten up to over the years, has enough cash-ola to put their money where their inquiring mind is, they should go to at least one high school reunion. This ritual is like a social Rorschach test that shines some light on how far — or whether, if — we’ve become comfortable in our own skin. That self-knowledge: priceless.

So I say stretch and warm up, go and rediscover your friends as they are today, reintroduce them to the new old you, and make yourself sore the next day from dancing or belly laughing way too much.

Graduating,

BadWitch

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Dear Ex-King of the Hill,

Wow, are you still comparing yourself to the high school hero? When you say you haven’t done anything, I wonder at how much you are either undervaluing the life you have created for yourself or measuring success by standards that really don’t compute for the average human being. The high school hero can be a crippling archetype for post-high school life. Time to take stock of your life—now—as it really is.

Have you been employed, have a job, family or significant partner? Have you made friends? Have you had times over the last years that have made you smile to remember? Then you have lived since high school. Stands of people may not be chanting your name or doing everything you say or do like nice little toadies. People may not dress like you or name you the guy to date, but in the real world, you are making a living and making a life—even if no one but you chants your name.

Reuniting with friends isn’t about some Romy & Michele “I invented post-it-notes” moment. It is about reconnecting with the people you cared about. It’s about remembering the good times of the past. It may be just the thing to get you revved up again. After all, if you think your life thus far amounts to “nothing,” you may very well need a pep rally with a cocktail.

Remember, the sum of your life is what you think it is worth. If some other humans love you, realize that is an accomplishment worth noting. If you have learned a trade, you have grown as a person. Start a gratitude list that reviews the last few years of your life. Then remember every day is a new opportunity to make things happen. Investigate going back to school or a better job if that’s what you want. Start exercising because the endorphins released will start you on the road to feeling like a new man.

Remember that you are the only person in the world who does it like you do. You are special. You are one of a kind. Then write yourself notes that you can see on the refrigerator, the bathroom mirror, the car dash board that remind you of the things you like about you. “I have a great smile.” “I’m a good driver.” Whatever. The more you can remind yourself that you are worthy, the more you are living.

So, keep telling yourself what you like about you and your life. Get a good walk or jog in a few times a week and get ready to see some old friends. No one is better than you because they are doctors, lawyers or business owners. Doctors go bankrupt under heavy tuition debt. Lawyers are underemployed and unemployed. Business owners lose their businesses. Life doesn’t start because you have a title. It’s the life part that matters. Take stock of yours and be glad. You are alive.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.


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Creepy Central’s Weird Doorman

Ideally, coming home should comfort, soothe and relax you. When a creep holds open the door to your sanctuary.    — BadWitch

P.S. Connect with us! Let us know which of these ideas and tips resonate, or work/don’t work for you.

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have a weird one for you. I live in a secure building with a doorman. I’ve known the day duty one for about a year, but he’s now weirding me out. I don’t like how he stares at everyone, not just me! No one else I brought this up to seems to want to speak up to the tenant’s board. Am I being an ass—- if I bring it up? I don’t want to get anyone fired or disciplined unfairly. — Willa Willies

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Dear Willa Willies,

If you feel that something’s wrong, there’s more than a slightly good chance that something is. When we listen to our instincts instead of trying to stuff them down in favor of social protocol or other society behavior-editing reasons, we usually do better by our selves and save a lot of grief in the long run. Besides, the basic definition of “instinct” inclines us toward evolution, you know…survival.

Having said that, you’re right, you can’t just accuse someone with no proof of wrongdoing or a legitimate charge to bring against him. But there’s nothing to stop you from voicing your feelings to an authority figure. I once worked in an office where whenever one of the owner’s friends came to visit, the red flag of every woman in the place was raised — strongly, viscerally. And this guy hadn’t tried anything with us, either. It wasn’t until we chatted casually about “Mack,” as I’ll call him here, that we realized we all had the same creepy if inexplicable feeling about him. You know that’s enough basis for this BadWitch to approach the owner, ask him about Mack’s background and let him know clearly that the women were universally uncomfortable around him — while underscoring that we had nothing solid to substantiate why. My tone wasn’t gossipy nor slanderous, I was giving voice to a real concern…and getting it on record. Go chat with your tenant board’s president, the more board members (ideally only, at once), the better, and clearly and non-emotionally air your concerns. Getting them on record would be even more ideal, but again, simply alerting someone in authority about tenant uneasiness is important. This action holds the authority figure(s) to some level of responsibility in just knowing there might be an issue to deal with. If s/he and the board are like most, they are there to serve the tenants’ interest and usually want to. Additionally, it is your right to know if his employment background check yielded anything of concern to the safety of tenants, with whom he interfaces every day.

Honor your instincts,

BadWitch

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Dear Willa Willies,

Trusting your intuition is so important! How many times have we heard the news stories about people who have had awful things happen to them, who said quite clearly, I thought something was wrong, but I didn’t want to “be impolite,” “get someone in trouble.” We know when some situation or person is making us feel uncomfortable. That is your 6th sense telling you to take care of yourself because something is not right.

If you’ve known this doorman for about a year, but this new behavior is starting to suddenly freak you out, there may well be a new issue that needs to be addressed. You don’t know what’s going on in this person’s personal life. He could be on meds he has stopped taking. He may have some anger issues, which are now coming up and need expressing. You don’t know.

But what you do know is that he is making you uncomfortable. Go have a talk with the tenant’s board. How would you feel if you said nothing and then someone in your building was hurt? Explain to the Board that he’s been fine for almost a year, but recently has seemed strange—staring at people in a way that makes you uncomfortable. Let them know you don’t want to get anyone fired unfairly, but that you wanted to speak up ANONOMOUSLY, so that someone could talk to him about what’s going on and find a solution. Truth is, it could be anything as benign as cataracts, you don’t know. But not taking control of your own safety will only undermine your ability to feel comfortable and free in your own home. Does that make sense?

On an energetic level, I suggest doing some daily meditation work.

1. Imagine the who building having a grounding cord that runs all the way down to the very center of the Earth. It is plugged in there allowing any negative energy to filter out of the building to be recycled at the center of the Earth.

2. Imagine the building filling up with a beautiful pink energy with gold flecks. This is the energy of compassion. Allow this cleansing energy to fill the building, clearing out any animosity and again flowing to the center of the Earth to be recycled.

3. Call in extra help from the Angels. Ask them, especially Archangel Michael to surround you and your loved ones. Ask them to protect you from any dangerous situations. It may sound far-fetched, but you will actually feel peace…and get the extra help you need.

Remember, your safety should be your number one priority. If you trade it in for popular opinion or politeness, you lose not only part of your self-esteem and sense of self, but your sense of personal ability to care and protect yourself. Take care of you and let the chips fall where they need to.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your brewing questions on how to thrive—not just survive— modern life to: coaching@stillsitting.net.

© 2009-2017 ManifestGroup. No materials may be used without expressed written permission.

Responsible Advice and Other GPS Utilities

Navigating the world can be a tough act. Sometimes we seek advice as the WD40 for life. How to give good advice and stopping the addiction of hearing yourself speak.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Wazup wiotches??!!! Your blog is amazing. I like giving advice too. When I do it for friends, it seems like I always get in trouble later when things go wrong and they yell at me. Wazup with that?! Scapegoat

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Dear Scapegoat,

I love you, too, ya lil blamed Capra. And thanks.

“Advice” can be a sharp or blunt tool, depending on who’s doing the wielding. My advice to you: operate yours wisely. Give advice only when asked. Be judicious in over-sharing your personal take as the Right Answer for everyone/-thing. When giving or taking advice, one should always consider the source; non-biased advice borders on being an oxymoron. Given the reaction you report, be extra careful not to advise one friend against another or similar polar-resulting recommendations. In other words, flex and warm-up first, successful advice giving is all in the intention.

A longtime friend of mine read our blog and commented that advice was hearing what you already knew but needed permission to do. That’s true for some folks, others do need help seeking direction or options. The reasons for needing advice are as complex as sometimes giving good words is. Keep that in mind the next time your friends actually ask your for your two cents. Quietly shrug and ask them, “I don’t know. What do you think?” See how that works for ya.

Finally, we write our advice blog as an adjunct to our coaching and e-learning program, and as a way to introduce our point of view. We also genuinely enjoy helping as well as entertaining, and know the difference. Ask yourself why you give advice so freely, Scapegoat?

Sherpa yourself, baby,

BadWitch

==

Dear Scapegoat,

Thanks for the kudos!

Well, you can lead a horse to water…Giving advice is a tricky business. It’s easy to spout off your opinion, but not as easy to detach from the outcome. It’s also easy to tell others how they should roll, but if it’s steeped in critical judgment, it’s can have a harsh backlash.

Do not judge. You may not agree with everything, but remain open—even while giving advice that says “I don’t agree.” Start from a place of acceptance. I don’t expect any of us humans to look at the world, much less upsetting problems, the same way. So I offer information, encouragement and, yes, some Good Witch fairy dust along with good advice. Then, I let it go. I work very hard to not be tied to the outcome. That learning and practice—constant practice—keeps me from being too attached to whether or not someone followed my advice. Because quite often—they don’t.

But all I can say is, don’t take it personally! Giving advice is an offering, not a guarantee of 100% perfect outcome. Do not take responsibility for someone else’s life. That, too, is part of not being too attached. However, if you gave advice that someone followed and it turned out badly, then apologies are in order. Try to stay away from absolute answers—the kind that hold the implied 100% guarantee. Leave room for the unexplored, the unknown, other possibilities and, of course, the querent’s own free will.

My advice to you is to offer your knowledge with love, as well as an open mind and heart. Allow people to live their lives recognizing that no one is obliged to take your advice and you are not responsible for the outcome. Yes, bad advice does deserve an apology. In some cases as it’s as benign as “Oh, sorry that shampoo didn’t work out for you.” But, even if it deserves a more potent apology, remember free will trumps advice in the responsibility scale. In other words, sure Eve could say, “Sorry, Adam, I guess eating the apple wasn’t a great idea.” But in the end, advice or no, Adam decided to take the bite. Free will. He chose. His responsibility.

So, I guess all I can tell you is to keep doing your thing. In the end, we give advice because we want to help. For all the haters, I’m sure you have some cheerleaders too. We can’t help everyone, so just keep doing you. It’s the role of a lifetime!

Good luck,

GoodWitch

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