Tag Archives: guilt

Couple Gift Exchange, Tricky to Faux Pas Ridden

When new couples or other political power keg relationships start exchanging gifts, could be time to batten down the hatches. Figuring out what that gift is saying you’re saying, and how much so.      — BadWitch

P.S. We’ll be gone all August. Please RSS or EM subscribe now (options, look >>) so you don’t miss our homecoming!

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’ve been hanging out for two months with a woman I just started calling my girlfriend. Our birthdays happen to be in the same week, so we exchanged presents. Oops. Mine was under $40, and she spent like at least $150. What do think she expects of me? Should I feel guilty?Less Gifted

==

Dear Less Gifted,

Yikes. Sticky one! I find even with the hubster we can still have a difference of opinion about a gift’s “worth” — but by now, ours have everything to do with price (HA!), because we know when we give, we really mean it (having nothing to do with price). But unlike you, with so many anniversaries under our belt, any possible faux pas is not fraught with break up potential, quasi-political sentiment anymore. With your relationship still early in its development, now is the best time to set some boundaries and expectations together. Do I sound like I’ve been married a long time? Maybe, but really I recommend this course of action because I have known people who feel like they have to spend the big bucks to buy relationships and affection they don’t really feel worthy of. So that makes my dry recommendation more about a respectful relationship.

Make sure you are having the same relationship at the same time by chatting out: 1) what you want at this stage of your life from a relationship with her; and 2) set some pricing comfort levels for gifts for your first year (TBD if there is a second year, and so on). If you have this conversation properly and aren’t silly or completely freaked out about having this conversation properly, you two can have a far more stress-a-bit-less time and get back to the fun connection that brought you along to this stage. Gifts aren’t contracts, but budgets and past expectations sure seem like they are. When it comes to the gift giving, make sure to explicitly spell out your budgetary restraints/cheapness or extravagance level (hey!, all are legit, I’m just saying be clear), and that if she lets you work your way up the spending scale, you’re sure your nicer gifts will actually mean that much more to her. Guilt? Personally, I never feel guilty over what others spend or don’t spend on me — that’s their business — mine is to appreciate and accept what is given freely to me.

Nothing is gratis in life,

BadWitch

==

Dear Less Gifted,

Price tag is not the defining characteristic of what makes a great, memorable gift and what doesn’t. Sure, if you spent $40 on a towel set (impersonal) yes, she may be pissed. I would be. Hell, my parents or my boss might give the gift of towels. Now, bed sheets with color coordinated lingerie and homemade coupons offering sexual fantasies on request…that’s a gift.

The cost does not out way the thoughtfulness. Thoughtfulness trumps all. I mean, haven’t you seen The Gift of the Magi.

So, your girl spent the bucks on you. You know she’s a keeper. If you feel like your gift was woefully un-thoughtful and likely giving the impression that you don’t care, you need an add-on. What’s an add-on? A special “Our Birthday” surprise. If you’ve got the dough, think weekend at swank hotel with champagne, chocolates and spa treatments. A get-away or holiday to a special bed and breakfast.

If you don’t have that kind of bank, think well-prepared three-course meal with the lingerie and coupons.  I once created a board game (Score!) made a three course meal that finished with a lemon cake topped with rose petals. Didn’t actually have to spend much but time and effort. It remained a highlight of the relationship for ten years.

In other words, show up for her. Thoughtfulness does not just mean pricey. It means, ‘I thought about you, our relationship and what I could give you to enhance your life and make you smile.’

It’s not about guilt, which will do nothing for you, her or your relationship. Was she excited by the gift or did she look disappointed? If she looked disappointed know that the gift is not the sum total of your relationship. It is an indicator, however, so if you indicated slightly less feelings than you really want to, step up and take another swing at it. Cute, romantic and thoughtful are not about the price tag. Why do you think a stuffed animal, roses and a box of heart shaped chocolates made such a claim on Valentine’s Day.

Stop the self-flagellating and do something about it. If you still aren’t sure what to do, call her best friend and ask. You’ll get points from the friend for being thoughtful enough to check in with her to find your girlfriend something special. And, a good word from the friend is like, well, gold.

Give from the heart,

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.


Share

Payback. Late Personal Loan Embarrassing

Times are…weird. It’s hard enough if you have challenge paying your bills, but for the proud to ask for money is just about a killer. Late payback could be the last shovelful.     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Money’s tight so I borrowed some from an old buddy. I HATE to have to ask anyone for anything. I told him I’d pay him by the end of this month but now that’s just not going to happen. What’s the best way to tell him? — Skinny Wallet

==

Dear Skinny Wallet,

The opposite of how you asked him for the money in the first place, “with love.” Gather your thoughts, tell the guy straight up and immediately if you value your friendship. Manage his expectations and keep the mutual respect by working out with him and committing to your realistic new payment schedule. If he isn’t hurting too badly for money himself, he sounds like a good friend you could (and did ) rely on. If he can afford your loan but you still feel bad about the late payback, add interest if you haven’t already. Getting things in writing will keep things clearest and cleanest of all. If handled right, this sort of shared experience could possibly bring you closer.

On the other side of the same coin is the old adage, neither a lender or borrower be, and loans between friends have a lot of friendship demolition potential. Make sure you both handle your business (individually and together) professionally and responsibly as possible.

Payback doesn’t have to be a b*tch,

BadWitch

==

Dear Skinny Wallet,

Here’s another, I been there moment. Remember, the truth will set you free. But before you start crying about your money problems, take a moment, sit down and make an honest to God, true budget. Know how much money you are really working with after the money comes in, then ebbs out in the I-have-to-pay-this-or-they’re-going-to-cut-me-off bills.

Now, figure out how much you can pay your friend. Don’t expect a big check to come in, just expect that much like the credit card company and the electric bill, you’re going to have to pay monthly installments for a while. The truth is, your friend will be glad to see a consistent effort to pay what your owe, rather than the grand gesture of the big check all at once.

Now, once you know what you can pay and when, this friend pay-back bill must be treated like a they’re-going-to-cut-me-off-if-I-don’t-pay bill, because the truth is, your friend just might. So, figure out your installment plan. List the schedule of payments on your refrigerator, bulletin board—whatever—just make those payments on time.

Now call your friend. No need for a whole lotta sob story. Their feeling sorry for you makes you weak in their eyes (on some level). Be strong. Clearly state, “I overextended myself and thought I’d be able to pay you back at the end of this month, but I’m seeing that I’m just getting caught up from being behind. I have worked out a budget and payment schedule that I think will work.”

From there you two can have a real conversation about your friend’s needs on getting repaid and you ability to repay within a certain timeframe. You’ll feel better about approaching the situation head on and not needing to send you or your friend into some downward spiral of guilt and depression to get the job done.

I know the skinny wallet syndrome. Hold tight. Manage your budget and be sure to budget in a little $$ for savings. Even $10 or $20 a week will make a huge difference in your feelings of self-esteem. Once you have a cushion behind you and you know how to work with what you’ve really got (budget), you can start to make headway to a place where you don’t find yourself up against the wall and borrowing from friends.

A better day is coming. For real.

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.

The Break Up: Hurt Feelings Included

It’s not you, it’s me…Can we just be friends? Is it written in some sort of cultural code that breaking up is hard to do? When a perfectly good relationship has run its course, but…    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m a very mature 17 but want to break up with my 2 year long boyfriend but don’t know how. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, we didn’t have some big fight, but I don’t know how to let him down nicely and still be friends. — Can We Be Friends?

==

Dear Can We Be Friends,

Ah!, to be 17 and self-serving again. It’s a good time for these lessons, don’t forget it. This (being self-serving) doesn’t have to be a bad thing if you focus on doing no harm to yourself or others. Life is nothing but paradox, and the sooner you can wrap your mind around and accept it, the happier you will be.

Lil sister, you’re ready to move on but probably feel equally guilty for wanting to leave a guy who’s been very good to you; bitchy for wanting to date other guys who’ve shown interest in the hottie you are; and tired of his clinginess or inability to see you that what you have in common at 17 isn’t likely going to serve you post-college and into Real Life of your 20s and beyond (yes!, you will likely live even past your ancient 30s yikes). There are so many Tips On Dumping Mr. Wrong, so go find those if you need ‘em. Here, instead, I’m going to ask you to break up with him the way you’d like anyone to break up with you.

Sit him down in a neutral place, and tell him you two are going to talk today. You start. This is your convo, Ms. Thang. Try to be and stay very clear and succinct, “We’ve had a great run but it’s time to move on. But you’re important to me, so I want to tell you why I feel like this.” When it’s his turn to talk, listen, really listen. Try your best not to deviate, or let him, from the main purpose of this meeting: to break up civilly (and no reason why not, if all the rest you report is true). Ending by asking him to be friends may be a bit too much to outright stupid of you, so just see how the talk goes and allow him room to let him feel all his feelings over the next few days. Before parting this meeting, if you can manage it, set a phone date to check in and make sure you two are still ok and civil — about one week (7 whole days) seems right to me, and is about 6 months in teen years.

Much love to both your long treks,

BadWitch

==

Dear Can We Be Friends,

Maintaining a friendship past the break-up is not an easy thing to do—but definitely not impossible. Just remember to be respectful of whatever boundaries he puts up after the fact, while letting him know that you care about him and will always be there for him if he needs you.

Now as for “the conversation,” take the following into consideration:

1. No guilt. Remember that all relationships are not meant to last forever. If you feel that now is the time to split, respect your feelings..

2. Have compassion. Maybe the other person understands or maybe he was looking forward to a long future. No matter what, make an effort to understand where he is coming from.

3. Be clear. Talking around the point will only cause more confusion and hurt feelings. Think of it like ripping off the band-aid. Be straight-forward. There is time to discuss once the truth is out on the table.

4. Do not use the old standard, “It’s not you. It’s me.” It will only bring up every bad break-up seen before on TV or the movies. Will not help the “let him down nicely,” intention.

5. Speak your truth. Tell him from your heart how you feel. Let him know you care and have hopes for your future friendship. Let him know the truth behind his biggest question, “why?”

This probably won’t be the last time you have this conversation with someone you are dating. Sometimes you will give the speech, other times you will listen to it being delivered to you. No matter, remember every relationship will offer valuable information on who you are, what type of person you are attracted to and how you share yourself with others.

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.

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

==

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

==

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.

Working Parents Guilt. Dancing With the Stars and Beyond

No dancing around it. Our society is still conflicted about the role of the “good mother.”    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — Ok my circle of friends includes men and women and we can’t agree on the Kate Gosselin on ‘Dancing with the Stars’ thing. Should any primary caregiver spend so much time away from their kids?   — Dances With Guilt

==

Dear Dances With Guilt,

Whatchoo talkin’ ‘bout, Willis? Kate was working to support her kids via this show, not simply raising her celebrity or party time. Given that, I am not one who subscribes to the notion that what qualifies primary caregivers is only lots of face time with growing, developing kids. Quality counts. Also among primary caregivers’ responsibilities to children, is ensuring their kids’ circle of trustworthy, accountable adult guides/-ance is as wide as (relatively) possible. I don’t believe mommy (or daddy) at home is the only way to raise healthy, happy kids — now or even during Donna Reed daze.

Parenting is individual, but from the viewpoint of a former child whose mother loved working outside of the home, and then alternated having to stay home for a couple years with previously having a nanny, it’s not about the number of hours spent with kids, but consistency and structure of foundation of the family vision/mission— the kind of consistency I’m talking about, from a kids’ point of view, extends to when the parents are home or out of the house. This builds a true Northstar that kids can understand and rely on. Personally, when I think of “mommy at home” my first image is of mine crying out of frustration (no judgments!, she also baked cookies and played with us quite un-conflicted). The consistency and love in our home and family let me know undoubtedly that I was loved and wanted, but also that my mother was frustrated by her bubble with low to no daily adult stimulation. I Got how happy her work fulfillment made her, and how much easier and happier we were as a family unit when those things were in place. I was 6, the same age the Gosselin sextuplets are, I wasn’t confused (and doubt my brother was, either); kids are smart. Yep. Love, and happiness- and esteem-building are the consistency I’m talking about.

Did you ever watch their 5-season reality show (Jon & Kate Plus 8)? That mama ain’t no angel! But I’d love to get your take after your group debates what impact the actions of their “too-famous-to-get-a-job” dad who left them to have his mid-life crisis, then banned the show (the family’s primary income) from being produced without him, might have on their childhood development.

No guilt needed,

BadWitch

UPDATE: Cosmic unintended timing notes – Congratulations Nicole Scherzinger DWTS winner. R.I.P. Gary Coleman.

==

Dear Dances with Guilt,

What?! So we have kids and then we’re suppose to hang up our dancing shoes forever? I think that’s how we end up with Texas Cheerleading Moms who live through their kids to a super-unhealthy degree.

As I heard it, she had a dance studio built in her basement, practiced there and then traveled to tape the show. So, is she not suppose to work on her career because she;s needed at home wiping noses? Isn’t that why God created babysitters? After all, how is she suppose to support said kids if she ends up as a reality TV footnote? “*Was married to a putz. Had 8 kids and a short run reality TV show on TLC.”

As a mother, you do not push out a kid, sign the birth certificate and turn in your juju so you can be a capri-wearing-cropped-bobbed-hairdo-having-lunch-box-stuffing mother and nothing else.  Kate Gosselin spoke up, said she wanted to be on Dancing with the Stars She got her chance and worked hard to make the most of her dream. Now people want to judge her for reaching her dream while having the nerve to have kids? Really, if folks spent more time worrying about doing what is necessary to achieve their own dreams, there’d be a lot less hate and envy in the world.

I, too, am a single mom reaching for her dreams. I work full time and have extra curricular activities that do not include my children. However, I am in constant touch with my kids’ teachers, a member of the PTA, a cupcake baker, play date host and easy-listening my door and my arms are always open kind of mom. I believe showing my children the example of a hard-working, loving mom who knows how to multi-task and go after her dreams is one of the most potent gifts I can give my two girls.

Kate may not be the best dancer, but juggling rehearsals, performance and parenthood, I give her a 10!

More Mojo for All,

GoodWitch

==

Image: ABC, Adam Larkey

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.

22 & Never Been Employed

What to do when your close nephew is unemployed and not doing a thing about it? How much is too much “sharing” to kick his butt in gear to get a job?    — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — My best friend’s son is like a nephew to me and I’m worried about him now that he’s graduated high school. He obviously has no intention of ever going to college, but won’t get off his butt to get a job (he needs to be a barista, something, just work!) while he’s waiting for his “big job” to land in his lap. He only tried out for one civil service job and is holding out for it. In this market! His single dad won’t push him (out of guilt). I’m genuinely worried for his future, he’s already 22. Where’s the line I can step up to?  — Concerned from the Sidelines

==

Dear Concerned from the Sidelines,

I understand your concern for your friend’s son. Under employment is better than no employment—especially in this economy. But beyond offering good advice, a friendly recommendation or “a good piece of my mind,” as my mother used to say, as a friend of the family, there’s not much else you can do.

I have to agree with you. In this economy, especially, it is important to piece together whatever work you can. We cannot expect to check off the same list the unemployed checked off to find a job in the last two decades. A well-crafted resume, pressed suit and a diploma doesn’t mean a job and a steady paycheck. Under experienced workers need to build up their hirable muscles by taking any employment they can. Yes, even a Barista job counts as experience in customer service, a hallmark on just about every career path.

Employers want to see that your friend’s son has experienced the 9-5 grind, reporting to superiors and managing the expectations of the workplace — whether that’s at a hot dog stand, the local café (which might mean healthcare) or temping in offices. The bottom line is he will look more employable with more experience. And in this market where college grads and well-experienced laid off workers are vying for the same jobs, the competition will very likely send your boy’s resume to the bottom of the stack and out of interview contention before he can say, “Hi, my name is.”

Perhaps, you can suggest to your friend that he give his son a deadline on contributing to the household. I don’t mean full half of expenses, but even something like $300 a month can make a huge difference, in the son’s self-esteem. He needs a reality check about what is expected in the real world. Your friend’s dad may be coddling “out of guilt,” but this may be doing more of a disservice than helping. More and more studies are coming out over how our over-coddled youth are growing into uncertain, unsteady, unrealistic adults, looking for automatic rewards and hand-outs. It’s time to get this kid to open his eyes. The world owes you nothing. In the end, your life is the way you make it and no one else can make it for you.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Dear Concerned from the Sidelines,

The problem with problems like this is the person in question already knows the right thing to do. Doesn’t he? (Now if only more kids today understood they are qualified to take nearly any good job because few to none are beneath their station in life, we’d be making progress.) I feel your frustration of caring for someone more than he seems to care for himself. Sidelines, the fact is you can’t ever “fix” someone but especially one who appears to have very little will to help himself. But if you’re gonna give it one more try…

…given the closeness of your relationships, I’m sure your buddy and his son probably expect some thoughtful words from you on this subject. I’ll tell you what. If absolutely none of the logical reasons you’ve cited to us, no real and scary consequence scenarios and/or suggested job options or job boards take with your Prince Nephew, pull out the big guns and appeal to his 22 years. Tell him he’ll never get any. Darlin’ I’m not suggesting that all women are seeking men for their money or otherwise to provide “security,” but I can guarantee he should care that his total lack of motivation and desire (and at this age!) is no aphrodisiac for a serious girl or a serious party girl, alike. No money no honey is an old adage for a reason.

Lonely and unemployed do not paint a picture of a happy or satisfying future — unless he gets more out of looking at his dad’s stressed out face than you know. I suspect there’s a lot of guilt and shame going on in that household between them, and for a variety of reasons not seen by you. Your supportiveness and good ear may be all you need to offer for the time being.

Keep on working your caring,

BadWitch

==

Juicy Relationship Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

Mondays money, work, purpose dilemmas. Thursdays family, relationships, love dramedy. Send your FREE 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.


Share

When is In-office Fundraising Out of Bounds?

Everyholiday season request for donations go up. That’s expected for the Season of Giving, but what if your supervisor asks you to support his kids’ PeeWee endeavors all year long? Giving back some of your mind.     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I have a supervisor who always sells crap for his kids’ school. Where’s the line of obligation and suckerdom? — Diabetic Soon

==

Dear Diabetic Soon,

Ah!, office politics. Nice. Goes well with pie but little else. If you’re like most people you want to give a token of support to your supervisor, but don’t let this arrangement make you feel like you’ve been taken for a ride personally. Here’s my gently-used donation to you: be straight up with your supervisor. I would gently remind her/him of your salary’s limitations (especially in times like these when everyone’s (including school) budgets have been hard hit) by pointing out that if you supported every good cause you actually wanted to, there’s going to be a car wash to support you that s/he better show up to! Then I would state the annual cap on your willing support – whatever number you want to give and doesn’t impede your budget. If it feels easier for you to break that annual number out to quarterly giving (pre-chat, tally up your last year’s in-office donations and I think you’ll be shocked how much those “small contributions” added up to) then do so, not exceeding your own annual limit. Decide. Commit. Do not allow yourself to feel guilty or ashamed that this amount that you worked so hard for, to give away to support someone else out of your sense of sharing, is too low or “not enough” – remember: zero is a viable option.

If, as you say, this supervisor feels so constantly free to cross the donation line at work, then s/he is either a very gung-ho but tunnel visioned parent, or s/he is A-ok with and willfully leveraging her/his power over you. Water seeks its depth and a supervisor who shows such little common sense or respect tends to languish at her/his own level (except at a company that mirrors such values; another subject).

If all that’s too much for you, then check your employee handbook or ask HR (you don’t have to mention names) what, if any, company policy there is governing in-office solicitations. Then helpfully share this newfound information with your supervisor as a supportive ‘I just found this out, too’-gift. Who knows, maybe s/he actually didn’t know.

All good things within limits,

BadWitch

==

Dear Diabetic Soon,

Well, I must state the obvious. Just because your supervisor is selling doesn’t mean you have to buy. Your boss’ fundraising for his kids school is much needed these days. School budgets have been cut to the bone. I know in my children’s school the amount of volunteer hours has gone up across the board, because the school does not have the resources they did, even last year.

That being said, your donation to the cause is not a requirement of employment. Don’t let guilt—or some misguided attempt to impress your boss—put a whole in your wallet or increase your sugar intake. I’m not suggesting you be a Scrooge, because, as I said, the school’s extra fundraising helps buy books, fund computers and, in some cases, keep sports and arts programs going. However, buy what works for you, not everything.

In donations, like living expenses, create a budget. Know how much you can afford to contribute to worthy causes. Then, decide how much of that you would like to forward to your supervisor’s fundraising activities. Spread out those buys over the year, choosing the one’s that intrigue you. You figure, chocolate can go in a gift basket at the holidays. I remember once we sold holiday candles, which works well for stocking stuffers or funny gifts for co-workers. Believe me, it’s an inside joke they’ll all get.

In others words, the little you do can help a lot. But give from a place of wanting to help, not wanting to suck up. The truth is, we can all tell when someone offers us something in some disingenuous bid to up their ranking. It’s called brown nosing and it’s not attractive. On the other hand, donating from the heart, caring about how the dollars are spent and how they help…that will give you big props with your boss—and karma points too. So, make your budget, then dig a little deeper and give from the heart.

Good luck,

GoodWitch

==

Image, Universal Studios Home Distribution

Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

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

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

Of Guilty Feet and Married Men

Previously on: She’s in love with a married man. Oh the dram-mah! But wait for it…there’s more! Now he’s taking his marriage splitsville stress out on her. Oh no he didn’t! Stay tuned…     — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I fell in love with a married man. Now that he’s separated from his wife, I’m regretting the decision because I didn’t see how much of his divorce stress he would be dumping on me because he left his wife for me. I feel obligated to stay. Do I stay or do I go? — Personal Clash

==

Dear Personal Clash,

Your being in a relationship with a guy (who left his primary one without a note from his wife) from whom you are asking us for permission to leave, is your answer itself.

Your question reminds me so much of the drama created by that media attention whore Jon Gosselin which got his +8 family-supporting show cancelled because that Ed Hardy-wearing, midlife crisis-on-a-skateboard tried to play hardball with his network bosses by not letting them shoot his kids — uh, the real subjects of the show — in “his” house. I’m saying: a dyed-in-the wool jackass always manages to be a jackass with or without you or anyone else’s help. The Way of the Hooves, baby. So get out of his Way, darlin’, and just let him wipeout Steve-O-style.

The regret you’re expressing is, to my ears, out-screaming the love you may have felt so strongly before. You already know this guy’s nothing but trouble – and sometimes what we love most is…trouble. Let’s not even go into your innocence on how stressful a divorce is under the most mutually ideal circumstances — consider this an advanced crash course in How Things Really Work . Honey, I’m sayin’, if he left her “for you,” then he potentially has no compunction to avoid doing the same thing to you sometime in the future. Let this child grow up and learn to deal with his own stress — caused and received — on his own. Which is very potentially how he’ll end up ultimately if he doesn’t. You like most of us, my cupcake, have your very own lessons to learn about boundaries, toxic relationshipsdevotion and love.You can thank your beast of burden for tilling this ground for you to plant better seeds for yourself.

Combat Rock Outta There,

BadWitch

==

Dear Personal Clash,

Well, you saw how things worked out for Jon and Haley, not to say your situation is that dysfunctional, but the similarities are glaring. First off, let me get this straight—you coveted someone else’s husband, may have instigated the break up of a family unit and now you’re upset because he’s laying his divorce stress at your door. So, where do you think that divorce stress belongs? You invited this drama into your life when you got involved with a married man.

I know that your saying you “fell in love,” is somehow suppose to make everything ok. No, it doesn’t. Someone else “fell in love” with that man and married him—set up a life with family ties, responsibilities, joint property and maybe even children. The fact that you allowed yourself into relationship with someone with that much baggage, means that you deserve to help rectify the stress caused by the dissolution of the marriage. Did you think breaking up a family would not be stressful? Did you think that because you loved him the other person in the marriage would just forgive and forget the betrayal, and infidelity and end the marriage without so much as a shrug of the shoulders?

Be serious. This relationship started off on Drama Island and was destined to keep traveling further inland for some time. Think of it as karma. You gave someone else a great deal of stress unexpectedly. Now there is some for you. The good news is your cheater, I mean, “love”, in the middle probably has about twice as much stress, from you, the soon-to-be ex wife and any friends and family that loved and appreciated her.

Now, if his stress is being dumped on you in physically abusive ways, GET OUT NOW! Move to a friends house take everything you want to take (of yours, of course) while he’s at work and do not look back. As it is, I want you to be clear about who it is you are in love with. Do you think he won’t cheat on you? Because history has already shown he may not be faithful in a marriage. AND, if you really believe you are so special, remember, so did one of the girls Tiger Woods was having an affair with. Her complaint, he cheated on her with even more women.

Good Luck,

GoodWitch

==

Image, Roy Lichtenstein

Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

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

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

Tarzan, “I quit!” Burning Bridges, Apology Possible?

Tarzan.WWFWhat’s up with last week’s WWW Smackdown (Wilson, Williams, West)? Is society getting ruder and more crass, or are others just too “touchy”? Can burning bridges be rebuilt even after screaming, “I quit!”? Apologize and reconcile or just say screw it? Things that make you go, “Hmmm…”    —BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I was a big swinging dick, quit and stormed out of the office in a huff. But now I can’t find a new job. Is it possible to rebuild burned bridges? — Tarzan

==

Dear Tarzan,

Is that a banana in your loin cloth or are you…being YOU again? I love people who say what they mean when they mean it, but I’m also known to my friends as The Mixologist and so I’m throwing ‘there’s a time and place for everything’ into this cocktail shaker. And how ‘bout a piece of BadWitch bartender wisdom of a Newton law: For every truth, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Me Jane, “Oh, Tarzan!” You are a Fight ASR Type which is the ultimate external “expresser.” You need to temper your your-way-or-the-highway with knowing there’s a diplomatic way (this is not selling out), too, which by the time you’re old enough to have a job to quit, is a.k.a. “maturity.” Because sometimes when you think it Here but blurt it There, the end result is just more externalization, as in, “You’re outta here!” In other words, if you keep finding this sort of unintended, undesirable outcome happening in your life, then you’re not just some misunderstood Truth sayer, Tarzan, you’re just straight up doing something wrong, and it’s time for you to grow up, already. Get over yourself now. …Or uh, at least, start…

Thinking before you speak is one thing, but making good decisions (see July 30 post) is the graduate program. In this case, did you swing that vine of yours ending in, “I quit!” for a good reason or just your ego? If there was a real, trackable and untenable (and cemented, irreparable) reason (i.e., ironically hostile work environment, etc.), then I say don’t apologize, don’t go back, keep searching for a job looking forward – you’d just have to keep working under these unacceptable conditions and you obviously can’t! Now that’s your truth coming out. See the difference? But if you were just hot under the collar (in itself, not an unreasonable state) or foolish, then consider your actions and how you will commit to changing their underlying root reasons, then figure out how you can be your own miracle worker C.C. Meyers and fix this hot mess of a bridge! Which brings me to my last ingredient in this very complex brew: the fine art of the apology.

Maybe the Incans and Romans took this with them, but it seems to me, a lost art. How to Apologize:

1)    Be sincere. If you don’t mean it, I say don’t bother

2)    After figuring out what went wrong, take full responsibility for your part in that

3)    When apologizing, don’t backtrack, point out others’ faults in this, deflect, or otherwise dilute your responsibility

4)    Offer it unconditionally, and be ready if it is not accepted. Because, if you truly #1, then it’s all good, right?

5)    Did I mention, be sincere?

Then let the chips fall where they may, Tarzie-poo. Job or no job with your former employer. Finally, learn something from this, will ya? I talk to you like this because you are a Fight ASR Type and You Already Know What You Did Last Summer, and most importantly…if I don’t talk to you like this, not only don’t you hear me, you don’t give a fig leaf. Learn something, ape man.

Rebel yell (but have some tact),

BW

==

Dear Tarzan,

You pulled a Joe Wilson, one question is whether a professional apology, clearly some time after the “I quit,” will be enough to get you back in the door. The other is whether it is in your best interest to return to the scene of the crime because you can’t find another job. Frankly, your question and the implied apology feel a bit disingenuous.

Quitting without notice and with a “big swinging dick” rant has been the fantasy of workers probably since the first Cro-Magnon clan leader. Most employees relegate those scenarios to imagination, because living outside the clan means hunting and gathering on your own. You lived the ‘I quit’ dream, with ego swinging and head held high. Now you are coping with the second step in the process, hunting for work—outside the clan. To bend you back and shuffle back because you can’t find another job seems like groveling after the swagger.

My impression is that your tirade did not come from nothing. There were circumstances, and most likely, personality clashes that made working in that environment unbearable. To go back now, not because of remorse or true regret, but because of financial need, feels like selling part of your spirit. I do not want to underestimate the financial situation. Joblessness in this economy is no joke. But to discount the value of your emotional needs is short-sighted, self-sabotage.

You will spend most of your waking life at a full time job. The people, the environment, the work will have a HUGE impact on your stress levels, how you feel about yourself and how you feel about the quality of your life. You must ask yourself (and answer honestly). Were you happy working in that environment?

Can you honestly offer a heartfelt, remorseful apology for your actions?

Can you be happy working in that environment knowing you will have to take a lot of heat from the bosses moving forward?

You must remember, you broke a trust with your employer. Mind you, your boss may have deserved everything you said and did, however, you abandoned your job—my guess with a few choice words. If you return, you should expect the hiring authorities and your superiors to be suspicious of your motives, as well as hyper critical of your work and attitude. Can you work successfully in that environment?

Listen, if you really believe you were in the wrong, apologize. If you want to mend some bridges with key personnel there apologize and mean it. Avoid blaming anyone for the situation. Take responsibility for your actions and offer an apology that shows some remorse in the way things ended. You may be able to mend some relationships. Whether or not you can go home again is an open question that really depends on your truthfulness with them and your integrity with yourself. Both would have to be in balance to inspire forgiveness and the necessary compassion to get you back on the job. BTW, being in balance and integrity with yourself is the most important factor.

Be really clear with yourself first!

GoodWitch

==

Thanks, ad image WWF.

==

Juicy Coaching for Leaders and Individuals.

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

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

A Suspicious Mind is a Terrible Thing in Haste

suspicious2When she says “just friends,” what does she really mean? Sometimes you just know someone is lying to you. Other times, could you be lying to yourself, as if in some defensive-offense move?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GW/BW — I just happily gave my fiance this ridiculous ring (way more than 2 month salary rule!). Now she’s telling me she’s going home for 10 days to see her folks and, “by the way, sweetie my ex- will be there for 3 days. But don’t worry! It’s over and we’re just friends.” She’s never lied to me (that I know of) and I almost feel guilty feeling so distrusting and jealous! Should I tell her how I feel or will I just look like a jerk who doesn’t trust his fiance? The guy’s name is James.  — Uptight B/F

==

Dear Uptight B/F,

“James”?! That’s a cheater’s name if I ever heard one. It’s kind of cute with your “…that you know of…” conditional statement. But Ring Man, I think the investment you should be more worried about than that two-month’s salary-purchase, is your trust and belief(s) in how relationships work. Your unchecked attitude, my friend, is forever. I’m not saying your suspicions are necessarily wrong here (although who knows, they could be misdirected), just that it is possible to understand and change how we think (and therefore, what we attract to us) about things. The Pursuit of Truth is often different from the Pursuit of Happiness. Get straight on what drives you in your relationships, and you’ll be happier either way.

Now back to the future and how you unconsciously view trust in relationships. Were you ever cheated on in the past, did one or both of your parents cheat on the other? These types of past experiences could play havoc on your subconscious view(s) of what you expect from relationships today. Our Changing Your Perspectives chapter in Less Stress, More Life  is all about recognizing unconscious expectations and updating those. You don’t have to keep partying like it’s 1999.

Otherwise, if you feel unencumbered by your past, just ask her straight up now! Today, you are still on track to spend the rest of your life with this woman, and it would be handy to find out now what she means when she says “just friends,” and why she’s seemingly suddenly (as reported by you, my brothah – or did she already tell you but now suddenly you’re hearing everything she’s saying?) going home for two weeks. Ask now or forever…you’ll hear her different spin on “it’s over.” I’m just sayin’.

Her side of it is just more info,

BW

==

Dear Uptight B/F,

Your question brings up so many more questions for me. First, have you heard of this ex- before now? If you already knew they had a friendly relationship before this then I wonder that you are so worried now. Or have you known about this guy and felt uncomfortable with their relationship before this?

The real question is do you trust your fiancée? Whether or not some guy makes a play for her, you need to know without a doubt the person you are marrying is committed to the relationship with you. If you know on a gut level something is wrong, tell her straight out that the relationship feels too close to the cheating line for your comfort. But first, take some deep breaths, spend some time alone and write out your list of why the relationship works for you and what doesn’t. Be sure that you are seeing the whole situation with some balance. The conversation is not going to be easy.

Since, honestly, there is little you can do to control another person, let’s look at you. Why, I wonder, did you begin this question by telling us about the ring? It seems as though you are stressed and displaying an Automatic Stress Reaction (ASR) of Manipulate in this situation.

Manipulates want desperately to be loved. They give in a co-dependent sort of way that expects some form of “give-back” — not in some base tit-for-tat way, but rather as proof that they are loved. The question is: are you letting your stress get the better of your better judgment? Are you wanting your fiancée to give up her trip home so you can feel comfortable about the relationship? That would be deadly to the relationship, as well as controlling and co-dependent.

If you really believe that your fiancée would have an affair on you, I have to wonder that you proposed. Were you using the ring to seal the deal by placing a down payment on the relationship? Again, controlling, short sighted and poisonous to the relationship.

If, you are having a Manipulate stress brought on by taking the big step, coupled with sticker shock over the ring, BREATHE. Check out Less Stress, More Life, an ASR-specific stress management program. Do the Good List/Bad List exercise I suggested earlier to get some perspective on your relationship. If you truly do not feel confident in the relationship, I suggest checking out some books on intimacy (which has nothing to do with sex). I suggest The Seven Levels of Intimacy: The Art of Loving and the Joy of Being Loved.

Bottom line, if it’s you: fix yourself and fix the relationship. If she’s really flirting with the cheating line, re-evaluate the relationship before walking down the aisle. Either way, you’ve got some real work to do before you say “I do.” We want you to have a happily ever after, not Deeply Hurt.

Truly, good luck,

GW

==

Hear the coaches – Podcasts coming. Talk to the coaches! –  Personal and group coaching available.

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

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