Tag Archives: guilt

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

==

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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Trapped! Horrible Job, No Hope

Life can be hard enough without feeling like you’re cornered with no options to a job you can’t stand. How to stop waiting for rescue and take charge.      — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I’m underemployed. I hate my work but feel trapped. Bills and my laid off husband make me feel I have no alternatives again. When’s it my turn? Frustrated  End of Liner

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Dear Frustrated End of Liner,

No doubt about it, these are weird at best, trying times at worst. Personally right now, I don’t know anyone who has or is not undergoing some sort of “trial” at whatever level his/her life (might) need it. I’m saying, I think these are learning times. Other times are doing times. Right now, our broken status quo is in need of a severe and meaningful make-over. Whether we are mostly happy (by nature) or not, the situations, people, circumstances that face each of us today seem, to me, to be laying the foundation of opportunity for some change(s) that are fundamentally different, and hugely paradigm shifting.

Now as for your question, Frustrated, go talk to your husband and make sure he knows in no uncertain terms that you feel trapped with no alternative today because your family (like all of us) has bills. Stuffing is for turkeys, and misdirected anger is passive-aggressive. Make sure you don’t use blaming (of him, timing, circumstances) language, and own your own (frustrated, and the dashed hope ones, too) feelings in this conversation . When you’ve finished expressing your feelings (not to be confused with  actual facts) clearly and non-judgmentally, give him his turn with no interruption. If your marriage is a partnership, I’m sure he is looking for new work and unhappy about this personal or familial situ, too — something in common. You’re in this together. You chose partnership. Let him be your partner in your frustration. Be his champion in his job search. Make individaual and team goals with deadlines for related tasks together. Show your kids what you want them to know “family” means in tough times and in the best times when it’s easy breezy and a no-brainer.

Move the chains,

BadWitch

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Dear Frustrated End of the Liner,

Don’t give up hope! Today’s trials are preparing you for the next turn in the road. Face them with a determination to create a better life and the diligence to work hard for what you want. In the end, you may very well find yourself with opportunities for that better life.

I could write a whole lot more on the subject. After all, I spent three years under-employed, as a single mother, worrying how to make it all happen (rent, clothes, school supplies, and even gas in the car). But I kept trying. I kept looking for opportunities—taking any possible freelance gig that came my way and sending out resumes non-stop. Eventually, my world turned. All my hard work prepared me for a new full time job, a few freelance gigs on the side and, of course, my own business (StillSitting). Now, my task is to decide on priorities and turn away the gigs that do not move me further down my path.

Maybe I showed the Universe through my diligence and willingness that I was ready for the next stage of my life. After all, my diligence led me to the off-hand Facebook post which eventually led to the full time job I have now with the Owning Pink Center, doing what I love with like minded people.

Am I saying everything will work out, guaranteed? No. Am I saying stop worrying? No. I’m saying life will throw you curve balls on a regular basis and it is how you face those hard times that define you. Do your best and the opportunities will come because other people will see you trying. And people always want to help someone trying to help themselves.

Take a little break, plan your path and then jump back in. Your turn is coming.

MANTRA: As I work hard to create the future I want, I show the Universe that I am willing and ready. It is only a matter of time before I succeed.

Good luck and good work,

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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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

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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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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

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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

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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

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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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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

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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

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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?

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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

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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

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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

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