Tag Archives: relationships

Love = Friendship + Lust. Keeping ALL the Home Fires Burning (BW)

I’ve previously shared my views of “true love” as a myth in our love-starved society. But I do believe in love and lasting relationships, and strive to infuse all my real relationships (regardless of length or labels) with the qualities that make for lasting relating. Today I was asked to talk about keeping all the fires burning. I just couldn’t stop thinking that people who ask these questions tend to be seeking “an answer” or a How To patch, but instead get stuck with hearing a lot of idealized Harlequin Romance hooey about how relationships are supposed to be, which usually serves to make them feel even worse. [Read my smooshier view on love  (second link above) and please indulge me here.]

Love that is forged of Friendship + Lust isn’t about the Perfect One, heart-shaped candy or wedding planning gone wild — it takes concentration of steel to actively remember the commitment to it. That sort of love means work. That level of love is deeply satisfying in on-off lukewarm cuddliness to sizzling sexiness, the acceptance of unconditional love and nurturing in the security of buddy-companionship — and simultaneously holds great potential for boredom, situational blindness and eh!, apathy. Repeat beginning of this paragraph.

I’m paraphrasing a recent brilliant Diane Sawyer (married to director Mike Leigh for 21 years) comment, “Every marriage (and lasting relationship) is a foreign land. You may enjoy visiting but not want to live in this foreign land, but it works for its inhabitants.” Couldn’t agree more, and against the common “wisdom” that espouses a One Size ideology of what “works” or not in long relationships. Some individual relationships have more sizzle, romance, friendship, or companionship than others, and if they’re truly working (versus stuffed emotions, lazy habits, or excuse-making refuges to hide from not communicating respectfully, or having sex) for its inhabitants then there’s no “wrong way” to how yours works for you.

Dynamics can be a tricky thing. Remember not to check your baggage, because if you can’t hand carry it, it’s way more crap than you need to bring on this trip. Relationships are comprised of individuals who can always stand improvement, and that’s where to focus how to keep all your own fires burning.

Love that love. — BadWitch

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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. All rights reserved.

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UPDATED Bottomless Office Pit: Cake, Gifts & Money Collection

Money collection for office gifts, cakes. Funding co-worker celebrations. Fun, yummy, good or bad idea?  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — If I never have another slice of office birthday cake, I’d live! These constant money drives for other people’s gifts has gotten on my last nerve. Yesterday (she) asked me for money for someone’s baby shower gift in our Utah office who I never even met! This is nuts, crazy, just wrong!!! Give me some good lines.  — Cham-pain Hater

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Dear Cham-pain Hater,

I love cake, I love presents — for me! — so I hear ya, but figure out and clearly state your policy for all to understand about you, and stick with it.

Back in college while working at a major department store, my manager came around at Christmas time to ask for donations to an equally major charity. Coincidentally, this charity had been in the news for administrative financial abuse to fund schmancy lunches and lavish personal travel, and such. I was already consistently giving to an organization of my choice, so when she first asked then attempted to strong-arm me for my hard-earned money (mockingly, “What?! You can’t even give up a dollar?”) — her attitude alone underscored to me that she was only pimping to win a department managers’ contest. That manipulative sort of crap only served to make me stand even firmer in my convictions and state, “Nope. Especially not “even” a dollar.” I freely give to what truly stirs me, and not to earn kiss ass points with a manager competing in a peer contest for a personal gain prize, via my dollars while supposedly campaigning for a charity I didn’t even believe in.

Knowing what you stand for lets you know what you want to fund in life, and keep the change from the rest in your own wallet. In the game of office politics, only give when you expect nothing in return (never give a present to get a present, whether retail or brown-nose points), or all you’ll get is disappointment. Nothing more bitter than a low-carb flourless cake of guilt and shame.

Do-goodahs, pleeeze,

BadWitch

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[No, your RSS and e-Mail subscriptions are not broken. Here’s GW’s added Reply.]

Dear Cake-Champain Hater,

Truth works better than any excuse you can come up with! I would start by asking for a general pool with once yearly contribution (say $20) that is split for all employee presents, like a Christmas Club. I have heard of employees being asked to give $20 a month for other employee gifts. Maybe a $10 a month fund for cake and office morale isn’t asking too much.

My question is, as an employee, don’t you appreciate when your birthday is noticed?  Isn’t that an unrecognized benefit of your work environment? It sounds like you’ve got an office that has taken the time to create a more family like environment. This makes for a comfortable place to work. Believe me, not all offices give a damn whether it’s your birthday, wedding or baby—just do the work.

It is really nice to be appreciated. Your office culture has found a way to give each other recognition of the lives lived outside the cubicle walls. Say thank you and throw in $10. If money is really tight right now, tell your co-workers that truth. They’ll appreciate it. Then throw in $2 or $3.

Family may be a pain in the ass sometimes with their little rituals, but that is the good stuff you remember and appreciate years later. Quit bitching and have some cake.

Good luck,

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. 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

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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. All rights reserved.

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Divvying Up Splitsville

Equal piece of the pie. The spoils of war. Everyone wants theirs. But in the division of property, is winner takes all really the goal in a war of hearts?   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — I finally did it!!!! I broke up with my assh*** long term (relationship). Now we’re divvying up property. The fights are starting all over again. Help! — Fractionator

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Dear Fractionator,

It sounds like congratulations are in order for successfully completing one cycle in your lessons. The trick for you two (and individually) is not to repeat the same trial-and-error homework but to repeat the successful outcome — in your case, a mature ending of something that was no longer serving you. Do the same thing with your things. After all, they are only as potent and valuable as you your selves assign and infuse them with. Keep the power you give freely to the things low, especially as to your emotions they represent (i.e., “That CD you bought me on our first date is mine,” but only because you are still attaching the old sentiment of his taking care of you to the plastic disc, etc. Fill in your own actual emotional ties). Set up rules before re-visiting this property division task (involve an impartial third party, if necessary). Agree to divide things fairly by BR and AR dates (Before Relationship and After Relationship), receipts, and/or any other empirical, pragmatic data or reasoning you can agree to.

Lastly, the other grey-area items should be put in the middle of the living room and “auctioned” for (I’m suggesting reasoned (vs. argued in the aggressive sense) for; best rhetoric prevails) in front of a pre-determined, mutually agreed upon impartial third party. All decisions final.

Lighten your spoils to move on fully,

BadWitch

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Dear Fractitioner,

Congratulations on standing up for you! Don’t stop now! Parsing out property is no easy feat!  There will be times that you must lay down a firm boundary and stake your claim and others when you will need to concede. The key to successfully “divvying” up the property will be your own presence with yourself and what you refuse to let go of and what you are ok with handing away.

Before your next “splitting up the goods” meeting, write out a list of property and star those items that you believe will be contentious creators. Decide ahead of time what your best outcome would be. BE FAIR!! Do not decide you need the thing you know your partner wants most. That will only cause more contentious moments. Decide what items you need to move away or be paid for giving away. For backup, create a second list of negotiating items—those items which you know your partner wants, you don’t care about that you can hold back as bargaining chips to negotiate for the pieces you really want.

Remember, in the end you would be better off walking away from a bunch of property littered with negative associations than putting yourself through hell for CDs or an arm chair. You are more important than any store bought item. In the end, you could just ask for a payout for the bulk of items and start fresh.

You have already started the process of taking care of you. Keep going!

Good luck,

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. All rights reserved.

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Bank Robs Client: And Other Tough Relationships

High credit interest loans got you down? Feel your banker just doesn’t understand you anymore? Maybe you should take this one personally.  — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — After five years at the same bank with good credit and relationships, they just turned me down for a personal loan! Or more accurately, they offered me one at a really high rate. Before I leave them, do I have any recourse? — Credit Where Due

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Dear Credit Where Due,

Credit cupcake, before you dis your bank right back, just stop and realize that this is yet another one of those messy things we all have to deal with in our lives. I’m talking about: relationships. We all drag unresolved issues right into the next relationship, and the next… Granted you are a puny individual and your stud muffin bank is likely a faceless corporate Goliath, but relationships are relationships regardless of what they may look like on the surface. Get straight on what you bring to and how you behave in yours, and you can start to get a clearer picture of why the amazing banking guys/gals you’ve been so devoted to for the last five years don’t bring you flowers anymore, but an overpriced “Happy” Meal.

When asking for any loan, your credit scores (all three of them) will be examined, and interest points will be largely determined by them. Make sure your credit scores are in the range you imagine they should be. A part of your scores but not the whole picture, assuming the relationship with your bank you stated is with an actual personal banker and not just the tellers who can’t help you in credit’s regard, are what your banker is reviewing, but may or may not also give some sway to your character (which in this case includes your employment, your personal (versus just financial) histories with landlords and other creditors, and possibly collateral, if any). Credit cupcake, I cannot say this loudly enough while saying it with sincere empathy: take control of your destiny by responsibly and respectfully co-existing with your credit/money. Or else you will find unsatisfactory “credit due you” at the next “bank” and the next, and…

Understand your money, your self,

BadWitch

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Dear Credit Where Due,

Well, we knew the economic crisis has tightened the purse strings on the banks. And, I understand your disappointment at seemingly being let down by a relationship you have nurtured for the last few years. However, do we ever have recourse when a friend says, “No”?

I cannot say whether late payments or outstanding balances on your credit report may have undermined you. My suggestion is to check your credit report, as there may be items listed on the report that are out of date or just incorrect. Be sure that what creditors are reading on your credit report is up to date and accurate.

Your recourse is that you have the power to give the bank your continued business or not. My suggestion would be to sit down with a representative of the bank and find out why your loan was denied and why the only product left available to you comes at such a high interest rate. Then decide whether to stay or go.

Talk to some other banks—once you’ve cleaned up your credit report as much as possible. Find out what other options you have. Perhaps a credit union will have better rates than a traditional bank. Investigate.

Just remember, in this very capitalistic society, the most effective recourse and vote is usually with your dollars. Give your business to businesses that support you.

Good luck,

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. All rights reserved.

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Diagnosis: Hypochondriac Roomie

Canary in a coalmine roommate style. When someone’s real or imagined illnesses begin to make you sick.   — BadWitch

Readers Are Spellbound & Perplexed…

Dear GWBW — How do I deal with a hypochondriac roommate?Sick & Tired

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Dear Sick & Tired,

Diagnosis: oh oh-itis. Talk about a possible head case and a head cold case, living with a hypochondriac. I feel for you, S&T, yet, your simple question poses a lot of variables to respond to here. 1) I’m going to assume you’re starting with a relatively new roommate, or his perceived illness is a new phenom you’re dealing with; 2) Understand that I personally believe in “appropriate involvement” only, your own tolerance may differ; and 3) Consider how long you intend to live with this person (weigh pros-cons of his roomie viability/personality against mutual balance sheet concerns), and how appropriately close or willing you are to get involved personally.

Hypochondria may be attributed to many things, and can affect relationships. Some people are legitimately stressed due to work or school, or family issues, or previous health problems. Ask what recent (or reintroduced) events may be contributing to his base stress level. Or, perhaps he is bored with too much time on his hands and nothing more productive to focus on. Maybe he’s grieving a loss that can be in- or directly attributed to illness in general. He could have a family member (or himself previously) who is experiencing a health problem that might legitimately concern him now or in the future. Ideally through talk and possible medication for depression or anxiety (see a doctor), he can begin to see his behaviors with more objectivity toward addressing and changing those behaviors for his own (not mention yours!) wellbeing.

Show concern, tread lightly, mind your boundaries, and guard your own (mental and physical) health.

Be well,

BadWitch

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Dear Sick & Tired,

Well, I can see how that could be a completely draining scenario. For your sake, set up some boundaries. Your roommates aches and pains should not be the center of your world, nor should her illnesses dictate (beyond reasonable respectful consideration) your actions.

I once had a roommate who would announce her state of mind or physical issues so I would know how to act around her. WTF?! Now I’m suppose to do some co-dependant, victim-focused soft shoe to keep peace in the house? Yeah, that didn’t work out so well, because as sweet and nurturing as I am, I have no tolerance for victim waving flag holders who expect the rest of to take care and coddle them out of pity.

If your roommate is truly sick with some wasting disease that is perhaps yet not fully understood—like fibromyalgia — then the aches and pains may not be “all in the head.” But just be sure the amount of compassion, hand holding and coddling is in balance. Take time for you. Sage your bedroom and personal living space daily. Do the rest of the house at least once a week. If your hypochondriac is irritated by sage smoke, make a mister with water and add lavender and lemon verbena essential oils. Spray that around the rooms of community space to clear old, heavy energy.

Personally, it sounds like too much drama in your living space, so you may want to start the hunt for a more calm and neutral living situation. Home is the place for refreshing, rejuvenating and reenergizing. If your time is busy spent avoiding, ignoring or nurse-maiding your roommate, when does the rejuvenation happen? Beware of situations that sap your energy — especially if you notice a sharp energy decrease just by thinking of yourself in that environment or among certain people.

Keep to your space and choose to help if you want to. If you really don’t want to play nursemaid, don’t. It will only sap your energy and leave you open to a host of opportunistic illnesses.

Be good to you. Find your sanctuary living situation. This one does not sound like it is it.

Good luck,

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. All rights reserved.

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“At-Will” Relationships (GW)

Life is and should be “at will.” It’s called freedom. The freedom of an employer to say, You aren’t a good fit,” for no more reason than you are not a good fit. The will of a friend to say, “I need to walk this piece alone, but I bless you on your path.” It’s freedom because nobody should be forced to stay in a relationship past its expiration date. It’s no good for either party then, whether one is awake to the discomfort or not.

We all deserve fully functional relationships based on mutual respect. If trust or respect are lost then one party has the right to call it. The will must be respected. If you need to speak up, SPEAK! You do nothing for the other person with your silence. Live your truth. Speak your will and be free. — 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. All rights reserved.

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