Archive | January 2014

20 Qualities The Person You’re Going to Marry Should Have

*** This is a re-post from Laura Argintar. View the original post on elitedaily here. ***

While we may not know who exactly we are going to marry, as fully developed, young adults, we have a pretty good idea of the qualities we’re looking for in a partner.

This isn’t a little girl’s “Prince Charming” wish list. Think of this, instead, as the list Rihanna’s friends gave to her after she broke up with Chris Brown… for the second time.

Despite this suspicious feeling that writing this list will guarantee my future as a spinster, here are the 20 qualities you should look for in the person you marry:

1. Shares your beliefs

Regardless if you believe in Satan or sprinkles, your partner should have respect for your views. Believing in the same things — like Beyoncé as a religion, or coffee as a morning non-negotiable — brings you two closer.


2. Teaches you something new

Life together will be pretty boring if you can’t learn from each other. It can be a lesson as small as how to bake chocolate chip cookies with Oreos stuffed in the middle (this has actually turned out to be an important life skill), or something more substantial, like how to use chopsticks properly. For me, this means he’s well-versed in politics and will give me the Sparknotes version of White House current events. Let’s also not forget there’s an inherent good feeling when you teach someone a new fact or skill.


3. Trusts you (and is trustworthy him or herself)

If you feel the need to raid your partner’s cell phone, you’re basically displaying your distrust for him or her — what good is a relationship like that? Once you start prying into each other’s phones, all faith goes out the window and every text is grounds for an argument.

Bottom line: If you go digging for sh*t, you’re gonna smell it.


4. Appreciates staying in together

Every couple needs quality time — just make sure your definition of “quality time” is the same as your partner’s. Going out and socializing as a duo is always fun, but it’s equally important that your partner can curl up next to you for an intimate night in. Sometimes, the most magical moments are the ones we take the time to slow down and enjoy with the person who’s right in front of us. No audience necessary.


5. Makes you a better person

You want someone who brings out your best self. A great way tell if you and your partner should tie the knot is by honestly asking yourself, “Does this person make me better?”


6. Entertains inside jokes

No, I’m not talking about how you both love to crack up while watching the “Afternoon Delight” scene in “Anchorman.” I’m talking about the kind of inside joke, where all you have to do is give the other person a certain look and it instantly sends you both into a laughing fit. You are both so on the same page that the joke doesn’t need to be explained; your partner just gets it.


7. Does not place restrictions on you or the relationship

The person you marry shouldn’t give you ultimatums like, “I won’t date you until you get a promotion,” or “If you go out with your friends, I’ll break up with you.” There shouldn’t be rules to your relationship that prohibit you from doing certain things or hold you back from being who you are.

He can’t prevent you from wearing your crop top to the bar (although, it is very flattering when he gets jealous like that). Likewise, she can’t stop you from playing video games before bed (that is, unless she’s not wearing any clothes…).


8. Compromises

Compromise is the key to any successful relationship; we’ve been taught this since kindergarten. Do I love going to Phish concerts and listening to 20-minute guitar riffs? No, but I’ll make it my mission to enjoy myself and do it anyway (for the drugs, mostly). And I’m sure he doesn’t like being dragged to see weird indie films, but I’ll buy the popcorn and soda and toss in a Xanax because I’m nice like that.


9. Respects your family

Notice how I don’t use the word “likes” here; although, that’s always a plus. This also goes for both sets of friends.


10. Satisfies in bed

If you can’t please your partner in bed, chances are, he or she is gonna look for that satisfaction elsewhere. Being satisfied in the sack goes beyond pleasure; it means you two are also sexually comfortable with one another. When it comes to matters in the bedroom, you and your partner should keep an open dialogue.


11. Maintains a healthy relationship with alcohol and socializing

If your partner can’t handle drinking or social situations, then you’ll either: A) Have to accept the role of the occasional babysitter, or B) Pass on it altogether. (Shout out to my future hubby!) Drinking Jameson and crying at the bar afterwards is kind of a deal-breaker — same with getting violent, Chris Brown.


12. Loves your flaws

True confession: I love not wearing pants. If you don’t love that about me, then we probably aren’t meant to be together. The person you marry should, of course, play up your strengths, but also appreciate your imperfections. It might sound trite, but it’s your quirks that make you… You.


13. Gives you well-deserved compliments

So sue us for wanting the person we love to tell us we’re beautiful and perfect and incredible and smart and the best person on the planet?

Seriously, though, you don’t need to shower us in flattery, but when we’ve spent all day researching the perfect lingerie, hearing that we look “sexier than Rihanna in her ‘Pour It Up’ video,” is always well-received.

(Yes, patrons in the comments section, these are my daddy issues talking — you’ve totally figured me out.)


14. Shares the same values

Someone who is materialistic and enjoys splurging on extravagances probably won’t last very long with someone who is down-to-earth and likes to rough it. This is why celebrities marry other celebrities***.

(***The reason they don’t last very long, though, is completely unrelated to this list.)


15. Stays faithful

This seems fairly obvious; although, you’d be surprised at how many people are more and more accepting of the fact that their spouses will cheat at least once in their relationship.

I am not one of those people. Don’t f*cking cheat on me, or I’ll break up with you… And then cut off your balls because I assume you have none in order to do that to a person. (Smiles.)


16. Displays intelligence

Smart people don’t suck. They also offer insightful advice and help you make good choices. Your spouse doesn’t have to be a college graduate. We’re referring to the kind of partner who innately possesses that brand of sage intelligence.


17. Appeases your attraction (whatever that means to you)

Because you’re going to be spending the better part of your life with this person, it’s mildly crucial that you also feel connected to him or her. I happen to be fond of older, hairy men. And I’m pretty sure that sounds attractive to no one but myself.


18. Partakes in various hobbies

They don’t have to be the same hobbies as yours (see #8 ‘Compromises’), so long as your partner has other ways of fulfilling him or herself, aside from banging you and then cuddling on repeat. Whether that means frequenting museums or watching viral videos, your partner should have other interests outside of your relationship.

Bonus points if by “hobby,” you also mean “grubbing.”


19. Shares in your vision for the future

Hopefully you’re both in it.


20. Delivers unconditional love

Unconditional love is kind of like the Olive Garden: When you’re there, you’re family.

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On Being Nice

For as long as I can remember everyone has associated the word “nice” next to my name. It’s not that I don’t want to be known as nice nor is it because I dislike being nice, it’s just that sometimes I wonder if people can see beyond “nice” and notice other things about me. I wonder if anyone actually appreciates what I do and the extra time and attention I put into things. I know it’s taken note of but after the moment has gone and passed, does anyone even remember? Does it stand out to them? Will it continue to matter and make a difference to them as the years go by?

I used to have a really hard time saying “No” to people. It used to be so bad it almost got to the point where I would try to avoid conversations with people or not fully commit nor fully dismiss responsibility or consent in order to not have to tell them no. In other words, I used to be a pushover. It wasn’t because I was afraid of people not liking me or not being my friend. To me, it made sense to be nice to others and if I didn’t have to go out of my way to do something for others, I would do it but I found that I would end up in situations that I didn’t really want to be in and only so I could spare the other person’s feelings. Through a lot of personal experiences and interactions with a few specific individuals, I started to not be happy with myself for putting myself in these situations, for not speaking up for myself especially when the other person was wrong or being extremely unfair.

Today, I am far from the pushover I used to be and I don’t hesitate to say no anymore, although I still find myself telling other people yes most of the time. I know I have the power to say no and I am not obligated to share why. Yet, lately, I can’t help but wonder if there is such a thing as “being too kind” or “having too big of a heart” and if that’s a bad thing. I mean, of course, obviously if you are too nice, you’re more likely to be a victim of abuse and an easy target for manipulators but what I’m talking about is, does being too nice make those that you are around feel bad because they can’t be like you? Does it make other people feel obligated to treat you well and be around you for nothing more than the fact that they feel bad for not wanting to be around you or that they cannot treat you the same way you treat them?

I know I should just be myself and who I am. I couldn’t imagine not being nice and refusing to help others. I think that would turn me into a very nasty, negative person. There is so much joy I get from giving and from doing things for others – and it’s not because it reinforces the privilege that I have to be able to help and give or the intelligence or talents that I possess. Each time I am able to help another person, I feel as if I’ve gained something, much more so than when I get paid or make money. It’s just that lately, I’ve been wondering about a lot of things which all seem to be interconnected with my being nice. I just couldn’t help but question it. Perhaps I’m just thinking too much but better to think too much than not at all.

Ascension

And if I go

While you’re still here…

Know that I live on

Vibrating to a different measure

Behind a veil you cannot see through.

You will not see me,

so you must have faith,

I wait for the time when we can soar together again

both aware of each other,

Until then, live life to its fullest!

When you need me, just whisper

my name in your heart…

I will be there.

– Colleen Cora Hitchcock

6 Habits of Resilient People

*** This is a re-post from Fast Company by Gwen Moran on resilience. Click here to go to the original posting.***

WHAT MAKES SOME PEOPLE PERSEVERE THROUGH TRYING CIRCUMSTANCES WHILE OTHERS BEGIN FLAILING AT THE FIRST SIGN OF CRISIS? UNDERSTANDING THE KEY QUALITIES OF RESILIENT PEOPLE IS THE FIRST STEP TO CULTIVATING THAT BOUNCE-BACK QUALITY IN YOURSELF.

BY 

On April Fool’s Day 2011, I was unexpectedly diagnosed with early-stage invasive breast cancer. As a freelance writer with a career I love and a family that depends on my income, I spent most of the year juggling surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation with assignments, interviews, and youth soccer schedules. Throughout, friends and colleagues seemed surprised that I remained relatively active and pretty optimistic.

What else was there to do, I wondered. Taking to my bed for the better part of a year wasn’t an option for my personality or my bank account. Why not look at the bright side of early diagnosis and great prognosis and keep going? During that time, I contributed to two books, wrote dozens of articles and ended the year with a clean bill of health.

Since then, I’ve been more curious than ever about why some people persevere through trying circumstances while others begin flailing at the first sign of crisis. I wondered if there were commonalities among resilient people and whether it’s possible to develop those qualities and strong points. The answers, according to the experts, are yes and yes. Here’s what those never-say-die folks have in common–and how you can develop them for yourself.

1. THEY BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.

People who bounce back tend to have a network of supportive people around them, says Michael Ungar, Ph.D., co-director of the Resilience Research Centre at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. For some people, that’s a close-knit family, but for others it’s a carefully cultivated group of friends, colleagues, mentors and others who actually care and are willing to help. Ungar says he’s seen the tendency to seek out support sources in children as young as five years old: When the family unit isn’t functioning in that way, children tend to reach out to coaches, teachers or other adults as a support network. Similarly, resilient adults seek out others who care about them who can offer emotional, professional or other assistance when times get tough.

2. THEY REFRAME PAST HURTS.

Lorenn Walker had just left a hotel bar one night in 1976 when an unknown assailant nearly murdered her. He fled, but she was left badly injured, needing surgery on her face. Her recovery took four months. Through therapy and willfully refusing to be mired in fear and resentment, she was able to “reframe,” or think about the situation in a different way. Instead of resenting the scars and the fearful memories, the Waialua, Hawaii, lawyer and counselor sees the attack as the catalyst that led her to her work in what she calls restorative justice–counseling prisoners and victims of violent crime in how to make peace with the past and cultivate meaning in their lives.

“You have the power to determine how you’re going to look at a situation, and you don’t give that power to other people, particularly people who are bad or who hurt you,” she says.

3. THEY ACCEPT FAILURE.

Paul LeBuffe lectures about resilience as part of his role as director of the Devereux Center for Resilient Children, a Villanova, Pennsylvania, facility that works with educators and mental health professionals to develop more resilient children. It’s not uncommon for his audience to include young people who were highly successful students, but graduated during the recession and are devastated at their inability to find jobs.

“They don’t know how to cope with the fact that they didn’t get the first job they applied for. So we hear a lot about these young people sitting in their parents’ basements playing video games,” he says.

If you don’t give yourself the opportunity to fail sometimes and accept it as a part of life, you’re going to struggle with bouncing back, LeBuffe says. Successfully emerging from failure develops the ability to be optimistic that things can be bad now, but they’ll be okay eventually, he says.

4. THEY HAVE MULTIPLE IDENTITIES.

If you get most of your self-worth from your job and you get fired, you’ve suddenly lost both your source of income and a big part of your identity, says Ungar. Resilient people often have a number of areas from which they get their sense of self-worth, says Ungar. They may have deep friendships or family connections, strong faith, or a leadership role in the community. They’re better able to bounce back, because even if one goes away, they still have a sense of connection and being valued from those other areas, he says.

5. THEY PRACTICE FORGIVENESS.

Whether it’s forgiving yourself for a failure or forgiving someone else for an injury or injustice, being able to let go of past hurts and move on is an essential component of resilience, Walker says. When you find yourself “ruminating about grievances and negative stories, you have to just stop yourself and remind yourself of what you have to be grateful for,” she says. If you’re not a naturally forgiving person, this takes practice, but it is a skill that can be mastered, she adds.

6. THEY HAVE A SENSE OF PURPOSE.

LeBuffe says resilient people have a sense of purpose that helps them analyze their situations and plot the next moves. This stems from a set of values that is unique to each individual. When you know what’s important to you, whether it’s family, faith, money, career, or something else, you can prioritize what needs your attention most immediately to help you get back to where you want to be. That goes for organizations, as well. When everyone knows the ultimate goal, they can make meaningful contributions. When they don’t, they’re mired in indecision.

“If the people who work in a company don’t know the values, they’re paralyzed. They have to keep coming back to senior management to say, ‘What about going after this market?’ or ‘What do you think about extending credit another 30 days?’ instead of being able to act adaptively,” he says. “It’s the same for people. You have to know what’s important to you to be able to take action.”

Brown on Love

“We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness, and affection.

Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.

Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.”

– Brene Brown

My 2013 In Review

As I look back on the year 2013, I realize it has not just been “another year” for me, instead 2013 has been a year filled with accomplishments and new beginnings. 2013 was a year of all-time highs – each and every day felt great and I enjoyed every moment of every day. 2013 seemed easy – everything fell into place and things happened at all the right times. 2013 brought many wonderful people into my life, people who would impact my life in numerous ways. 2013 also was a year of tremendous growth and discovery for me. I was blessed to have been presented with so many opportunities to shine, to grow, to meet amazing people, which allowed me to fully embrace what came out of each moment.

A few highlights from 2013:

  • I took a leap of faith and put myself out into the dating world again. I was reminded of the cruelties of love and dating, the importance of standing up for myself in a relationship and listening to my gut, and the joys of finding the other half you’ve been searching for and the thrill of getting to know someone.
  • I met an amazing, generous, honest, wonderful young man who is now my significant other and had many adventures and new first experiences with him. I found a harmony and happiness that I had never experienced before in my previous relationship.
  • I finished my second term of service as an AmeriCorps member with an amazing non-profit that has a very personal and close place in my heart and more than doubled my results and I hope to continue to make an impact on the lives of others.
  • I was nominated by my peers for AmeriCorps Member of the Year and received a proclamation from the Mayor for my dedication to service and for my work in the community. It was a surreal experience. The work I do and I did was not for any reward or gain but it was good to know that others appreciated the time and effort I put into each and every task.
  • I (along with my significant other) went on a scavenger hunt race through the heart of downtown and although we were completely lost, had no idea what the answer to most of the clues where, and was no where close to being among the top teams, I still had lots of fun.
  • I completed an obstacle 5K race. It wasn’t as hard-core as I had thought but was still quite fun and thrilling.
  • I started a new job at a higher-education institution. While this job is an entry-level one it is a job that I hope will open many doors and bring in many new connections ahead. I feel very fortunate to be employed in such an innovative and thought-provoking environment and to work alongside like-minded individuals every day.
  • Last but great way to end my year, I was selected by the Commissioner to be on the Department of Human Service’s council on advancing health equity and reducing disparities and inequities among multicultural communities within the state. While our few meetings so far have not been as productive and a little dry, I am honored to have been selected to be a part of this council and look forward the change that we will bring. Even if nothing significant comes out of this council, it is still a great way to get the wheels rolling in the state about this issue and a great opportunity for me to be a more involved and impactful citizen.

“Begin at once to live and count each separate day as a separate life.” ~Seneca