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The Congenial Male pt. 1

What is a Congenial Male anyway? Well the best definition is: A man that people want to be around. Now some guys have an entourage of friends that surround them at all times – their “posse,” but what about the people that don’t run around in your circle of friends.

    When we venture out into public, and into the view of others, what do people see? Being a Lyft driver for a few years, I saw many guys that put themselves out there, without much thought of how they appeared to others. I picked up many of the same guys later – still alone.

    It is sad but true, you are judged first by your appearance. Let’s look at how a girl goes out into public versus a guy. A girl always is aware of how she looks (yes this is a generialization). First she’ll take a shower, shampoo and condition her hair. When she gets out,  she will apply lotion or baby oil to her body to make it soft and silky; then she will choose her clothes from her underwear to her jacket. She will spend considerable time on her hair, using several products to get it to the right condition. She will put on makeup, and create the look that she is proud of. Then she will get dressed, use deodorant and lastly perfume, but not too much. This very well might take her a couple of hours if not more. 

    Let’s look at how a guy (another generialization) goes into public. First he gets out of bed, he smells himself to see if he needs a shower, decides against it and puts on some deodorant. Then brushes his teeth (maybe). He looks for a shirt, but the shirt he wants is in the laundry – he smells it, it seems fine – so he puts it on. He does the same with the jeans and socks. Dawning a comfortable pair of shoes, he runs his hands through his hair and five minutes later, he is out the door.

    In this example, most people will want to be around the girl, but not so for the guy, why? Because of attitude. She prepares herself, she is aware of what she looks like and she wants to dictate how people perceive her. The guy – on the other hand – Just wants to get out there, he doesn’t consider how everyone perceives him, because his attitude is; well this works for me. 

Photo by Gustavo Fring on Pexels.com

    To be a man that people want to be around, you have to have the right attitude. If you want to be noticed – in the right way – you need to put some effort into how you present yourself. Think of it this way: Let’s say that you are going to a car lot, you are going to purchase a brand new car, but when you get to the car lot, and all the cars are dirty, covered with mud, the inside smells like unwashed feet. Chances are you would not purchase a car from that lot. 

    Like it or not we make judgements on what we see, from items at the grocery store to people at the club. If we don’t like what we see, we move on – sometimes unconsciously. Make sure no one moves on past you.  

Sleep Quote By Israelmore Ayivor: “Until you let…”

repost from shortwisdom.wordpress.com

Please accept my sincere appreciation for you being here! What is your relationship with sleep? If it would be possible, I would marry it! Until that…

Sleep Quote By Israelmore Ayivor: “Until you let…”

The Sum Of All Our Parts

Guys are better than girls, guys can do more, guys are smarter, guys are faster, guys are the ones to get the job done… BULLSHIT! Sorry for the vulgar vernacular, but really – guys aren’t better, just because we have man parts and can pee standing up, does not mean we are supreme. Please let me remind you, God took the very best part of man to make a woman. A woman does not need a man to be complete – God made her complete. However, a man needs a woman to complete him, because by divine providence, she was taken from him. I am so sick and tired of hearing these chauvinistic, misogynists touting that a man is better than a woman. Once again, I cry BULLSHIT!

I read this post this morning and I am going to quote it word for word.

“…I believe a woman’s body, a mother’s especially, is something to show and honor. I used to be 100 pounds heavier with pregnancy weight, never thought I would get my model figure back or my life, all because of that, and now, as a single mom and doing ALL of this on my own – I’ve worked too hard not to show for it, and I will proudly share my views on the emotional, hormonal and physical changes we as moms go through. Women’s bodies are miracle makers, a work of art, and it’s society that truly sucks and their message that women will never be pretty enough, good enough, that we are less than a man, all because of our lady parts. It’s our god given right to love our bodies, to take care of our health and wellbeing, no matter what, no matter how it looks like to others. So stop making women feel shame because they are simply born female. I will no longer dim my light, and (n)either should you.”

Kortney Reppert

Women – no matter their shape or size, no matter their bend in life, no matter their attitude – they are all special. Women are not easy targets, their minds are not soft, they are not incapable.  Women should be paid the same as a man, if not more – women have been trying to prove themselves since they have been in the workforce, and because of that – they work harder and smarter than their male counterparts. We, as a society, need to stop treating women as second class citizens. Women deserve our respect and admiration!

Perception

I hate it too, this whole “perception is reality.” Why can’t my reality be everyone else’s reality. If everyone had the same perception, then we would live in a very boring world. However, perception can be skewed: Something that is completely innocuous in action, can seem quite the opposite to someone else. Is there a way to combat this, or do we have to walk on eggshells the rest of our lives?

I will be the first to admit, I have not always been the most forthcoming with aspects of my life, which causes a fair amount of distrust. So I really should not be terribly shocked when someone sees my actions as harmful or mischievious (to put it very mildly). Nevertheless, I am always taken aback when I am questioned about my motives. 

Like my wife says time and time again, “You are the one who brought this on.” The worst part of this is that I know it. Can I change others perception and view of me – highly doubtful. Even so, I hope the more I show my actions are innocent and nontoxic – the more my motives will not be questioned.

So let me give this to you as a warning my dear friend. Set out to do things that are good and right. Don’t do things that will sow seeds of distrust or deceit – rather plant your garden with trust and honesty, and your garden will grow in beauty and splendor. If you have a relationship with someone that has not always been honest – Try to read their motives before defaulting to skepticism and mistrust. If their actions are suspicious and they have not tried to earn back your trust, then your opinion and lack of trust will be on their own head.

The Norm

I live in the Portland Oregon area, and it would seem that we are a progressive city. We have gay rights rallys, black lives matter rallys, indiginous people rallys, and we host one of the largest fleet week celebrations – every window and yard has the equality flag proudly displayed. We seem to get up in arms when people’s rights are in jeopardy, so there is no descrimination here right? NOPE!   

I belong to a neighborhood app, where people post things all the time, and one such post was a man just moved to the neighborhood and he wrote, “Is hatred the norm in *****? I just moved here, I have left my house twice, and both times I had slurs screamed at me. Is this to be expected…”

I have spoken out against racism before, and coming from a background of racists – I know the hatred that spews from the mouths of ignorant racists. I do not condone such actions. However, racism is rampant still. 

It is time to stop sitting and just letting it happen, it is time to pay attention and treat everyone with respect – regardless of their sex, sexual orientation, color of skin, what church they attend, what they believe and what language they speak. It is heartbreaking that the “Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave” still has this level of ignorance. 

People are targeting the Asian community with hatred because of the COVID. They are being verbally and physically assaulted in many communities. One of the people that I read quite frequently said that she was asked if she cooks her bats completely before eating them. REALLY? America – we are better than this! I swear my inner Samuel L. Jackson is about to come out in full force (If you don’t understand that reference, watch The Hitman’s Bodyguard).

Service members that have sacrificed and given of themselves with very little in pay. Made to live in places they never wished to live and put their lives in danger everyday – they are called baby killers and their property is vandalized. COMEON!

So, is it the norm? Should we just consider this to be someone else’s war? Should we just turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to the bigotry, racism, hatred and horrible treatment that our neighbors are enduring, or should we take action? Everyone is getting targeted, and it is just the ignorant few that are doing the targeting. This is wrong and we should put a stop to it, as a human collective. When we see someone that is being racist – call them out. When we see someone that is being targeted – side with them, back them up, give them physical and emotional support. If you are caught in an ignorant moment – stop and think – then apologize and intend to not be ignorant again. We need to be better.

Who Are You?

On one of the blogs I follow – Extra Life at extralifereviews.com – was reviewing a movie called the Promising Young Woman. I encourage you to read this blog, but one thing that stuck with me was that a woman was raped by a “Nice Guy.” Basically a guy that appears nice on the outside and is a misogynist on the inside. These “Nice Guys” target drunk women in the bar, take them home and rape them. This actually turns my stomach, because I know that in this case – life imitates art. But, this got me thinking – is who we are on the outside a true representation of who we are on the inside, or are we just “Nice Guys?”

I will have to admit, more times than not, I wear a veneer over my true nature. I don’t want people to see my anger, my selfishness, my depression and my other not so pretty parts. I hide them away behind my facade and walk out of my door – seemingly friendly and confident. 

I represent my name, my birth sign (no I am not into astrology), my Chinese zodiac (still not into astrology) and my Indigenous People’s zodiac (Nope, still not). So let me explain: My name is Thomas, which means twin – I have another side of me that mirrors the one that is seen, but is secretive. I was born in November, which makes me a Scorpio (Western) and a Snake (Indigenous People) – which is secretive, impulsive and spiritual. Then the Chinese zodiac has me as an Earth Monkey – I am irritable, impetuous and easily frustrated. Yes I know I am focusing on the negative, but that is kinda what this blog is about: Seeing behind the curtain.

But what does that serve us – to let people see our vulnerabilities? If we can manage to let down our guard, can it actually strengthen relationships that we are in? This can be a terrifying place, because our walls we construct are put there to protect ourselves. But what are we protecting ourselves from? I have been secretive, impulsive, irritable and impetuous, that seems to be my nature. So what does that mean to those around me? Do I just say, “prend moi tel que je suis.” and let the world be damned? I don’t think so.

I have to – nay, I am working on exposing my nature – but as I said before, this is terrifying. My wife knows I am secretive, and giving up my secrets has been hard. My impulsive and impetuous nature is something my wife has dedicated most of our married lives to correct, and even though it must be a tiring endeavor, she has stayed the course.

We need to do a personal inventory of what we are, who we are and what we need to change, so we can grow into the person that people want to be around. We need to take off the “window dressing” as it were, and show people who we really are, so we can change our nature. We need to align ourselves with people that care enough about us to work on our faults and bring us to be people that rise above our birthright. So what do you hide? What attributes do you have that are behind the curtain?

Reference:

https://wp.me/p4CLWp-2LH

Roll Over?

It is a misconception that when you are congenial, whether it is a man or a woman, that people will be able to run all over you. Some people’s attitudes are this; if a person is nice and congenial, they are not strong. However, strength does not always have to be shown by brute force. As I have shown in previous posts – strength comes in different clothes. However, sometimes we need to be aggressive and flex a bit, just so people don’t take advantage.

“Now please don’t think I’m weak, I didn’t turn the other cheek, and Papa, I should hope you understand. Sometimes you gotta fight when you’re a man”

Kenny Rogers – Coward of the County

There are going to be some people that you interact with that aren’t the nicest. Some of these people are toxic individuals, narcissists and even sociopaths and psychopaths. If we don’t stand up to these people – these bullies, they will continue their assault on our feelings and our own mental health. I’m not advocating physical violence, but what I am saying is that you can stand up to these people and in some cases, come out with more respect from them and for yourself as well.

Sometimes these toxic people don’t show their true colors, until we are fully invested in the relationship. Then these chameleons show their true selves, and it feels too late. However,  it is never too late. You can take back your life and move on. Trust me, some of these people will promise to change, but don’t believe it. Yes some people can make a change and move past their issues, however those are the exception and not the rule. 

Life is hard enough to deal with, without having to deal with a toxic person in your life, your niceness will not change them, in some cases nothing will change them. However, you need to get to safety, and start to heal your mind, body and spirit. But whatever you do – don’t lose hope.

Please Follow the Exit Signs, Thank You.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I have been sitting here at my keyboard writing and erasing for a while now. This is a hard thing for me, because I am not only a physical packrat but an emotional packrat as well. I don’t want this post to come across as whiny or sullen. On the other hand, I don’t want to sound as if I am cold and impersonal either. I am just closing the books on several friendships and acquaintances that I have had in the past. I am not going to name people, because this is more of a mental exercise than a physical one.

That being said – I want to express the gratefulness to my wife for putting up with me, and let her know that I love her very much. You are worth more than a million people!

When I say that I am closing the books, I am settling accounts in my own head. Some of these friendships have lasted longer than my marriage, some only a few short years. I have no contact with any of these people anymore – and not just because of COVID. They have fallen away and I need to clean them out, so I can move on.

My big problem is that nobody is a stranger – or a stranger for long. This makes me seem like I am very personable, but when they don’t come around anymore, stop talking to me, or they have just moved on. I feel a complete loss.

I will admit that some of these friendships have caused my wife to be more than a little jealous, even if I have never had any notion of a romantic interlude with any of them. She still feels like I do, and to be quite frank, that is why I have ceased to remain friends with some of these people. My wife is my best friend – someone whom I enjoy my life with and I don’t want to lose her as well; so the reason that some of these friends are no longer in my life is to make my wife feel more comfortable. 

The other night I was making up stories of how I was friends with all of these celebrities, and my youngest  daughter commented that my wife was my only friend. As it turns out, she is correct. I know people – such as my neighbors – and I would help them out anyway I can, but frankly – they are just acquaintances.  

If we look at the definition of a friend:

A person whom one knows and with whom one has a bond of mutual affection, exclusive of sexual or family relations.

Oxford online dictionary, friend, 12\01\2020

I have only had a few people land in that category. It is harder to let those people just fade into the background. 

This begs the question: Can a married man have friendships outside of his marriage? If so, how can he keep from letting those relationships overcloud his primary relationship with his wife? How does he know when the relationship has gone too far?

I never had a bevy of friends, I had few friends but the ones I had were close friends. So maybe my inability to have many friends as a child has led me to take friendships too far when I am an adult. Is what I missed as a child, what I try to overcompensate for as an adult? I don’t have the answers to that question.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I am very grateful for my wife, and for the life we have carved out these last 34 years, but I will say that I miss those to whom I was friends with.

So as I settle my accounts, close the books and look back fondly at my friends, I must boldly go into the future – will I make new friends? Undoubtedly – will they leave? Regretfully.

Stay Curious

I used to work for an international payroll company, before I went to work as a LYFT driver. The first thing I was introduced to was their “culture.” There were a lot of things that they had in their culture that I had never heard of in my career. Their culture hung on an idea of the “Accountability Ladder.”

At the beginning of my time at this company, I was very intrigued with the idea of the ladder structure. They went through a section each month on different things in their “culture.” But how do you go through the accountability ladder, and why should you bother?

The information below is not talking about people that are in a domestic abuse situation. That is dealing with different situations then what I am dealing with here. Also this is not talking about people who have been victimized by a criminal. This is purely about people that are a victim of their own attitude.

Being the Victim

This ladder of accountability has two sides. The bottom of the ladder is the victim’s behaviors or the powerless attributes. These attributes are:

Unaware: Not knowing what is going on, not staying informed and not paying attention to what is happening. Being unaware can actually be detrimental not only in a professional setting, but in a personal setting as well.

Blame others: Not taking responsibility really degrades your reputation. If you are the type to play the blame game, then you are not taking responsibility for your actions. If you made a mistake, own up to it: Nobody needs to take the heat for your mistake.

Excuses: We have all heard excuses. Some excuses are valid – don’t get me wrong. However, when excuses become the norm, then you become less reliable. Stop making excuses and start taking responsibility.

Wait and hope: This is the lottery mentality. We can wait for something to happen, or we can make it happen. This is the difference between dreamers and doers. We can wait and hope something will change, or we can be the one to affect change.

Curiosity

Staying curious: When you become curious, you start to open your mind to more possibilities. You can leave being the victim behind and start to move forward. Being curious is a state of mind that brings equilibrium to your thought process. The best way to become curious is to ask fundamental questions.

What – What happened, what was I doing when it happened, what failed, what was the cause of the incident and/or what could I do better next time.

Where – Where did this happen, where did this plan fail and/or where can I make improvements to fix this plan,  

When – When did this happen, when did this fail

Why – Why did this happen, Why did this fail

How – How can I fix this, How can I ensure this doesn’t fail in the future.

Being Accountable

The top of the ladder is where the power is. When you reach this part of the ladder, nobody can stop you, your attitude is more positive and you stop being your worst enemy.

Acknowledge reality: When you start asking questions, you start to acknowledge reality – you can embrace what has happened and how it happened.

Embrace it: This basically means own the issue. You are the one that is taking responsibility, you need to take it and run with it.

Find solutions – This falls under the “How can I fix this.” Do not ever report a problem, without having a solution available. 

Make it happen: Once all your planning is done, then hit the switch. You are the one that can make the issue a success. Be the hero, rule the day!

Having the accountability ladder is a visual representation of where we need to be and where we need to escape from. It is much more preferable to be curious and accountable versus being a victim. Being a victim makes you powerless and freezes you in fear. There is no movement when you are a victim, and until you can climb the ladder, you will not move forward. Once you hit the curious stage, then you can start to become powerful – people will start to notice your strengths and your ability to take responsibility and make things happen.

Responsibility

There is nothing more attractive than when a person is responsible and they take responsibility; conversely when someone shirks responsibility, it is a big turn off, especially when they are supposed to be an adult. How do you deal with someone that lacks responsibility? What causes a person to be irresponsible?

There are several causes for irresponsibility, so does this make it a psychological disorder? So far it has not been included into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, however, being irresponsible is tied to Antisocial Personality Disorder. So does that mean that all people who are irresponsible suffer from APD? I don’t believe so, but a trained therapist should be the one to make that determination.

However there are some things that we should touch on here.

Burden Avoidance – Immaturity is expected in young individuals upto a certain age. Children are expected to be immature, they are expected to throw tempers, stomp their feet and try hard to get out of work. When they are approached with doing chores, they either act as if they didn’t hear you, or they try other techniques to not do what needs to be done. Some adults have this issue as well, they will try to avoid doing what is necessary. They will act as if the issue isn’t theirs, or that they have something better to do with their time then to take care of the issue.

This ties into – Deliberate – Sometimes irresponsibility can be deliberate. The person does not wish to do something, so they pass it off to someone else. This is a deliberate act, and they know there is someone that will pick up the slack.

Learned Helplessness – Some people have been coddled all of their lives. Everything has been done for them, and when they emerge as adults, they still have no idea what they need to do. Doing things for your children does not help them in life; Therefore coddling your child too much and for too long creates Learned Helplessness, which can actually harm them as an adult. Don’t get me wrong, children need to to be coddled at times, but don’t take it too far.

No or Poor Impulse Control – This is a problem with most people that are irresponsible. They look at responsibility as an inconvenience. They want to do other things that are “more fun,” such as playing games on their phone, watching television when other people are working, napping ect. 

Low Accomplishment – Some people that are irresponsible have no drive to accomplish anything, or they think that the accomplishments they have are enough to tide them over. This thinking “I have done enough,” is never enough. There are more things to do and more things to accomplish.  

Ignorance – There are those that don’t realize they are irresponsible. They go through life being oblivious to the fact of their own delinquency. When it is brought up to them, they don’t change, because they don’t see the problem with their listlessness. 

Lack of Clarity – At the core of a person that lacks responsibility, there is someone that lacks organization, they are constantly distracted and even lethargic. So when you ask this type of person for anything – chances are you will not get what you need.

When faced with a person that is irresponsible, you have two different options: The first option is to not deal with the person – If you have the ability, get them out of your life as soon as possible. They are not worth the aggravation and they might not be worth the effort. The second option is to confront them. 

When you confront these types of people, you need to be clear of your purpose and your expectations. However, if you are on the attack, if you want to fight, if you want to punish or even criticize: That is not helpful. However, helping them to learn and change should be your primary goal. Peter K Gerlach, MSW from sfelp.org has some great conversation starters and ways to approach your irresponsible person.

Irresponsibility is hard to deal with in another person. You feel that you are taking up all the slack, and they don’t seem to care. There are ways to confront them, but you should do it from the position of helping them, not just helping yourself. The irresponsible person might not change, but if you confront them, at least you will know that you weren’t irresponsible towards them. 

Reference: 

http://sfhelp.org/cx/apps/irresponsible.htm