Thought Catalog


To My Fellow Women, Please Don’t Settle

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 08:15 PM PDT

Jeff Isy
Jeff Isy

Not in a job you hate, not in a town where you don't feel at home, not with friendships that aren't real, and especially, especially not with love.

You deserve someone who will smile at your silly jokes, who will kiss your forehead when you've had a long day, and who will absentmindedly reach for your hand across the center console when he's driving, just because he wants to feel your fingers twisted with his.

You deserve a guy who doesn't just spend the night, but spends the morning. Who cooks your favorite chocolate chip waffles with peanut butter and brings them on a tray to your bed when you're sick. Who hums your favorite song, off-key and awkward, just to make you laugh. Who takes you on a walk to his favorite hill in town, and kisses you as the sun sets.

You are strong and gentle, determined and loving, complicated and kind, and you deserve someone who looks past your flaws and the way you curl your hair, and sees your beautiful heart.

So please, my sister, don't settle. Don't settle for the man who texts you at three in the morning, or only when you're at a party without him, or only when you're happy with someone else.

Don't settle for the boy who plays mind games, who calls you hurtful names, who spins you around in his lies until you're so dizzy and tired you just give in.

Don't settle for the guy who sees only a face, only a body, because sweet girl, you will always be more than a body.

I know you might feel lost right now. You might be scared. You might be terrified of being lonely. And you might be thinking this is it, this is all there is. But I promise you, there's so much more.

There will be a man whose fingers will trace the freckles on your cheeks and send goosebumps down your back. Whose arms will hold you during the fireworks on the fourth of July. Whose lips will taste like your Mike’s Hard Lemonade because he won't stop kissing you. Whose smile will make your head spin like you're drunk, but even better.

There will be a man who will answer your calls, who will take you on dates, who will, despite the distance and despite the childish boys of your past, truly love you, choose you. Every. Single. Day.

So please promise me this: That you will hold out for him. That you won't settle for the cheapened version of love. That you won't kiss away the unsatisfied taste on your tongue. That you won't go to bed next to someone else, wishing for more.

There will be more. So much more.

Don't settle for anything less than excitement and jumping beans in the pit of your stomach. Nothing less than forever. Nothing less than knowing, beyond on a doubt that this is love.

Because I promise, you'll find it. And it will be more beautiful than you ever imagined. TC mark

Read more writing like this in Marisa Donnelly’s book Big Heart Problems.

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This Is What Real Friendship Between Strong Women Looks Like

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 08:01 PM PDT

Twenty20, danilynayee
Twenty20, danilynayee

They say that your best friend is someone who's always there for you and knows every little secret in your life. But I have a close friend who's always there for me no matter what, and yes, she's just a "close friend." Not a "best friend."

She's the friend that you can message at any time of the day and you'll surely get a reply.

She's the friend that will leave you a random message saying that you should make sure not to do anything too crazy and that she's always there if you need anyone to talk to.

She's the friend that will tell you to text her when you get home so she knows that you arrived safely.

She's the friend that lets you gush about the guy you’re crushing on, but laughs at you because you two have never even spoken.

She's the friend that reminds you that you can do anything as long as you have the guts to go for it.

She's the friend that you can talk to about your dreams.

She's the friend that will ask you to get matching tattoos.

She's the friend that will call you when she's drunk to ask you if you love her, and then will tell you that she's still in love with her ex, but that she's not stupid enough to go back to him.

She's the friend that will laugh at you when you fall, but is also the first one to pick you up.

She's the friend that will tell you that she'll punch the air out of the boy who keeps on hurting you, but also tells you that you’re such a dork for falling head over heels for that loser.

She's the friend that will tell you that it's all going to be okay.

She's the friend that curses a lot, but has a golden heart.

She's the friend that never says she loves you, but shows it with every action.

She's the friend that knows everything you've been through.

She's the friend that knows your deepest, darkest secrets but never judges you.

She's the friend that you can laugh with about dirty jokes.

She's the friend that reminds you that you deserve so much better.

She's the friend that tags you on relatable posts on Facebook to remind you of your worth.

She's the friend that always says, "I got you," and actually means it.

She's the friend that tells you that you are strong and that she believes in you.

She's the friend that is literally only one call away and down for anything.

She's the friend that wishes you would’ve met each other a long time ago so she would’ve been able to defend you from the people who bullied you back then.

She's the friend that reminds you to eat when you’re too busy to remember on your own.

She's the friend that is usually quiet, but is talkative around you.

She's the friend that tells you that true friendship can't be measured by how long you've known each other.

She's the friend that made you believe you can do anything.

So to my closest friend, I guess I can never really call you my "best friend," because that would be an understatement for someone that I consider to be my "greatest friend." TC mark

Here’s The Type Of Person You Would Never Ever Date, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Sisters
Sisters

Aries

(March 21st to April 19th)

Someone who immediately states their interest in you, puts you on a pedestal, and extinguishes any sense of a chase the moment the two of you start talking.

Taurus

(April 20th to May 21st)

Someone who makes you feel emotionally insecure, is fairly closed off about their feelings, and makes you question everything about your relationship from the moment it begins.

Gemini

(May 22nd to June 21st)

Someone who is rooted in routine and habit, is inflexible to change, and would rather sit on the couch and play video games than go out and explore the world and get to know you on a deeper level.

Cancer

(June 22nd to July 22nd)

Somebody who is not big on family and who prefers to be matter-of-fact about love and relationships rather than being emotional.

Leo

(July 23rd to August 22nd)

A lazy partner who’s not particularly interested in achievement, and someone who’d rather do their own thing than depend on you and/or work together.

Virgo

(August 23rd to September 22nd)

Somebody who’s on a different intellectual level than you, who can’t keep up with your way of thinking and isn’t interested in talking things out, and someone who makes you feel out of control in a bad way.

Libra

(September 23rd to October 22nd)

A person who gets jealous when you socialize with others and has a hard time “sharing you,” and someone who makes you feel claustrophobic because of their clinginess or neediness.

Scorpio

(October 23rd to November 22nd)

Somebody who can’t handle your feelings for them (since your emotions can be intense and overwhelming at first), and someone who is not keen on physical signs of affection (no handholding, no kissing in public, no cuddling, etc.)

Sagittarius

(November 23rd to December 21st)

A Debbie Downer who thrives on negativity, who has low ambitions, and who gets jealous extremely easily.

Capricorn

(December 22nd to January 20th)

A person who gets antsy in a relationship and wants to move it along at an extremely fast pace, someone who doesn’t respect your privacy, and someone who can be fickle about what they want.

Aquarius

(January 21st to February 18th)

Somebody who squashes your creativity, who is incapable of supporting and encouraging your unique and eccentric mindset, and who runs away the minute they finally ‘win’ you over,

Pisces

(February 19th to March 20th)

A person who doesn’t know how to handle emotional intimacy, who writes you off as being “dramatic” when you react sensitively to something, and who cannot reassure you and make you feel secure in your relationship.

29 Lessons From The Greatest Strategic Minds Who Ever Lived, Fought, Or Led

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 06:00 PM PDT

Orest Ukrainsky
Orest Ukrainsky

Whether you're starting a business, writing a book, playing a sport, or negotiating a salary increase with your boss, a strategy is essential. Without one, what exactly are you doing?

Most people are not strategic. They are reactive. A critic of the inventor John DeLorean described the leadership style which sunk that company as "chasing colored balloons." Meaning that he'd chase one thing from the next—there was no plan, no vision, no sense of how one thing fed into the next. That's not to say he wasn't working hard—he was, but his passion and energy (and ego) weren't productive and ultimately, he failed catastrophically.

The same will happen to us without a strategic mindset and strategic plan in matters big and small. This strategic wisdom is not something you're born with. It is developed, both with experience and with education. I'm not saying you have to study the battles of Napoleon to get it, but there are plenty of small and actionable lessons from warfare, the corporate jungle and the wise minds of history that will improve your strategy—both in business and in life. Below are a collection of insights from some of the greatest strategic minds who ever lived, fought or lead.

Let them guide you on whatever you do next.

1. Avoid Tactical Hell — Robert Greene, the strategist and bestselling author of 48 Laws of Power and 33 Strategies of War explains that "most of us exist in a realm that [he] call[s] tactical hell." As he defines it, tactical hell is a place where we are perpetually reactive to other people's demands and needs, driven by emotional instead of logical impulses, fighting battle after battle after battle. You need to escape it, and as he put it, choose "strategic heaven." Because as Robert says, "strategy is a mental process in which your mind elevates itself above the battlefield." Instead of being in the fray you are seeing things from a distance—with objectivity and detachment, gaining the skill of seeing the bigger picture.

2. Plan All the Way To the End — There is another lesson I learned from Robert which is best expressed by the French poet Jean de La Fontaine: "In everything, one must consider the end." Before you jump into anything—say, writing a book—you need to fully envision the end result and have a clear objective before you throw yourself into action.

3. Think Long Term — Jeff Bezos, the Amazon founder and CEO explained the importance of long term thinking nearly two decades ago in his 1997 letter to shareholders. As he said, "We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term." For companies—as is the case for individuals—there are always pressures to be myopic and narrow in our focus and vision. Bezos, unlike most business leaders, refused to play that game. As he explained, Amazon will always focus on the long term, "rather than short-term profitability considerations or short-term Wall Street reactions." He understood that the real value lies in thinking decades ahead. His maxim for business opportunities is also relevant here: "Focus on the things that don't change."

4. Practice the Art of Negative Visualization — This lesson in strategy comes from the great Stoics philosophers like Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. They had a term—premeditatio malorumfor visualizing failure in advance. Why would they do that? Because if you imagine failure you start seeing all the ways that have led to that result. And you can start actively working on addressing and mitigating them in advance.

5. Don't Get Caught Off Guard — General Matthew Ridgway had the following motto behind his desk: "The only inexcusable offense in a commanding officer is to be surprised." As a strategist, your job is to see the bigger picture and the potential perturbations in what you set out to do. Things never go according to plan—be ready and on guard for whatever comes your way.

6. Utilize the 'Draw-Down Period' — John Boyd was one of the most brilliant strategic minds of the 20th century. He was responsible for the F-15 and F-16 fighter jets as well as key concepts like the OODA loop (used everywhere from the military to business). Before he would jump into an idea and go full steam, he had a pre-production phase, a time he called his 'draw-down period.' It's the reflective period after you've had the idea, after you've put the first round of thinking into your plan and then step back and ask: "Ok, what do I really have here?" "Do I actually have something?" "What is this really going to be?" "What am I hoping to accomplish?"

7. Take the Indirect Way — The historian and author of Strategy, B.H. Liddell Hart, condensed William Tecumseh Sherman's strategic genius in the following maxim: Attack along the line of least expectation, and tactically along the line of least resistance. In other words, catch them by surprise, right where they are weakest.

8. Stuff Adds Up — A strategist cannot compromise on the essentials and they cannot allow distractions and tangents to slow them down. One of George Washington's favorite sayings was the Scottish adage "Many mickles make a muckle." Cutting a corner here and there adds up. Making this exception or that exception adds up. Waste is contagious. Related to this is a strategic concept called "mission creep." You start out with a clear goal of what you plan to achieve—but you make this addition and that addition and let so-and-so add their pet projects too. Soon enough, it becomes something else entirely.

9. Make Haste Slowly — According to one historian, Augustus "thought nothing less becoming in a well-trained leader than haste and rashness," which explains why festina lente (or make haste slowly) was one of his favorite sayings. As Arthur Schlesinger Jr. commented on Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "his caution was always within an assumption of constant advance." When we are young, deliberation and caution often gets sacrificed at the expense of rushing unthinkingly into things. If you tend to sway that way, remember the lesson: festina lente.

10. Avoid the Competition — In one of the best strategy books out there, Blue Ocean Strategy, the authors explain the difference between a 'blue ocean' and a 'red ocean.' One is the virgin space without any competitors, the other is where you get eaten alive. Where would you rather go? It's why billionaire investor Peter Thiel says that "competition is for losers."

11. Actively Seek Criticism — Dwight D. Eisenhower, one of the best commanders of the last century has put his views on the necessity of criticism in this way: "I have no sympathy with anyone, whatever his station, who will not brook criticism. We are here to get the best possible results." As a strategist you understand that in any endeavour there is no room for ego—you answer only to results. And your job is to plan how to achieve those. You actively submit your strategic plans to feedback and criticism—that's how they get better.

12. Adopt Systems & Processes — According to Ron Chernow's biography of George Washington, another one of Washington's favorite sayings was "System in all things is the soul of business." As you see what you are after in the distance, you need to ensure that you are taking the right steps necessary to get you there. Part of that comes from systems, routines and rituals—structures that prevent you from sliding off track. With a system in place, you can better do the most essential job of a strategist: think long term.

13. See Things As They Are — The Samurai swordsman Miyamoto Musashi has stressed the difference between perceiving and observing. The perceiving eye is weak, he wrote, the observing eye is strong. Why? Because strategy—whether in business or winning sword fights— requires objectivity and seeing things as they are. It requires us to put aside how our emotions cloud our thinking with fear or brimming overconfidence and see how the situation truly is.

14. Be Generous in Success — Cyrus the Great, the renowned Persian leader and conqueror, understood the perils of greed during times of success: "Success always calls for greater generosity — though most people, lost in the darkness of their own egos, treat it as an occasion for greater greed. Collecting boot is not an end itself, but only a means for building an empire. Riches would be of little use to us now — except as a means of winning new friends."

15. Don't Straddle — Author Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism says that "straddling simply means keeping your existing strategy intact while simultaneously also trying to adopt the strategy of a competitor." The problem is many strategies are mutually exclusive. You need to know clearly what you are after. Leadership is the art of making trade-offs and difficult decisions. If you are greedy and try to have it all—you will get none of it.

16. Be Willing to Lose — The former trader and philosopher Nassim Taleb had an extremely unorthodox trading strategy to win big during serious market turmoils—he would be losing money for weeks, even years, on the bets that he has placed prior to those events but once the market crashed he would reap in substantial monetary rewards. He knew that certain collapses were inevitable but had to wait it out and lose money every single day because how those financial instruments work. When Grant was put against Lee, he did the math. The Union had more men and resources than the South. Both armies were losing men, but Lee could afford to lose them least. Some have called Grant a butcher, but he won the war because he was willing to fight to a draw in battle after battle, knowing that it was adding up towards a victory. Strategy often requires your willingness to bleed in the short term because you know the bigger payoff is further down the line. You can't let the short term distract you.

17. Focus On The "What," Not The "How" — The "banana king" Sam Zemurray wasn't always one of the most powerful men in his industry. But he always had a knack for strategy. When his small upstart company was fighting the behemoth United Fruit over the rightful ownership of an important piece of contested land in South America, United Fruit approached it in the traditional way: looking for the legal owner and willing to pay them. Zemurray, on the other hand, dropped the rulebook of looking for the rightful owner of the land and just paid anyone who had claims over it—even if he had to pay multiple times for the same property! Forget how you should get to your goal and always remind yourself what you are trying to accomplish.

18. Form a Red Team — Gen. Stanley McChrystal has said that it is key once you develop a strategic plan to bring in people who are not wedded to it, the outsiders who have no interest in it. They are, as the military term goes, a red team whose job is simple: to find holes and problems in your plan. Again, as a strategist, you can't have your ego involved—you should be grateful when people expose flaws in your approach. It is why companies need to appoint a Chief Dissent Officer—someone who can ruthlessly kill bad ideas in the making.

19. Deal With Problems Early — There is a cliche: The best time to do it was yesterday, the next best is right now. Don't put off dealing with your problems. They will only grow (many are contagious). The slave-turned-philosopher Publius Syrus had a maxim: "Rivers are easiest to cross at their source." A great strategist doesn't wait. They don't put off until tomorrow what can be solved today.

20. Use Their Own Energy Against Them — A fundamental principle of martial arts is to use the opponent’s strength and energy against them. "The best way is ever not to attempt to stem a torrent but to divert it," is how Alexander Hamilton explained in a letter to George Washington. Think of Gandhi—he didn't meet the British Empire with military resistance, that would have been foolish. Instead, he used passive resistance, which turns shows of strength and force against itself in the court of public opinion.

21. Learn to Prioritize — Another great lesson from Eisenhower is his decision matrix. It asks you to group your tasks into a 2×2 grid deciding whether a task is either important or not and whether it is urgent. Most of us operate in the non-important quadrants and we let ourselves be easily distracted. But as we know, the real value comes from doing the important and difficult work that requires shunning distractions and choosing hard work over the easily accomplishable bits that give us a sense of illusory accomplishment.

22. Learn to Manage & Delegate — When Eisenhower entered the White House for the first time as president and walked into the Executive Mansion, his chief usher handed him two letters marked "Confidential and Secret" that had been sent to him earlier in the day. Eisenhower's reaction was swift: "Never bring me a sealed envelope," he said firmly. "That's what I have a staff for." As his chief of staff later put it, "The president does the most important things. I do the next most important things."

23. Study the Terrain — One of the most outstanding Union commanders from the Civil War was William Tecumseh Sherman. But before any of his achievements, he was a young officer who in his first few years in service, traversed nearly the entire United States on horseback—never taking the same path twice—and slowly learning with each posting. These lessons came surprisingly useful later on. His famous march to the sea—a strategically bold and audacious plan—was rooted in his reliance on the exact topography he had scouted and studied as a young officer. You need to study and understand the terrain you are operating in—whatever form it takes.

24. Have a Clear Schwerpunkt — The German military uses the term schwerpunkt which roughly translates to 'focus of main effort.' In war, this means finding the enemy's center of gravity and focusing all your strength on hitting it. In life, this means knowing exactly what and where you are trying to break through—find the opportunity or the hole that matters most—and don't stop until you do.

25. Beware of Specialization — If you become too myopic and focused in your scope of work you might lose contact with the bigger picture. It is why Viktor Frankl, author of Man's Search for Meaning, has put it this way: "I would define a specialist as a man who no longer sees the forest of truth for the trees of facts."

26. Regroup and Stay Focused — Napoleon has observed that "two armies are two bodies which meet and try to frighten each other. A moment of panic occurs, and that moment must be turned to advantage." We're all going to get knocked on our ass from time to time. So will our opponents. What matters is how quickly we regroup and follow up. As Marcus Aurelius put it, "When jarred, unavoidably, by circumstance, revert at once to yourself, and don’t lose the rhythm more than you can help. You’ll have a better grasp of the harmony if you keep going back to it."

27. Learn to Wait it Out — One of the most counterintuitive strategic lessons comes from Quintus Fabius Maximus Verrucosus, the Roman whose mission was to defeat Hannibal who not only had already crossed the Alps but had racked a number of important victories on Italian soil. Fabius's genius came from understanding that not engaging with Hannibal is where success would come from. He knew that Hannibal didn't have the army capable of attacking a walled city like Rome and that since he was far from home, Hannibal could only last for so long. There's an argument that the South should have used a similar strategy in the US Civil War. But this requires discipline and patience. It's exciting and easy to attack. It's hard to wait it out.

28. Boost The Morale — There is a well-known remark from Napoleon: "The moral is to the physical as three to one." Or in a more modern take, how Colin Powell put it: "Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier." Optimism and high morale multiply the effectiveness of everything else—it is why they are key levers that need to be considered in any operation.

29. Crush Your Enemy Totally — One of the most prominent leaders of the Haitian Revolution, Toussaint L'Ouverture, once replied to an opponent: "If you have a hog that eats chickens, you may put out its one eye, you may put out its other eye, but it still will eat chickens whenever it can." Asked what it means, he replies: "It means that the wicked are incorrigible." It is a less intimidating summary of Robert Greene's law: "Crush Your Enemy Totally." You realize that sometimes in war total annihilation is what is required—you can't afford making enemies for life. But the better lesson can be this: Avoid finding yourself in situations where you put yourself in a position to create lifelong enemies—reacting emotionally in situations is easy. Self-restraint? Not so much.

**
Of course, this is only scratching the surface of the strategic insights that will help widen your perspective and improve your efforts. If you want more, this list of 24 Books To Hone Your Strategic Mind can help. And here are 21 lessons from great coaches on how to think and win. TC mark

Stop Telling Me You’re Too Busy To See Me

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Joseph Strauch
Joseph Strauch

Don’t tell me you’re busy, because I don’t buy that shit anymore.

I’ve been with a number of guys who have used the excuse of being too busy, and I just don’t believe it. The thing is, I’m busy as well, with my family, my job, my friends, and with personal stuff, but I have the time to send a single text message. I have the time to make a simple phone call.

So please stop saying you’re too busy, or that you don’t have the time for me, because if you liked me enough, you would find the time, the way I do for the people I care about. Stop telling me you’re too busy, because if you really wanted to make our relationship work, you would actually put effort into it. I’m done hearing, “I’m busy,” because I’m done feeling unworthy of someone else’s time.

Stop telling me you’re busy, because I’m done pretending I'm okay with canceled plans. I’m done acting like waiting for you to become available isn’t a big deal. I’m done pretending that getting nothing from you is enough. I’m done testing my patience when there’s nothing I get back in return. I am tired of hearing your lame excuses for why you’re so busy each and every day, because I know if you cared enough, you'd give me more than this.

Stop telling me you're busy, because I am too, but I am willing to go out of my way to show you what you really mean to me. And if that’s too much to ask for, then I guess we're better off without each other. So stop telling me you're busy, because I know how much time you spend doing nothing, while I’m stuck here waiting. Stop telling me you're busy, because all I can think of is how I'm wasting my precious time waiting for text messages and phone calls from you that will never come. Wasting time that you don't deserve at all.

I'm not a fool, so please stop telling me you're too busy for me, because I don't buy it anymore. If you cared, you wouldn't let me feel taken for granted at all, you wouldn't let me wait for so long. So please stop telling me you’re too busy, because I’m tired of hearing it again and again.

Plus, I’m too busy to listen to your lies. TC mark

What You Need To Overcome In Order To Find Love, Based On Your Birth Order

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 04:15 PM PDT

samanthavaughan
samanthavaughan

FIRST BORN

Oldest children love being in charge and feeling like they're in complete control. They love when people come to them for advice almost as much as they love giving advice. They want to be the one everyone turns to and sometimes feel like they're obligated to carry the weight of the world on their shoulders. They want to know people care about them and that their voices are being heard.

In order to find love as the first born you need to take a step back and trust others. You can't always be there to hold everyone's hand and you shouldn't be expected to. You have to trust advice that others can give, you don't always have to have the last word and you have to accept that it is okay to be wrong. You have to start focusing some of the attention you give to others on yourself in order to find love. The most important thing you can do is start focusing on yourself and loving yourself. You need to embrace your insecurities and trust that the world won't fall apart without you. Once you do that you'll be able to find the love you deserve.

SOMEWHERE IN THE MIDDLE

Middle children love being better than their siblings, they love proving them wrong, they love being right and they love being the best. Middle children always try to find a way to outshine others and to do things bigger and better. They feel like they are often overlooked so will do more to become noticed.

In order to find love as a middle child you need to accept that you don't always have to be the center of attention to get what you want. Your hard working attitude and competitive nature is great, but sometimes you come on too strong. You need to cool it a little bit and stop putting others down in order to shine. It is okay to not be the best at everything and it is okay to lose every once in a while because without failure there is no growth. Once you're able to accept that there will be others who will be better than you and you don't always need to steal the spotlight you'll find someone who loves you for you.

YOUNGEST

Youngest children are so used to attention and everyone treating them like a baby, even after they're grown up. You're mom still probably refers to you as her baby and treats you extra special because you're her youngest. You are used to getting loved and praised, and frankly you like it because you rarely ever have to return the compliment.

In order to find love you need to learn how to praise yourself. You need to stop always looking for praise from others; it's okay if someone didn't compliment your haircut or admires your new shoes. You are used to everyone gawking over you and noticing what you've accomplished, but the praise won't always be there and it can get tiring in a relationship always complimenting someone. It can get even more tiring complimenting someone who never compliments back. Once you're able to accept that the world doesn't revolve around you you'll be able to find love.

TWIN

Twins are always being mistaken for each other, they sometimes get lost in now knowing who they are because they're constantly being called their twins name, making them feel like they aren't individuals.

In order to find love you need to accept that you are your own person. You need to break free from the barrier that you aren't your own person. You have to take a step back and stop constantly comparing yourself to your twin. You are different people so you will both excel differently and different times, it does not make one of you better and one of you worse. You'll find love when you pursue your own passion in a way that makes your world light up around you, that's when you'll find someone who will complete you in a way you never felt would be possible.

ONLY CHILD

Only children are used to being on their own, the house was always quiet when they were home, they never had any siblings to look up to or have any to look up to them. They got used to being on their own and began to actually like it. They're more introverted than extroverted; they find joy in having time to themselves and definitely need alone time to recharge.

In order to find love as an only child you need to open yourself up a little more to the world. You need to eliminate the idea that you can't coexist with someone and realize that sharing your life with someone isn't awful. There is enough oxygen in the room for the both of you to breath. It's hard for you to loosen up on your independence, but once you realize the person interested in you isn't trying to strip you of your freedom you'll be able to find love. TC mark

I’m A Difficult Person To Love But I Will Never Let You Go

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 04:00 PM PDT

 João Silas
João Silas

I'm a difficult person to love.

I need security because of the countless times I've been left hanging.

I need extra assurance because of the countless quarrels I had to see since young from my parents.

I need someone to be there for me and assure me they love me.

I'm afraid of people leaving my life, especially when they mean a lot to me.

But I promise you, I will love you with all my heart.

I will always be there for you.

I'll buy you herbal drinks when you're sick.

I'll plan surprises for you on your birthday or any special occasions.

I'll explore new places with you on our dates.

I'll eat the food you love and seeing you happy makes me smile.

I'll remember the little things you once said.

I'll let you have the freedom but promise me, you'll make me feel secure.

I'll go the extra mile even if it means only seeing you for a short while.

I'll open up to you and I hope you will too.

I'll throw a little tantrum at times but it won't last for more than 10 minutes.

I'm a difficult person to love, but I will never let you go.

So please don't let me go.  TC mark

17 Insane (But Weirdly Believable) Theories About Harry Potter

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 03:00 PM PDT

Harry Potter Series
Harry Potter Series

The real reason Harry could come back from the dead

The sad story behind ‘The Quibbler’

JK Rowling is Rita Skeeter

Trelawney predicted Dumbledore’s death in ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’

Dumbledore is really… Ron

JK Rowling is a wizarding world sellout, and the ministry won’t stop her

The Dursley’s were only mean because Harry was a horcrux

Voldemort is a matchmaker

Harry is mentally ill

The real reason Ron sucked at transfiguration

Mary Poppins may have gone to Hogwarts

The real reason Hagrid loved his students so much

The muggles had a war with the wizards… and won

Voldemort was a cannibal

The dementors are more interested in Harry because he has more than one soul

Seekers used to be less important in Quidditch

Some of us are wizards who never got our letter

It Is Not Your Fault: Healing The Loss Of A Narcissistic Partner

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 02:15 PM PDT

 Pexels
Pexels

At what point can we stop and believe, ‘It isn’t me?’

I am referring to the aftermath of a relationship with a narcissist. Maybe you are wondering why you can't "let go" and "move on." Or why you want to salvage such an imbalanced and unhealthy relationship? The reason is because the narcissist will enter your life and consume your entire existence, all for selfish benefit. When dating a narcissist, we will quickly be encapsulated and then the table will turn so fast it will leave our head spinning.

Recovering from a relationship with a narcissist is a deeply confusing and very emotional process because intellectually, we thought we knew better. The narcissist will not show awareness or remorse for the hurt he/she caused, so we assume the downfall was our fault and we have become so intertwined in making this person happy that we will exhaust and lose ourselves in the process. But, this experience has not been in vain, and regardless of how painful the ending will be, it is a gift. This time of healing will build personal and emotional strength, and provide infinite wisdom.

We are told not to ignore those red flags that we see in the beginning. This isn’t possible when meeting a narcissist because he/she is too skilled to reveal any red flags in the beginning.

He/she is drawn to your beauty, kindness, and confidence because this will fulfill their personal void. The narcissist will be so attentive, generous, and honest, at first. Almost like he/she is trying to "sell" him/herself as the greatest catch. He/she will charmingly comment on our hair and clothing, intelligence, and interests; like we are the perfect "soul mate."

Enchanting promises will be made that make us feel alive and invincible. Then almost instantaneously, the relationship will twist. We will now feel inconsequential, humiliated, and worthless. The partner we knew that once made us feel like royalty is now making us feel "needy," as though the entire relationship was just a fantasy and never really existed. The partner who was so eager to know everything about us and encouraged us to share our most personal life aspects is now a stranger who insults and discourages our being.

We try to exercise our voice when we are upset, but the narcissist is so adept at projecting and leaves us feeling that whatever happened is our fault. The punishment for even questioning the narcissist is the silent treatment that feels so horrid we will believe it is our fault and begin to apologize to try and win forgiveness from a person that only preys on this kind of attention, and is incapable of recognizing any personal fault.

If any of these patterns sound familiar, the relationship was bound to end because we are no longer a conquest and cannot fill the emptiness the narcissist is constantly seeking. The ending of this relationship feels so awful because we unknowingly put all our energy and effort into pleasing someone who was never going to commit, and is too selfish and self-absorbed to acknowledge our pain. It is not our fault he/she started mistreating, ignoring, and lying to us; simply disregarding us as a human being. Perhaps we started to question our own morals and wondered if we deserved this abusive treatment. And many of us will even try harder to recapture the loving relationship we had in the beginning.

We start to feel obsessed with "fixing" what is broken in order to feel better, and the more our efforts are squashed, the more persistent we become.

We question who this person is that we are chasing and start to feel “crazy” because nothing is changing. This is because our efforts are toward a losing battle.  The relationship is no longer an opportunity to be won for the narcissist. The reason we now feel like an object is because he/she no longer has any use for us after depleting all we could give. He/she will never open up emotionally no matter how hard we try because the person we thought we knew has completed the narcissistic cycle of abuse and needs to draw the energy and innocence from a new victim.

When we first met, he took me out and noticed everything about me. He made me feel as though everything I said was interesting and he was enthusiastic about spending time with me. It felt so exhilarating to be with him that I didn't even notice the quick flip. It wasn't long before the time we spent together dwindled and I would crave the limited time he gave me. I would take great pride to dress up and impress him, yet there were no more compliments. When I worked tirelessly on a project and felt great accomplishment, he minimized my efforts.

During the then rarity we went out on a date, he would walk in front of me without taking my hand. When we went to parties, he talked with other women while I was standing right there beside him. These were subtleties of the power he won over me that fed his warped ego. Toward the end, our intimate moments left me feeling used and insignificant. There was refusal to look into my eyes, as though I would see into his heartless and empty self. I allowed these experiences to make me feel like a subordinate because my self-esteem had plummeted and my self-respect diminished.

The narcissist will end the relationship just as quickly and smoothly as it began, and the coldness, harshness, and apathy leaves us feeling worthless. He/she will cut off contact so abruptly that we want to curl into ball and disappear. Being consumed under the narcissist's spell is not our fault and recovering from this will take time.

Our body, mind, and soul will heal, and a stronger self will allow us to feel more attuned, perceptive, and emotionally intelligent. Understanding this whirlwind will show that we do possess tremendous value, and our desire to love deserves to be loved from a genuine and warmhearted partner. Take the time to define what is important, and let no one doubt these convictions.

Let's keep our heart open and full of courage, and we will find our way to the fulfillment we deserve. TC mark

17 Men On The Specific Reason They Turned A Woman Down When She Made The First Move

Posted: 28 Aug 2016 02:00 PM PDT

daphneemarie
daphneemarie

1. There was a big age difference

“Yes, she was a co-worker, and she was 16; I’m 26. Nope nope nope.”

2. It wasn’t about me, she just wanted *someone* (bad)

“Yes, I got a bad vibe and sensed that something wasn’t right with her. She ended up stalking me for a year and a half, until she found a guy that said yes to her.”

3. She had hooked up with a lot of my friends

“Yeah she had fucked too many of my freinds. I would just had been thinking the entire time, “Damn my dick is in the same place as Aaron, DJ, Peter, Mike, Gary, John and Sean has been.'”

4. I only get with girls I know and trust

“I had a pregnancy scare with a one night stand. She was legitimately pregnant, but the O.B. dated her pregnancy to 5 weeks before our encounter. She didn’t accept that I wasn’t the father and tried to get child support out of me.

Unless I’ve known the person a while, it’s always a ‘no’ now.”

5. Lack of attraction or availability

“1)I’m not attracted to the girl.. at all

2) I’m out with friends. I don’t do well flirting in front of my friends, I just feel weird. I’ve had girls approach me in bars while out in my group, and I just kind of ignore them/never really flirt back.”

6. I was already dating someone… her cousin

“My then girlfriend’s cousin. She was visiting my girlfriend and her family. She had her boyfriend break up with her because of a medical condition she acquired and he couldn’t deal with it. I was just being friendly, nice, and supportive. She took it the wrong way and cornered me in the laundry room and was coming on to me. I told her no that I am dating her cousin and it was not the time or place for anything to happen.”

7. She was trying to cheat on her boyfriend

“I don’t care if you’re crazy hot and your birth control is making you unbearably horny right here in this empty library. You have a boyfriend, and that would be wrong.”

8. I’m not attracted to her

“Yeah, when I wasn’t attracted to her. It happened a few times before I got married.

Turning someone down does NOT come comfortably or naturally though. I have a huge amount of respect for women who have to do this all the time, especially given that they have to worry about the guy getting pissed off or aggressive.

The first time a girl made the first move with me I actually reciprocated mainly because I didn’t know what else to do without being a total asshole, then I just plain ghosted her after that. Not real proud of that one. So I guess score one for your friend’s point of view.

Subsequently I did the whole “I’m really flattered and you seem like a cool person but not really my type” thing.”

9. I was religious

“I’ve turned down quite a few. Not that I am a stud or anything, but I would say that I used to be. When I was working as a personal trainer I was approached by women all the time, but (at the time) I was also religious and/or in a relationship. A couple of these were utterly painful to turn down and I still think about them to this day.”

10. I was taken

“I work in a bar, so yes, constantly. Most take it well and leave it once I tell them I have a girlfriend. But you also have the slightly stalkerish ones that wait for you to leave and then follow you to your car.”

11. I have to make good decisions because of my son

“When I was young I turned girls down because I was deeply religious. Later I said no a couple times because I was in a relationship. Recently I said no to a single mother because I saw multiple red flags. That was the most difficult, because things can get lonely as a single full-time dad, and she is exquisitely beautiful. If it didn’t involve my son, I would have jumped straight off that cliff. But it is guaranteed to go badly, and I’m not going to put my son through the chaos she would bring to my life. This way our kids can stay friends and the playground doesn’t become a warzone. Friendship is fine, it doesn’t activate our crazy the way intimacy does.”

12. She was too aggressive

“Right after I turned 21, I went out with a group of my high school friends and they brought some of their friends along, too. We were sitting at a table in the bar and the girl across from me takes her shoe off and starts rubbing my junk under the table. We had spoken for maybe 30 seconds total before this happened. I thought it was completely trashy and did not turn me on at all. I removed her foot from my crotch, moved seats, and carried on with my night without even so much as making eye contact with her.”

13. They weren’t my type

“Of course I’ve turned down women who made the first move. Reason was they weren’t my type. But I always give kudos when they take the initiative.”

14. She was rude

“She was fucking gnarly, and her line to hit on me at the end of the night (this was at a house party) was “You may be my only option for penis at this point.'”

15. She was WAY too forward

“I was drunk at a bar when this woman came up and started flirting with me. She put her hand on my crotch. I didn’t really find her attractive but it also didn’t really matter because that was a big red flag flashing in my semi-consciousness. I had to get out of there.”

16. She was a gold digger

“Yeah, I had a girl at a bar ask me my income. I told her I can support myself. A few minutes later she asked if I wanted to fuck. Nope.”

17. I just wanted to be friends with them

“A few times. Mainly because I only saw them as friends and wasn’t interested in going beyond that with these girls. Even though kissing in itself isn’t a big deal I feel like it complicates things because it adds a bit of sexual tension in the friendship that probably wasn’t there before that can damage the friendship.”

TC mark