Archives for posts with tag: Advice

It probably holds true for all humans that failure is not a welcome experience, and yet it occurs with or without our permission.  The best of us are more flexible and able to view the failure as a manifestation of life’s impermanence and move on, but to some of us, who are more doggedly set on our expectations coming to fruition, failure is probably one of the hardest experiences to muster–probably at par with rejection.

Failure comes in many ways and for many reasons–it is hardest when we have to acknowledge our contribution to the experience, as much as we may want to brush it off and place the blame on others or feign that we did not have a hand in it.  One of the hardest lessons of failure is that we are forced to come face to face with ourselves and the occurrence, and if we are wise, we must have a good hard look and find a way to not repeat the mistakes which lead to it.

If we try to digest the entirety of the failure, we will end up choking and probably suffering a serious depression or a mental breakdown.  As with many overwhelming experiences, it might be better to digest it a day at a time or an element at a time.  Where there are some factors which we may not come to terms with or justify, then we have to allow time to heal the wound so to speak.

We might not be as resilient as other people and it might take us a longer time to wallow and get over the experience.  One of the more important things to remember is that we must learn to forgive ourselves and let go.  This is, of course, easier said than done as we might keep ruminating about the past and wondering how and why, even with the best of intentions, we went wrong.  We might be completely baffled as to why the experience has turned out to be an experiment gone awry even with our best efforts and intentions.

Hindsight is 20/20 and if we are honest with ourselves, we would recognise that we are as fallible as the next person and we most likely have overlooked some little things along the way which eventually add up–a lot of small bad or mistaken decisions do add up to a monumental disaster and we were most likely either too preoccupied, too sure of ourselves, too closed minded, or too stubborn to have realised it.  Failure is a very humbling experience if we choose to learn from the lessons it brings us.

Repeating the sequence of events in our heads or wishing that we had known all along is one of the surest ways to not be able to move forward.  Failure requires us to have the resiliency and flexibility to acknowledge the facts and be able to move away from the past and stay in the present one day at a time until we move further into the future and have the courage to trust ourselves once again.

(c) Niconica 2015

When we discuss certain interactions with people, we categorise the interaction as having “Good Vibes” or “Bad Vibes” and there are some people who are too logical that they do not account for the gut feel or the vibes we get from people and they would wish for some logical evidence that the person is indeed good or bad.

However, when the evidence that the person is bad is already there, it is often already too late to avoid them or damage has already been done. It has to be said though that negative people would have good vibes with people who are likewise as negative as they are so this would have to be considered.

People with like vibrations often attract each other and become fast friends. Criminals and sociopaths often hang out with each other and enjoy each others company and let this be your guide that “Birds of the same feather are often the same birds.” Try to let go of your saviour complex and delusion that you would be able to save or reform such a person.

People who eventually harm us are able to do so because they present themselves in a manner which allows us to let down our guard. So the comment, “But he/she seems like a nice person.” is not valid in such cases. Predators are great with conserving their energy for the kill so if they are able to disarm the prey who willingly submits to them, all the better.

These people who eventually harm us irreparably often present themselves in such a benign manner that when they start turning up the toxicity, we often wonder whether we are imagining it. If they presented themselves in a manner which clearly outlines them as negative people capable of harming us, we would not even have let them in close enough to do any damage.

Even if the person presents themselves in such a charming, likeable, and harmless manner, we must consider our gut feel whether we get “Good Vibes” or “Bad Vibes” from them. If we feel uncomfortable for whatever reason, we must not proceed with abandon because we might end up regretting it. We often allow our five senses to deceive our better judgement.

It’s time to be more vigilant and make better emotional choices since the consequences of faulty emotional choices can be deadly.

(c) Niconica 2014

When people start to give an alibi to justify whatever they have done or are about to do which pertains to not keeping agreements or abuses boundaries, I don’t bother to listen to the verbal garbage. An alibi is a lie and it’s not worth listening to or discussing.

When people wish to do something, they find a way. When they do not wish to do it, they find an excuse. It’s just that simple. Sometimes we get lost in the complexities but if we go down the the bare bones, it either is or isn’t.

Trust is about keeping agreements and every time the agreement is not kept for whatever reason, it erodes the trust whether or not there was a good reason for it. Basic respect for fellow human beings is the minimum for human interaction.

Review all your relationships and friendships and be stringent with the quality of interaction. When people do not respect us, they act in ways which make it evident. Even if the words are laced with sweetness, we will be able to feel that something is not quite right.

And when this is so, it is time to give serious thought about whether we wish to entertain and accept such toxicity in our lives and interactions. Do we wish to prolong something which is emotionally and psychologically unhealthy?

If we choose to prolong it because we wish to be passive and let things play out, we are taking an active hand in our own destruction and we should not be surprised it we start manifesting strange maladies and diseases. It’s like drinking poison and wondering why we are getting sick.

Let’s keep our mental, emotional, and psychological diet healthy and clean so that we would be able to better ourselves as human beings instead of always just surviving or learning how to firefight the latest emotional rubbish handed to us to disturb our equilibrium.

(c) Niconica 2014

Have we become so jaded that we approach love as a form of power play?  We gauge each move and see whether the other person responds and we weigh our next move accordingly and see whether it would secure us the leverage we wish to prevail in the game? This form of approach is already dubious even outside the realm of romance, because the crafty shrewdness undermines honestly, honour, integrity, and what more, the highest of all virtues, love.

We are so uncomfortable at losing power or control over any situation that if we so much as express more emotion than the other and it is not reciprocated, we feel that we have not made the ‘right’ moves and it confers power upon the other over us.  Perhaps, in a manner of speaking, this is true.  At a base level, a love relationship is not immune to politics and plays for dominance, but this sort of approach demeans what it truly means to be in love with someone.

How averse are we to being hurt that we are willing to protect ourselves at any cost–even from ourselves or from someone else who may break down our walls and love us? There is nothing wrong with loving another, what causes us pain is the expectation that the love would be requited and it need not be. Yes it would be all the lovelier if the love was reciprocated, but it need not be.

We are capable of truly loving all by our lonesome, as sad as it might be.  We may only hope but we may not expect that the other be able to or should be capable of loving us back in the same manner or with the same intensity.  When we love, we must remember that it should be with no strings attached, otherwise, it detracts from the essence of love which gives freely without expecting another in return–though perhaps hoping for reciprocation.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

I can understand mulling over big purchases and researching before finally buying them because money does not grow on trees, but for some reason, I cannot understand when this attitude spills over to the realm of dating and picking a mate.  Logically speaking, since our choice of a life partner can make or break us, it is not something which can be entered into cavalierly and requires careful thought.  So perhaps a prolonged period of observation and interaction is justified before making any conclusion.

Be it that it makes sense to be cautious about our selection of a mate, I also believe that there is only as much as we can find out with observation and surface interaction and sometimes, it’s better to start dating seeing each other exclusively in order to find out more of the nuances up close and personal and whether we can live with these quirks. There is only as much detail that “window shopping” for a partner can provide and sometimes, we must simply make up our mind and jump in.

It is way too idealistic to think that upon a few interactions and with simply dating or being just friends that we can determine whether this person is the one whom we would be willing to make a life long commitment to.  It’s a romantic idea but it cannot hold up to reality because assessing from the entry point, it does not give us enough details or insight to make an informed decision. It also places too much pressure on the person whom we are considering to be able to measure up to whatever phantom criteria we fancy they must meet.

Experience is the best teacher and it is the same way with relationships.  if we choose to merely be friends or date indefinitely, it wastes precious time and is counterproductive to our aim of getting to know the person well enough to know whether having a relationship with them would be feasible in the long run.  Nothing replaces the actual experience of being in a relationship to find out whether the relationship can stand the test of time, it is not something which can be preempted and prejudged.

It puts an inordinate amount of pressure on ourselves too when we nurse the odd idea that if we enter into a relationship with someone that they would be ‘the one’ we are to make lifelong commitments too because we must always consider the inherent reality of life which is that everything is subject to change.  We may change our minds further down the road but it does not mean that we should cheat ourselves out of what can be a potentially beautiful experience.

In thinking that we must research for as long as we can before determining whether we are to go into a relationship, it shows that we are risk averse and that we which that our decisions be final and lasting.  It is understandable that as humans, we value security and permanence, however it may be too much weight for the reality to bear.  In order to experience life to the fullest, some measure of risk must be taken and we must give ourselves the leeway of making mistakes.

Finding an ideal partner who will be our first love, our first relationship, and our lifelong partner till death do us part would be a dream come true indeed, however, this scenario is too perfect that it would be very rare for it to be that way.  When we get attached to such standards, we sometimes forget that we are ourselves fallible and imperfect and expecting everything to fall into place in an ideal and dreamy manner is indulging in daydreams which, as pleasant as they might be, are a waste of time and would be detrimental to our finding someone who would hold up to the light of day as our romantic partner.

After a reasonable period of observation and interaction, it might be best for both parties to make up their mind and decide whether to give it a go, or just let it go.  Having uncertain situations drag on for an unspecified amount of time does not benefit both parties involved and furthermore reflects a lack of respect for the other person.  It might also cause the other party to perceive this lack of respect for their precious time and encourage them to move on.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

We might want instant results and answers, owing to the immediate access to Googling and Wikipedia, but with getting to know someone we are interested in, there is no better ally than time to aid us with uncovering whether the person is worth investing emotions in and whether our impression of them matches who we discover them to be through the passage of time and whether what we discover can sustain our interest and relationship dynamics.

Dating might not be the best manner in getting to know the other because it requires socially accepted forms of mutual deception owing to our desire to impress the other party and get them to reciprocate our feelings.  It is of course an enjoyable process but in the long run, when the real person is reveal, the reality might not live up to the glittery packaging and we are left floundering and wondering how we ended up in this position.

The social ritual of dating while being the norm in getting to know someone whom we are romantically interested in inherently contains some pitfalls because in hoping to impress the object of our affections, we try to minimize conflict and conceal our imperfections or true sentiments if it may take away our chances of securing the admiration and approval of our desired partner.

If the desired result is for a long term relationship, it would be valuable to address point of conflict and dissimilarities early on and this would require disclosure of the weaknesses which doesn’t usually happen in the early stages owing to the haze and excitement brought about by infatuation.  In getting to know someone, it’s not about grand sweeping gestures or romantic overtures, it’s the daily manner of relating and interacting which increases in significance as time passes.

It is these seemingly trivial ways of relating which are the fibers which weave together the relationship which only becomes apparently when we let down our guard enough to reveal our true manner or relating and being on a daily basis.  These crucial tidbits reveal themselves through the course of time and are best nurtured by friendship where there is no pressure or expectation from both parties to commit prematurely.

The process of getting know, while fraught with emotional vulnerabilities and turning points, is a necessary stage before even dating or committing because it is where we get to assess the other and their compatibility with us for the long haul, if it is what we desire.  With important decisions such as choosing a life partner, we cannot afford to be hasty or cavalier for our future happiness or misery lies in the decision which we make in selecting someone whom we would move forward with.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

When we get to a certain point in our lives and we find ourselves still single, it may be that it is because we have not met the person who is meant for us but at the same time we might wish to question ourselves as to whether we have contributed to the situation as well by having dating criteria which hinder the opportunity to meet the person who might be suitable for us.  It’s a bit of a double edge sword when we have a preference for a person with certain attributes because while it’s good to have standards, it might be these same standards which might keep us from allowing in certain people whom we might not have imagined dating but yet be suitable for us in the long run.

We must be reminded that we are not omniscient and sometimes, we might lack foresight or a realistic assessment of ourselves.  Our outlook and expectations might also have been skewed by our own biases, upbringing, or popular media.  These would contribute to our possible limiting ourselves of the possibilities available which we have not considered, encountered, or imagined. We must also review whether our criteria for the ideal mate or the ideal range of mates are really our own, or whether we have adopted the acceptable criteria of our society, culture, religion, parents, family, or friends. In order to be able to secure our future happiness, we must be honest with ourselves as to which qualities we are really looking for and not confuse the expectations of others into the equation because this might compromise our chance at a truly suitable mate.

We will be the ones being in a relationship with the person and if we do so choose to enter a committed relationship, we will be the ones enjoying or suffering within the confines of our choices therefore, we must consider which qualities and criteria are truly ours in order to be able to proceed with dating and selecting the right partner–and giving ourselves a fair chance at happiness.

(c) Niconica 2013

 

What do we do with the broken pieces of our relationships? Is there any chance of assembling them back together into something coherent or workable? I’ve recently had the excruciating experience of trying to work through issues with someone and it ended up pretty much the way it started–proverbially still shattered and in a thousand pieces, if not even worse.

I have a few guesses as to why the issues were not resolved–and it is not because they couldn’t be resolved, but it was because our own personal issues were in the way and we were not on the same page. On the surface, we both agreed that perhaps it was time to have “the talk” and try to work through or discuss what had been troubling us, but when it came down to it, one of us didn’t mean it and/or wasn’t ready to be honest about the issues or be on the same page.

When this happens, instead of kneeling down on the ground and helping each other pick up the pieces, we end up cutting ourselves when we are not careful or using one of the loose shards as either a destructive weapon or as an object for self-defense.  There were too many factors which contributed to the failure of the crucial and very difficult conversation–among which are pride, ego, dishonesty, a lack of trust and openness.

Whatever went wrong, the broken pieces still lie there without being swept up or tidied… and it is very painful to not be able to reach an agreement with someone about how to fix a relationship when someone is not ready to be upfront about crucial issues or even the premise of the discussion.  If the basis of the discussion is denied, then anything that ensues after that becomes moot.

So, here I am with the broken pieces and unsure of how to proceed. It can be said that we should recognize a lost cause when we see one, but on the other hand, it can also be said that perhaps with a little bit more discussion and determination, an agreement can be reached… Who knows, but perhaps when there is an impasse, it’s best to pause and regroup and see it how it goes before reentering the “discussion” as it were; lest it feel more like a battlefield.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

When any relationship is built, it is important–and necessary–that it be built on solid ground. This entails being clear on what the relationship is and where it is heading and being able to communicate it to the other person unambiguously.

If one or the other party is not on the same page as to what the relationship is and where it is heading, then it cannot be considered that the relationship is on solid ground… and yet many a relationship has been built on such precarious premises.

So let’s back up a bit and examine whether it is worth proceeding with the pseudo-relationship and ask ourselves whether we really deserve to be in such a position.  It is imperative that before any lasting foundation is built–metaphorically or otherwise–that we check for solid ground, without which it might be wise to seek another more conducive site to build our lives and dreams on.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s

In a relationship, sometimes it’s not so much the actual presence or absence of the person or the frequency of interaction as much as the feeling of safety where it is understood that one won’t be rejected or abandoned.

The fear of rejection or abandonment can be so primal and embedded that to admit it would make one unbearably vulnerable that despite its relevance to the dialogue, it would be the last thing ever to be discusses or revealed.

This factor then makes the situation more complex in that the other person involved is not aware of the crucial element to be considered and would in effect be feeling rather confused about the dynamic of the situation.

When a person in the relationship is acting out, before anything else, it needs to be established that the relationship is a safe place where issues can be brought up and discussed and the concerns would be treated seriously without the other party leaving or rejecting the other.

Usually a safe zone is established by making a commitment to the other and while ultimately there are no guarantees, the context of the commitment creates a safety net for both people to interact… More so than if there was no agreed upon commitment or relationship.

So in undefined or “it’s complicated” pseudo-relationships, things tend to get messy precisely because of the lack of the safety net which a mutually committed relationship provides.

This then entails that one or both partners must constantly watch out for themselves because any moment could be the last moment in the relationship.

And as time passes and the situation gets more serious and/or convoluted, the hidden vulnerabilities surface and cause more tension without being able to be addressed properly without entwining serious risks in the pseudo-relationship.

Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place.

(c) Niconica 2011*

*does not apply to image/s