When Comfort Is Needed

Inappropriate Responses When Comfort Is Needed

When someone is having a bad day, anxiety attack, extremely anxious, these are things NOT to say or do:

· No response – You don’t care or not important enough to bother.
· Wow – Not interested. Especially when not followed up with questions.
· Change the topic – I didn’t want to deal with this.
· Start saying how YOU deal with it –  because your way is the only way, right?
· Random suggestions – Especially when it makes it clear you don’t know the person as well as you thought.

Instead, this is what you can you do to help comfort your friend, co-worker or family member.

· Listen – Listen to what’s being said. A solution isn’t always necessary. Sometimes just a listening ear.
· Ask questions – If you don’t understand ask for clarification before offering advice.
· What can I do to help? – If you don’t know what to do, ASK. If they don’t know, fall back to listen.
· Keep your word. – If you say you can do something they need doing, DO IT. There’s nothing worse than someone who doesn’t keep their word.
· Offer your assistance in practical ways. – If you’re invited over, take food, take it the trash, cook a dish, fix something broken in the house. Do something practical if you see them.

The key is to not think and act selfishly when someone comes to you or implies they need some sort of comfort. While a lot of people may bounce back quickly, there are many who don’t bounce back fast or at all. I don’t know what goes on in individuals minds, but I do know that I don’t want to be the cause they sink further, or worse case feel there there is no way out but death. So take a moment and consider how you can help them.

Friend To Associate

Just about five months ago I changed jobs. Went from retail to working from home. I’m so happy about that move. Not just because of Covid either, but my overall health. Less wear and tear on my body, especially my knees. Both of which I had replaced. I need them to last those 30 years!! I also learned more about myself and what I need.

One thing I’ve noticed is who I talk to and the conversations I have with them have changed. Some I talk to more. Others I barely talk to.  I’m not saying that we are ‘beefing’ or anything, we just drifted that quick. Others I have drawn closer too. When your focus changes, you notice other things that need to change. Nothing wrong with that. It’s called growth.

This also taught me many things. Some had to drop from friend status to associate status. It amazes how little I want to deal with some. Why? Have I changed? Have they changed? I know I’ve changed. I think my standards and what makes me thrive are more prevalent now. So, I find myself not tolerating anyone who doesn’t add to me and I add to them. It must go both ways.

I’ve noticed how some assume things about me. Sure you may assume I’m going to eat pizza, or have groceries delivered or text you before I call. Really that’s about all. Don’t make claims on my time by assuming I’m busy or not, or even I’m doing something or not. Granted I may read every day, but I do more than that. I watch the Olympics every day, but I do more. In other words, don’t assume, ask.

Some of the people I’ve increased my conversations with are truly amazing. We talk regularly and on many different topics. We encourage one another and be that shoulder to lean on (virtually of course) or the ear to vent to. We share our successes and failures.  Some of which moved from associate to friend.

When it comes to those I call friends, or even the ones that may want more there certain things that really show me who you are or what you’re about. There’s been so much going on over the past year and half since Covid broke out.  Everyone is concerned and we all have those moments when you just need the comforting words from a friend or family member. What you don’t need under any circumstance is someone making you feel worse. I want my friends to stay stay strong, so I would do my best to keep them up. Always remember, a solution isn’t always needed. Sometimes just a listening ear is enough.

It’s amazing how things can change in a short amount of time. There’s nothing wrong when you notice you’ve changed for the better. Sometimes we take a step backwards, but remember to find a way to take the next step forward. Sometimes we have to let go and leave people where they are as we take the next step on the ladder. 

Summer Olympics 2020 in 2021

We are finally here! Another delay due to Covid. Still, I’m excited it’s finally here! This is the week of the start of the Summer Olympic Games. I’m so excited, you’d think I’d be there or personally knew someone competing. I don’t, but more on that later.

The Olympic games actually date back to 1896. I got into enjoying the games in 1988 right before we went to Germany. Even though I enjoy all of the games, my favorite part is the opening ceremony. The artistic openings that we see today started in 1912.

On my bucket list is to go to the opening ceremony of the Olympic games. So, if anyone would like to help me get to Paris in 2024 or Los Angeles in 2028, I’d be forever grateful.

As I stated before I’m really excited about the games. No, I’m not participating or supporting a specific athlete. So why am I so excited? It’s pretty simple, the energy is contagious. It gives off an amazing vibe. Yes I’m proud of all the athletes from every country that worked hard to get there.

For me, yes, I’ll always rock USA. However, if I see amazing talent somewhere else I give them their props too. Great is great. I’m looking forward to seeing new World records set, new talents shining through and just the overall love of sports.

Yes, the love of sports is what does it for me. While some of the events I may not watch year round, some I may not understand all the technical stuff, or even know the key players, but the excitement is enough most of the time. Don’t get me wrong, there are a few I won’t watch at all unless it’s the late night replays while I’m studying.

There are some new events that are added this year. Looking forward to seeing how they play out. I know this year will be different due to civic and the Covid restrictions. I’m hoping that them just being and the support of each other will help them.

I’m looking forward to each aspect of the games, but especially the opening ceremony. What are you most looking d forward to?

Leadership Series – Positivity

Definition of leadership: the action of leading a group of people or an organization.”different styles of leadership”

Most of my working career has been in retail. Mainly one company. Over the last five years I’ve noticed the major decline in effective leadership within this company and others that I’ve been watching. Then I look at other companies, some I worked for, others I was watching and saw an increase in proper leadership.

One of the things I know for sure about the leadership in the various locations is that it starts at the top. When you are leading your leaders, then you grow your team and your company. I’ve seen some small business excel through this pandemic just because they had some great leaders in place.

There are so many qualities that make great leaders shine. So I’ll do a series of blogs to discuss these. Today we’ll talk about positivity.  I come from an age where this quality is taught by words and action. Yes, it still applies today.

Being positive is key in any line of business. It can alter the way your business functions and grows. When you are being positive it helps your team be open to changes and new responsibilities that may arise. Remember, everyone doesn’t like change and may take a bit to adjust.

We all understand the concept that everyone is hired to do a job. Yes, we all get that. Still, showing appreciation will make them WANT to work even harder. “Thank Yous” are free. Show your team you appreciate the work they are doing. While you’re doing that, be respectful. The worst thing you can do is treat them like children, even if they act that way sometimes. I try to remember, how would I feel? I tell people all the time “what you will not do is yell at me like I’m your two year old.” I know I’ve caught myself a few times, it’s easy to do when you get upset. Just remember, that won’t get you the best results. That positive appreciation goes a long way to being successful.

One thing that the will help you show positivity is by showing enthusiasm. When you are enthusiastic about your work it’ll show and reflect in your team. Enthusiasm is contagious. You want your team to happy, after all, when they are happy your customers/clients will be happy. Being enthusiastic also helps when you have new products or a change in the way things are done. Don’t underestimate the power of enthusiasm.

Place others before yourself, for the good of the team. Yes, you are important too. However, in leadership, sometimes we have to step back and focus on those we are leading. In one of my locations I was always missing lunch or taking a really late lunch so they could take theirs and we still get the job done. Putting them first, they thought about me. We established a great working relationship. It was a nice circle of caring and respect.

Speaking of respect, respect is vital to establishing positivity. Without respect, you can forget about any positivity you may have had. When your team knows and can feel the respect you have for them, they will respect you too. Showing respect for each individual will boost the moral of your team. When you’re nasty to them and not showing any respect, you have the opposite effect. I’ve seen awesome leaders earn respect the right way and those that earn it by fear. Getting respect through fear will not boost your positivity rating within your team or company. Instead it will have the opposite effect. Earning respect by showing respect is the best way to keep a positive, growing team.

Always remember, as a leader you are the the energy of your business. We all understand the ups and downs of business. You win some, you lose some. Just know and understand that if you don’t display that positive energy, then your team will not either.

In the next article we will discuss empathy and how of an important role that plays in effective leadership.

My Bad Habits

A bad habit. At least that’s what I consider them. Sometimes it works in my favor. Other times, not so much. Some of these bad habits I’ve been working on for years. I don’t know if it’ll ever change, but I’m still working on them. They are: my facial expression and procrastination. Just writing that had me shaking my head. I mean I procrastinated all day with writing this.

My facial expression always says it all. Like the saying goes “I wear my heart on my sleeves.” If I’m mad at you, you’ll see it. Won’t have to say a word. If I’m disgusted with something, you’ll see it. However, on the flip side, if I’m happy, you’ll know. If I love you, you’ll see it.

I was told early in my career that I needed to work on that and that I’ve been working on. Needless to say, I’ve not accomplished much. Still, I’ve made a little progress in controlling my expressions. Just not when I’m angry. Sometimes I can now conceal hurt. I can even conceal an attraction.
Still, this is something I’m working on.

I’ve gotten better over the years, but it’s still there. One thing I can never seem to hide is when I’m not feeling good. No amount of training or practice has helped in the slightest bit. I’ll never be able to play poker, because, I don’t think I’ll have that much control. Still, I think I’ve gotten better over the years. Not great, but better for sure.

Procrastination…What can I say. This habit does more harm than good with me. Don’t say it, we should never procrastinate, I know. Just go and get it done.

However, as crazy as this may sound, some of my best work be at the last minute. Not always, but more often than not. While in saying that, I still try hard not to procrastinate when I’m handling specific tasks like work or business. If I’m not interested in whatever I need to do, chances are 100% that I’ll find every reason to do it later.

There have been times when I was glad I waited to do something or go somewhere. Some of it I’d like to thank my gut instincts for. Other times were just pure luck. This is something I’ve been working on for a few years too. Although I’ve been working on this for a bit too, I haven’t made any progress with this. Maybe, one day something will click and I won’t procrastinate anymore. One can hope, right?

What’s a bad habit that you haven’t been able to break?

Dealing With Changes

Changes happen all the time in life. There’s really no way to avoid them. We may try to delay it as much as possible, but change will always happen.

I’m actually one of those people who doesn’t mind change at all. As a matter of fact, most of the time, I actually welcome it. It’s not always easy to adapt to change, but more often than not, it’s worth it. It’s all about adaptability.

Many companies have went out of business simply because they couldn’t adapt to change. Many people have been left behind because they couldn’t accept change, even if it saved them time or money.

Today I want to talk about a few changes I’ve dealt with in my working career. To know me, is to know I can get bored rather quickly. Most of my work experience comes from Wal-Mart. Regardless of your personal feelings, or some of what I’m about to discuss, Wal-Mart has changed to keep up with the times, that’s why they are still here.

I’ve always enjoyed learning new things. So when it came to work it wasn’t much different. Eventually, I applied for assistant manger and got it. Good days and bad days, I overall enjoyed what I was doing. To have the ability to teach and train others while taking care of customers was a great experience.

My biggest challenge came when I got accepted at a store in Alexandria, VA. I spent two years there. The stories I could tell from just those two years! What made that specific change so difficult? After all, I said yes to the position. Can you see my shrug? LOL

While I wasn’t living with either of my parents, I was never far away. Yes, I was able to call them anytime. Most days, like today, I talked to my mom multiple times a day. Not having them right there when wanted them or needed them was hard. Still, it was a change I was pushing through.

Another of those serious experiences I delt with was my job.  I mean, that was the reason for the move in the first place. Being an assistant manager at Walmart in Northern VA is a different experience than in GA.  The expectations are different.  One was because we were a prototype store. Because of that, the visits we received from corporate were almost every week. These were not your normal market, or regional visits. These were the staff from the CEO and CFO offices. Who would have thought I’d meet the person in charge of everyone’s payroll? That was just one. One of the many I had pleasant conversations with. Still, preparing for those visits could get stressful.

The people are also very different that I met there.  Even though it was a new culture, I so enjoyed learning about everyone’s home countries and their families.  Even learning phrases from their native tongue. Needless to say I’ve learned a lot about myself.  Learned some things about myself that surprised me. For instance, I was was hesistant, more like afraid to take on a specific area of the store. I embraced the change and got to work.  However, once I started learning the area, I actually learned a lot and think I did pretty good. Not great, but good enough to put up numbers that surprised my old supervisors back in GA.

I learned that because of the way I managed my associates they worked hard for me.  They worked for me when they wouldn’t work for others.  When I needed them to step up and be above average, they did it.  They constantly shined when it was extremely important.  That taught me that what I was doing was the right thing to do.

Unfortunately, the stress from dealing with scandalous bossees and team members took a toll on me and my body. This was a change I found unacceptable. Never thought I’d work with supervisors more drama filled than the associates they manage.

I was out of work twice due to an ankle injury.  Of course all the crazy hours didn’t help either.  I was even hospitalized with extreme high blood pressure, chest pain, and shortness of breath. All my vitals were at stroke level. My co worker was like she take me or I go in an ambulance.  Thank goodness I didn’t have  a stroke or heart attack.  Still, it did prompt me to leave the company for something less stressful.

I’ve made a few new great friends over this time.  We argured, disagreed and still remained true.  When I needed them, they were there. No questions asked.  Durning that time I also lost some so called friends.  I came to realize that some of them were hating on the changes I was making. It’s all good because I didn’t loose any sleep over it.

Like I said, changes could be good or bad. What matters most is how you deal with those changes. Accept the change the best you can. Remember to at least give it a chance before saying no.

Handling Rejection

First let’s start be defining rejection. Why? For some reason many people don’t really understand what a rejection is.

REJECTION: the dismissing or refusing of a proposal, idea, etc.

We’ve all been rejected at some point in life. Most, many times. If you claim you haven’t, then you my friend need reevaluate the definition of rejection. However, this isn’t about you, or the next person, it’s actually about me.

As I prepared to write this, I thought back to some of the rejections I’ve received and some I’ve issued. Let’s be real, rejections of any kind can be heartbreaking.

Yet, I sit here flipping through my 40+ years of memories trying to find a few that may have more significance than others.

The one, or you may say two rejections that hurt the most was the breakup of my ex finance. Which lead to rejection number two years later. I should have learned the lesson the first time. The breakup was so bad, I couldn’t even work that day. My supervisor told me to go home. I cried for hours and hours. The worst part? He was deployed at the the time. How did I handle it? I prayed and meditated. I was already beginning to allow hate to build and it wasn’t even 24 hours. That could not happen. I had to remember who I was. After all another person can’t define who I am. When I decided to let go, I let go.

Yes, I heard from him throughout the years. I still got excited to hear from him. It was almost fifteen years before I physically saw him again. Yes, I was giddy then too. We had a surprisingly good evening when I was in town. We talked, cleared the air. He reminded me why he set the bar back then. Still I knew, there wouldn’t be no “us”.  I was okay with that.

Years later, years again. This time I reached out to tell him about my dad passing. This was the beginning of the next huge rejection.  He was there and not there. Was excited to have him working with me. Until, the day he called me his sister to the chick I despised most. Okay, hated the most. I didn’t even qualify for friend or ex. Yea, some would have been okay with that, but I was pissed on a whole different level. Let’s just say it’s been 5 years since we spoke. With that rejection, I lost every bit of feeling I may have had. If I see in the building I feel nothing. No love, no hate, no anger, nothing.

I think those two moments were the worst. I’ve been denied jobs, rejected by other guys, nothing had me feeling like those two moments. So how do I do it? How do I handle being rejected?

For me, it’s a thought process. If I didn’t get the job, why was I going to stress over it. I moved on. If a guy didn’t like me, that’s his loss, not mine. If someone didn’t want to be friend, it’s cool. If they didn’t want to buy my product, I’m okay with them not being in my target audience. I’ve said all that to say I just brush it off. I refuse to allow another person or situation to make me feel that bad again. Don’t misunderstand what in saying. Don’t think I don’t put my all into it. If you’re my friend, then I’m a friend. I just don’t stress those that don’t want to be in my circle. I don’t stress those that don’t think I’m capable. I just show them otherwise.

Rejections in any form is not fun. It hurts regardless of the importance. Just don’t allow it to be all consuming. If you need help handling it, go to a trusted friend or family member. If necessary, get a professional. Under no circumstances should you allow the rejection to define who you are and what you do next!

My Communication

I’ve been out with Covid for about three weeks now. During this time I came to realize something. Before I get into all that, let me state my disclosures. This is ME. I’m not talking about other women. We can discuss it, but don’t try to change how I feel about it. I’m just saying.

I never denied the claim that I’m spoiled, because I am spoiled. No arguing there. Still, I always said I wasn’t a snobby brat. That I also still stand by. However… I realized one very important reason I stay single. Of course, I have my personal standards of what I need and want. Some I can comprise with, others, I don’t comprise at all.

One of those things I place an extreme high importance on is communication. Yes, most people SAY it’s important in their various relationships, but don’t actually show it. Sometimes people just mean communication as in knowing each other and/or where each other are, or what they are doing. All which are important.

The part of communication I’m talking about today is a little different. Again, understand this is ME. Friends have a certain level of communication. We don’t have to talk every day, or even every week. My best friend, we may talk once a month, but we understand each other. We communicate in number of different ways.

Friends with benefits require a different type of communication. So, you know, being a boyfriend, fiancee, husband is on a whole different level. One thing that’s for certain is, you will not stop talking mid conversation (unless you’re at work of course) and expect me to answer you at the drop of a dime. Nope. It doesn’t matter which level we are, it will not be okay. You will not go days without some form of communication and expect this to work. I enjoy the random text, the random phone calls. True enough, you don’t need to text, call or email ALL day. I don’t even need to see you everyday. Still, I love the corny, cute and flirty messages and calls.

You will not ignore me and think it’s okay. You will not not check on me when I’m sick and think it’s okay. You will not say a proper greeting (mainly when it’s the first conversation of the day) before stating what you want and think it’s okay. You will not treat me as an option and not a priority and think it’s okay. You will not dismiss me in public and call/text me in private and expect it to be okay. You will contact me only when you want something and think it’s cool.

Every type of relationship require good communication. Some more than others. Don’t expect more than you are willing to give. Again, we can discuss this all day.

My First Kiss & Love

My first kiss and my first love. Where to start?? I will start by saying that I will not tell you their names. Why? That’s just not the right thing to do. If they are reading this, they will know it’s them.

So……here we go.

My first kiss was a year or so after high school. I was 19 years old. Late I know. Even then, it wasn’t spectacular. Yet, it wasn’t awful either. It was just standard, okay. I know that sounds harsh. The guy wasn’t bad, it just didn’t do anything for me.  As much as I wanted it to, it wasn’t there. Nothing I could do about that. However, that should have been a sign. That relationship didn’t last very long.

I do wish my first kiss was the same as my first love. My first love……one word….WOW. My first love was earth shattering. The break up was too. Even still, this was the one that did it for me. When I say he did it, I mean he did everything.  He was the one that raised the bar. The one that made my heart skip a beat, get butterflies in my stomach, cheesing from ear to ear. He’s the one that I think we deserved a better chance. But, at that age, what do we really know? He was a friend first. He understood me. Or at least I thought he did.

Yes, I know we are not together, haven’t been for years, but even now he still sets this high bar that only one came close to reaching. He was there when I needed him the most. He was patient and understanding. Although we were not meant to be together for a lifetime, he was the season I needed. The season that took my breath away. He did it so easily.

I’m spoiled, but not materialistic. He gets that. I’m strong willed yet flexible. He gets that.  My standards are high yet simple. He gets that.  I like to be pampered but not smothered. He gets that. No, he’s not perfect. Yes, he has his faults. Hence, we are not together. He was a season that is so memorable and remarkable that nothing can change my thoughts and feelings about how we were, how I felt.

Breaking up with him was hard. Very hard. Harder than me leaving my ex husband. My ex husband, I cried for all of 15 minutes and moved on. On the other hand, my first love breakup, I cried for days. I couldn’t even go to work. Never felt that bad before, or since then. Seeing him after years still gave me the jitters. Still made me giddy with excitement.

I’m the person that don’t try to back to relationships that ended. This one, I did try. That was such a hard lesson to learn. The second time didn’t break heart as much as it pissed me off. I guess, maybe that really was my way of dealing with heartbreak at that time.

However, life moves on. I’ve moved on. The standard is there still there with a few adjustments to account for age, new experiences and new desires. He just no longer meets the standard he set. That’s the weird part to me. Still, he has his own life experiences to contend with. This all made me realize that some relationships are better left as friends. Had we not tried again, I believe we would still be friends. Will we be friends again in the future? This, only time will tell.