10 Things to Say if You’re a Total Jerk

1. “You look tired.”

Urban Dictionary has this statement translated to a tee, “you look like shit.”

A rarely well-received insult. Just don’t say it. Seriously. When I’m tired, for example, there’s definitely no need to remind me. I’m well aware. If I was feeling quite fine and gleeful, you’ve now pissed me off with your insult. Best to avoid this one altogether.

Alternatively, if I’m feeling quite fine, gleeful and full of rest, you’ve now pissed me off with your insult.

Best to avoid this one altogether.

10-things-you-look-tired

 

2. “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

No explanation necessary. This is the most irritating, non-apology ever. Despite grand requests to avoid making such a disgusting display of manipulative, blame reversal word vomit, it haunts me like the plague.

Wikipedia: “Non-apology apology

This is not an apology, but it IS effective ammunition… and you know it, fuckers. 😉

3. “You Always…” and/or “You Never…”

ohhhh I HATE.

“There are two reasons why overarching accusations are so toxic: First, they’re judgmental, and really, no one likes to be judged. Second, across-the-board generalizations like these are not only often inaccurate — all your partner has to do is find one example to make your statement untrue —but they also automatically put your partner on the defensive, relationship expert Wendy Walsh, PhD explains.

Ultimately, this derails the discussion rather than getting at the heart of the problem. (Can I get an Amen?!?!) “If you say, ‘You always do this,’ then the argument becomes ‘No, I don’t always do this’ instead of what the argument is really about,” says Walsh. “There’s no choice but to defend yourself.”

“If you say, ‘You always do this,’ then the argument becomes ‘No, I don’t always do this’ instead of what the argument is really about,” says Walsh. “There’s no choice but to defend yourself.”

This one actually occurred less than 2 hours ago. I addressed one specific issue. The response? “You’re always unhappy! No matter what I do, you’re never happy. You’re always mad at me!”

Let the record show: These “you always” and “you never” accusations came from someone who had just informed what a joy I brought to their life, how I was such an inspiration because of my nature, my smile, blah blah blah. This person had yet to even see me truly angry, raise my voice angry, which is pretty much his natural state, all. the time.

How can my nature and smile and spirit be an inspiration if now I’m suddenly always angry? Because making such a bold, ridiculous claim, as Dr. Walsh stated, the argument becomes ‘No, I don’t always do this’ instead of what the argument is really about,” which happened to be his thoughtless actions regarding a sensitive subject.

Pretty Much.

4. “This is why…..”

Oh my goodness, I got this one this morning too. Going for the gold here. I believe it was, “this is why I can’t talk to you.” (Impressive, right? It’s a double slap in the face.)

Phrases like “this is why I can’t get any sleep” or “this is why you’re so stressed”  (or, if you’re me, “this is why I can never talk to you”) can actually be expressions of contempt, and are toxic to a relationship, David Sbarra, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Psychology and director of clinical training at the University of Arizona he says.

Making your partner feel low or inferior to you is the most noxious of relationship behaviors. These remarks imply that you know it all — and you don’t. “You’re inferring you know the reason, but maybe that’s not the reason,” Sbarra says. In reality, saying “This is why…” just makes your partner feel like you don’t understand him or her.

5. “Was that good for you?”

I fully concur with the interpretation of this post-coital inquiry provided by AskMen.com:

Almost as bad a question as “How many people have you been with sexually” is the query “How was that?” right after sex. You could be the world’s worst lover and if the woman you’re having sex with loves you, she’ll lie and say you’re the best she ever had. She’ll lie, this time with words, instead of fake moans and groans.

Instead Say: “That was amazing.”

6. “Calm Down”

This usually comes from the person who initiated the exchange you are now taking part in, in a calm, inside voice.  Oh, man.

Take a hint from Men’s Fitness:

“Flash: women sometimes overreact to stuff. But when something’s upsetting her, telling a woman to calm down comes off as dismissive. Want to make things reallyinteresting? Tell her this while you’re already fighting. The surest way to ensure she never calms down is to tell her to calm down.”

frustated-woman

7. “Fine. You’re right. Whatever.”

“Our opinion matters because our spouse matters. When they ask for an opinion, shrugging it off with “whatever” is a tiny dart that tells our spouse we don’t value their question enough to give it thought and consideration. When we do that enough times, it adds up to our spouse feeling unworthy. Again, showing genuine interest in what our spouse is thinking about or concerning themselves with shows great love for them. Stop with the “whatevers.”

RelevantMag

8. “What more do you want from me?”

This needs no solidifying explanation. You get it.

9. “I think maybe we should break up.” or “I don’t think I can do this anymore.”

Say what you mean. Mean what you say.

This is a dangerous statement.

Why?  Because what he’ll/she’ll hear is:

– “I’m not happy.

– You’re not making me happy.

– What would make me happy is if we broke up.”

In the wanting to make you happy, he or she will shrug his shoulders and say, “Okay.”

The receiving party of this statement will immediately feel hurt, the guarded and understandably defensive. Confidence in the unit breaks here, warrantied with the choice of verbiage, casting the guilt of an unhappy life on the contending dumpee.

10. “We should start running together” or “We should get a puppy!

Here’s the deal… Promises are pointless. Actions are absolute.

If you suggest running as a couples activity, despite the fact that you hate running and somehow just never hopped on the 3 day a week cardio bandwagon, chances are you don’t want to. So don’t suggest it.

Talking about getting a pet? Be honest about your concerns or hesitations before your partner takes action as a result of your stated, yet fraudulent, intention.

“You might commit to such activities with the thought of exploring how things develop but your girlfriend might already be counting upon your dedication towards it. Unless, it becomes absolute unavoidable, abstain from such emotional obligations.” –MenXP

9 surefire ways to never receive another favor

An INC.article about gratitude was published today which I particularly appreciate.

You see, in the past few months, I’ve had an influx of accepting the responsibility of watching the pets of others (mainly, those of roommates).

I was much more willing to help the one who actually asked me if I would watch her dog than I was about lending a helping hand to the chick who disappeared for a week, leaving behind a flea-infested cat who had no food or water.

The girl who neglected her cat is, in fact, a certifiably, completely coo-coo for cocoa puffs, off her rocker, bat shit crazy kind of crazy. When she left Thunder (her cat) without any of the necessities required for his survival over Memorial Day Weekend, I wasn’t surprised. She’d already clearly shown that she was not concerned with the well being of her pet. Pushing the responsibility of your animal off on another person without any notice is, in itself, wildly inappropriate. Taking off without even asking if that person would be home to watch the cat and leaving the animal without any food or water and locked on a porch is just sick. To keep him alive, I purchased 2 bags of cat food and replenished his water until she returned. When asked to be reimbursed for the cat food I’d purchased, Rachael’s response was “I didn’t ask you to get him food. He’s an outdoor cat. He doesn’t need food.” (By the way, if anyone else is confused about this, just because you have a cat that goes outside doesn’t mean it suddenly has the instincts of a feral hunter. It’s safe to say that your indoor/outdoor cat is going to be relying on the food you give it for the remainder of its’ life, unless it has to survive strictly in the wild again. That’s how it works.)

Ultimately, as you may have guessed, she was unwilling to reimburse me for the “unnecessary” cat food purchase. Which is fine, as this was also expected. I didn’t care for these animals because of a compensation package. I did these things as a citizen of the universe, a person who believes that you should care and invest in the safe and healthy future of all living things. This is especially true if said living things are no longer capable of caring for themselves because we have “adopted” them and promised to keep them safe and healthy in our own self-fulfilling upper class captivity.

These 2 scenarios, one being a favor which was asked for and the other, an animal abuser who skipped town are in no way comparable to one another aside from the reality that a bit of gratitude would have been equally appreciated in both instances.

When someone does you a solid, be grateful.

Be genuinely grateful.

If you ever want a favor again.

Here are 9 easy ways to show a little gratitude and not come off like a spoiled brat.

9 Simple Ways You Can Show Appreciation

thank-you

Write It By Hand

An electronic thank you is ok for many…who will ultimately skim it, trash it, and move on. But if you take time and care to craft the perfect message of appreciation, why not write it nicely by hand? Finding a lovely card in the mailbox or on the desk is a nice surprise. And it increases the chance they’ll read your message with care.

Acknowledge an Absence

If someone goes on vacation or is out on sick or personal leave, that creates a vacuum. It is easy to be annoyed or resentful about the extra workload. Instead, happily pick up some of the slack, and when the person returns, tell them how much they were missed and that their particular contribution is important. They will work that much harder if they know others see and value their efforts.

Pick Up the Cup

A small gesture respecting someone’s comfort and convenience can mean a lot. If you’re heading by the break room, offer to take the other person’s empty coffee cup with you. If you’re dropping by accounting, offer to take their paperwork with yours. You’ll need to make sure the cup or file gets promptly to the appropriate destination, of course. The gesture requires little additional effort for you, but removes a burden for them and makes their day just a bit happier.

Give It Back

People often borrow small things on the spur of the moment—a pen, a stapler, a book, etc.—with the intention of returning them. But so many times one gets busy and forgets. The lender is stuck without a tool they need, and feels inconvenienced and annoyed. It only takes a moment to return an item you borrowed when you’re done with it.

Clean It Up

On a busy day, it is really tempting to leave your dishes in the break room sink or your files piled on the conference room table. You’ll come back and handle it in a few minutes…and five hours later, the mess is still there. Schedule 10 minutes into your lunch or meeting time so you can pick up after yourself. It shows everyone else you respect and appreciate their right to use the common spaces, too.

Offer Public Praise

It feels good to be told, “You did an awesome job” or “You look great today.” It feels even better to hear it in front of other people. Look for opportunities to pay small compliments at meetings, or in the hallway. Others will likely chime in, which exponentially increases the recipient’s pleasure.

Give Them a Do-Over

Even the best of us make mistakes, and slip-ups come in all flavors from saying the wrong thing to missing a deadline to clicking “send” too soon. Everyone deserves the chance at an occasionaldo-over so they can try to get back on track. Show people that you trust them to make things right.

Celebrate the Milestones

Birthdays are just the beginning. Work anniversaries, getting engaged, welcoming a child, successfully opening a new location—personal and professional milestones are important. Your colleagues probably don’t expect to be showered with gifts, but everyone likes when others remember the milestones and stop to say “congratulations” or “many happy returns!”

Leave a Lagniappe

lagniappe is a small, inexpensive gift. Drop one on a co-worker’s desk when you see them having a hard day: a flower, an origami crane, a hand-drawn doodle, or a smiley face on a post-it. Any small gesture can make a big difference.

 

Alternatively, choosing to avoid these 9 acts is a surefire way to guarantee you don’t receive any more favors, so if nothing else, you do have options…

Cheers!

 

Living Single: Tricky Questions and Trepidation

For the second installment of the Living Single Series, I’m steering clear of significant challenges and survival tactics. Rather, I’d like to touch on the definition of tricky questions, resulting trepidation and if dating and worth it have any correlation.

Per usual, please provide feedback if you’ve got some to offer. And if I know you, chances are ya’ just might.

Climbing up the proverbial corporate ladder has been a welcomed focus. I love my job now more than any position before, and it’s not just the fancy office. Although, my heart did skip a beat to see my nameplate next to the door. Work leaves little time to get tied up in even remembering that meeting cute boys is nothing more than a cherished, distant memory, washed up on the shore somewhere in Delray Beach.

 

The most promising young men I’ve met since moving here have all been my friends children and under 10 years of age. Please don’t judge the pride I basked in for just a moment after finding myself on an intriguing journey, taken through synthetic window mastery and new natural wonder discoveries with a handsome boy old enough to rent a car.

As potential excitement began to brew, so did curiosity, and well, we all know how the cat ended up. I asked what I had thought, until now, was a very straight forward question: “How many girls are you romantically involved with, currently?”

Nothing wrong with that question, right? It’s fair and rational. The response I got… not so much.

“To answer how many I’m currently romantic with is tricky.”

What? How is that tricky, in any way? I keep getting this advice, and it is appreciated by the way, I guess. However, it’s always revolving around how I need to adapt and adjust, how dating is a game I need to play and play well. How exhausting. Just typing it is exhausting. And, frankly, is it even worth it? How could one possibly consider dating when the one they’re considering wouldn’t even know whether or not they were actually dating. That sounds awful. Looks like I’ll be sticking to spending time with my plants and platonic comrades for now, at least until I can find less complicated questions to ask.

frustated-woman

Living Single: How to Survive Strep Throat

Welcome, the ‘Living Single’ series. I’ve moved from the comfortable sleepy little beach town I called home to a big old city that is, while in the same state, completely foreign to me. While it’s great to remember the feeling of having my own apartment, with my own patio, plants and complete control of playlists, living single presents it’s own set of challenges.

Justy recently, I almost died.

The emergency room doctor wanted to do a spinal tap. My fever had raged on at something like 102.7 for five days.

Finally, the fever broke. Diagnosis: Strep Infection.

Now, don’t get it confused, I’m a self sufficient lady, but I’m talking awful fever, can’t move, throw me in a river, unimaginable sick.  I’m alone in a new town, no family nearby, so I had to get seriously resourceful. If you’re also living single, and are coming down with a sickness, here are some quick tips on getting through it.

Surviving Strep Throat: A Living Single How To

1. Family, Friends, Roommates or Neighbors

Family is an obvious here, but if you’re like me and far from family, find friends, neighbors, roommates, bell boys, whoever you can, to stock you up with gatorade, medicine and regular check ins if you’re symptoms are getting worse.

2. Jam Out

Music helps to constantly release healthy endorphins. This is at a low level, of course, but if you’re miserably sick, avoid silence. Put on something you love, and you’ll heal faster. (It’s science)

3. No Nyquil Fueled Text Messages

I know, you feel like you’ve been hit by a bus then thrown over the freeway underpass. You feel alone and start romanticizing the past. Stop it!

It’s just the Sudafed and sleep meds. Don’t text any exes in your miserable state.

You’ll feel better soon.

Thanks for tuning in to the first Living Single Series.

1511196_10153644921685247_217216808_n

Happy New Year 2014!