Liking To Be Liked

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When I was in my teens, I shared a lot of mutual friends with a girl that attended the same sixth form college as me, and consequently we seemed to spend a lot of time around each other. This would have been fine, other than the fact that she really disliked me. It bothered me and I would go out of my way to talk to her, try and make her laugh and do little things that I thought might please her. It didn’t work – she continued to be cold and distant when she was around me and remained that way until we finished our courses and left. I haven’t seen or heard from her since. Looking back, I can’t believe I wasted so much time and effort – I didn’t actually like her that much to begin with…

The simple fact is that we all like to be liked, even by people that we do not like ourselves. We seek approval, validation and even empathy. We want to be understood, to be praised. Our social media activities are focused on the amount of ‘likes’ and followers we can gain, and the respect that we are often given in the online world will depend how big our numbers are. It’s an inherent, irrational human trait and the overall desire for approval from others can often result in a compromise of actions, behaviour and lifestyle. Indeed, I have compromised myself on many occasions to try and please those around me.  It took until I was in my late twenties to realise a few valuable things about people and friendships.

1. Regardless of who you are and what you do, there will always be those that simply don’t like you.

2. That’s ok.

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After years of bending over backwards for others I stopped being a people pleaser and started to focus on improving myself for me and me alone. I realised that I was the only person that would remain with me throughout the entirety of my life and that it was my own opinion of myself that was more important that those I spent time with.

Does the knowledge that you are disliked upset you? Here are a few questions you need to consider:

1. Can you look at yourself in the mirror and know that you are a good person?

2. Do you live life with morals that you are proud of?

3. Do YOU like you?

If you can answer ‘yes’ to these questions honestly, then nothing else should matter. Go about your business, continue to be a good person, be there for others when they need it, but make sure you are content with yourself first.

And if others don’t like you? They clearly weren’t worth your time in the first place…

What about you? Do you go out of your way to please others?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog

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What About Mr Nice Guy?

spangel__spike_and_angel_by_roowsj-d41sxlvI was late to jump on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer bandwagon. I had seen the 1992 film and had watched the occasional TV episode when visiting my friend (who was obsessed), but it wasn’t until I moved in with my ex-boyfriend that I really started to take an interest in the show – by this point Season 7 had finished and the programme had ended completely. It began during an evening of boredom, and so the ex suggested that we watched a few episodes to see whether I liked it. From that moment I was hooked, and managed to watch all seven seasons within just a few months.

I was surprised at myself – I was in my early-20’s, I’ve never been a member of anything that even closely resembled a ‘fandom’ and had always rolled my eyes whenever my friends discussed films and TV shows that were based on the notion of werewolves, vampires and suchlike, (and bear in mind that this was several years before the likes of ‘True Blood,’ ‘Twilight’ and ‘Vampire Diaries’ had hit our screens and bookshelves) – but I found myself engrossed in the storyline, willing the characters on in their battles with the ‘big bad’ of that season, and cheering with them in their victories.

However, above all else, there was one character that kept me coming back for more in the earlier series. Spike. Aesthetically, Spike, played by James Marsters, wasn’t my type at all. Angel, played by David Boreanaz was (and still is – David, that is) so pretty I could have cried, but there was something about the dark, brooding ‘Slayer of Slayers‘ that made me weak at the knees, despite the awful English accent and Billy Idol platinum look. Spike was the ‘bad boy.’ In his long, black leather coat he was rude, antagonistic, dismissive, sarcastic and dangerous and I couldn’t get enough. I must admit that I was a little disappointed when he changed over time into a much more sensitive character.

imagesThere are hundreds of characters that surround the archetype of the ‘bad boy’ in literature and the media – Christian Grey, James Bond, Mr Big, Tyler Durden, Captain Jack Sparrow, Loki, Tony Stark to name just a few – the drama, the fights, the rebellion, smouldering good looks and the lack of consideration for the future have an appeal that may be hard to resist for some women (and men). There may be all sorts of different reasons for this – a lack of self-esteem and a feeling that they don’t deserve better, a lack of desire for commitment, an attraction to drama or an attraction to something that they can’t have, a need to rescue the bad boys and encourage them to change their ways, even the desire to date someone opposite in character to a father figure… However, it still doesn’t stop the tears and disappointment when the Bad Boy has lived up to his namesake, again.

I’ve done the Bad Boy relationship. Over the space of 18 months I made excuses for his behaviour and accepted the awful way in which he treated me because I felt that he loved me and wanted to be in a relationship. Eventually, after I’d lost a lot of friends and my self-esteem was at rock bottom, I decided that I deserved better and left.

I’ve got some news for you ladies – it is very rare that the Bad Boy will change his ways for you and you alone. Very rare.

But what about Mr Nice Guy?

The nice guy. The one who calls when he says he will, who is where he says he is, with who he says he’s with. The one who is upfront, honest and reliable. The one who doesn’t get involved in mind games. The one women will often go to for a shoulder to cry on after the Bad Boy has let them down.

Yes, that one.

The stereotype that seems to surround Mr Nice Guy is that nice is boring, unexciting and is physically unnatractive, and in my experience I absolutely disagree with all of these. I saw a quote somewhere that stated ‘Nice is not boring, boring is boring.’ Attractiveness is in the eye of the beholder – we all have different tastes and opinions on what we deem to be pleasing to the eye. Nice people are often more respectful, happier and easier to be around.

Here are my reasons why you should get rid of the Bad Boy and give dating Mr Nice Guy a chance.

Nice+guys+finish+last.+Ba+Dum+Tst+Porn+stars+without+makeup_ed7d74_46752431. What you see is what you get. While it is impossible to absolutely, truly know someone, Mr Nice Guy is usually who you think he is. There are no mind games, no lies and no bullshit. If he likes or dislikes something, he’ll tell you.

2. He follows through on what he says. He calls and texts when he says he will, he suggests plans and sticks to them.

3. He likes you for you. He listens to you, cares about your opinion, has respect for you and accepts your quirks.

4. He’s up for anything and willing to please. Read into that as you will ;). Note: whatever you imagine is likely to be followed by Mr Nice Guy cooking you breakfast the following morning.

5. Chivalry. Before I start being attacked by feminists, I strongly believe that men and women should be treated equally and that it is important that women should stand up for their rights and what they believe in. However, I do like the chivalrous aspects that accompany a date with Mr Nice Guy. I have been given a date’s coat when it has been cold, doors have been held open for me – I’ve even been offered a pair of shoes at the end of a night after a night of dancing in high heels. I turned down the offer, but I thought it was a lovely gesture. Others may disagree and think that the man had no backbone – I saw it that he wanted to make me comfortable. Unfortunately, this leaves Mr Nice Guy in a situation that he may not ever win – if he opens a door, his date may be offended. If he doesn’t, his date may think he is rude.

6. Others will like him. While the opinions of others shouldn’t matter too much when you are dating someone, the stress of negative feelings from family and friends can sometimes cause a strain on the relationship. Chances are, they’ll like Mr Nice Guy as much as you do.

Note: By no means am I suggesting in this list that Mr Nice Guy is a pushover and someone who can be taken advantage of. Mr Nice Guy will have faults, as we all do, and shouldn’t be settled for simply because the Bad Boy has let you down.

says-she-wants-a-nice-guy-like-you-doesnt-want-to-date-youSo ladies (and gentlemen), if you want to be spending your evenings waiting by the phone, crying because he’s lied yet again, belittled you, cheated on you and hurt you, you have every right to do so. Carry on. Enjoy yourselves. But stop complaining when you’ve been let down.

However, if you genuinely want to have a committed, fulfilling, adult relationship, then look no further than Mr Nice Guy. Stop putting them in the friend zone and give them a chance. There’s more to them than you think.

Can anybody add to this? I’d love to hear your stories and experiences – do you prefer the bad boy or nice guy?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @Suzie81blog.

Don’t forget to check out the winners of my New Year competition by clicking on the buttons on the sidebar of my blog!

Image Credit 1: roowsj
Image Credit 2 & 3: someecards.com
Image Credit 4: thecontrarion1012

Blogging Etiquette and Politics: Can’t We All Just Get Along?

I normally stay away from becoming involved in controversial discussion and arguments, but something annoyed me this morning.

I’ve only been blogging since April. When I started I hadn’t a clue about the process and I have spent a large amount of time building my blog into something that I’m proud of. As my following has grown I have started to get to know others a little more and I’ve always been very lucky to receive lovely comments from them and to my knowledge haven’t been subjected to any personal attacks. There have been a few occasions where someone has disagreed with what I’ve written, but they’ve usually done so in a polite and courteous way. WordPress, in my mind, was very much a fun, supportive and happy place to be and I have always felt safe here.

However, over the last few months I have started to notice some of the ‘dark side’ of the blogging world, particularly when discussing stats. Continue reading

I Am The Honey Badger, Hear Me… What Noises Do Honey Badgers Actually Make?

Yesterday, I read a fabulous post by one of my favourite bloggers. That EJ over at the Whimsical Eclecticist discussed the concept of adopting the honey badger ‘don’t give a sh*t’ approach to life and after reading it I was so inspired I had to resist the urge to run outside and yell “I AM THE HONEY BADGER” as loud as I could. (Please check out the post if you can, I absolutely promise it will be worth your time!!)

It made me think about the importance that we put on the opinions of those around us and how we allow these to affect our confidence, self-esteem and even influence the decisions that we make about our lives. Continue reading

46 Reasons Why Women Are Amazing

Women are amazing

**Originally published in 2013, but updated in 2017 for International Women’s Day**

Both men and women are unique in their capabilities and what they offer to society, but on International Women’s Day I took the opportunity to research some of my favourite quotes by empowered and successful women and ask lots of my blogger counterparts for reasons why they felt women were amazing.

1. Our strength at continually striving to be seen and heard for who we REALLY are, when all around us are those who want to put us into boxes… (Fallen Angel Fitness)

2. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous – Coco Chanel

3. We’re at our best when we opt out of the game [of competition] and find the strength and kindness to support and encourage one another to be who we are meant to be. (Claire Wong Writing)

4. It’s not vanity to feel you have a right to be beautiful. Women are taught to feel we’re not good enough, that we must live up to someone else’s standards. But my aim is to cherish myself as I am – Elle Macpherson

5. Figure out who you are separate from your family, and the man or woman you’re in a relationship with. Find who you are in this world and what you need to feel good alone. I think that’s the most important thing in life. Find a sense of self because with that, you can do anything else – Angelina Jolie

6. A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform. (Sanchali07wanderer)

7. Strong women do not allow their lives and relationships to be dictated by others.

8. Women from my Nana’s era, who went through so many changes in society and still remained strong, determined and gentle. (Global Housesitter x2)

9. Women are great listeners, and do so without feeling the need to fix something.

10. We possess the sixth sense of female intuition, which is often right.

11. What we do is one achievement after another, no matter how small. Surviving all that is thrown at us. Being strong when we don’t know how we do it. Forming networks of support with each other… (Jot to Jot)

12. Women are remarkable because of our ability to be resourceful, our adaptibility and resilience – we bend but don’t break. (Phaytea’s Pulse)

13. Our ability to be effective leaders.

14. The fact that we can embrace our seeming imperfections and turn them into a strength

15. They are the creators and nurturers of all. They are balls of emotion feeling happiness and sadness, love and hate, energy and exhaustion all at once, yet still cope with what the world throws at them. They are the support network, many a time, singlehandedly, for their family, often with only another woman friend to turn to for understanding and support. (But I Smile Anyway)

16. Women, like men, should try to do the impossible. And when they fail, their failure should be a challenge to others – Amelia Earhart

17. We can organise a household, a family, ourselves and still manage to work full time.

18. Women are just normal human beings whose strength is derived from their history (Oriana’s Notes)

19. When she knows that she is amazing but is graceful and classy about it. There is something very powerful about knowing your own strengths and choosing when to use them effectively…

20. Ordinary women with compassionate hearts might not always get the highest paid jobs or the respect that they deserve but don’t forget the wonderful daily jobs that they do. (Kyros Magica)

21. Why do people say “grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you wanna be tough, grow a vagina. Those things can take a pounding – Betty White

22. The ability to look amazing in whatever we wear, be it a cocktail dress or sweats…

23. While we may not always be physically stronger than our male counterparts… pregnancy and childbirth.

24. Women are amazing because every day we have the resilience to prove that we are equal to men – be it through intelligence, strength, power or pay bracket. Women change the world, deliver life and inspire each other. (The Wandering Darlings)

25. A fulfilling life does not require the dependence on anyone else but herself.

26. I am an example of what is possible when girls from the very beginning of their lives are loved and nurtured by people around them. I was surrounded by extraordinary women in my life who taught me about quiet strength and dignity – Michelle Obama

27. The ability to problem solve and the flexibility to admit when she doesn’t have all of the answers.

28. A strong, independent woman has a strong financial independence.

29. Women can express themselves creatively by embracing their own style.

30. Our ability to multitask. (BlondeWriteMore)

31. I was raised to believe that excellence is the best deterrent to racism or sexism. And that’s how I operate my life. – Oprah Winfrey

32. A woman follows her heart, understands who she is and develops and cultivates her own passions and interests.

33. Strong women like to challenge themselves, without growing complacent, they don’t ever stop learning and always know that there is the potential for improvement.

34. Our flexibility in dealing with whatever life throws at us, our resilience and strength to continually fight battles that we shouldn’t have to fight. (Deb’s World)

35. A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water – Eleanor Roosevelt

36. The ability to speak her mind and from the heart, not being afraid of the opinions of others.

37. They are strong, empowering, emotional, loving and fierce (Motivate Me!)

38. Life is never boring – a strong woman finds the laughter and happiness in many things

39. I love to see a young girl go out and grab the world by the lapels. Life’s a bitch. You’ve got to go out and kick ass – Maya Angelou

40. The meaningful and lifelong bonds we form with our friends. Behind every strong woman is a whole team who has her back.

41. Our resilience and support for each other. (Just Another Blog)

42. Self-confidence, emotional independence and self-validation.

43: The ability to find things – we always know where lost items are.

44. One is not born a woman, one becomes one. – Simone de Beauvoir

45. W-oman’s worth O-ften underestimated M-ostly unappreciated A-lthough they N-ever give up caring

46. I like being a woman because I think the answers now are so much more varied and exquisite then they would have been even twenty years ago because we have come so far as a gender. I love the way I know my body so well, I love that I can talk freely about any subject without embarrassment or bravado bullsh*t that guys often do, that I can be a chameleon, that I can be proud of my gender and that everywhere I turn there are women all over the world making and breaking the rules. (The Slipped Ink Blog)

 

What about you guys? What makes women amazing?

You can also find me on Twitter and Tumblr @suzie81blog, and don’t forget to check out my Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/suzie81speaks, my Pinterest page http://www.pinterest.com/suzie81speaks and my Instagram page http://www.instagram.com/suzie81speaks.