Do You Really Need to Love Yourself First?

That’s the burning question many people had from my last article for the Huffington Post on self-esteem. Thanks to all who shared their stories, feedback, comments and insights. It inspired me to write this article. I know you’ve been told you need to love yourself first before you can love someone else. I disagree. Can love exist without self-love? Yes. Let me explain by asking you to ask yourself the following things:  
  1. Do you prioritize others over yourself?
  2. Do you tell yourself the truth?
  3. Do you accept the past or do you ruminate about it?
  4. Do you blame others (parents, ex-partner/spouse) for your past failures?
  5. Do you follow your gut the majority of the time?
  6. Do you carve out “me” time consistently?

Do you do any of these things and still want and find love? Of course you do. We all do. Does it stop us from loving others?

Still think you need to love yourself first? Ok, let’s look at the latest dating trend Benching. In this article, Jason Chen is writing about his experience with rejection and how common it is for people to start dating then blow them off and re-surface months later and resume dating again. So, he became a bench-warmer waiting to get picked; while the other person is dating other people. He’s wondering why he got blown off, but the person comes back and you give them a chance, right? What does this say about what people feel about themselves? Why do they allow it? Should you give people the benefit of the doubt? Sure. But, what’s the cut off? Should your ego, sense of self, or self-respect take a hit? And even when it does take a hit, don’t we still seek love? Isn’t that the opposite of loving yourself first?

What does it say about self-love? If you ask people do you love yourself, they’ll likely tell you yes.

Here’s my burning question: If you love yourself first, then what explains the faulty decision-making in relationships?

It’s not about self-love, it’s about self-awareness. I think that self-awareness PKNFYSTO4Eis one of the keys to our relationship decision-making process. When you’re self-aware and ask yourself the same above questions, you’ll find what you accept for yourself and what helps you decide on who, when, and how to love. The interesting part of self-awareness is that it becomes most challenged while you are in a relationship. 🙂 Have you ever realized that thing that s/he did that annoyed you triggered another aspect of you?

The heated you: It’s not about the toilet seat! It’s about you having no consideration for me whatsoever! 

Your inner voice: OMG! Who can’t put down a damn toilet seat?! I’m gonna be miserable the rest of my life putting up with this shit!

The over-reaction to a small thing triggered larger issues: lack of consideration and poor communication. The irony is that people become aware of the lack of self-love in relationship to others. 🙂 Self-love is cultivated over time. With each relationship we hope to get a better understanding of our needs and what we will seek out in the future. Our sense of self is challenged in each break-up because we’re trying to understand why it happened, why we allowed it to happen, or what was wrong with that person that they didn’t see the greatness in us. 🙂 Either way, we walk away wondering is this person kidding me with their bullshit behavior or was I kidding myself?

 

5 things you can do right now to change your online dating experience

1. Don’t force fit someone into your life because you are experiencing online dating fatigue. The process of several serial dates with people that you lack chemistry with or experience rejection from people that you think are potential candidates can be very frustrating and result in online dating fatigue. Where you just want to quit for awhile till you regroup. It’s totally understandable. Take a break, if you feel you need it. But, don’t let the fatigue inform who you choose.

2. Meet in real life. The point of online dating is to date, not to have a epenpal. If you haven’t gone on a date after a lengthy back and forth, cut it off. Two things are happening to you while you epenpal: 1) you are creating a false reality about who is behind the device and 2) you are delaying your own happiness by dealing with someone that isn’t on the same page.

3Screenshot 2014-11-06 at 1.56.54 PM. Diversify your dating approach. Don’t just rely on online dating as the only method of meeting someone. That will create online dating fatigue quickly. Include in your strategy both online and offline because love is a complicated process and has no formula. We can’t create the when and where. We just have to be there.

4. Approach online dating like it’s a social experiment. It really IS. Treat dating like you are collecting data on what you want and don’t want. See what combinations of qualities and characteristics better complement you. Approaching dating as though it is testing out our happiness hypothesis or algorithm can help minimize some of our own expectations. Create an equation (just like the dating sites) that includes the elements that you absolutely require (fixed variable) and the elements that you think you want (random variable). Focus just on characteristics, qualities and life desires.

5. This is the grand daddy of them all! Ready? Men, listen to me: don’t lie about your height. Women hate when you lie about inches 🙂 The reality is that men over 6’0″ in US society is about 15%. Seems like 100% online 🙂

Wow! I’m on a Times Square Jumbotron, baby!

Happy International Women’s Day and Month!

As a women of color and scientist, it is incredibly exciting for me to see the technological and scientific advances in society and to see so many women who want to pursue a career in STEM. Please encourage, support, or mentor women in “non-traditional” careers till we no longer call it nontraditional.

If anyone would have asked medo you think you will be on a Times Square jumbotron and sharing techniques that you developed on open public platforms?” 

PRN-CONNECTCHAT-CLARISSA-SILVA-ts-ts.20140305154053

I was recently honored to participate to on a twitter chat with PRNewswire ProfNet hashtag #connectchat about the strategies I created for my blog, http://yourejustadumbass.com. If you’d like to learn strategies, you can access the recap article here:  http://www.profnetconnect.com/popelbaum/blog/2014/03/05/how_to_keep_your_blog_readers_engaged

Thank you to all who support the advancement of women in STEM, entrepreneurship, and enterprise.

Top 10 things to bring in the New Year & new you!

Happy New Year! Hope your New Year is off to a great start! To help bring in the new you, here are top 10 things you can do:domp

1. Learn from the past, but don’t relive it in the future.

2. People are what they are not what you want them to be.

3. Once you accept someone for what they really are, they will surprise you by being better than what you expected.

4. Forgive yourself for your past sub-optimal decisions.

5. Seek out people that make you a better version of yourself.

6. Follow your gut. Period.

7. Be the type of person you would like to be in a relationship with.

8. Don’t lose yourself while trying to hold onto someone who doesn’t care about losing you.

9. Desperate is not sexy, confidence is.

10. Who you date is a function of your self-esteem.

In Honor of the Boston Tragedy

I am deeply saddened by the Boston Marathon tragedy. While most of us look at tragedies in the negative way that they really are, the positives are that: 1) we strengthen our relationships and communities, 2) seek to assist families in need, 3) and begin dialogues about the direction of society. Today, I had the honor of talking to NBC NEWS 4 Anchor Melissa Carlson about how we really see a stronger sense of community and strengthened  relationships emerge as a result of tragedy.

An event like this deeply impacts us because we think about that 8 year-old boy & think of how it impacts his family, his school, his friends. That creates a sentiment that makes us behave more altruistically. As we have seen with funds being established to assist the Richard & Corcoran families This was a random event at a massive event that anyone could be in attendance. When we begin to feel like it could have been any of us or that we can’t comprehend senseless death/tragedy , we want to change the nature of society. We think it can happen any where to any one of us. That makes us all become vigilantes in a way. Tragedies help strengthen and form communities. Some resources for anyone wanting to help those impacted by this tragedy:

New England Patriots‘ The Kraft family announced it will match $100,000 in donations to support marathon tragedy victims. patriots.com/donate

New England Patriot‘s defensive captain Vince Wilfork has a Text to donate campaign: “Text VINCE to 50555 to donate $10 to the Vince Wilfork Foundation all proceeds usntil end of the month will benefit victims of Boston bombs.”

Can’t get to your office on Boylston Street? Workbar is offering office space, free access to Wi-Fi, meeting rooms, and warm cups of coffee.

The Tavern in Framingham will hold a fund-raiser on Wednesday, April 17 from 3 p.m. until closing.

Source and additional resources can be found at: http://www.boston.com/news/source/2013/04/boston_marathon.html

Are you secretly dating any of these types?

Most relationship failures are related to some unresolved pain caused by someone else that you may have repressed. Most of the time when we are dating we don’t realize that we’re learning more about ourselves. Unexpressed emotions are some of the keys that keep us from finding our ideal partner. However, most of us don’t deal with the source of what caused the pain in past failed relationships which sometimes creates patterns and cycles.  Here are a few of the top unexpressed emotions that delay our happiness.

UNEXPRESSED_EMOTION

Jealousy=Insecurity

Insecurities are created from past experiences that could be from childhood, past relationships, former marriages, any life event that made you feel you were less than what you really are. You then took this definition and began designing yourself around it for years. When you compare yourself to others, you are already working from a deficit perspective and wonder why everyone else seems to get what they want, yet you don’t. The way people remedy that? By controlling factors in other’s lives that they can’t control for in their own lives. It’s easy to constantly look at someone else, talk about what they have and not create it in your own life.

Expectations=Underlying resentment

Resentment occurs because you expected one set of outcomes and go the opposite or worse than what you anticipated. Which is a function of life: things don’t always go the way we planned it or wanted it to be. How do some of us deal with life not turning out the way we want? By creating new expectations :). Expectations becomes a form of defense mechanism to prevent some from experiencing deep seated resentment when things and people fail them.

Anger=Misdirected expression

The expression of anger is usually due to a cumulative of life events that you experienced that you thought were unfair. Usually these past life events and its impact on the person span over decades: childhood trauma, abusive parents, sexual trauma, death of a parent, or disease. How do you resolve being treated unfairly? By treating others unfairly :).  Instead of dealing with what caused the hurt, some find it easier to direct it towards others as a way to resolve their pain.

Codependency=Lack of support

In the case of codependency, the lack of support has to do with not having people around them that understands them. When they do meet someone that understands them and they can share their true selves with, that person becomes their new addiction. It’s created because people want to feel real connection. How do some deal with not cultivating the right people around them? By people pleasing the one’s that let you consistently not grow. People that are codependent usually seek validation, but they ascribe it to the wrong person.

Wow! I am in awe of these exceptional bloggers & awards!

I am always honored and moved by exceptional bloggers nominating me for awards. I feel truly awarded by their thoughtfulness, support, and inspiration. I have had the honor of being nominated for these outstanding awards:

very-inspiring-blogger11

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

Thank you from the bottom of my heart to the following amazing bloggers who nominated me:

http://proportionsinlife.wordpress.com

robertmudge.wordpress.com/

http://bonnevivantelife.wordpress.com/

iprodigaldaughter.wordpress.com

theothersideofugly.wordpress.com

beautiful_blogger_award

Beautiful Blogger Award

 Nominated by the inspirational iprodigaldaughter.wordpress.com

Versatileblogger

Versatile Blogger Award

Nominated by the inspirational robertmudge.wordpress.com/

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Award

Nominated by the inspirational frankiedman.wordpress.com & http://reflectionsofasinglegirl.wordpress.com 

So the rules are that I have to: 1) thank the person who gave it to me, 2) share 7 possible things that are unknown about me,  3) nominate 15 bloggers, and 4) notify the nominees of their nomination.

  1. I try to hide my geekiness. I guess not all that well 🙂 So I’m told 🙂
  2. Michael Jordan’s Nike Maybe It’s My Fault commercial is my source of motivation.
  3. I like watching Comedy Central before I go to sleep. It’s how I strike a mental balance.
  4. I believe in a highly romanticized version of love 🙂  I know. Don’t judge!
  5. I can’t stand jealousy, self-absorption and selfishness.
  6. I am a Leo!

This is in no ranked order. I admire and am inspired by them all equally. The list of my nominees are:

Very Inspiring Blogger

 http://ayaime.wordpress.com/

http://bornoutofbourbon.wordpress.com/

http://clarkkent07.wordpress.com/

http://nanafeneba.wordpress.com

http://theothersideofugly.wordpress.com

http://chinupchesthigh.wordpress.com/

gregariouswolf.wordpress.com

algarveblogdotnet.wordpress.com

http://invisiliz.com/

findingthewilltolive.wordpress.com

whataheartcanhold.wordpress.com

royalityme.wordpress.com

http://iamforchange.wordpress.com/

http://whymarriagematters.wordpress.com/

http://truthbunny.wordpress.com/

http://julienmatei.com/

http://corneliusagrippa.wordpress.com/

Versatile Blogger

frankiedman.wordpress.com

robertmudge.wordpress.com/

iprodigaldaughter.wordpress.com

http://proportionsinlife.wordpress.com

Liebster

http://howaboutwenot.com/

http://proportionsinlife.wordpress.com

Beautiful Blogger

http://proportionsinlife.wordpress.com

robertmudge.wordpress.com/

http://bonnevivantelife.wordpress.com/

iprodigaldaughter.wordpress.com

theothersideofugly.wordpress.com

http://reflectionsofasinglegirl.wordpress.com

Top things you can do to ensure your happiness.

In honor of International Happiness Day, I have compiled a list of things that either reminds us of what happiness can be or what we can do to get to a state of happiness.

  1. People demonstrate what they are. We don’t pay attention to the signs.stop
  2. People are what they are, not what you want them to be.
  3. Life doesn’t happen to you. You have to play an active role in shaping it.
  4. You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Identify the reason things are compelling you to do the things that you don’t want to do/that don’t make you happy.
  5. Sometimes you only realize someone’s worth when they are gone.
  6. Spending time with someone that doesn’t make you happy delays your happiness and theirs.
  7. You choose all that you allow in your life.

Top 10 things to tell the woman in your life

Men, do you want Valentine’s Day to come early? Tell the woman in your life any of these phrases 🙂

  1. I love you!
  2. You cooked, I’ll clean.
  3. I picked up something at Tiffany’s for you just because.
  4. You are right.
  5. You have my undivided attention. I’m listening.
  6. spaHow about you have a spa day, I’ll take care of the kids.
  7. You are an amazing wife and we are awesome parents.
  8. You are unbelievably beautiful and I am lucky to have you in my life.
  9. I ran a bath with your favorite rose petals soak for you.
  10. I don’t know what I did to deserve you!

Start off your New Year with a bang!

domp

As I reflect on the year, I realize more and more that life isn’t always about getting what you deserve. It’s about us all being on different trajectories. The reality is that everyone has the same opportunities at being happy. It’s about the choices we make and understanding how it shaped our experiences. The better we are at understanding why we chose what we did, the closer we get to actualizing our goals.

The things that we experience are temporary. It changes as our perception of the experience changes. Everything has its own unique trajectory. Imagine a ball in flight. The speed and direction in which it travels is dependent on the amount of force exerted onto the ball, the angle of your wrist, your strength for it to travel. The same principle can be applied to our everyday lives. Each person’s trajectory possesses its own unique set of qualities that is directed by each decision we make. What it yields is dependent on the decisions we make around the goal we want to achieve. The better we understand our experiences, we get a better sense of what we need and then we are better aligned to encounter the right set of circumstances and people.

This year, in addition to your New Year’s resolution, write a letter to your 2012 self itemizing the things that you gained, how you grew, and what you’re appreciative of. Whether you: grew from the ordeal of a break-up, divorce, found the love of your life, found a job, got laid-off, gained more customers or started your own business. Think about each thing that you would like to continue and things that you would like to grow from. Everything we go through brings us closer to what we need to actualize our dreams or brings about our happiness. If your goal is to be a better partner in your relationship (your trajectory), think about how your communication style may have improved in the last year or conversely how it can be improved in the coming year (your decision making process). Whatever the situation is, think about what led you to that moment and what you intended on happening. If it is what you intended, apply that formula to other situations. If it wasn’t, revise the process by being more congruent with what you want to achieve. Sometimes when we see it written, we are better able to see some of the incongruence very clearly. When I have reflected on my past experiences, I realized that the qualities and circumstances that I was seeking was the opposite of what I was experiencing. Hope this helps you have the best year yet!

Have a happy, healthy & prosperous New Year!