February 26th 2019 – Friendzone

Today I want to talk about the dreaded or not so dreaded (depending on the situation) Friendzone. The majority view the Friendzone as a bad thing but that’s not always the case.

Admittedly I have found myself in the Friendzone many a time and sometimes although rarely I have managed to get out of said Friendzone. Now there are no steps you can really take to get out as it more depends on the person who Friendzone you in the first place.

The Friendzone can be difficult especially if both parties know you’re in the Friendzone (either you’ve been told directly or it’s a silent yet mutual acknowledgement). It can be difficult in the fact that if you’re the one being Friendzone then you may not even realise what it is you done that’s put you there.

One of the most common reasons for getting trapped in the Friendzone can be that you’re too nice towards the person. Stupid I know, but entirely true and this is one I can speak from experience. For me nine times out of 10 this is my reason, trying to help in every way possible. Constantly giving advice, doing things for that person or in general sense just being nice.

Giving advice is a tricky one that can lead to being put into the Friendzone, especially if it’s advice about relationships. You’re most likely to get hit with the “why can’t I find someone that’s as nice as you?” An extremely frustrating sentence as you’re the one that is as nice as you. However the statement is not an insult but rather them just making sure you know your place, the translation to that line is just “You’re a really nice person, the kind I’m looking for just not you.”

You may think by giving relationship advice that you’re just showing that person all the reasons why you’re the perfect match, but the reality is you’re just giving them another reason to Friendzone you as it comes across as a but of brag. My advice is never give relationship advice to the one you don’t want to be in a Friendzone with. This way you kind of leave yourself open to mystery as they don’t find out your views on relationships too early.

However it can be hard if they come to you for the advice, at which point accept that you’re already halfway to the Friendzone. Not all bad though there’s time to save yourself, just respectfully tell them that you’re just as lost as they are and not to take your advice as this is the reason you’re single as it is. This may seem like your downplaying yourself but in reality everyone loves someone that’s a bit broken it’s how they feel that they can actually work towards something once in the relationship and also reminds them that no one is perfect and that’s ok.

Don’t view as being in the Friendzone as always a negative thing. Being friends is ok, as long as you’re ok with that. I mean you’re still in that person’s life and the chances are that if you’re in the Friendzone you’re still an important part of that person’s life.

In terms of getting out of the Friendzone, this can be the difficult one and if you’re intent on getting out by your own accord just make sure you’re ready for when it doesn’t work out as it really is a 50/50 chance and if it doesn’t work there’s a good chance you get pushed away in total.

In order to get out there are few things you may need to do that you may not like. First is communication, stop talking to the person so often. Limit yourself to how often you’re talking and seeing this person. This let’s them know that you’re not as enthuastic as they are to be friends but you’re not pushing them totally away. Try to find that balance that keeps you happy with the situation but also your not dedicating as much of you’re time.

Next you want to establish boundaries. There are some people I know that are in the Friendzone but are too comfortable with playing the best friend or third wheel. By all means make sure you’re not this person. Don’t be the one that rushes to their aid at the drop of a hat, take that step back and let someone else do it but make sure you’re still in the picture in one way or the other, you’re just not the first one to be at their side all the time. That’s what friends do and that’s what friends are good at.

Lastly you need self discipline, the hardest of all. You need to know when to step back and stop yourself from constantly being ‘just that friend’. Self discipline is the hardest of all as sometimes can be hard to take a step back and watch things unfold even if you saw it coming a mile away and could of stopped it. Let them make their own mistakes and learn from them. Remember no one is perfect so let them be their imperfect selves.

To you with love, your friend THC x

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February 22nd 2019 – Honesty and Lies.

Today I want to focus on the trait honesty and it’s opposite lies. Honesty is one of the most important traits I look for in people, but is there such a thing as being too honest? And when is it ok to abandon honesty and just lie instead?

I have always tried to be as honest as possible to others at all times, but admittedly I do find it hard every now and then and instead find myself telling a lie. Honesty can be tricky and get get you into trouble if you’re not careful, but at what point do you draw a line and tell that little white lie?

I’ll tell you a little story of a few years back where I started to doubt that being honest as much as possible was really the right thing to do. So a few years ago I was going out this girl and we had both been under quite a lot of pressure and stress at our work due to deadlines and stuff like that and we both agreed the perfect remedy for this would be to take a weekend off and go somewhere. The problems started almost straight away when we started discussing about where we should go. She suggested a seaside get away somewhere really close to beach, where as I was thinking more along the lines of a nice quiet and secluded place or a road trip where it would be just the two of us. However she quickly shot idea down saying things like going somewhere secluded would be boring and because it was the middle of summer that the beach was the ideal place to be. She wasn’t really understanding that the basis of the holiday was meant to be about relaxation, but did I argue my case?…..if you guessed no then give yourself a gold star. I pretty much gave in straight away as I didn’t want the holiday not to happen just because we couldn’t agree on the location or type of weekend away we were going to be having.

So fast forward a couple of weeks and we were down on the southwest (I think) coast of England in Devon. Really nice weather and quite a nice place overall but the experience I had on that weekend was a rotten one. It started off bad and progressively got worse in my opinion, let me tell you how. For one the hotel we were staying at was rammed packed with people, middle of summer so no real surprise there, but I don’t like crowds and there were just way too many people in and around the hotel for my liking. I didn’t mention this though as I didn’t want to seem as if I wasn’t enjoying myself before the trip had really started. We arrived early Friday afternoon and would be leaving around midday on the Monday. After we got checked in and dumped our bags in our rooms she immediately wanted to head down to the beach, this once again didn’t really sit well with me as we had just completed a 5 and a half hour drive and I wanted to just take a little breather and relax a little first, I didnt argue and headed to the beach. My second problem which ties in with the first and that’s as you can imagine, the beach was packed with people of all walks of life I mean it’s lucky we even found a spot to lay down our towel if I’m honest the amount of people around made me uneasy and my anxiety quickly kicked in leaving me extremely uncomfortable with my surroundings heightened by the fact I was no where near home. For those that may be wondering, yes my girlfriend did know I suffered form anxiety and that crowds made me feel really uneasy but I suppose she was so intent on this beach weekend away that my feelings kind of took a back seat to what she wanted. We spent a good few hours sunbathing…well she was, my thoughts were too preoccupied to relax at all and I spent the whole time feeling on edge. After we decided to walk around for a bit, visit some shops and see some the other things Devon had to offer. Personally I was glad to just get off of that beach even though the streets were just as packed and the walking around didn’t really seem to help my anxiety at all.

After going from shop to shop and weaving in and out of people we found a nice little park a little out of the way from all the hustle and bustle and decided to rest our weary legs for while. I was glad to find the park almost empty and felt for the first time since we had got there that I could relax little. The conversation we had whilst sitting there however is where my point about honesty comes into things. I started to talk about the plans for the next day hoping to try and coax her into the idea of going somewhere away from all the crowds and find some activities much more relaxing as for me that’s what the whole point of the weekend away was about, but she had other ideas and told how she had told a couple of her work mates about the trip and had invited them to come along and the fact that they would arrive early tomorrow morning so we should find something that all of us could do. Great, more people and now the idea of relaxing had completely vanished. It was at this point though I did finally say something. I asked her why I wasn’t told about this before hand and that I thought the trip was meant to be so we could take a break from work and the pressures of life so to speak. She got slightly offended at this saying how she had forgotten to tell me her mates would be joining us and that if all I wanted to do was relax than why didn’t we just stay at home. She then asked if her friends joining us would be problem and if I was having a good time.

Now if I was being honest yes I did think the idea of her friends joining us would be a problem and no as matter of fact it was a terrible idea to even agree to this trip in the first place, that was my honest opinion. Imagine if I had said that. What would of followed? Most likely she would of fell out with me for the time being at least and the weekend would not only have been ruined but a waste of time, effort and money. So I proceeded to lie, in hindsight I would say I did a good job in convincing her that I was totally fine with all of it and that I had just simply misunderstood the idea of the break. My reasons behind not being honest were pretty simple I didn’t want to seem like I was making mountains out of molehills or offend her anymore than I had done.

All in all its was a disastrous weekend for me and drained me both physically and mentally to which I kept to myself and acted like I was having a great time through the whole weekend. My aim to be honest took the back seat in this situation as her friends had already spent the money to travel and I didn’t want to be the one to ruin everything for everyone.

I could of maybe avoided the whole situation if I was honest from start so in telling one small lie I then had to cover that with another after another after another, you see the pattern? Sometimes just being honest from the start will save you in the long run even at if at the time it doesn’t seem like the right thing to do at the time. Unfortunately there’s no real way to determine if this is going to be the case and the best advice I can give is go with what you feel is the right thing to do.

Another reason why some may think that honesty isn’t always the right way forward is when people ask what you think of them or something they have made. And in that sense I would say you can still be honest without being negative also known as constructive criticism. If for instance someone asks what you think of them or someone else and you don’t particularly like the person in question than be honest but don’t say things that could be deemed as nasty or insestive but rather explain why you feel that way, but always follow up with a positive or a suggestion on how they could change. This way you don’t come across as completely negative and doesn’t make you seem as if your just having a go at the other person.

It can be tricky but I feel that if your honest with not only yourself but with others too then you set yourself up to be trustworthy as people will know that lying isn’t really in your nature and you will also become more reliable as person.

Honesty in relationships are arguably the most key as without it you will find yourself second guessing the other person and wondering wether or not your are being lied to on a daily basis. It’s a trait which seems to be getting more and more lost the longer time goes on buts it’s value stays the same. If you find being honest a hard thing to do when asked about your opinions on certain people or subjects just remember not everyone is going to share your honesty and those that can’t handle it have a problem with honest with themselves first and foremost so I would try to not worry about it too much

In conclusion to this topic (even though I feel I will revisit this topic one day) I don’t think there’s such thing as being too honest as long as you have positive things to say along side it. Having said that some times very small lies don’t really harm anyone although it’s a grey area In which you consider everything from all angles. If you disagree with anything I have said I would happy to read you point of view on the matter as I feel i have a lot to learn on this and I’m interested to see it from others point of view.

To you with love, your friend THC x

February 21st 2019 – Internet Influence

Influences can be good or bad it’s a fact everyone knows, but in this blog I want to talk about the internet influence in general. I know there are bad influences and good influences on the internet, but as whole and overall is it good or bad and for what reasons. I’m going to identify general stuff in the internet that influences us and in what way does influence us. This is all my opinion there are no real facts here so you can by all means disagree with my point of view, all I ask is you try to understand where I’m coming from.

I think I will start of with something that’s controversial just to get you thinking. So let’s start of the the #MeToo movement. Now before you jump on my back and call me all kind of names your parents wouldn’t be proud of allow me to explain. The good this has done is by far the best thing to come out of 2018 in what was otherwise a….excuse my language for a second but 2018 was a shit year. Women all over the world have benefited from this in more ways than one, and I now hear that China is having it’s own #MeToo movement, however there is a downfall to all of this. Unfortunately are those that use this movement to jump on the bandwagon so to speak and innocent people have been blamed for things they neither said or done and it’s affected their lives negatively. This is extremely disappointing to see considering what the #MeToo movement originally stood for, and that is sexual harassment. However we now live in a world where if you are famous your words and actions carry more meaning than those who aren’t. This in itself is a problem to which I wish to discuss with you another time. Back to the subject at hand, I’m glad that such an important subject has gained the attention of the world, but let’s be honest this should of happened a long ago and now we seem to have women coming out the woodwork claiming to have been sexually abused in some sort of way or another. The difficult thing for us is to determine who is telling the truth and who is just straight lying. Overall I think the #MeToo movement was a great idea to start off with but now I feel it has spiralled out of control and that’s down to internet.

The second thing on my list is this not so recent trend of giving generously to the homeless. I’m sure if you’ve been on YouTube or even Facebook over the past year or two you would of seen videos of this nature. If you have read through my previous blogs you would know that I whole heartedly welcoming the idea of random acts of kindness and I try my best to make sure I do this. My problem with these videos on giving generously to either those that are less fortunate than most or homeless people, who seem to be the main target for the kind of videos is that I feel it is mostly just done for the views and doesn’t seem to me that the person or persons they give generously to have a say on wether or not they want to be filmed. Why do people feel the need to film themselves doing this anyway? It all seems odd to me. Surely you’re doing it because you want to and therefore it shouldn’t matter who sees you doing it, and not because it’s the next big trend. I recently found out that Rhianna has been over in Africa helping to build schools and yet there is nothing on any of her social media about it, see how easy it is to do something for someone and not shove a camera in their face to let the whole world know? People need to realise that as long as you’re happy with your act of kindness then there is no need for the cameras because the feeling you get from doing it means so much more. What I’m trying to say is this culture of filming yourself doing random acts of kindness seems to be over exaggerated in more ways than one and I think it’s a rather negative influence. For example for all the goods it’s doing, those that are giving don’t seem to enjoying the actual feeling of helping someone out.

The final one I’ll do for today is social media, your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter just to name the obvious and arguably the most popular of the many that are out there. I’m going to try and tackle each of those three main platforms individually as even though they are all social media websites they each bring something different to this discussion. I think it’s fair that I should point out that I have an account with all three of these even though I’ve found myself using them less and less as time goes on.

First let’s start with Facebook. Now out of the three mentioned above Facebook has been around the longest and it’s important that I point out that I’m not necessarily the company itself I’m talking about but rather what people are using it for. Facebook is a rather large platform with millions upon millions of users, and I see it as really a platform that allows you to keep in contact and share things that happen in your life with friends and family. Unfortunately it’s not really what a lot of people are using it for and again this is all in my opinion you may use Facebook a lot and enjoy it, I’m just telling you what I think. I find Facebook a rather toxic place and find more arguments there than either Instagram or Twitter. Most of my “friends” of Facebook seems to have random people on their friends list that they have never met. When I asked one of my actual friends that I see regularly why this is his reply was simply “they sent me a friend request so I just accepted”. Now many of you may do this too for either the same reason or you may have your own reasons, but my problem with this is if you don’t actually know the person but accept the request you’re allowing someone you have never met an inside look into your life. For many us who say we care about our privacy this seems like a hypocritical thing to do. Overall I find Facebook out dated on a lot of aspects and views of the world and I find a lot of negativity whenever I go on there, maybe I’m just not looking in the right places.

Next up is Twitter. When I first joined Twitter I found it exciting to use and very informative, as a matter of fact for many years it became the only social media platform that I actually paid attention to. I liked the idea of talking about almost anything and not getting smart little comments or remarks like I had experienced on Facebook. I used it as my daily news source and found the whole experience quite uplifting. However after a couple years I started to realise more on the more popular people’s accounts rather than mine, an increase in negativity. You see Twitter makes it extremely easy for you to remain anonymous which I think on social media platform isn’t really the right thing. Due to how easy it is to stay anonymous I see that certain people use this as an excuse to say some really hurtful things towards others knowing that there will be practically no backlash from it as no one know who they are. I find this disturbing as what you find on Twitter are some of the most degenerating comments you will ever read, but again maybe I’m just not looking in the right place.

Last but not least we come to Instagram. I find this social media platform the most disturbing of all. What I take away from Instagram is the fact that everyone seems to be living this awesome life and they’re constantly happy when this really isn’t the case for the majority of them. This false pretence that everything is just fine and I’m living my best life is getting out of hand on Instagram and I feels it’s pushing people to do some really worrying things just to get those extra likes. I feel that it can be used for so much good like teaching people to love themselves and to love their body but instead we have terms such as ‘Instagram model’ and ‘Instagram famous’ To me this just sends out the wrong message to those that use this platform. However having said all that one thing has come out of Instagram this year that gave me a little hope that there are people using it in the right way and do truly have kind intentions when using it. What am I talking about? Well it’s that egg. The world breaking egg. The one that currently has the most liked picture on Instagram (a little over 53million at time of writing). Whoever it is that runs that account is a genius. Not just because they achieved this feat with just a picture of an egg, but for using their new found fame to not only stay anonymous but to bring a subject such as mental health to the forefront of a global conversation and is promoting love and kindness in more ways than one. With that said my hat goes off to you, whoever you may be egg.

To you with love, your friend THC x

February 20th 2019 – friendships

Friendships. To most of us the word holds a crucial meaning. Everyone needs friends, but to what extent? We’ve all heard the phrase ‘you can choose your friends, but you can’t choose your family.’ It’s the first half of this sentence that I don’t totally agree with. There are some friends you may have that you didn’t necessarily choose. For instance a friend you have could of helped you out with a random act of kindness which then led to a friendship, to which I feel it’s more the universe choosing some of your friends for you.

The friends you make at young age will define what kind of person you grow up to be. Hang around with the wrong crowd and you will most likely start making bad decisions, which is why I’ve always believed strongly in surrounding yourself with positive people. The right friends will push you to be the better person that they know you can be. They can elevate you to new heights you never knew was achievable.

Unfortunately we can lose friends just as quick as we can make them, which is why it’s important that the friendships work in a two way system, you both have to be there for each other. I’ve been lucky enough to have found friends that will truly be there for me through thick and thin, but this wouldn’t work if I wouldn’t do the same for them. How you value your friendships will determine how long and what kind of friendship you have with that person.

In the years where my depression was at its most prominent I lost friends but at the same time made some new ones along the way. Those friends that stuck around when I was at my lowest truly saved my life, and that’s something that means the world to me and I make sure that they not only understand how much I value their friendship but that I would do the same for them.

Luckily I’ve never really struggled to make friends but I have had problems in keeping those friendships alive. The majority of friends I had back in my school days I no longer speak to let alone see. This may be the same for many of you reading this, the thing that bothers me about this is that these are the people that helped me grow as a person and influenced the way I think, and now they are all just a distant memory. There are a few that I would like to reconnect with but don’t really know what to say in order to do that. I have no bad feelings towards them but when you haven’t spoke to someone for a lengthy period of time it’s hard to find the words to say in order to reconnect, especially when they were someone you once considered a friend. When you know there was no real reason behind why you stopped talking to them, how do you explain that to them?

Like I said before friendships are a two way system and communication is key, but are friendships kept by talking to that person on a regular basis or is it possible to maintain a good friendship if you only speak to them once or twice a month or even once every couple of months? I would say time (which is a human made concept) Should not define your friendship in any way shape or form but the love you have that person should be the reason instead. As write this blog I am going to promise myself that the friendships that I’ve lost due to a lack of communication over time I will try to rectify. If you have found that you have also lost some friends due to this exact same reason that you try and do the same, but remember never should you try and force that friendship. If they have taken an offence to the lack of communication over time then so be it. You felt as though you had already lost them as a friend right? So don’t take offence to the fact they may have taken offence to this.

However I feel as if this kind of reconnection of past friendships could benefit you and them in many ways. For instance if you look back on that friendship with fond memories then the reconnection will help you make new ones to cherish. Also mentally this could be a great thing for you too, and maybe even them as they could be going through a rough time and this reconnection could just be the tonic that helps them out.

So in conclusion your friends not only reflect on who you are but the type of person you want to become, and the reconnection of past friendships may benefit not only your life but there’s too (there is your act of kindness). So take that leap of faith and reconnect, you never know some of your best memories may yet be still to come through these friendships, just promise yourself to never force it. Also try to make new friends, even if you find this hard as long as you try you will find that’s there’s people out there that only want you as friend but need you as a friend, and never let time determine how strong your friendships are either.

To you with love, your friend THC x

February 18th 2019 – Love is in the air?

Love. Such is a powerful word. I feel this blog is fitting as Valentine’s day (In which I do not believe or wish to take part in) has not long passed. Love comes in many different ways and doesn’t always make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside, as matter of fact I think that Love can be cold hearted and relentless. I hear people talk about when you find the one you love you just know. This baffled me for many years as I’m sure it has many people. I used to think I knew what love was, that girl I dated back when I was 16, i thought I was very much in love back then, and even though that relationship never ended on bad terms I understand in hindsight that it’s was just admiration and not Love. You see I think we misoncieve admiration for Love and never really realise it.

Some would say that the word Love is used so often nowadays that it’s becoming more and more meaningless, on which I do agree to some extent. Everyone wants to feel Love but I don’t think anyone could put into words on what it actually is or feels like. There are no set rules or guidelines to Love either which only adds to the confusion. Everyone has heard of the saying “Love can make you blind” and to be honest I feel this is the only statement about Love that is in it’s entirety is 100% true.

As of right now I do believe I am in Love or unconditional Love as some would call it. However at the the same time I can’t help but think to myself that this is just another phase, but if it is then it’s went on for some 2-3 years. Let me tell you about it.

Some 3 years ago I met this girl and for now her name shall remain anonymous (I hope you understand) for the time being she will be known as ‘JT’. Well I met JT on Christmas day, ironically the first Christmas I didn’t spend all day with my family. It’s was night time and I was bored as hell so asked a friend of mine if I could pop round and just hang out. He said this was fine and so I did just that. Now I’m not sure what I was expecting when I got there but he had a few of his family around and as I entered his house and went through to say hello to everyone, that’s when she caught my eye for the very first time. That silver sequin dress is forever imprinted into my memory. After formalities had been exchanged between me and my friends relatives I grabbed a drink and and went through into the next room where my friend and his girlfriend at the time had been hanging out. It’s wasn’t long before JT came through to see what we were doing. I feel it’s important to tell you that JT was in fact my friends cousin and close cousin at that, which puts me at a slight predicament. I couldn’t tell you exactly what the next few hours consisted of apart from drinks, jokes and just your general messing around. As it got close to midnight my friend said there was party going on and that we should go too, as much as I didn’t want to at the time, mainly down to the fact that I was having such a great time with JT. I agreed to go nonetheless.

It’s wasn’t until the next the day when I met up with that same friend, that I told him that I was in to his cousin,I felt out of respect this was right thing to do before I made any more advancements. To my relief he was totally fine with it, if my memory serves me right he actually told me to go for it. To which I proceeded to do, and within the week it’s was clear that we were both had feelings for each other. Now this is were the difficulties started. Not long after that Christmas day I would say less than a month she moved. Devastating I know, especially as it was entirely out of my control. There was gradual decline in conversations after she moved and I came to realise my opportunity had went just as quickly as it had came, like I said before Love can cruel. Not long after the conversations between me and JT had became the bare minimum, my luck changed and she moved yet again but this time closer to where I was staying. I couldn’t believe my luck, and so I tried for the second time as my feelings towards her had not changed in the slightest.

It was this second time round though that would prove to be the most difficult. The spark had not gone but she had attempted to move on thinking that what we had had finished when she had moved away which I think left her at a crossroads. I mean by the time she moved back, she had a boyfriend so there was really only so much that I could do without crossing the line, which let me tell you is an extremely hard thing to do when you have to suppress your feelings. Over the next about year and half I watched her go in and out of a few relationships whilst giving her relationship advice along the way. I guess you could say I allowed myself to put in the friendzone in a way. To me though just helping her out through difficult times gave me a good feeling that I just couldn’t deny. It even got to the point where her mum would say that we make cute couple but we would both just laugh it off and tell her she was being silly, even though I couldn’t of agreed with her more.

This cycle of her going in and out of relationships whilst I sat on the sidelines playing the coach role went on for a while, to the point where I started to doubt my own actions. I had helped her in very way possible, literally from relationship advice to family problems, from a shoulder for her to cry on to paying her bills. Even my closest friends were starting to feel that I was the one getting played for the fool, to which I profusely denied. In the end the time and effort I had invested into this girl had drained me mentally to the point where I had to speak to her and tell her exactly how I felt

What stopped me from doing that? Love. I was scared that if I told her all that I felt towards her that she wouldn’t not only push me back (that I could of dealt with) but also I would ruin the friendship and that was something I was not prepared to lose. So even though I felt that sticking around was just the same as being stuck I did anyway and in a way I still am.

She’s currently about a year and a half deep in a relationship with some guy and even though I’ve had plenty of time to move on I still haven’t done it completely yet. I still think about her all the time and we still speak just nowhere near as much and that kills me slightly. You see for all the joy and happiness that Love can bring you it can do just the opposite just as quickly. One day maybe I will tell her how I feel and how I’ve always felt, though if I’m brutally honest with myself I lost my chance to do that ages ago and will now have to live with that painful regret.

I will now ask something of you…..yes you. If you ever find yourself in the situation that I was in where you’re torn between telling the person you Love about how you feel but are worried about losing the friendship I implore you to just sit them down and tell them because the regret you have to live with if you don’t is just as bad if not worse if you don’t.

To you with Love, THC x