So we’ve all been there, that moment when a friendship dies, you can’t quite put your
finger on it, but you remember the exact day, maybe it was a conversation that became filled with constant awkward silences, or
the hesitation to schedule hangouts or invite them to parties or your annoyance
with their incessant posting on social media, you feel bad for the way you feel;
you do but you can’t help it.
About a year and a half ago, a good buddy of mine
unfollowed me on Instagram. Was I surprised? no, I saw it
coming, what my intuition had been screaming at me weeks prior, got confirmed at that point. I’ve heard people say, the social media unfollow is the modern-day version of IDFWU.
I don’t think it hurt me; it was challenging for me to process, but as with all situations I made peace with it and took it in my
Now there may be a lot of reasons this friendship imploded,
non I was privy too at the moment but looking back it was inevitable.
you grow older, your views about what friendship means and its purpose will evolve.
You recognize that humans are fickle, life happens and circumstances occur,breakups are inevitable.
You see people for who they are, it will make you
more tolerant of their shortcomings but less desiring of their company.
You grasp that true lasting we die here friendship is not just built on mutual shared interests and hobbies, but on reciprocal respect, trust and unwavering support.
You learn how to fight fair, you will understand the subtle
art of balancing the need for space and intimacy, which is crucial for any relationship.
You understand why it is important to surround yourself with like-minded, emotionally healthy and confident individuals.
that your social media followers are not always your friends.
You become selective, filtering friends
into groups, some for fun, some for business and some for secrets.
the value in having a large network, but you also see sense in cultivating a close circle of companions. You learn to keep certain
details to yourself; you understand that friendship and money don’t
always mix well, you also learn that it’s not a good idea
to live with your buddies, or date their exes.
You yearn for friends that expose you to new concepts, philosophies etc. Friends who can help you with career ambitions or business goals, take precedence over those, who just want to gossip about nothing serious all the time.
You care less about their opinions; you spend more time with one particular friend; you understand that friendships between the sexes work and can be very enriching.
You stop seeking for perfection in friendship,
because you won’t find it, you become cognizant of the fact that you should be
your own best friend; you learn that, what you get out of a friendship is
not always what you put in; you become pragmatic; you demand the best from people,
but expect less of them, nothing surprises you any longer.
You let people earn
the right to be your companion; you let go of the ones that no
longer serve you.
You understand that true friends celebrate your wins and commiserate when you lose, but don’t allow you stay down for too long, they want the best for you always, they listen, they criticize constructively and love unconditionally.
Adulting is hard, let no one lie to you or fool you,
there are times when all I want to do is lay in bed and eat ice cream, but I cannot.
I mean even I tried to be a bum I need to pay my bills. Perhaps through no
fault of our own, a lot of us millennials seem to exist in a state of perpetual
adolescence, we are leaving the nest and getting married later in life
compared to our baby boomer parents; we are a duty averse generation;
we dislike long-term commitments and we crave flexibility in all forms.
The fact is responsibility gives meaning to adult
life; it is unavoidable. Depending on how you look at it, it can
denote stoicism in the face of unhappiness or it can be the pathway to
ownership and complete autonomy over your life. It can get you things like a
fulfilling career, a successful relationship or even help you find your purpose. The
problem is, these days, we have given the word responsibility a bad rep, and we avoid
it like the plague, because it also comes at a cost. It forces you to grow up, losing
freedom, innocence and unbridled hedonism. It
makes us conscious; we realize that there are consequences of inaction, we can
no longer bury our head in the sand, and we get to stare reality in the face,
no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
But even if we had the chance, to spend
some time in an alternate universe with no responsibilities would
that make us happy?.
Would we become bored, nihilistic perhaps, you know
how it is when you go on vacation for over 5 days and you have just about
had enough sightseeing and margaritas you can handle.
need obligations and duties, we are beasts of burden, as much as we complain,
we enjoy the grind; we relish the hustle, as the saying goes no food for a lazy
man, the cost of achieving anything, is doing what we realize we ought to do, every time.
But being responsible just for the sake of material success is rather simplistic and will not be enough motivation for everyone.
Truth is, doing the right thing, may not make you Oprah
Winfrey, it is not a one-way ticket to prosperity or fame. But, I am yet to meet
someone who shoulders the weight of their being with enthusiasm and
resoluteness that isn’t thriving and leading a
fulfilled life. Life is about showing up every day, determined to
make the most of it, even when you don’t feel like it, because what is on the other side of the coin is unpleasant.
So as I sit here writing about adulthood and responsibility,
I have a laundry lists of tasks to do that I keep procrastinating. Single,
married or divorced with children, life can be a challenge and it’s easy to
get overwhelmed. We are limited by 24 hours and even if we had more hours who is to say that we would use them all efficiently? We cannot worry about tomorrow, without fulfilling our responsibilities
for today, because if we take care of what we have to today, then tomorrow becomes a little
easier and then the next day.
In 2017, nearly 79 million adults (31.9% of the adult
population in the United States) lived in a shared household–that is, a household with at least
one “extra adult” who is not the household head, the spouse or unmarried
partner of the head, or an 18- to 24-year-old student.
I’m not surprised, living on your own can be very expensive, especially as a young person who is pursuing a career in a major city. I have lived away from home since I was 19 . At university; I shared a unisex housing building with 11 other guys and girls; shortly after that I lived in a self-contained studio apartment, and right now I share a cozy 2 bed with my friend, so you can say, I have experienced my fair share of roommate drama.
Truth is many people have a roommate from hell story, some see it as a rite of passage as a young adult. Learning how to share your personal space with another human being is a transferable skill that comes in handy in all facets of your life. Living with a friend, colleague, someone you met on craig list, the first few years out of university whilst you stabilize your finances is a great way to save enough money, before you eventually get your own place with a future spouse or partner. You can split bills, living expenses, share the burden of managing household chores and make a lifelong friend whilst you are at it, sounds like a win-win situation right?
Well, slow down your horses, there are a few rules that can help smoothen the inevitable kinks and ensure a pleasant cohabitation.if you successfully stick to them you should have no problems living with anyone until you’ve saved up enough money to buy your dream townhouse.
Great Friends Don’t Equal Great Roommates
I’m sure this comes across as counter-intuitive, if you can spend 4 hours chatting on the phone with your bestie, enjoy laughter filled brunch sessions and endless shopping trips together, then you should automatically make great roommates, right? well not really. Just because you get along with somebody, doesn’t mean that you guys can or should live together, I will go as far as saying you may end up potentially ruining a great friendship if you do. If you will live with your best friend, I assume you know him or her well enough to know their personality, temperament, habits are. If your friend is a slob and you are a neat freak, I don’t care how much you like each other, you cannot live together,harmoniously.
Most people have this fantasized idea of what living with a best friend will be like, frankly if you are over 25 I don’t advise it. Think about this, most of the time, you schedule time spent with your bestie; mentally you both are in a space where you want to catch up and have fun, laugh and let your hair down, or lend a listening ear. However, you don’t see them 24/7; you do not get to see them exhausted after a long day at work,when all they want is their glass of wine and bed. If you expect that it will always be late night girl chats, your personal live-in entertainer, comedian, chef and therapist you will sorely disappointed and resentful, be realistic.
Not all friends know how to handle conflict in a productive and healthy manner, it’s okay if you have disagreements with your friend, you don’t speak for weeks and when you do, you guys move on as if nothing ever happened, if that works for your friendship, hey I can’t knock it, but when you live together, it’s a recipe for creating an unhealthy home environment (I will discuss further shortly). Disagreements are inevitable when you live with someone, if you and your friend are passive aggressive or overly confrontational, then it’s best to just leave it at sleepovers sis.
Bills Bills Bills
This is one in particular, is for my Africans in the house (don’t shoot the messenger), please do not think it is okay for you to move in with a stranger or even a friend, and think you will “wing it”, “see how it goes” or ” believe that there will be a mutual understanding” regarding paying bills. Before you move in both of you MUST mutually agree and decide on this important aspect of housekeeping.
In whose name will the bills be in? How frequently will they be paid (bi-weekly, quarterly) and how i.e. by cash or electronic transfers? An established structure of how things work must be in place. There are great apps such as Splitwise and Zently (available for free on the web, Android and Iphone devices) that help you split and pay expenses easily between multiple groups of people. A lot of people get uncomfortable talking about money and bills, especially if they live with “friends” but I think it is better to have these difficult conversations at the get go, to avoid unnecessary complications. It would also be ideal if both of you can be transparent about your respective financial situations going into a living arrangement, i.e are you both employed full time, students etc
The same thing applies to household chores, there is nothing wrong with creating a roaster, assigning tasks and responsibilities suitable for everyone’s schedule, I know I am making it come across like you are running a military operation but I believe that disharmony will thrive if some form of structure doesn’t exist, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Bend It Like Beckham
In other words, you have to throw in some good measure of flexibility and compromise. People differ on what they consider a clean house or a quiet environment. My idea of having friends over is just one friend, for someone else that may be seven, learn to compromise within reason. Truth is, as far as both of you are going 50/50 on the rent, you can’t dictate, how the common areas will be furnished, or how often the house is cleaned.
Take into consideration
his/her lifestyle and be realistic, ask yourself does it really matter if they do things my way, and if the answer if yes, then you might have to rent your own space.
Grown adults, are not malleable, if you find an issue unbearable raise it, any reasonable person will make adjustments but do not expect it to get done the way you want it always and be ready to pick up the slack if it is important to you.
Would you feel comfortable living in a space
where you had to always log out of your email account, because you are afraid that your
nosy roommate would browse through your in-box when you stand up to get coffee? Do you have to hide everything that comes in the post, because it tires you, dodging unwarranted comments from your roommates. Does everything that happens to
you become gossip for him/her and their friends?.
Your privacy matters, you must expect it and create an environment that fosters it. If you don’t have a close personal relationship with your roommate be cautious about discussing private matters and divulging personal information to them. Equally, you must allow them the space to take the lead, and do not bring up their own personal affairs, unless they have implied in conversation or otherwise that they are comfortable sharing that information with you.
Many people have a tendency to feel entitled and take this personally but honestly as long as they pay their share of the bills and fulfill their housekeeping responsibilities they really don’t know owe you anything, the only time you may butt in without their permission, is if you perceive that are involved in criminal or illegal activities that may endanger your well being. Otherwise mind your business.
Be Friendly Be Nice
Everybody loves to come home to a great environment, and I don’t mean tidy and clean. If you constantly bicker with your roommate about everything chances are that you will not look forward to spending anytime at home. What was supposed to be your sanctuary becomes a negative space for you.
Create a space where you learn how to communicate and resolve conflicts in a way eliminates unnecessary long-term tension, have difficult conversations respectfully, if you are mad at something, it helps to calmly reflect on the issue first, that usually calms you down, instead of lashing out immediately at your roommate. If anytime you come home, your roommate is scurrying to their room or you can barely acknowledge each other in the morning, then there is a problem. You don’t have to be best of friends, but you need to be cordial and friendly, you can establish a relationship by organizing a games night, going out for a movie, to dinner, get to know and understand each other.
Remember that he or she is most likely going to be your first point of contact if an emergency occurs, it pays to be on good terms with them.
These are just a few rules, that I think would be great to live by, I have made lifelong friends with absolute strangers, by applying these rules in my personal life, living with people doesn’t have to be a nightmare, it can turn out to be one of the best experiences of your life, if you try.
So how do we develop our self-confidence, I stand here today to say I am not the connoisseur of all things self-esteem or the arbiter of tips, but I would love to offer my two cents?
You see I don’t think you can build confidence if you don’t determine whom you are, without that,you cannot ascertain what you like about you,and a huge part of having high self esteem is actually liking yourself.
Asides from purpose, gaining self awareness is the singular
most important thing every young adult must aspire to achieve, for one it helps
shape your world, because when you become acquainted with whom you are, you can establish what path in life is best for you, what spouse, what career, shoot where
you would like to live.
Second, a big part of building self-confidence is being competent (I call it the art of being excellent at something).
I don’t know anybody who doesn’t feel fantastic about themselves because they recognize they have that one skill that makes them stand out. Confidence, affects your body language, the way you talk, your approach to your surroundings etc, notice how when you go to a party, but you don’t feel wonderful in your dress, you end up spending the whole night sitting a corner with your sad little cocktail (lol).
When you feel wonderful, you exude self possession, because you are happy with yourself. The truth is, you can only get excellent at a thing when you master it.Meaning you can only get great at being you, and therefore feeling wonderful about yourself by identifying and working on your strengths and weaknesses.
This requires honesty, self-exploration and experimentation.
Be honest about your likes and dislikes, your temperament, your personality, your work ethic, your emotional and physical capabilities. This doesn’t happen in a day, maybe not even in years, you may have to even unlearn years of brainwashing by your environment, and you may not even like who you are after this exercise, but that is okay nobody is perfect and if we were it wouldn’t make us human.
Be unafraid to be yourself, people always throw around that phrase,but it is usually more easier said than done.First there is significant social capital gained by conforming, if individuals find you too weird or not relatable, then it can lead to problems navigating social spaces. Second, we all dwell within a cultural and social framework where “rules” and “norms” exist going against the grain occasionally might be detrimental if it leads us to breaking the law, being ostracized, etc.
Being a “non-conformist” sounds cool in theory but in practice it might serve you better to blend in sometimes. Being yourself is not a license to be distasteful individual, meaning if you are naturally rude and lacking in manners, you will need to refine your behavior, you must stay true to yourself, but in a way that is kind and compassionate in your dealings with the surrounding people. Lastly, as a bible believing Christian, I am subject to God’s laws and order, I am not at liberty to do as I please because ‘’that is just how I am’’, I must consider all actions in line with God’s word.
So let’s really unpack this, why is self-awareness such an
important pillar in building self-confidence, we’ve said that, it’s good to
identify strengths and weaknesses, this gives us direction on how to orient our
beings so we can make decisions that in the long run prove beneficial for
Take Nana (see previous post) although she graduates summa cum laude, she doesn’t feel as competent as her peers because they are all IVY leaguers, well she really can’t change this can she, it’s not particularly a weakness that can she can work on, but she however is very articulate and gives killer presentations, so yeah she may not speak up at meetings but if she takes the initiative to always do the speaking during presentations, the positive responses she gets will eventually lead her to feel confident enough to speak up during meetings.
If you can recall I mentioned she was
having doubts concerning her relationship, truth is she feels her boyfriend
settled for her, she doesn’t really know what he sees in her, it’s okay because
she knows she can be needy and erratic (who will put up with it she says), but
she is also a very compassionate girl, and is a fantastic company when she tries.
So what if she gets therapy for her issues, and decides to be more sociable so that her personality can come through, months down the line, she feels more balanced and is happy with herself; she feels confident enough to get out of her relationship and meet new people.
Self-awareness helps you to live purposefully, once you can
identify who you are, you do things that align with your being and
what you want out of life. If the goal is to improve your expertise at
something, you inculcate the steps to get there; you discipline yourself; you take full responsibility for what you can control,
everything about you becomes intentional, as you work towards becoming a better
you, you add and subtract ideas, beliefs, people ways of doing things
as your competence grows you find it easier to assert yourself,
this also comes with being more self-aware, then you like yourself,
because now you know what you are great and not so great at and you are okay
I think it is important to note that, when people think
about self-confidence, they think it’s okay to build it so you can achieve material success only. Many people are perfectly okay being
confident at work, but they can’t ask for what they want in their marriage, or
vice versa. Truth is, when you are confident it should permeate in all
areas in your life.
Now does that mean your life will be picture perfect, I really don’t think so, but I think you will live a fulfilled and satisfied life because you know you all the decisions you made to get to the place where you are today comes from a secure and confident place, even you face a speed bump along the way, you know that you did your part, you are aware you can’t control everything, but recognize, you have what it takes to face any challenges that come your way.
Okay, so personal story time, I will be honest with you, I’m not someone who came out of the womb brimming with confidence, ready to tackle anything that stood in my way. I’m actually now working on my self-esteem, well I have been for the past one to two years, some days I waiver, I have days, weeks, months were I feel great, occasionally that annoying little voice will tell me I’m not really that great and I compare myself to such-and-such, I am very much a work in progress.
When I talk
about self-awareness, this is part of my journey, I do a lot introspections; I try
to figure out who I am, and why I act in certain ways, I had to get honest
about what I really want out of life and not what society says I should want,
my faith helps, I also read a lot of books on psychology and self-help, never
underestimate the power of absorbing positive messages and learning how to
understand how the mind works and how you can change it for your benefit.
I hope, anyone who reads the blog post gains something helpful out of it and develops the confidence to live the life they truly desire.
I want to tell you a story about two women. Let’s call them Stella and Nana. Stella is a young entrepreneur, she sells personalized mugs and shadows as a part-time makeup artist; she loves both jobs; she prefers the freedom of working at her own pace, then there is Nana, Nana just got a job as a risk analyst at a very reputable firm, she is thinking of taking her CFA exams next June; she likes to cook, she’s been told that she is fantastic at it by her boyfriend, she would love to make it a side hustle, if she could find the time.
On the surface both women are fine, of the two
Nana is the more accomplished, she graduated summa cum laude, lives in a nice apartment,
her boyfriend is about to propose (she doesn’t know that yet), and takes Instagram
worthy vacations at least twice a year. Stella just makes enough to cover rent and bills, thrift shops most of her clothes and spends most of her Friday nights bingeing on Chinese fried shrimp, cheap beer and watching make-up tutorials on YouTube, but she’s a happy girl, she comes from a loving family and has wonderful friends.
Different women, same struggle, a lack of self-confidence.
For Nana, it shows up at her workplace; she doesn’t feel as competent as her peers; she finds it difficult to assert herself and voice her ideas during meetings; she is also having issues in her relationship; she is not sure if her boyfriend is suitable for her, but she will settle because she doesn’t think she is good enough for anyone else. Stella needs constant external affirmation, she doubts her skills as a makeup artist; she doesn’t believe she has what it takes to to establish a successful business; she looks at other individuals around her; she sees them thriving, and she feels as if they all have something she doesn’t, some secret formula she is not privy too.
They both represent each of us at some point. In her course on self-esteem, hypnotherapist Marisa Peer states we are all born loaded with confidence, the problem is that something happens to us along the way, that disrupts our self-belief. Some of us are born confident and die confident (lol) some of us struggle all our lives and finally decide enough is enough ,then we just fake it until we make it (God help us).
Truth is, the moment we attach greater weight to
external opinions of our being, instead of what we think of ourselves,
our sense of self-worth erodes. How people respond to us, how we come
across to other people, when these matter far more than they should,
then we run into serious complications. Why do we do this? Maybe because we do not trust ourselves, I mean what if we wrongly assess our capabilities or competence, there is probably some price to pay socially, but if we always have to seek external validation as an indicator we are doing the right thing or are on the right path, we risk losing our ability to judge what is best for us in the long run.
Having high self-esteem doesn’t mean that we have all the answers, it’s about being internally convicted that we have the wherewithal to make reasonable value judgments, given what we know to be true. We trust in the efficacy of our decision-making process.
What premium do we place on having a healthy sense of self, can we not just fake it and wing our way through life, after all some may say it would be arrogant for us to assume that we know what is best for us, besides no human being is truly confident all the time, you are always wondering if you are good enough, constantly comparing, dissecting and analyzing how valuable you are,always second guessing your position in the dominance hierarchy?
So why don’t we examine the importance of having a healthy sense of self, take Nana for instance, who I mentioned earlier was a great cook, people tell her all the time she should start a catering business, they swear they would patronize her if she charges for her delicious jollof rice, she really wants to do it but the problem is she doesn’t think she is any good. She thinks her friends are just being nice, therefore; she doesn’t believe that this venture would be profitable, so she doesn’t invest in it.
Fast forward to a few years down the road, Tolu, her friend also starts a catering business, and everyone is talking about it, the food is delicious and affordable, a mutual friend remarks, how they can recall, Nana used to make a superb food, they wonder why she never started her own catering business. She responds that she never found the time, but deep down inside she resents Tolu, because she has the confidence to do what, she couldn’t.
Self-confidence is the tool needed to turn our dreams into realities. There is always a possibility that when we venture out, we risk failure; we ARE painfully aware of this, but despite this, we require the courage to act or else our inertia can lead us down a path of regret and disdain as we saw with Nana Without an unshakable belief in self, we cannot dive in and tackle all the challenges that new ventures, obstacles or life will throw at us.