If there’s one thing that people who know me can say for sure (andonly I can say that they do), it's that I don’t use the word “friend” lightly. Not by a long shot. It’s its own article about why, yet the main reason is that life has taught me that the word is used far too loosely — and I think it mostly has to do with the fact that we tend to forget that there is A LOT of space in between “friend” and “enemy.”
What I mean by that is, I think a lot of times, we give folks the honor and privilege of having the title “friend” in our lives because we like them and/or we have certain things in common and/or we have similar goals and values when it comes to different areas of life; therefore, we don’t want to offend them by not saying that they are a friend. Oh, but listen here — I would rather find words that are better suited for the dynamic (acquaintance, work buddies, cool people, etc.) than to say you’re a friend only for one or both of us to end up being severely disappointed (if not flat-out pissed), all because our expectations via the word didn’t pan out.
Expectations. Although some people think that the key to life is to walk through it without having any at all, I couldn’t disagree more. To me, the realistic key is to know what your expectations are beforehand, to make sure that they are realistic, and then to convey them to another person as you give them the respect and space to do the same. If both of you are on the same page about meeting each other’s needs (and there is a clear purpose behind why the two of you should be friends, to begin with), go forth. If not, it really is okay to understand and accept that you can still be in each other’s space without partaking in all of the privileges that come with a friendship — especially a close friendship.
Because real talk, if a friendship is special, you had best believe that a close one is all the more sacred. That’s why I thought it would be important — critical even — to tackle what you should look out for before actually calling someone a close friend of yours. Because if someone is going to move into that special part of your life, it’s important that you don’t end up getting blindsided.
So with all of that being said, let’s tackle six signs that if you’re considering making someone a close friend, you probably…shouldn’t.
1. You’re Already Doing Most of the WorkGiphy
Live long enough on this earth, and you’ll realize that oftentimes, it’s selfish people who can see the most of what you have to offer. In a cryptic and ironic way, that’s kind of their job — to peep out who has what they can benefit the most from.
This is something that I very much learned the hard way. In fact, it wasn’t until I reached my 40s that I realized just how often I was doing most of the giving in most of my relationships — across the board too. And because it also took me years to understand what narcissism and narcissistic abuse looks like (listen, I’ve been around the entertainment industry basically all of my life; it comes with the territory), I didn’t get that some people are so full of themselves that they actually think that all they should really bring to the friendship table is their presence and you being able to say that you know them personally (chile, it’s so wild out here!).
If your self-esteem is low, if you come from a toxic take-only and/or boundaries-violating family, if most of your past friendships have been so unhealthy that you don’t really know what a good one looks like at this point— sometimes people’s egomania will do a real number on you; especially if the individuals you’re dealing with also have a master’s degree in gaslighting and manipulation. Oh, you know the kind I’m talking about too — the moment you mention that you feel like they are not contributing as much as you are, here they come with, “Then you must not be doing ALL of what you’re doing for the right reasons.”
Please stop. A person who values you won’t even come at you that way. They will be more on the tip of, “Sis, my bad. I didn’t pick that up,” or “Let’s talk about what your needs are because I want you to feel seen in this friendship too”…something of that nature. Instead, if you do find yourself keeping tabs, what I say often is that’s typically a sign that there is an imbalance in the relational dynamic — oftentimes a severe one where your friend is reaping all of the rewards of being connected to you while you are famished on a billion different levels in the process.
I have shared on this platform before that when it comes to a person who I once considered to be a close friend for many years, after I tallied our monetary/tangible exchanges, while I had spent thousands on her (and her family), she came up with a five-dollar ring from a local museum and a packet of lip gloss that she ended up losing. Even on the media tip, I hooked her up countless times, and not once did she offer any of her contacts (oh, and she had them) to benefit my career. Not once.
My relationships these days? I’ll be honest, on the professional tip, I still end up being the bigger giver out of my friends; however, what I’m not doing is being the only big and consistent supporter. My friends claim that it can be challenging to figure out how to help me now with their billions of contacts because I’m always up to something new (that’s fair). At the same time, though, not one of them is comfortable with my giving to them and them not trying to figure out how to extend reciprocity in return — no real friend is.
You know what? If any of this triggered you — good. You absolutely should not be going above and beyond for people because you consider them to be a close friend if they are not doing the same thing for you in return. Like I oftentimes say, giving to a friend is investing; giving to someone who is a fake friend is spending — and more times than not, that ends up being a complete and total waste…of time, effort, and energy.
2. They Lean Towards Negativity a LotGiphy
Before tackling this one, let me just say that there are plenty of studies to support that social media is creating more and more narcissists by the day (you can read more about it here, here, here, here, and here). And since folks like to toss around the word “narcissist” like it’s confetti (heads up, just because someone doesn’t like you or breaks up with you, that doesn’t mean they are narcissistic), let’s review some science-based traits of narcissistic behavior (which, for the record is not the same thing as being a clinically diagnosed narcissist):
- Lack of empathy
- Constantly preoccupied with self
- Disrespects others’ boundaries
- Needs lots of attention
- Is profoundly insecure
- Acts entitled
- Isn’t self-accountable/constantly deflects
- Can’t take criticism (oh, but can dish plenty of it out)
- Has an agenda with everything that they do (i.e., there are usually strings attached)
And these kinds of people? They suck at being told about themselves because, unless it’s praise, they don’t want to hear it. This is why I oftentimes say that a lot of people don’t want a partner; they want an audience — but that, too, is another message for another time.
What does all of this possibly have to do with this particular point? Good question. Here’s the thing — someone calling you out on your ish, holding you accountable, and using discernment…these are not negative individuals, although we live in a culture that may say otherwise. No, what I mean by “they lean on negativity” is — they give backhanded compliments; they don’t celebrate your reached goals and triumphs; they are constantly reaching out to unload burdens and bad news on you (and not much else); they are hypercritical about everyone and everything; they are chronically pessimistic; they drain your energy; their skin is super thin (which makes them hypersensitive); they have excuses for everything; they constantly have you questioning yourself and/or they are worry warts.
There are some family members who I had to release because they are these types of people. It’s almost like they enjoy swimming in the cesspool of negativity. That’s on them, but there are tons of studies to support the fact that negativity not only takes a toll on our mental and emotional state, but it can also lead to a weakened immune system which can wreak all kinds of health-related havoc — why would you want that kind of toxicity in your intimate space when life is too short to fight the kinds of battles that can honestly be avoided? Ones like being close to negative people.
Yeah, a negative person shouldn’t be a close friend. Your health can’t handle it/them.
3. It Feels Like They Are Low-Key Competing with YouGiphy
Next point: Please watch the kinds of people who make it a mission to become your friend. I’ve had more than a handful of those in my own life, and it never ended well because 1) I always felt uncomfortable with their flattery and relentlessness to try and get close to me and 2) it oftentimes seemed like whenever I would do something, here they would come with either asking me a ton of questions about how I pulled it off or I would look up and see them at least attempting to do something very similar.
Listen, I know how the saying goes about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery, yet I personally can’t stand it (to me, please learn to just get your own), and I absolutely don’t mind feeling that way considering the fact that the Good Book isn’t fond of flattery either (like Job 17:5[NKJV], for example: “He who speaks flattery to his friends, even the eyes of his children will fail.”).
These days, all of my close friends are highly accomplished and while I’m sure that a part of what keeps us from even having to deal with competitiveness, even on a very basic level, is most of us aren’t in the same fields, another reason why it’s not a problem is because our friendships grew from an organic space. There were no agendas. There were no “let me see what I can get here” strategies. Things also weren’t rushed or forced; they happened very easily and over the course of time. And because of that, time taught us that we could trust each other, that there were no strings involved, and that neither was threatened by the other individual.
Once you hit your 30s, it can be common to cultivate some friendships out of professional scenarios and situations. When both people are confident and secure, that can be beneficial. Just make sure that both of you check both of those boxes because you don’t want to look up and realize that while you were being a friend, the other person was more in the lane of “keep your enemies close” because all they were doing the entire time was copying your entire game plan or using your sources to their advantage even if it was at your expense. Y’all, it happens more than you might think. Please stay hyper-vigilant.
4. They Suck at ListeningGiphy
There is no way that you can feel heard and respected or build something of real value without being involved with people who will actually listen to you. And y’all, so many folks are poor listeners. LAWD. In fact, it’s getting to the point that good listening is moving so high up on the endangered species list that I think now is as good of a time as any to break down what good listening consists of.
A good listener:
- Listens to your complete thoughts
- Doesn’t cut you off
- Isn’t distracted while you’re expressing yourself
- Seeks to understand where you are coming from
- Retains your needs AND boundaries
- Validates your feelings
- Are intentional about being caring, empathetic, attentive, patient, and objective
Like I said, a good listener isn’t the easiest thing in the world to come by, yet if someone is a good friend to you, they definitely will be one. And why is this of so much importance? Because when you decide to let someone get intimately close to you, this means that you are willing to share with them your innermost thoughts, feelings, and concerns — and if they don’t respect you enough to not only take in that information but hold it close and dear, they are not appreciating the special space that you are extending to them.
I used to consider certain people to be my friend who really didn’t listen to me much at all. I could tell by how they would be dismissive of my requests, only call me to hear their own selves talk (some of y’all will catch that later), and/or would try and tell me what I was thinking instead of actually listening to the words that were coming out of my mouth — and all that did was frustrate me to no end and cause me to feel disrespected on so many different levels.
A close friend is going to honor you by listening to you. That person who you’re thinking about “friend promoting,” how well do they rank in the listening department?
5. Something Feels “Unsafe” About ThemGiphy
I'm pretty sure that, for the rest of my life, if there is one book that I will be recommending, on repeat, it'sSafe People: How to Find Relationships That Are Good for You and Avoid Those That Aren't (Cloud/Townsend). I was just sharing with a close friend that something that I've taken away from a nonviolent communication class that I'm currently in is if you want to be certain that you are not being violent in your conversations with others (and also if you want to be certain that people are not being violent with you), make sure that you are coming at them from a place of safety, respect, and understanding — if one of those things are missing, there is some unnecessary aggression going down, whether you realize it or not. And that? That is unsafe.
Speaking of safety in relationships…when I first read the Safe People book, it was good for me, not just because I was able to detect some of the unsafe people in my own world, but honestly, I was able to see where I was an unsafe person too. To be safe is to be peaceful. To be safe is to be a space where someone knows that you will respect their thoughts and feelings. To be safe is to hold things in confidentiality. To be safe is to be consistent in your moods and energy (you're not out here "switching up" all of the time). To be safe is to be someone who your crew doesn't have to second-guess.
Safe people apologize/take ownership/make amends for wrongdoings. Safe people also tell the truth — not in a brutal way, but in a way that is respectful of your being. Safe people are also loyal to you, both in and out of your presence. Safe people operate from a place of humility. Safe people don't hold you to a standard that they don't even hold their own selves to. Safe people seek to understand where you are coming from. Safe people don't bring more stress into your life. Safe people are…safe.
Unfortunately, since "safe" is not a word that a lot of us either grow up seeing being displayed and/or is not a word that was thoroughly explained to us (especially as it relates to relationships), we constantly find ourselves either displaying characteristics of being unsafe and/or drawing unsafe people into our world. Listen, I'm currently working on my third book, and when I tell you that there is one person, in particular, who was so unsafe that, in hindsight, I wonder if they were low-key trying to destroy me? Whew, chile.
So, why would someone consciously choose an unsafe individual to be friends with? Well, the thing about unsafe folks is they tend to be super charismatic, a lot of fun to be around, and master chameleons — otherwise, they wouldn't be able to trap people into their webs as well as they (seem to) do. That's why I thought it was important to share all of what I just said because now that you know what a safe person looks like if someone who you're considering making a close friend doesn't check off these boxes — now you know to leave them right where they are…if not to leave them alone…TOTALLY.
6. They Don’t Feel Like a Breath of Fresh Air/Recharge YouGiphy
I can't tell you how many times I'll be in a session, and a wife will say that she's triggered by how often her husband will be, let's go with the word "sluggish," about responding to her calls and texts. I have been in this counseling thing long enough to (usually) follow that vent up with, "So husband, when you do pick up, what do you usually hear on the other end?" Please know that I'm not shocked when he says something along the lines of constant berating, complaining, dictating, or interrogating — no one in their right mind is in a rush to take in that kind of energy.
Same thing with friendships. Listen, I'm not gonna brag, but when I tell you that I am proud of all of my close friends because they are out here doin' the damn thing, that is absolutely no exaggeration. And yet, no matter how full their lives are, if I call, they either pick up or call right back. I've talked about this before with them (both directions), and we agree that we are readily available to each other, not just because we are committed to the friendship but because we actually ENJOY talking to each other. 8.5 times out of 10, there is no stress (I mean, no one is perfect, right?). We bring good energy, perspectives, and insights to each other. We laugh together. We usually don't want anything from each other. Bottom line, we tend to give each other a much-needed break from the roller coaster of life, even if it's only for a few moments.
And y'all, you need to be able to say the same thing about your own close friends. Yes, there will be times when life is hard, money is tight, and trials are abundant, so you will need your friends to be there to support you. Yet most of the time, your friends should give you a laugh, make things lighter and reduce your stress levels. If the person you're thinking about making a close friend doesn't qualify in this way — you're grown. I'll just say that life is sometimes too long and other times too short to be out here constantly seeing someone's name pop up on your phone, and you already know it's gonna be more burdensome than uplifting.
If there's one thing that we all need in life, it's at least one close friend. And if there's one thing that can really knock you on your back, it's picking the wrong kind. Hopefully, this cheat sheet will help you to avoid some of the pain and nonsense I've been through before — all because I didn't know the things to avoid when it comes to choosing the ideal one(s) for my own life.Friends can be gems or junk jewelry. Please, for your own sake and sanity, choose wisely.
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Featured image by Tim Robberts/Getty Images
Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Imma tell y’all what — it seems like not one week goes by when I don’t see some sort of so-called term that has me like, “What in the world?” For instance, when I first stumbled upon “self-partnering,” honestly, I laughed. Then shared it with some other single people as well as married folks I know. And I kid you not, every individual was like, “What the heck does that mean?” When I told them that it was yet, one more way to seemingly define single living, basically everyone’s follow-up was, “Oh, brother.”
Why can’t (more) singles just be single and be okay with that? Good Lord. Why does there need to be some sort of relational play-on-words to make it sound like we’re with someone — even if we’re not?
Now masturdating? Even though it’s not even close to being a “real” word, it’s something that also brought a laugh outta me — although it was then followed by a genuine smile. The laugh because I almost immediately caught the play-on-words. The smile was due to the intention behind it all.
If you’re not familiar with what masturdating is and you’re curious about why you should even care, take a few moments to at least skim through what it’s about and why I think participating, as a single person, is a pretty cool (and effective) concept.
Masturdate: a date w oneself
What’s Masturdating All About?
Masturdating. Okay, so let the word marinate for just a moment. What does it sound like? Yeah…exactly. And since a huge part of masturbation centers around self-pleasure, it’s cool to explore how “self-dating” could produce similar (as far as pleasure is concerned in a broader sense) results. Because masturdating is all about spending quality time with yourself, pampering yourself, treating yourself— and yes, taking yourself out on dates.
Any of you who may think that masturdating is a consolation prize — and a pitiful one at that — for not being able to go out with another human being or get that dream $200 first date that social media was all in a tizzy about last year (bookmark that) — personally, I think that you’re the demographic who needs to try out masturdating first and the most. Why? Off top, I’ll share my three good reasons.
3 Reasons To Strongly Consider Masturdating
1. It’s an intimate way to get to know yourself better. I’ve been working with couples for a pretty long time at this point and if there’s a pattern that I see arise, OFTEN, it’s that two people are oftentimes so busy trying to “find their person” that they didn’t even know who they were. As a direct result, they found themselves in a relationship with someone who only complemented the “kiddie pool version” of who they were.
That’s why it can be so beneficial to spend time getting to know yourself on the “deep end” of things: what makes you tick, what your passions are, what you want most out of life, what are your interests beyond obvious things — and masturdating can help you to discover all of this. Whether it’s traveling alone or taking out a weekend to drink some wine and journal, the more you get to know yourself, the clearer you’ll be about who complements you on a romantic and friendship level.
2. It will definitely help to boost your confidence levels. I guess since I’m an ambivert, I don’t really get why people freak out at the mere thought of going to a restaurant or movie alone. Personally, I think it requires a helluva lot more energy and gumption to wait around and plan stuff with other people (#Elmoshrug). However, whether you’re an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, there’s no way around the fact that the more comfortable you get with doing things alone, the more your confidence levels will increase — no, soar — because of it.
One article that I read on the topic said that doing things alone can make you more creative, improve your mental health, and help you to be totally okay with being alone (so that you’re not “needy” for other people’s attention). A psychotherapist from a New York Times article on the benefits of spending time alone said, “Getting better at identifying moments when we need solitude to recharge and reflect can help us better handle negative emotions and experiences, like stress and burnout.” And when you’re able to stare negativity in its face without flinching, how could that not make you bolder, more self-secure, and hopeful about your life?
3. It will teach you to value your time more effectively. In every facet of your world, you’re gonna operate from a healthier place if you’re operating from a “full cup” rather than an empty one. When it comes to this topic, think about it — if you’re constantly waiting on someone to call you to go out or wishing for a dream date with some guy, all you’re doing is wasting precious time that you could be spending taking a cooking class or hell, hiring a chef to make you dinner at your own home.
Indeed, waiting has two sides to it: when it’s in the form of patience, it is indeed a virtue, yet when it’s wrapped up in the notion that you’re not really living life unless you have an audience…it is totally working against you. Choose wisely.
10 Solo Date Ideas To Help You To “Master” Masturdating
So, what if you’re someone who has either never considered actually masturdating before or you don’t really know what to do beyond dinner and the movies? Here are a few ideas to consider:
1. Attend a workshop or masterclass that you’re interested in. If there’s something that you’ve always wanted to learn, sign up for a workshop or masterclass. The cool thing about this option is there are probably some in your city, as well as some that you can find online (like here) that are convenient and affordable.
2. Binge-read at a local coffee shop. Aside from their coziness and oftentimes inviting scents, I once read that a lot of us gravitate to coffee shops because we can be around people without having to actually socialize with them. So, if you want to “hang out” while still being able to enjoy a bit of solitude, take a book that you’ve been trying to finish to a local coffee shop, order your favorite latte, and sit in a big-ass comfy chair. Usually, you can sit there for hours, and the staff will be just fine with it (another bonus).
3. Have a spa day in the next town. You can never go wrong with a spa day. And while going with a friend can be fun, sometimes there’s too much talking transpiring to be able to fully chill out and relax. So, go off of the grid, get a change of scenery, and hit up a spa in the next city (or town). There are lots of studies out here supporting that day trips or “daycations” can actually be really good for your long-term health and well-being.
4. See a community play. Some of the best solo dates that I’ve ever been on consisted of taking in some of the local arts in my city. What’s really cool about this particular option is, oftentimes, they are extremely inexpensive, if not totally free of charge (in exchange for making a donation or putting money into a tip jar).
5. Plan a trip. Whenever people say something along the lines of, “If you don’t expect anything, you won’t be disappointed,” I know that they low-key have some (additional) healing to do from past disappointments. There’s simply too much intel out here to support that anticipation (of good stuff) makes us more motivated and optimistic, keeps our dopamine levels up, and makes life more exciting overall.
Since traveling alone is more cost-effective, gives you the freedom to do whatever you want (when you want), and increases the possibility of meeting new people and having new experiences on your journey — why not devote a day this weekend to planning a solo trip? All the way around, it’s good for you.
6. Try your hand at your own “$200 date.” Uh-huh. Roll your eyes if you want to, but it’s real easy to talk left about how a man should be able to just drop $200 like it’s nothing…until you actually try to do it. So yes, while taking yourself out on this type of date could serve as a bit of a reality check, it can also “scratch the itch” of waiting on some dude to do it for you. It’s also way less emotionally draining because, at least when you’re taking your own self out, it’s guaranteed that you’ll enjoy the company…right?
7. DIY some pampering. When you get a chance, check out “5 Reasons You Should Unapologetically Pamper Yourself,” “Want To Love On Yourself? Try These 10 Things At Home.,” “I’ve Got Some Ways For You To Start Pampering Your Soul,” and “When's The Last Time You Actually Pampered Your Vagina?” The bottom line here is pampering is all about, not mere self-maintenance; it’s all about treating yourself to levels of EXTREME SELF-INDULGENCE. So, if nothing else tickles your fancy on this list, at least consider doing that, chile.
8. Feed your creativity. Something that I used to be really good at is art. That said, one of my goddaughters is insanely talented, so she has reminded me to tap back into it. Also, a big part of what got me into the writing world is poetry; I actually used to be a house poet at a local spot. Sometimes, my best quality time moments with myself have been revisiting these creative sides of me — and this is definitely easier to do (and enjoy) alone.
9. Try some stargazing. When’s the last time you took a blanket into your backyard, laid down on it, and just stared at the stars for hours on end? While some say that stargazing can teach you to be mindful, others say that being in that form of nature reduces stress, while others believe that looking up at the universe at night can increase your attention span. All solid reasons to give it a shot, if you ask me.
10. DO. ABSOLUTELY. NOTHING. Let me tell you something that nobody will ever be able to make me feel bad about: doing absolutely nothing. I’ve got data to back me up. Good Housekeeping shares that doing nothing can help you decide how you want to respond or react to certain things. I like howThe Guardian says that taking this approach helps you to regain control of what you give your attention to.
TIME magazine says that it can ultimately make you more productive.BBC offers up that it can help you tap into your ingenuity.Henry Ford Health says that it can make you kinder and a better problem-solver. So, if you want to invest in yourself, do nothing sometimes.
Closing Thoughts from the Lovely Javicia Leslie
While some of y'all may know Javicia Leslie from being the former Batwoman, I discovered her back in the day from the indie series Chef Julian (and yes, "Julian" was right to say that "Mo" looks like Tatyana Ali...the real ones know). Sometimes I'll hop on her IG to see what she's got going on and this story popped up within a few hours of me penning this...so, I took it as hella confirmation.
TREAT YO SELF. WAIT FOR NO ONE.
WAIT FOR NO ONE. TREAT YO SELF.
RINSE AND REPEAT.
Sooo…what kind of masturdating plans do you have for this coming weekend? While going out with others has its perks, hanging out with yourself has a ton of ‘em too. Enjoy!
No…for real. ENJOY!
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Featured image by FOTOGRAFIA, INC./Getty Images