I don't really believe that anyone likes confrontation, but we've all gotten into one at some point or another. Whether your employer blamed you for a shortcoming or a client accused you of poor customer service, we have to admit–it can be an ugly experience. When any two people from different walks of life come together, there is bound to be some friction at some point in time but conflict and confrontation aren't necessarily synonymous. In fact, they can be the very thing that strengthens a relationship if both parties are able to come to an understanding of the matter at hand.
A perfect example of this would be, you thinking the sky is navy and sis saying it's indigo. Your individual perspectives aren't as important as your abilities to see things from another angle and consider that perhaps neither opinion is wrong. You both gain a deeper understanding of one another thus improving your communication and the disagreement. You chose to fight, the right way, instead of taking flight. You're in fact stronger because of it. When we act out of character and act on our impulses, that's when things can go awry. Now you're yelling over each other, speaking out the side of your neck with your claws in each other's faces and no one feels heard, understood or respected.
Let's try a more intimate relationship like a lover. How does it feel going toe to toe with your life partner? You know we can be a bit vile when our feelings are hurt, ladies. If we're completely honest, we can resort to throwing verbal blows by way of roast wars that attack everything from his pockets to his self-esteem. I'm talking about the man whom you vowed to protect from the evil perils of the world and vice versa.
What good comes from going off script and spewing hateful nothings to a friend that you once split your last $10 with as teenagers? The one you called that time those girls were picking on you and she rolled up in 5-4-3! These are completely rhetorical questions because if you've lived a little, you know that nothing is to be gained from getting the last word. When you go home and replay the arguments as an evolved adult, you probably cringe at how low you allowed yourself to go. You may wish that the words hadn't come out that way or that you had more tact in your delivery. I've been there and, like most things in life, there's always room for improvement. What didn't kill you will make you stronger. I had to say it.
I'm kinda, sorta obsessed with Black Love, the doc. It's one of the few shows that feed my dreams of one day finding my equally yoked, let's fight right, we don't go to bed mad, etc. etc. But when I first got into the show, I was quickly made aware that I didn't know how to fight like these married folk did. I belittled both friends and emasculated lovers when pushed to the edge or disrespected. I would make painful jabs at their weak points. As an avid reader and eloquent writer, my words have always been my weapon of choice.
Overall, I was a mild-mannered young lady but when I let things bottle up (mistake #1), I would snap without warning. Because I felt my pain was valid, that to me meant that the anger was also valid and that whoever was on the receiving end deserved however I decided to lash out (mistake #2).
I'd like to say that the last screaming match I got into was a few years ago. It was a heated argument after a funeral and the last time that I allowed that part of myself, the part that I've been actively healing, to relapse. If what you've been doing thus far has been working for you––the paragraph texts, subliminal memes, and silent treatments––stop here. The rest won't serve you any good. If you're ready to take accountability and check yoself' at the same time, let's talk about 3 principles of fighting right.
Think Before You Speak
Somewhere in between high school and adulting, we forgot this fundamental unwritten rule. That moment, where you pause to assess the matter, is where you insert the woosah. The moment of stillness where you figure out why you feel the way you do. This is where you find clarity. Clarity on how you choose to react to a situation and to plot your course of action. Did it upset you when your girlfriend did that stupid voice she does when there are guys around and aired out your personal business? Of course. But calling her out in front of everyone might have added fuel to the fire.
Deciding to take some time to call her and talk about it the next day might be a better choice. Especially since she would loan you the shirt off your back before you even had to ask. Sometimes good people do silly things.
I don't remember where I first discovered this concept but I immediately knew that whatever tact was, it sounded good and I could use a few servings. Tact is to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. It's not as bad as it sounds. Let me give you a scenario: You just found out that your husband lost his job. Only thing is he was laid off two weeks ago and has been leaving every morning and returning at the usual time every night. Which course of action do you think will encourage your husband to be open and vulnerable with you?
"So, you know that it's Christmas in two months and you have the *insert expletives* nerve to be acting like you have a *insert expletives* job? I knew your trifling ass didn't have the balls to tell me!" or "Babe, can we talk for a minute? I just heard a voicemail from your boss. Why didn't you feel you could be honest with me? What happened?"
I'm giggling typing this out because old me? Let's just thank the big man upstairs for growth!
Remember That You're Fighting The Problem Itself, Not Each Other
In a relationship of any sort, you walk together. You're on the ship together. Therefore, when a problem arises, if your collective mindset is how are we going to cross this together, your entire approach to the problem shifts. You're now in a problem-solving mood. The focus shifts from telling each other about themselves, where to go and how to get there to how do we move forward together? Deciding to attack the giant together already dictates your speech and demeanor. Granted, there are and will be many times that the relationship won't be worth fighting for. Lines may have been crossed and the trust subsequently shattered. Nonetheless, I implore you to exercise rules 1 and 2. It's truly for your own peace of mind.
If I could go back and redo a few situations, I would. It's not that I hope for a different outcome. It's that I frown on my conduct or my inability to tuck my heart in and take it off my sleeve.
I'm a deep-feeling, overly-analytical empath and that combination didn't always help when it came to fighting right. As a victim of sex abuse at a young age, I put up a tough demeanor as a coping mechanism. It was my way of saying, "He might have won that fight, but none of y'all are going to eff with me again" but if you approach every situation like they're all out to get you, you'll convince yourself it's the truth.
Your mind, your experiences and your outlook can truly make a mountain out of a molehill. Change the narrative. Too often, we talk about wanting to be chosen by the people that matter in our lives. Yes, you're an obviously easy choice when things are going your way, but when the going gets tough and your character is put to the test...would you choose you? Move with integrity, act with intention and be mindful of the moments you feel tempted to choose aggression over peace.
For every action, there is an equal or greater reaction and that's law. Newton's law to be exact.
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Danielle Smith is a Toronto-based Personal Development Junkie on the gram @youbettaglowgirl. She keeps her hands full as a Writer, Speaker, Stylist & Non-Profit Founder, all while doing her most important job as a full-time mama of one. Marching to the beat of her own drum and a playlist of her favourite 90s R&B, she's blazed a path of her own.
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.
There’s nothing quite as humbling as navigating adulthood with no instruction manual. Since the turn of the decade, it seems like everything in our society that could go wrong has, inevitably, gone wrong. From the global pandemic, our crippling student debt problem, the loneliness crisis, layoffs, global warming, recession, and not to mention figuring out what to eat for dinner every night. This constant state of uncertainty has many of us wondering, when are the grown-ups coming to fix all of this?
But the catch is, we are the new grown-ups.
As if it happened without our permission, we became the new adults. We are the members of society who are paying taxes, having children, getting married, and keeping our communities afloat, one iced latte at a time. Still, there’s something about doing all these grown-up duties that feel unnaturally grown-up. Enter the #teenagegirlinher20s.
If there’s one hashtag to give you the state of the next cohort of adults, it’s this one. Of the videos that have garnered over 3.9M views, you’ll find a collection of users who are overwhelmed by life’s pressing existential responsibilities, clung to nostalgia, and reminiscent of the days when their mom and dad took care of their insurance plans.
no like i cant explain to her why i had to buy multiple tank air dupes from aritzia #teenagegirlinher20s #fyp
The concept of being a 20-something or 30-something teenager is linked to the sentiment of not feeling “grown up enough” to do grown-up things while feeling underprepared and even nihilistic about whether that preparation even matters.
It’s our generation’s version of when we ask our grandmothers how old they are and they simply reply with, “I still feel 45,” all while being every bit of 76 years old. In this, we share a warped concept of time while clinging to a desire for infantilization.
Granted, the pandemic did a number on our concept of time. Many of us who started the pandemic in our early or mid-20s missed out on three fundamental years of socialization, career development, and personal milestones that traditionally help to mark our growth.
Our time to figure out and plan our next steps through fumbling yet active participation was put on pause indefinitely and then resumed provisionally. This in turn has left many of us hanging in the balance of uncertainty as we try to make sense of the disconnect between our minds and bodies in this missing gap of time.
Because we’re all still figuring out what the ramifications of being locked away and frozen in time by a global pandemic will have on us as a society, there really is no “right” way of making up for lost time. Feeling unprepared for any new chapter of life is a natural rite of passage, pandemic or not. However, it’s important to not stay stuck in the last age or period of life that made sense to us because self-growth is the truest evidence of personal progress.
So whether you’re leaning on your inner child, teenager, or 20-something for guidance as you fill the gap between your real age and pandemic age, know that it’s okay to grieve the person you thought you would be and the milestones you thought you’d hit before you ever knew what a pandemic was. If there’s anything that the pandemic taught us, it’s that we have the power to reimagine a better world and life for ourselves. And if we tap into our inner teenager as a compass, we can piece together our next chapter with a fresh outlook.
Sure, we’ve lost a couple of years, but there are still some really amazing ones ahead.
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