This post right here is a little on the tricky side. The reason why I say that is because, while I'm pretty sure that 90 percent of people reading this can totally understand where the title is coming from, I'm also willing to bet that most figure that, even if they love their friend to death, if they don't like them anymore, what's the point in trying to keep them around?
That's a fair question. But here's something to think about. As a marriage life coach, I'm a huge believer in and supporter of couples being the best of friends. The reason why is because I like what best means. It means (among other things) "of the highest quality" and the "most suitable and desirable". When two people see each other and their relationship, in this light, there isn't too much they can't overcome. If the love is there and both are willing to work through the bumps in the road, oftentimes, they can get back to "like".
In many ways, I feel the same way about friendships. If you love your friend but you currently don't like her very much, there's a pretty good chance that there's something that happened or something that you've been suppressing, overtime, that needs to be addressed. Once it is, if the both of you are truly committed to making the friendship work and last, there's a good chance that you can get back to the "like place" again. The reason why I say that is because I've been there before. Thankfully, my friend and I made it through; in many ways, we're in a healthier state than we've ever been because we were open and honest with while remaining committed to one another.
How did we get there? By applying this list of dos and don'ts. I encourage you to give them a try to see if it can save your friendship as well.
DO Figure Out What Exactly Is Bothering You
I think that one of the hardest things about being in a relationship with, just about anyone, is it pushes you to learn about things that you might not any other way. Things like communication, compromise, empathy and forgiveness. Oh, and patience. You need lots and lots of that. No greater time are these kinds of things tested than when you are at a point and place in your friendship where you feel like you almost can't stand your friend anymore. Chances are, she hasn't become a totally different person overnight. No, whatever it is that is currently bothering you, it started off as a snowflake; now it is an avalanche either because you've been suppressing your feelings or you haven't been able to quite put your finger on what the real issue is.
It's pretty unrealistic to expect to find a solution to something when you can't pinpoint what the actual problem is. So, take some time out to really ponder what bothers you about your friend. Is it a character issue? Is it that the two of you are growing apart in some areas? Did she do something that you never, in a million years, would expect out of her? The clearer you're able to detect the "challenge", the more probable it will be to work through it.
DON’T Gossip About It to Other People
Here's the thing to remember about gossip—not all of it is salacious or untrue. By definition, gossip can be simply sharing the private affairs of others. When you're going through a rough patch with a friend, it can be really tempting to blab it to other people. Usually, it's not because you are trying to be vindictive or malicious; it's simply so you can have others "on your side" about why you feel the way that you do. But if you want to make issues worse with your friend, gossiping about her is definitely the way to do it.
For one thing, once the words leave your mouth, you can't guarantee that they won't get back to her. Secondly, who's to say that the same human receptacle who's receiving what you're saying doesn't already have some unsavory info on you as well?
One of my favorite self-help quotes of all time is, "Complain to someone who can help you." If you really need someone to bounce your thoughts off of, 1) find someone who is helpful and not messy, and 2) try and consult with someone who is outside of the circle that the two of you share. Whether you and your friend ultimately work through matters or decide to part ways, you owe it to your friendship to be as peaceful and respectful as possible in how you handle your concerns.
DO Determine If It’s a Deal-Breaking Issue or Not
Everything should come with deal-breakers; including friendships (see "Why Friendships Should Come With Deal-Breakers Too"). Deal-breakers are simply the things that, after you've tried to negotiate your way through a compromise with someone, you can't seem to find one. On the friendship front, selfishness should be a deal-breaker. Repeatedly not honoring your time or privacy should be a deal-breaker. Setting a boundary, only for your friend to cross it, several times, that should be a deal-breaker. Someone who doesn't respect your other relationships? Yep, also a deal-breaker. These are just a few examples but honestly, everyone's deal-breakers are different. What you've got to decide is, if you're feeling some type of way about your friend, is it due to something that is irritating you or if it's something that is putting the entire relationship into drama and trauma?
One of my friends, she recently had to take some steps back from a friend who was being super-patronizing and condescending. At first, my friend was willing to overlook the particular incident. Then, when she reflected and realized that it was a pattern that she had been overlooking for years, she knew it was time to draw a line in the sand.
Again, no relationship on this planet works without compromise. But if what you're trying to work through is ultimately going to do you more harm than good, that is the textbook definition of being a deal-breaker.
DON’T Be Passive Aggressive While You’re Processing It All
Speaking of relational deal-breakers, I'd have to say that, if I had one, passive aggressiveness would probably be one of them. Ugh. These kinds of people are just so freakin' draining to deal with. Passive aggressive people tend to say nothing is wrong with them when something clearly is. Or, they will use backhanded compliments and/or cynicism or sarcasm in order to deflect when something is awry. Or, they will go ghost on you rather than volunteer what is bothering them. Or, they will hop on social media and start a rant along the lines of "You know what? Nothing upsets me more than when a person does…" Le sigh. Y'all know the kind of individuals that I'm talking about.
It is unfair—and a little emotionally immature as well—to expect your friend to read your mind about whatever is irking you. If you don't like something that she is doing, taking the passive aggressive approach is low-key manipulative and super counterproductive. Plus, all it really does is put both of you on edge. Nothing good can ultimately come from that approach.
DO Schedule a Time to Discuss What's Going On
I'll raise my hand in this class and say that some of my biggest blow-ups with friends (or ex-friends) is that, when it came to something we didn't like about each other, rather than prepare the other person for the conversation, we totally blindsided the other. When you decide to tell someone that you are unhappy with the relationship or dissatisfied with something about them and, they weren't given a heads up, take it from me—it comes across as if you are attacking them. It also feels hella disrespectful.
So, rather than picking up the phone when your friend calls and unleashing your gripes, ask her when it's a good time to have lunch or to get drinks. Let her know that there are some things about y'all's friendship you'd like to discuss. It may make her a little antsy, but it will also prepare her to have a serious conversation. That way, even if she doesn't "like" what you have to say, she can, at the very least, respect your approach.
DON’T Go on the Attack or Be Closed-Off to What She Has to Say
Here's the thing that a lot of people miss when it comes to having heartfelt relationship chats—they tend to NOT check their ego at the door. Although there is nothing that irritates me more than someone who wants to bring up an issue simply because I did (you know, like when you say "I don't like it when you such-and-such" and they turn around and say something along the lines of "Well, I don't like it when you do such-and-such"), you are just as human as your friend is. This means that there is at least a 65 percent chance that there's something about you that she's not to thrilled about either; something that she's been trying to figure out how to bring to your attention.
If she decides to use this lil' quality time chat to bring it up, try and keep an open mind about it. Sure, she might be leaning on the side of petty, but there is a chance that there is some truth to what she's sharing. Let the emotional maturity in you say, "If we can knock as many issues out in one convo, let's do it" instead of going on the attack—or the defensive.
DO Try and Find an Ultimate Resolve
Whenever I get to a point of outgrowing some of my clothes (which at this point, has more to do with style than size), because a lot of them are pieces that I absolutely adored at some point, I don't simply toss them into the trash. I might give them to a friend or donate them. The point is, I still try and treat them like they still have value. Because they do.
Along these same lines, an author by the name of Zoe Sugg once said, "But then I wondered if sometimes our friendships are a bit like clothes and when they start feeling uncomfortable it's not because we've done anything wrong. It just means that we've outgrown them." Maybe you and your friend will sit down, talk out whatever is bothering you and come out being all the better for it. Or maybe, you will discover that a part of the reason why you don't like her is because she makes you feel uncomfortable. And that is because she's simply not a good fit for your life anymore.
If it ends up being Door #2, still try and treat her with dignity and what you two once had with respect. If you love but don't like her anymore, maybe it's not about cutting her off but just putting the friendship in a different category or prioritizing it differently.
Friendships go through changes just like any other type of relationship does. If the love is still there, give it some room to help you work through the tough times. Maybe, just maybe, it can get you back to a place of liking her again.
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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.
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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