Posts in "Relationships"

Better Than That!

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Relationships, Latest | by — March 24, 2014

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Sometimes the truth is that you’re just better. People may not like to hear it, but the truth can hurt. If you encounter people who are petty, vindictive, liars, or any other negative thing that you’re not about and they try to pull you in, it’s okay to tell them that what they’re doing is no good and that you’re above all of that.

TV-300x225This is a fairly new way of thinking for me. I’m not the type to feel like I’m worth more than another person, but I had to realize that when I say I’m better, I’m not referring to our worth as individuals. I’m  talking about behaviors that I just can’t get with. It was hard for me to feel comfortable calling someone  out on some mess and letting them know that I’m not about it. At first I felt like I was being mean and maybe I should just let it go and let them do their own thing. I could have continued to go that route, but it wouldn’t have done anyone any good. They would still be doing some mess, and I would have

I’m not saying you need to go around calling out everyone on everything, but I am saying that it’s okay to check those that you care about from time to time. You wouldn’t let your friend go out of the house looking busted….hair a mess, clothes not matching… but you’re okay letting them play themselves when it comes to their character? I’d rather have a friend who’s consistently a good person that may not dress so well than one whose outfits were flawless but I couldn’t trust.talking about behaviors that I just can’t get with. It was hard for me to feel comfortable calling someone out on some mess and letting them know that I’m not about it. At first I felt like I was being mean and maybe I should just let it go and let them do their own thing. I could have continued to go that route, but it wouldn’t have done anyone any good. They would still be doing some mess, and I would have been annoyed by it. That’s a lose-lose.

Moral of the story: Check your friends, and not just about their fashion choices. If they’re lying, check em. If they’re being selfish, check em. If they’re playing themselves just to be accepted by other people,check em. It has been my experience that they’ll appreciate it in the long run. One last thing: If you’re running around calling people out, be prepared to be called out yourself. Don’t be one of those people can dish it but can’t take it. You’re better than that.

 

-Tiffany Vicks

Gamble Your Rep?

This morning I was listening to The Breakfast Club and they posed the question: is once a ho always a ho a true statement? They took calls on the topic and it sounded like the audience was pretty split on the issue. I am, too. I’m not TVtorn due to not knowing if someone can change their behavior, but more so because I don’t know if a person can change their reputation. So my answer depends a lot on if we’re just talking about a reputation or a person’s actions.

If this is purely about actions then I absolutely believe that a person can change. People do it all the time. Anyone can have an epiphany that leads them down a different path.

The problem is that just because you have new actions you may not get a new reputation to match- at least not right away. People are very critical of one another, and they won’t easily forget any indiscretions. Sometimes they will hold onto them and bring them up months or even years later. So even if the girl’s actions are no longer ho-ish she may have an extremely hard time changing her reputation.

The good thing is that as we adopt better habits and stick to them, people will begin to associate those things with us. So even if you don’t have a brand new rep you can at least update the old one with some good characteristics.

The moral of the story? Try not to do things that you aren’t proud of because they have a tendency to follow you. Whenever I hear people bring up things that I’ve done that embarrass me, I think of it as something that I probably shouldn’t have done. The flip side to this is also remembering not to put too much stock in what people think of you or say about you because some of them will find fault in anything that you do. Once a ho, always a ho? Maybe, maybe not. But don’t gamble with your reputation for the sake of finding out.

-Tiffany Vicks

C.O.R.E Chat!

Boys, guy, boos… no matter how you label them we still have questions about relationships! Check out what Eden & I had to say about her current boy situation!

Get Your Mind Right!

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Relationships, Latest | by — December 16, 2013

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You know how they say life and death are in the power of the tongue? Meaning the things that you say can largely affect the outcome of a situation. That’s a true statement, but I am inclined to believe that it doesn’t go far enough. Failure and success are determined largely by our thoughts. The words don’t even have to make it out of our mouths.

People who tell themselves negative things will often get negative results. It’s hard enough to overcome the negative thoughts and actions of others, so having to overcome negativity in your own mind can make a difficult obstacle seem insurmountable. There’s no need to put that extra pressure on yourself.TV

We all come from different situations. Some of us may have better support systems than others, but we all have the capacity to create success no matter how many people we have cheering us on. Cheerleaders are great, but it’s the players who win the game. In your life you’re the one who decides whether you’re a winner or loser. That’s something you make up in your own mind, so you’d better get your mind right.

Wining about how hard it is, procrastinating, selling yourself short, internalizing the negativity of others– ain’t nobody got time for that! If you want to accomplish something, just make your mind up and do it. It’s that simple. So, if you’re struggling with something, something that you really want to do and know that you can do, stop it. Stop struggling. Stop complaining. Stop procrastinating. Stop sabotaging your success. Take a minute to get your mind right. Then just go handle your business.

-Tiffany Vicks

Get into GIVING!

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Relationships, Latest | by — December 3, 2013

“For it is in giving that we receive.” ― St. Francis of Assisi

This is the time of year when everyone starts to reflect on the things for which they are thankful. I hear people mention all sorts of things, but most of them revolve around friends, family, personal growth and occasionally material possessions. I think it’s great to be appreciative of all the things and people we have in our lives, but we often TVoverlook being grateful for the things that we’re able to give to enhance the lives of others. Basically, say THANKS for the gift of GIVING.

There are a few aspects to giving that make me see it as a gift. The first is simple. I believe it’s a blessing. Knowing that God chose me to be a vessel to bless someone else is a source of pride and experiencing their unbridled gratitude is one of great humility. Being able to give something to someone else means  that you had to be blessed to have it in the first place. You can’t give something that you don’t have. And this isn’t only about material things; I’m talking about sharing a piece of you. Maybe you’re funny and can make someone laugh on a bad day. You could be a good listener and your listening ear helped ease the feeling of loneliness for a friend. The final and most satisfying aspect of giving that I enjoy is being able to make someone happy. It makes me happy. It kills two birds with one stone. Things can’t get much better than that.

The more I think about it, I believe that being able to do for others is the thing that I’m most thankful for. Besides my family and friends, I haven’t experienced a greater joy than bringing joy to someone else. So if you’re taking some time to reflect on the things in your life that you appreciate most, consider the feeling you get when you think about all of the things that bring you joy. Then consider what it will feel like to give that same feeling to someone else.

-Tiffany Vicks

What’s Your Worth?

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Relationships, Latest | by — November 18, 2013

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“I am God’s idea and heaven’s dream. I am somebody of value. Therefore, I put value in my work, value in my play, value in my living, and value in my loving. I have infinite value.”

That’s something that I learned and had to recite often during my time as an engineering student at Tennessee State University. I’m not sure where it came from, but as I reflect on these words today, I have a deep appreciation for them and the fact that the dean required us to learn them. Those three sentences are so powerful because they remind us of how special and unique we are, affirm the fact that each of us are precious jewels, and challenges us to live our lives in a way that reflects our worth. That can be a tall order, but trying to conduct oneself as someone of infinite value might prevent a TV-300x225lot of the mistakes we make. It could also put us on the path to greatness a lot sooner than someone who is struggling with their self-worth.

When I think about a lot of the mistakes that I’ve made in life, quite a few of them can be traced back to making a decision not befitting someone who has infinite value. Many problems with relationships, friendships, and my career have been rooted in selling myself short. I didn’t see or acknowledge my value, so I let others treat me like something frivolous when I should have been requiring the treatment of someone who is priceless. Honestly, I can’t just put that mistreatment strictly on others; there were many occasions where I mistreated myself.

To be God’s idea means that I am of divine design, someone so special that even heaven sees my potential and has high hopes for me. My worth is beyond measure, so how dare I not work, play, live and love like someone who is priceless? And since this statement pertains to all of us, how dare you not do the same?

-Tiffany Vicks

Let’s Fall In Love!

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Relationships, Latest | by — October 28, 2013

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I have a confession to make. When I decided to go natural it wasn’t about trying to stop exposing my body to so many chemicals. Nor was it about learning to embrace the way my hair grows out of my head. It wasn’t this great spiritual journey that I wanted to embark upon to be closer to God. It was about one thing – money. One day I was looking at my budget and I was trying to figure out some places that I could save money. The $150+ per month that I was spending on visits to the salon seemed like the perfect place to start. Now, if it weren’t for this trend of Black women going natural and embracing their natural hair, I may have never considered that an option, but I wasn’t getting into it for any of the profound reasons that a lot of people mentioned. I just needed to save some bread. Fueled by the idea of having some extra money in my pocket, I decided to begin my natural journey.

TV-300x225The transition period was a struggle because having hair with two completely different textures was a styling nightmare. Because I was having such a hard time, I didn’t really enjoy anything about it. Since I started with short hair and I’ve never really been afraid to cut my hair, I decided to just cut all of the permed hair off and dive right into being fully natural. That’s when everything changed. I was so surprised and impressed by the versatility of my hair that I was wondering why anyone ever got a perm in the first place. The more I got to know my hair, the more I loved it. I could swim, workout, and get caught in the rain without having to worry about it. Discovering something about myself and just loving it more and more as I got to know it has been an incredible experience. Because I am so happy with my hair, I want to nurture it and watch it become better and better.

I’ve had a similar experience with my writing. It’s something that I just recently started doing, but when I saw that I enjoyed it and that it’s a way for me to touch people, I began to love it even more. I want to do it more often and nurture the skill so that I can realize my full potential as a writer. As women, we often spend so much time fretting about the things that we don’t like about ourselves. We need to take a moment to find something that we do like and strive to make it better. The process can make you fall in love with yourself and who you have the potential to become. Every woman should know what it feels like to fall in love. Who better to start with than yourself?

-Tiffany Vicks

Take CONTROL!

As women, we are emotional creatures. Our emotions help us to be skillful nurturers, make us more intuitive, and help us to empathize with others. Being so emotional is one of the key characteristics of our femininity, but when we don’t keep our emotions in check, they can wreak havoc on our lives. Therefore, I believe that we should embrace our emotional nature while learning to control those emotions that are such an integral part of us.

Emotions are very powerful tools. They are so powerful that they are abstract things that can produce a physical reaction. Just think about it. When you experience certain emotions, your body often reacts physiologically to that feeling. When you’re sad you may cry. When you’re nervous you may sweat and have an increased heart rate. If you just think about that for a second, that’s something to marvel at. That’s why I say that emotions are such powerful tools. Consequently, living with unchecked, out of control emotions is almost like walking around with a loaded gun without the safety on – someone can get hurt!

Often, when we think of emotions and their effect on our lives, personal relationships come to mind. I plan to discuss that with you eventually, but today TVI want to take a quick minute to examine how our emotions affect our ability to grow as an individual.

I believe it’s  safe to assume that most of us have areas in our lives that could use some improvement. If you don’t think any aspect of your life needs to be enhanced, then your emotions are getting the best of you early on in the self-improvement process. Believing that we are always right is one of the pitfalls of unchecked emotions. We can get so caught up in pride or other emotions that we’re oblivious to our shortcomings. The first step to checking your emotions is getting them out of the way so that you can see where you need to make some changes.

Making personal changes is hard work because you’ve been who you are for a long time. It’s habit. It’s what’s natural, so trying to do something outside of that is just tough. When you start to walk the path of self-improvement and the road gets rough, your emotions are going to kick in and remind you how easy it would be to just stay how you are.  For me, it’s usually feeling overwhelmed by the seeming enormity of the task or frustration by not seeing progress as quickly as I would like that makes me feel like quitting. If we quit there, then we’re letting those emotions control us when we should be controlling them. Just like those emotions make you want to give up, there are emotions that you can call on that will motivate you to keep going. Determination, pride, accountability to yourself and others can all inspire you to push forward.

In order to be the best version of ourselves, we have to exercise control and balance in every arena. Our emotions are no different. As powerful as emotions are, they are also very fluid. The smallest thing can make them change. You can’t let something so flimsy be the thing that determines your behavior. You can’t let them control you. Exercise some discipline and learn to control them. Use them to fuel your success. Being a woman is an awesome thing, and having strong emotions can be one of the biggest perks of having two X chromosomes when you know how to make them work for you.

-Tiffany Vicks

Relationship Exfoliation

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Relationships, Latest | by — September 16, 2013

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This time last week I was on vacation in the Dominican Republic with six of my oldest and closest friends, and we had an incredible time. We drove dune buggies through the mud in the countryside, went snorkeling, and even swam with starfish. We kicked it at the resort, lit up the dance floor in the club, and gambled in the casino. For me, this was a life-changing trip. On one hand, I realized that I need to devote more time to traveling to new places and having new experiences, and on the other, I was reminded of how fortunate I am to have the friends that I do. We encourage, support, and challenge each other, and though we may have bumps in the road, I have always known that no matter what happens between us, they’ve got my back.

That trip was awesome, but it was not without its faults. The sun and the salt water wreaked havoc on my skin. There were a few times that I got out ofTV the water and felt a stinging sensation on my face. I rinsed it off with some bottled water, washed it with soap when I got to the room, and kept it moving. Yesterday, when I woke up, I noticed that my skin was peeling. My nose, my forehead….it was all bad. So I made sure to go by the store and get some facial scrub so that I can exfoliate. That way I can scrub off all of the dead skin cells to reveal new healthy ones.

I know that this stuff may seem random, but I promise I’m going to tie it together for you. There are generally two types of people in your life: those who are full of life and help you grow and those who are full of death/negativity and have you out here looking crazy. Your experiences in life are like that trip I just took. There will be times that awesome things happen that reveal who has your back and inspires you to continue to nurture those relationships. Then there will be other times that even though someone convinced you to do something and you may have had fun doing it you were doing damage to yourself and/or others. These are the people that you need to exfoliate. There will be signs that something isn’t right, similar to the stinging sensation that I felt on my face. Doing a superficial rinse may not be enough. You may need to do a serious scrub to make sure you remove them from your life. That is the only way you can make room for the healthy relationships that make you glow.

-Tiffany Vicks

Shhh…Listen Up!

It seems like most people think that they are good listeners. I know I do, but if I’m completely honest, I also know that when I’m angry I suck at listening. A lot of times I may talk over people or listen to what they say but instead of trying to understand and digest what they’re saying, I’m actually just thinking of what I’m going to say in response. When in a relationship, it’s a certainty that your mate will upset you and some form of conflict may ensue. It may be a calm discussion, a heated argument or a spirited debate, but either way both of you are going to need to be able to listen in order to come to a meaningful resolution. So, my pieceTV of advice to you is to shut up and listen – REALLY listen.

My two main issues are talking over people and making a mental list of my rebuttal to every point they make. Both of these things make me a bad listener because neither allows me to actually hear what they’re saying. Of course I hear them talking, but I’m not really putting an effort into taking in what they’re trying to tell me. That makes it more difficult to find common ground, which is the whole point of a meaningful argument in the first place. So the next time you find yourself having a disagreement, try to put your agenda on hold for a minute and make an honest effort at trying to understand what the person is trying to tell you. If you’re used to flying off the handle all of the time, you may find this a little difficult at first, but keep trying. Really listening, and doing it consistently, will help you resolve conflicts faster and may help you better understand the people with whom you’re arguing. So the next time you’re in the middle of a debate and you feel yourself about to go off, shut up, calm your nerves, check your emotions and listen to what the other person is trying to say. It’s worth it.

-Tiffany Vicks