I’ve written about toxic people before and I don’t know what it is, but lately I’ve been hearing a lot from my girlfriends, readers and personally experiencing myself the bs, WTF-ness, pain and insanity associated with toxic friends and toxic family members.

Once you identify that you have a toxic person in your life and you realize why they’re toxic (which has nothing to do with you), it’s easier to create the emotional barrier that you need (read: boundaries) to feel sane, less impacted and rid yourself of the guilt for feeling that you’re somehow to blame for a grown adult continuing to take emotional sh*ts on you.

This helps because once you can correctly identify yourself as independent of the fact that you’re dealing with someone who’s using their fear-mongering, pain inducing toxicity as an adult pacifier for themselves, they no longer have that power over your emotional state. You don’t take how they’re behaving personally anymore because you know that it’s nothing more than a measure of their own pain, immaturity, trauma and avoidance.

In regard to toxic friends, toxic family members & toxic people in general, the emotional impairments of these individuals are self imposed, narcissistic shortcuts to a short-term feeling of pseudo importance & control.

And because that feeling is always short-term and perpetually fleeting, it gives them justification for spin-cycling the toxicity on their people pleasing subjects.

Yes, we’ve all been through trauma, but it’s how we choose to deal and heal that shapes who we become and ultimately dictates our own levels of toxicity – toxicity within and toxicity that we conversely choose to spew. 

But what about when there’s familial ties there (whether they be actual family or friends that are just as close as family)?

It’s one thing if you have a toxic acquaintance, coworker, guy you’re seeing (that you can breakup with if you want), or friendsh*t that deep down, you know you can’t rely on. It’s a totally different animal when you’re related to and deeply invested in toxic friends and toxic family members.

How do you deal with toxic friends & toxic family members?

What if you’re not sure? How do you really know if they’re toxic? Toxic seems like such a harsh word.

Do you have to cut them off? It’s sometimes too painful to have a relationship with them, let alone be in the same room, but you can’t just cut them off or breakup with them. I mean, this is family/BFF territory here.

How do you deal?

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How to get over your ex is something that I could write a million blog posts on and still not be done. Why, because it’s so complicated? Not at all. It’s because after a breakup, when you’re trying to figure out how to get over your ex, there are so many emotions, triggers, insecurities, questions, old wounds that resurface, etc., and THAT can get really complicated.

Looking back, every time after a breakup where I’ve been DEEP in the “shoot-me-now-I-have-no-reason-to-carry-on-why-couldn’t-I-have-just-been-good-enough-for-him?-I’ll-never-move-on-or-get-over-this,” quicksand, it was always a relationsh*t that I was getting over, never a relationship.

I’m not saying that healthy relationships are easy to get over (they’re not and can be very painful too), but when you’re in a mutual relationship that doesn’t work out for whatever reason, you’re still okay despite the heartbreak. Yes, you’ll probably be heartbroken after the breakup, but you have a sense of understanding. You’re not questioning your value, your worth, your sanity, or feeling like you no longer have an identity (we attract what we exude and mutual relationships always involve two connected people that are capable of empathy and healthy communication).

Emotionally unavailable, empathetically bankrupt and narcissistic exes that we entered relationsh*t territory with are the toughest most seemingly IMPOSSIBLE to get over. They not only cater to our worst fears, but they highlight all of our insecurities and mirror the dysfunction in the relationsh*t we have with ourselves.

Your ex’s words and actions consistently fail to match; there’s never any real finality or closure. And unlike a mutual and healthy relationship, the relationsh*t has drained you of any little self esteem, self love, sanity and trust that you had.

You’re left on an emotional driftwood without a compass because you entered the relationsh*t under the assumption that this person was going to be your compass, safe haven, solid ground; “make” you happy, “complete” you, etc. 

Not only is this an unfair burden to put on anyone, but it’s completely unrealistic. If you’re like I used to be and you keep trying to get lovers and friends to see in you what you can’t see in yourself, you will always be chasing after validation that will never be quiet good enough. Your life will be plagued with heartbreak, dissatisfaction, “bad luck,” victimization and never feeling like you’re appreciated, understood or accepted.

At this point in my life, if I had Jerry Maguire himself come into my house crying on bended knee and telling me that I completed him, I would be alarmed. I don’t want that kind of burden nor do I want to ever again place that burden on anyone else. Its our job to live, love, experience joy and evolve during our incredibly short time here on this planet. It’s NOT our job to go around completing people and telling ourselves that we need someone to complete us. If you keep doing this, you’ll drain yourself of your power and be on a constant “I’m-never-good-enough” spin cycle, continuing to waste your time trying to please the unappeasable – yourself & others.

Trying to figure out how to get over your ex can be maddening. Let’s simplify.

Here’s how to get over your ex (& stop emotionally and/or physically waiting around), in 10 steps:

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For a while now, I’ve been wanting to share with you guys 5 books that changed my life.

I LOVE reading but I didn’t always like used to hate it. I started to enjoy reading when I got out of school and could actually choose to read something that wasn’t assigned and later tested on. With the anxiety of “I-need-to-retain-every-word-of-this-info” gone, I ended up absorbing and getting more out of books than ever I did when I was in school. I began to enjoy and see the value in reading. So, my love affair with books began.

& why has this affair been so gratifying and long lasting?

Here’s why…

Reading is the ultimate form of healthy escapism.

Reading allows you to feel as though you’ve escaped, when in actuality, a really good book will do nothing more than hold a mirror up to you until you see the potential, strength, resilience and beauty that the universe sees in you. You feel less alone in your feelings and experiences because you’ve established a connection.

THAT’S what a good book does.

There are SO many books that I want to recommend to you guys, but few books that changed my life to the extent that these have. These are books that I can literally open to any random page and learn something new; books that I find myself constantly going back to and books that have taught me to think, feel and connect on a new level. The impact that these books have had on me not only continues to translate in my own life, luck, business and emotional connectivity, but they have enriched the relationships – both with myself and others – more than anything has.

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”

– Stephen King

What do these 5 books that changed my life all have in common?

They all create a unique movement in hopeless stagnation and allow you to feel less alone and more understood. Also, they do not read like “don’t jump!” boringly texty textbooks (snore). They read like “WTF?!-it’s-2am-and-I-have-to-be-up-in-4-hours-where-did-the-time-go?!” 🙂

Here are 5 books that changed my life:

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I’ve written about empathy before – the consequences of having no empathy and why empathy is the ultimate game changer. Empathy is the ultimate game changer because the level of happiness, understanding, fulfillment, security, appreciation and CONNECTION that you feel in your relationships will always be directly linked to the level of empathy that both you and the other person have.

Same goes for the relationship that you have with yourself. The level of self esteem, gratitude, love, connectedness, relationship luck and confidence that you feel is 100% of the time, linked to the level of empathy that you have for yourself.

& if you have no empathy for yourself, you’ll keep chasing after the love, acceptance and validation of those that cannot empathize with you either (but that you somehow, despite their disconnectivity, continue to have an abundance of empathy for). 

Friendsh*ts and relationsh*ts are always built upon a foundation of empathetic bankruptcy. 

Where there is no empathy, there is no connection, depth or understanding.

Okay so CLEARLY, empathy is an integral in having a healthy relationship, but what do you do when you’re in a relationship with someone that has no empathy?

How do you deal?

Is it even POSSIBLE to date (or have any kind of relationship with) someone that has no empathy?

#help.

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“How to overcome social anxiety,” is something that I never thought I’d be able to answer, let alone conquer. Up until a few years ago, I had been dealing with crippling, humiliating and cringe-worthy social anxiety on a daily basis. I had become a punching bag; the self imposed sacrificial lamb of every social interaction. I was a nervous wreck and consistently inconsistent because I couldn’t keep up with the lies I had told, just to elevate my coolness and mask the utter uncool that my truth had become. I didn’t stand for anything because I had acquiesced to a lifetime subscription of the “trying but always failing,” self sabotage and attracting relationships, circumstances and situations that catered to the my fears.

Have you ever watched someone dance at a wedding and they’re so incredibly bad, you can’t even enjoy having a laugh as they gyrate around like a banshee in heat because you’re too embarrassed just WATCHING them? It literally hurts to watch it all go down. That person recreating some sort of asexual, “I-just-walked-into-a-spider-web” gyration around the dance floor, pretending to come across like they’re an extra in a Drake video but looking like they’re going through some kind of convulsatory “don’t-ever-have-sex-with-me” fit, was ME.

The only difference was that the dance floor was my everyday life.

To make matters worse, this was pre laser hair removal and I looked like an ape with braces who couldn’t fill out a training bra (still can’t). I hated the way I looked, but I also subconsciously convinced myself that I was decent enough to go after men and friends that always ended up highlighting the very attributes I tried to conceal with all my might.

I’d always hash and rehash every conversation, interaction, occasion and relationship I had. As I grew up and inevitably accumulated more abandonments, rejections, friendsh*ts, relationsh*ts and breakups (as we ALL do), it only got worse. Whenever I’d approach any social situation, I would start sweating profusely.

As if my mind wasn’t f*cking me hard enough, my body had to now chime in as well.

Years passed and it must have started to effect me on a hormonal level because my skin would get hot, red, and breakout – all while my armpits morphed into faucets and I tried to keep it all together. I would sweat if I was standing in the snow. It got so bad, I wouldn’t wear certain colors because of my sweating problem. I had no idea how to overcome social anxiety – anxiety that had now taken over my life.

Whenever I knew a certain social situation/event was approaching, I would disproportionately value the event and overly “prepare” every day leading up to it so I could really, this time, WOW everyone and prove them (& my low self esteem self), “wrong.” I would ultimately always FAIL/disappoint/breakout into a beard of zits the morning of, etc. I then began to rely on having to have a few drinks just to feel like I could carry a conversation with someone.

This ended up robbing me of ever having relationships with emotional intimacy because I was always “auditioning,” and never listening – to my gut or the other person.

Then one day, I got so sick of the bullsh*t that I decided enough was enough. I couldn’t take it any longer. I needed to know how to overcome social anxiety. It was stupid and it wasn’t good for my well being. I decided right then and there that I was done. Something needed to change, I just didn’t know what.

Today, I thankfully don’t need a drop of alcohol, 167351 deodorants in my purse, or any kind of pep talk to enter whatever social situation life throws at me. HOW?

Here’s what you need to know about how to overcome social anxiety:

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I’ve written about people pleasing before, but I mostly went into what people pleasing means and how to know if you’ve got the disease to please. Now, I want to talk about how to get out of the sh*t when you’ve gotten to a point where the pain of continuing to engage in people pleasing is beginning to outweigh the need to be liked, validated, loved & accepted. I used to be so deep in the people pleasing, I didn’t have an identity. My identity became “what everyone else wanted to do/think/plan/be.” I couldn’t be myself because I hated who I was. I was never able to build trust with myself because I could never make any kind of executive decision about MY OWN life, or have a say in anything. I’d be doing or saying something and as I was doing/saying it, I remember thinking to myself “wtf am I doing here? I don’t even WANT to be doing/saying this!” The level of self betrayal became so high, I robbed myself of any strength and belief I had left and thus became extremely dependent on people pleasing and being “good enough” for others because I could never please nor be good enough for myself.

“I can’t tell you the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.”

– Ed Sheeran

Why do we even engage in people pleasing? People pleasing boils down to feeling like you’re never enough. And whether you want to admit it or not, because you feel like you’re not good enough, you overcompensate through your “please-tell-me-how-high-to-jump,” actions, & subsequently attract relationsh*ts that require the door matting of yourself and pedestal building others. You continue to drink the low self esteem, “I-should-feel-guilty-for-having-a-voice-speaking-up-and-recognizing-myself-in-a-healthy-manner” Kool Aid (which childhood, school & society all dutifully contributed to). You then begin to believe that your opinions, wants, needs and voice do not matter and never will. You’d rather be LIKED and be passively abused/abandoned/deceived/under-appreciated over time, than have a backbone and potentially be rejected right then and there. People pleasing makes you a PRIME candidate for emotionally unavailable relationsh*ts, narcissistic partners and friendsh*ts. It also pigeon holes you into continuing to seek validation from your parents or a significant person in your past that withheld acceptance, was un-pleaseable and gave you conditional love when you needed it most – as a child.

Here are 5 steps to say goodbye to the bullsh*t, kick the people pleasing habit for good and stop being a doormat so you can start LIVING:

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Just like emotional unavailability and narcissism, once you understand what passive aggressive behavior means, how to spot it, how to identify it within yourself and how to go on a permanent passive aggressive diet, it’s a total game changer. Your life gets easier, you put an end to the bs, an end to the pain and everything just starts to make so.much.SENSE.

Does any of this sound familiar?…

Are you dating someone that makes you feel better than you’ve ever felt one minute and then somehow, gets you to feel more heartbroken, angry, psychotic, jealous and guilty than ever before?

Are you friends with or do you work with someone who’s totally accommodating and kind, making you feel like you’re “in” one minute and then the next minute, withdrawals and turns icy while making you feel bad for doing some unknown thing that must have made them recoil?

Do you know anyone that has to continually take your loyalty temperature all in the name of “I’m looking for something serious?” It’s like they put you through a series of never ending “tests” to see what they can get away with, all while appearing to give a f*ck and passively disintegrating your boundaries & self esteem?

Do you have any family members that say they’re fine with something, but then make you feel guilty for doing the very thing that they were supposedly totally fine with?

Do you know anyone that consistently gives you back-handed compliments?

Ever had a friend that out of the blue ignores you until you ask them if you did something wrong?

Do you feel like you’re dating a score keeper? Everything is counted. Tit for tat.

Have you ever tried to express yourself to someone and they answer with a “are you kidding me?” “you’re crazy to think that!” “wtf is wrong with you?” or they accuse you of insecurity that they have passively contributed to over time?

Do you know anyone that has to announce that they’re doing a good deed for you (whether it be on social media or in person), with the sole intention of making you feel incapable, less than and inferior?

Do you know anyone that TALKS like they are deeply invested and care, but behaves like they’re too distracted to ACT according to their words?

Are you dating someone that says all the right things but consistently stalls, postpones their promises and shuts down the conversation whenever it becomes too emotional? Do they make you feel like you’re being too needy (even though you’re asking for basics like honesty and respect)?

Have you ever been that person? I can definitely answer “yes” to everything. If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you’re most likely dealing with a passive aggressive person or you’re exhibiting signs of passive aggressive behavior yourself.

So what really is passive aggressive behavior?

Are YOU passive aggressive? Is HE?

And if so, how do you deal with the black belt of all mind f*ckeries so you can stop obsessing and start living?

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Whether it was when I recently got ghosted by a girlfriend, or when I got fired from my first job, or when someone very close to me passed away before I got to say goodbye, or when a family member said something hurtful and then years later when I brought it up, “forgot,” or when I found something suspect on my boyfriend’s phone but couldn’t bring it up/get answers, or when I went through a breakup with who I thought was going to be my Happily Ever After… Figuring out how to get closure when there is such a gross LACK of it and such an abundance of cricket noise, has always been really tough majorly IMPOSSIBLE for me.

How can you really move on, feel at peace, forgive others, forgive yourself and let go when there’s no real closure and you have no idea how to get closure?

Easy! YOU CAN’T.

Save yourself the future embarrassment, psycho labeling, FBI-OCD-must-get-closure-now stalking, searching, pain, guilt, self blame & mind f*cking madness – I’m going to break down why you want closure, the effects of not getting closure and how to get closure when you have none in 15 super simple, straight forward steps.
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“How to turn your life around when you feel hopeless,” is something that I’ve Google’d so many times, if I had a dollar for every time I searched for the answer, I’d be writing to you from Monaco right now while being manicured, feather fanned and hand fed tater tots.

All joking aside, what I’m writing about today isn’t something that I take lightly; it’s something that I’ve debated sharing because it’s so personal and because there is a part of me that still fears judgement and feels guilty for even having the thoughts that I’ve had.

There are so many people who are suffering in this world, but no matter what the situation or who the person is, pain is pain and we are all entitled to feeling our pain without having to simultaneously carry the burden of unnecessary guilt for being human and having our own unique experiences and reactions. 

Pain is our common denominator and our universal language because just like death, it’s something that none of us will ever be able to override, escape or avoid, no matter what.

There’s always going to be someone that is better off and worse off, just like there’s always going to be judgement that isn’t productive. Negative judgement (of yourself/others) and evolution cannot coexist.

I choose to evolve. I know you do too or you wouldn’t be reading this right now.

So, with that intention, I want to share with you how to turn your life around when you feel irreparably damaged and like all hope is lost. 

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I’ll never forget how awesome it felt to learn what emotionally unavailable meant. Everything suddenly clicked and started to make perfect sense. After years of unsuccessful, same-result-different-guy dating, I had FINALLY figured out what the reason was: emotionally unavailable men. All I had to do was stop dating emotionally unavailable guys and my Happily Ever After would appear. Easy. Right? Not so much. Despite my newfound awareness, I STILL wound up with, obsessed over, and people pleased the f*ck out of emotionally unavailable boyfriends, friends, coworkers, classmates and family members. Eventually, misery began to outweigh my delusion and the victim card I had always so dutifully relied on stopped making me feel as innocent of a bystander as it used to. In all of these relationsh*ts, the only common denominator was yes, emotionally unavailable partners, but it was also the one thing that I avoided with all my might… ME. “Am I emotionally unavailable?” I thought. There’s no way! I wanted to be in a relationship. I was ready! I wasn’t scared to commit. If anything, I came on TOO strong. All I wanted was that “in a relationship” status. All I did was cry. I BLED emotions. There was no way.

There actually was a way.

Because we will always engage in relationships that reflect the relationship we have with ourselves and because we always attract what we exude, I had no choice but to look into the “am I emotionally unavailable?” question.

The people we’re attracted to give us invaluable insight as to what we exude because what our brain translates as “compatible-all-systems-go-must-ovulate-now,” is ALWAYS a reflection of our true emotional state. Mine was unavailability.

If you’re not asking yourself “am I emotionally unavailable?” you have no business wondering if anyone else is.

Here’s how to tell if you’re emotionally unavailable & how to fix it so you can change your life, your luck and start calling your own shots. (as opposed to your sanity being dependent upon a text back, a “like,” a viewed snap story or a “comment.” no thx)

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