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Thursday, March 28, 2019

how I got over being the perpetual nice girl

What I’ve learned from being the perpetual nice girl….oh where to begin…

My whole life I was taught by my parents, teachers, peers, etc. to be nice to everyone. I took it to heart as I am genuinely a “nice” person to begin with. If you were to ask someone in my hometown what they thought of me, they would probably say, “She’s a nice girl.” 

Anyone that knows me is probably bobbing their head like mhmmm.

I was notoriously known for always being “sorry.” I threw sorries around like confetti. When people bumped into me, my immediate reaction was, “Oh, I’m so sorry!” 

The demise of one of my relationships with a boyfriend was over his best friend, whom I “felt” did not take a liking to me. It bothered me to no end. I questioned myself, thinking, “I’ve been so nice, I’ve included him, I’ve asked him about his life, how could he not like me?”

I hid parts of myself and my life to make sure I was never “too this,” or “too that.” I never wanted to make people feel uncomfortable or come across as a “in your face” kind of person. 

I grew up assuming if you’re nice to someone, they should be nice to you. You could say I was a little (or a lot) naive, and I honestly “got away” with this nice girl syndrome for most of my life, meaning I didn’t really notice any negative repercussions because of it. 

However, like anything in life, if you let something go on for longer than it should…it eventually blows.

Being too nice, people-pleasing, and acting like shit didn’t bother me, eventually caught up to me. I had been this overly nice girl for a good 20+ years of my life and by the time I was in my early twenties I started to feel resentful, used, unappreciated, insecure, and if we’re being honest, really angry. I started to question everything and everyone in my life. After being the “nice girl” for most of my life, I can confidently tell you that I was so f*cking over it. 

I’ll start by sharing with you what happens when you’re always the nice girl:

—You internalize how you really feel.

— People start taking advantage of your generosity, things can start becoming expected rather than appreciated. 

—You continuously put others happiness before your own. 

—People start assuming you’ll always be “fine with it.” 

—You continuously do shit you don’t want to do. 

—You become confused about who you are and what you stand for. 

—You become resentful. 

—Self-criticism 

—Isolation

—Powerlessness 

—You feel guilty telling people that they hurt you. 


—You get burned out. 


How I got over my nice girl syndrome:

First things first, I had to recognize that it was a problem. Whether I became this way because of my upbringing, self-esteem, what I thought I was “suppose” to be like, whatever it was… I had to own the fact that I was a people pleaser. I was a perpetual nice girl and that girl needed to go. 

I found books and articles online about how to get over this. I actually read the book, “Not Nice,” by Dr. Aziz Gazipura and it changed my life. Have you ever read a book and you’re like, “Holy shit—that’s me! OMG—that’s me too!” Yup, that’s how that book was for me. 

To sum up everything I learned into short bits, here are some points that worked for me and might work for you too. 

—Understanding that I’m not responsible for other people’s feelings, wants, desires, and needs. Nor do I have to meet everyone’s needs.

—I realized that I don’t have to be perfect because NEWS FLASH—nobody is!

—Learning and knowing that being nice does not equal being “liked.” 

—I learned to establish boundaries with the people in my life—family, friends, acquaintances.

—I learned to say, “No.” (aka not being guilted in to saying yes). 

—Learning and knowing that I won’t be for everybody—and that’s OK! Not even God is liked by everyone. 

—Learning to say how I actually feel and not feeling bad about it. 

—Asking directly for what I want without guilt. 

—Learning to be okay dealing with uncomfortable conversations and situations

—Learning to not hold back, because when I hold back, I only hurt myself. 

—Only apologizing when necessary. 

—Not being afraid to stand up for myself.

—I learned to quit explaining myself. 


—Don't be afraid of rejection. Be afraid of being accepted for the wrong reasons.

Kill the vanilla. It's okay to have opinions, it's okay to rock the boat, it's okay to be talked about, it's okay to show up and shine your light.

Always be kind, but also don't be afraid to not give a f*ck

Lastly, and most importantly, showing up fearlessly as the person I amand knowing that that’s enough. I will always be kind, warmhearted, and giving but that doesn’t mean it has to come at the expense of my own well-being. Not only will people respect you more for it, but you will respect you more. 
Keep on keepin’ on—
XX, Laura 

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

things I value more the older I get

The other day I got asked how old I was, and no joke, I had NO idea. I could not remember for the life of me if I was 25 or 26!! Any who, as a mid-twenties something gal, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what’s important to me in my life, and more specifically, what’s becoming more important the older I get…

Here are a few things that have become more valuable to me as the years have passed:

Loyalty 

Through life experience, friendships, relationships, family, etc…I have learned how important loyalty is to me. In fact, loyalty has become EVERYTHING to me. I value it above almost anything else. I am an extremely loyal person myself—I’m talking, if you’re in my life and you’re my friend and I love you and believe in you…I will go to war for you. I will stand up for you, fight for you, be there for you. I am a ride or die kind of chick—unwavering. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how important it is for me to have that same loyalty in return. I no longer have patience for wishy washy people who “don’t want to choose a side,” “don’t want to get involved,” or worst of all, those who don’t defend me in my absence. There is no gray area when it comes to loyalty—it’s either black or white. 


Unfiltered Friendships 

This actually came to light for me during a conversation over the winter when someone asked me, “How many people do you feel you have in your life that know the real you?” I thought about it for a while, and surprisingly (and kind of sadly at first) I realized that that list for me is very small. Mind you, there’s a big difference between *feeling* like you know someone and REALLY knowing someone. No masks, no filters, no hiding sh*t—just simply, being you. I’m thankful that I’ve got a chosen few. 


Authenticity 

I feel like I talk about being authentic a lot, but there’s just something about people who know who they are that I really love, admire and relate to. I went out on a date with a guy last summer that was one of those, “This is who I am, this is what I do, this is what I like…” kind of guys, and I found it SO refreshing. It’s really attractive when someone knows who they are, what they stand for, what they believe in, etc. and they don’t care what anyone else thinks. Real is rare and anyone who’s willing to put their authentic self out into this world is a winner in my book. 


The Art of Eye Contact & Conversation

Being an old soul and someone who loves to talk, I value a good conversation probably more than most. When I say conversation, I don’t mean I need to be talking about history, what’s going on in today’s news, or anything earth shattering… I mean, if I meet someone and they can carry on a great conversation, heck, I will talk about just about anything and everything. Which follows with the art of eye contact—I’m totally divulging one of my long time secrets, but I can always tell how confident someone is by the amount of eye contact they give me. To me, great eye contact makes someone come across as more confident, warm, engaging, attractive, and trustworthy. Conversation and eye contact are so important, yet totally underrated (in my opinion)! 


Manners 

This is a subject that I might step on some toes but I really dgaf. I’m totally an old-fashioned gal and I love the old-fashioned way of doing things. As I’ve been out and about this past year, I’ve noticed that not only my generation, but the older generation seems to be slacking on some basic manners. Holding the door for a woman, taking your hat off in a restaurant, please and thank you, making small talk, pushing in your chair, saying excuse me, etc. I literally held the door for a young teen boy the other night!! Don’t get me wrong, I know everyone is raised differently but basic manners are something that I never want to see go out of style. Manners are cool, respectful, admirable, and extremely attractive. 


Last but not least,


I Admire People Who Want to Grow

The way I look at life is that we’re only here on this earth once (maybe a few times if you believe in reincarnation), but why not try to be the best version of ourselves that we can be? I have a hard time relating to people who don’t aspire to grow or evolve, not because anything’s wrong with them (not throwing shade, judgement, or hate), but because I am someone who wants and needs to be learning, growing, and bettering myself each and every day. I admire people that have that fire to become better, to challenge themselves, to reach for their potential. I want to become the best version of me and I want to surround myself with people who want to do the same. 


Keep on keepin' on —
XX, Laura