A Gentleman's Guide

DECEMBER | 2018

DECEMBER | 2018 | ESSENTIALS

WE NEED A RESOLUTION

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Hey Beauxs! We’re wrapping up December’s round of updates with the sultury stylings of Aaliyah’s We Need a Resolution. We’ve spent this issue focusing on problematic friends, overcoming difficult choices in style and in discussing whether or not communication with your ex should be a thing. Don’t show your age by recalling where you were when the video for this song dropped, but do understand that this song was a word gifted to us in verse by Timbaland and Static, and beautifully delivered to us in song by the late, great Aaliyah. The song not only takes many of its listeners back to a time where life was simpler and we were younger, but it brings to light two very important questions with “Who should be hurt? Who should be blamed?” and “Am I supposed to change? Are you supposed to change?”   

These are valid questions for two reason. First, when it comes to our own problematic behaviors, we don’t like to be held accountable and often resort to pettiness when confronted about said behavior. Such, we don’t give a damn about who should be hurt, and don’t have a problem with blaming anyone but ourselves for the problems we encounter and the attitudes we exhibit when reacting to them. This leads to the root of many of the conflicts we encounter with our friends, family and loved ones as it leaves each side wondering if we’re supposed to change, or if they are. That’s why we’re spending this month with Aaliyah’s “We Need a Resolution” and are using it to provide some tips for overcoming problematic behaviors we’ve all been guilty of displaying

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DID YOU SLEEP ON THE WRONG SIDE?

I’m catching a bad vibe, and it’s contagious--what’s the latest? We’re all guilty of waking up on the wrong side of the bed and know the feeling of waking up tired, grumpy and irritable. Maybe we shouldn’t have eaten that Taco Bell seconds before hopping into the bed, maybe the rent’s late, maybe we’re overworked and underpaid. The only person who knows is us, and we owe it to ourselves to figure out what it is that's bothering us. This is easier said than done as so many of us are so busy putting out small fires that we don’t have time take inventory of the things that lie at our problem’s core.

The first consideration we should give in figuring out what it is that’s bothering us is to reflect. Reflect, reflect, reflect. It's not too complicated because deep down we know the problem, it's just not something we want to deal with. For example, if you know the mood associated with waking up Monday through Friday to go to a job that you don’t like. You know you’re unfulfilled, underpaid and that you deserve better. You know it’s the challenges associated with jumping back into the hunt for a new job, which is why you don’t. The result of this is having a less than desirable attitude while you’re at work, and please believe that the people around you can feel it.

Our situations are what they are, and while they’re not always pleasant, they still remain within our realm of control. It's important to remember that. No, looking for a new job isn’t easy, and it takes a lot of time, but we make time for the things we want in life. We’ve spend a lot of time taking about “why” this month. Here we can apply why to what, as we encourage you to not only think about what's bothering you but why it's bothering you as well. Why are we unsatisfied with our job? Why do we feel we deserve better and what are we going to do about any of it? Think about these as you reflect on the less than positive aspects of your life and work towards finding a remedy to whatever it is that’s bothering you. Follow this up by talking these problematic issues over with a trusted friend or therapist, because we might not know the answers to our own questions, so it's always a good idea to have someone to help us navigate through them. Rest assured that once you get down to the root of these things you’ll be less likely to wake up on the wrong side of the bed.

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SPEAK YOUR HEART

Don’t bite your tongue, don’t get it twisted, don’t misuse it. What’s your problem? Let’s resolve it. A lot of times we don’t get the things we want or need out of life because we don’t speak up for ourselves.We know what we want out of life better than anyone else, and before we allow ourselves to become annoyed with not getting what we want, we’ve got to first determine whether or not we’ve been clear for asking for it. Now or course we know that getting what you want out of life is harder than just asking for it, otherwise we’d all have everything our hearts could ever desire. However, there’s nothing wrong with taking a page from the book of squeaky wheels getting the oil like being upfront about what you want to resolve feelings of wanting and not having.

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A lot of us get this wrong by assuming that the people around us are mind readers and we become very attitudinal when they don’t respond to unspoken psychic requests. How will your Beaux know about those headphone’s you want for your birthday if you don’t specifically tell him that you want those headphones for your birthday? How will your friend know that you have a problem with the him addressing you as “sis”, if you don’t address your concern head on? We’ve got to be very clear in speaking our hearts when it comes to the things we want, the things we expect. This applies to every aspect of life and we while we won’t always get what we want, it should never be said that we didn’t ask. Don’t get it twisted!

We need to be as bold and specific as we can about the things we want and remain clear on the things that we will not tolerate. We can’t rely on hints and must always be as direct as possible when it comes to the things we want.

LETS RESOLVE IT

We can solve it. What’s the causes?  Conflict resolution is a skill that many of us don’t possess, and there’s no judgement there because a lot of us revel in being given an opportunity to be petty. However good petty may be, it’s not always the best resolution. When it comes to reaching an effective resolution to a conflict we’ve got to first find some comfort in the conflict. Okay, that sounds silly as hell, but its necessary because conflict is as natural as it is inevitable. It occurs in every relationship and as much as we might want to avoid it, we’ve got to learn how to manage it, least all of our problems remain unsolved. The lives we live and the attitudes we carry are shaped by perspective, so by altering our perspective of conflict as a negative with one where its viewed as an opportunity for growth and new understanding, we can work easily work towards solving any problem we might encounter.by identifying the causes, and separating the person from the problem and in agreeing to disagree while demonstrating a willingness to move past non negotiable positions that create impossible impasses.

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IT’S OFFICIAL

You’ve got issues, and there’s nothing wrong with that, hell, we’ve all go issues. And however true this may be, it doesn’t prevent any of us for being held accountable for our problematic behaviors. Waking up on the wrong side of the bed is an excuse that can only last for so long, because it's up to us to maintain a tolerable attitude, especially when we’re around people who’ve got nothing to do with our bad attitudes in the first place. Just because we’re bothered by something doesn’t mean that we get to walk around acting all stank. This is an “us” issue and we need to figure out the why to whatever it is that’s got us in a tizzy. We’ve got to reflect on the situations and our role in these situations and work towards changing them. Walking around the office with pursed lips and a set of rolled eyes doesn’t make us anything except a bitch, and nobody likes the office bitch.

We’ve got to take some time to reflect on the things that are bothering us and move on from there. Conflict is, again, an unavoidable part of life, so rather than giving our Beaux the silent treatment because he didn’t accurately predict what we wanted for our birthday or sucking our teeth at Cynthia for stealing the stapler off our desk at work is going to be something we’ll have to get used to unless we decide to speak up, because closed mouths don’t get fed. By being specific about that pair of Bose earphones you wanted, and telling Cynthia to keep her grubby little hands off things that don’t belong to her will get us a lot further than saying nothing at all. Lastly, and most importantly, we’ve got to accept conflict as a the part of life that teaches us about negotiation, creates opportunities to learn and fosters growth.


Jeremy Carter