If You’re the Toxic Friend and You Know It, Clap Your Hands!

Recently, one of my friends asked this question on Instagram: “How do you know who is toxic?” My short response was you bring their toxic ways to their attention and they don’t try to change their ways. You find yourself in a constant struggle of not talking to them for awhile versus talking to them on a regular basis. It seems they act better after a hiatus, but alas their old toxic self shows up!

I used to believe toxic people didn’t know they were toxic. However, as I’ve matured I recognize they know their toxic and they don’t care. You know why they don’t care? They don’t care because they have the number one characteristic of a toxic person – they are selfish!

Their selfish ways show up constantly. Every activity has to revolve around them. Every conversation has to revolve around them, or they make the conversation about them.

You call the toxic person to vent about something you’re going through and this is how the conversation goes: First, they compare what you’re going through with something they have went or are going through. Then, somehow the conversation turns to be all about them! After you finish the conversation, you feel worse than you felt before you called them.

Another characteristic of toxic people is they are always the victim. Someone is always doing them wrong. They don’t do anything to anyone. They mind their business 🙄🙄. You know these are all lies because you know this person! They never take responsibility for their actions.

Then, toxic people like to monopolize your time. They want to be your ONLY friend. They don’t get along with any of your other friends. As a result, you can’t invite them to group outings. The toxic person not getting along with your other friends is their way to monopolize your time.

Furthermore, toxic people are users. Most of the time you interact with them, they need something. If you analyze your relationship, you will notice the toxic person always wants something from you. The relationship seems to always be you giving and the toxic person always taking.

Finally, another classic toxic person characteristic is they are never happy for you. If you tell them about your new job, they have to mention they wanted to work for that company and they didn’t get the job. They say you must know someone that works at the job. When you tell them about your financial increase, they have to mention how they need the increase more than you need the increase.

Toxic people leave you feeling drained surrounded with negativity. Their words and actions make you question your self-esteem and worth. The reality is the relationship is built on a foundation of jealousy. You may be wondering can any good come out of this relationship?! Yes, it can!

Here’s the good: As you grow and mature, you recognize toxic relationships have no place in your circle. You recognize there is nothing wrong with severing toxic ties and moving on with your life. You will more quickly identify toxic people before you have invested your time and energy in them.

If you read this post and recognize yourself, you are the toxic friend so clap, clap! Now that you see yourself, what are you going to do about it?

For those that have or have had toxic friends, how did you determine your friend was toxic? What did you do about it? Let’s talk about it.

My Spirit Animal is A Sloth

 

Recently, one of my coworkers went to an event to see a sloth.  She was able to meet and interact with a sloth.  I looked at the pictures she posted of the sloth and realized I have some similarities to sloths and there is a sloth characteristic that I want to embrace.

First, sloths are nocturnal.  Sloths are their most active at night.  That’s me!  I perform my best at night.  I think more clearly and have some of my best ideas at night.  I am most active at night.  I seem to have a burst of energy at night.  When most people are probably sleeping, I have found something to occupy my time, as if I don’t have to go to work in the morning.  

Second, sloths move the least during the day.  I am not a morning person.  I fake it until 10am. On the days I am off from work, I am content to lie in my bed all day.  If I have no plans for the day, I will lay in my PJ all day and, I’m not ashamed to say, will not brush my teeth or bathe.  I’m content to limit my movement!  Oh to be a sloth and be able to have my least movement during the day!

Have you seen the movie Zootopia?  One of my favorite scenes is when Nick Wilde and Judy Hopper go to the DMV.  They are trying to get the name of a car owner using the license plate information.  They are in a hurry and want to receive the information and go.  The sloth in this scene is hilarious!  He acts like he doesn’t have a care in this world and is in no hurry.  He has a nonchalant attitude: https://youtu.be/0woPde7OE1k

This picture taken by my friend reminds me of the sloth in Zootopia. 

The sloth is chilling with his panda bear as if he has no worries.  He is living his best sloth life!  That’s the attitude I want to have in life.  I want to live my best life and not allow anything to hinder me from living my best life.  I want to march to the beat of my own drum.  I want to be different and not care that others may have a problem with me being different.  I want to move through life at my own pace and not allow myself to be up in arms about anything.  What about you?  Which animal is your spirit animal?

Chapter 49

Some people believe I do the most for Leo season and my birthday. Well, I do! I turned it up a notch this year because I’m grateful to be in the land of the living. This past year has not been an easy year for me.

I learned more about myself and the sacrifices I would make for someone I love. I discovered that I had more strength than I realized. I learned that even in the midst of the pain and grief that I yet feel, I can make it. I learned that Chapter 48 prepared me for Chapter 49.

It’s my first birthday without my mom. For 48 years I had her in my life. This new normal has not been easy. This year required me to be extra. If I didn’t, I would’ve focused on how much I miss my mom and the birthday greetings she faithfully posted every year.

I would’ve focused on how much I miss the cake she made special just for me – German chocolate cake with milk chocolate frosting because I don’t like German chocolate frosting. I would’ve spent today being sad instead of glad.

Through all I have been through I have learned the importance of carpe diem – seize the day! I’m determined to live a life of no regrets. I want to make the most of every moment I have remaining on this earth. I’m determined to have meaningful relationships, and appreciate when someone cuts me out of their lives because they are doing me a favor. They are helping me to invest in those that want to have meaningful relationships with me. I’ve learned that life is short and I should experience everything I want to experience.

You Are Worth It!


So many times others may make us feel that we are not worthy of their love. That we have only conditional approval with them. That we have to jump through hoops and leap tall buildings to even begin to measure up to their requirements. Well, if no one has told you lately, I want to let you know that you are valuable!

You have so much to offer, and it is time to tap into yourself and determine your worth. People will treat us how we allow them to treat us. We have to expect to be treated like a rare diamond because we are a rare diamond.

We have so much untapped potential. Imagine our value, if we only knew our worth. How much are you worth? What do you bring to the table? Shouldn’t a potential mate bring at least the same thing to the table as you bring to the table? Why do we think it is okay to accept crumbs, when we can have the entire meal?

When you recognize your worth, you won’t allow others to abuse your kindness. When you recognize your worth, you won’t do things that lessen your worth. You will not degrade yourself so the other person can feel valued. When you recognize your worth, others will recognize your worth too. Some people won’t even approach you because they will recognize that they have to approach you correctly, or not at all. 

So, I ask you again – what is you worth? Isn’t it time you find out?

There’s Always A Lesson 

As 2016 comes to an end, I reflect on the lessons I’ve learned about myself and others. These lessons have been eye openers. Each lesson has caused me to grow, made me stronger and continued to shape me into the woman I am right now.
I realize that even though these lessons hurt I am not mad at anyone. It is what it is. I sleep well at night because I treat people the way I want to be treated. As difficult as it has been, I have remained consistent in how I treat others.

The lessons I’ve learned are in no particular order of importance. However, each lesson has defined me and played a significant role in my most recent development.

When I need encouraging, I have to encourage myself. As much as I have encouraged others, I didn’t receive that in return. I had some valley experiences that I had to encourage myself because that same gift I have to recognize when others need encouragement wasn’t operating in the lives of those that I encountered on a daily basis. Encouraging myself caused me to rely more on God than people.

It doesn’t matter how nice I am to others, there will always be someone that doesn’t like me. I used to care. I used to wonder why doesn’t this person like me, what could I do to make him or her like me or what did I do to cause him or her not to like me? This past year I’m over caring about how others feel about me. I can’t be responsible for someone else’s feelings. I’m going to be me.

People that I considered my friends did not feel the same way about me. This lesson was a shock to my system, and begin to cause me to build a familiar wall of protection around myself. This wall would lead to me separating myself from others.

As I was taking a shower one morning, God reminded me that He made me different from others. That difference is what allows me to be so transparent and open to others. This realization destroyed the wall, and replaced it with a greeter assurance of who I am.

This year has included some ups and downs, but I won’t complain. I’m still here. I lived, I learned and I grew. I’m looking forward to 2017 with great expectation!

That’s My Name!

I can relate to this article. My name is Annjanette. I have had people mispronounce my name and call me every other name that begins with an A, but Annjanette.

The older I have become, the more adamant I am about pronouncing and spelling my name correctly. When I entered college, instructors and classmates would ask, “What else are you called?” I would say, “Annjanette.”

When I entered Corporate America, I was asked the same question with a twist, “What’s your nickname?” I would respond, “I don’t use my nickname in the workplace. I use Annjanette.”

I’ve had managers pronounce and spell my name wrong. I insisted on my name being pronounced and spelled correctly. When my name is placed in an Outlook email, the spell check used to change it to Andante. I don’t know if it still does. There were real people who would send me an email that began – “Hello, Andante.”

I would be so tempted to reply and spell their name wrong, but I didn’t. My email would start with a greeting and then my first sentence would be, “My name is Annjanette.” Of course I would receive apologies, but I admit that those people loss work professional points with me. Not taking the time to spell my name correctly shows a lack of concern and the person doesn’t value me.

One of the latest incidents that’s still fresh in my mind happened about two years ago. I had an interim supervisor, and we had team huddles at the beginning of our shift every day. Every day this dude mispronounced my name, and every day I corrected him! Finally, I had enough! He had mispronounced my name for the last time!

I stopped the huddle and said, “Listen, you have mispronounced my name for the last time! I have corrected you every day, and I realize that pronouncing my name correctly is not important to you. Since you can’t pronounce my name correctly, call me Mrs. Halton!” From that day forward I didn’t call him by his name. If I needed his assistance and he was assisting someone else, I would say tell dude to come over here when he’s finished helping you.

Put some respect on my name!

46 Life Lessons I’ve Learned…


Today is my birthday and I was reflecting on the life lessons I’ve learned over the past 46 years. All of these lessons have truly molded and shaped me into the woman I am today.

These life lessons are not listed in order of importance, and there’s a story behind each lesson.

1. I have to love myself.

2. I’m my own Stan (fan)!

3. Sometimes I have to encourage myself.

4. God has to be a priority in my life.

5. Family is important.

6. Treat others the way I want to be treated.

7. Forgiveness frees me.

8. I can do bad by myself.

9. I know my worth.

10. Common sense will get you further than book sense.

11. Don’t lie.

12. Integrity is important.

13. Word is bond.

14. Be careful of the company you keep.

15. Be a good friend.

16. It’s not always about me.

17. Karma is real.

18. My husband is my best friend.

19. Happiness is a choice.

20. My life has purpose.

21. Hell is real.

22. Be authentic.

23. Live a life without regrets.

24. Stress kills.

25. Be informed 

26. A mind is a terrible thing to waste.

27. Read on a regular basis.

28. Be open to constructive criticism.

29. Travel as often as I can.

30. Invest in myself.

31. Enjoy life to the fullest.

32. Pray.

33. Don’t sweat the small stuff.

34. Cultivate friendships 

35. Don’t let anyone misuse me.

36. Be honest.

37. Laugh often

38. Have a sense of humor.

39. Don’t be judgmental.

40. It okay to say I’m sorry.

41. Everybody will not like me.

42. Sex is good.

43. Be a good parent.

44. Be trustworthy.

45. Don’t go to bed angry.

46. Eat something you’ve never eaten before.

Cheers to these life lessons, and I can’t wait for the next 46 more! Happy Birthday to me!

Fathers – A Lasting Impression 

  
I was getting ready for work this morning and I began to think about my dad. As my birthday is fastly approaching, I wondered what would my dad think of me. I wondered would he like the person I have become, and would he be pleased with my morals and values.  

Then, I thought of one of my most vivid memories of my dad. I had to be four or five years old. I was living in Henry Horner projects – 1847 W Lake St, Apt. 806. I still remember. It was in the winter time and I was standing in front of my school. My mom had bundled me up and no one else was standing in front of the school. I realize now she must have dropped me off early to make it to work.

 
This man pulled up in a car and called my name. I went to the car and he said, “do you remember me?” I nodded my head and said, “Yes, you’re my daddy.” He had me get in the car to stay warm and he talked to me until it was time to go into the school. He told me he hadn’t seen me in a while, but that was going to change. I later found out I wasn’t seeing my dad because of my evil stepfather, but that’s another story.

Father’s make a permanent impression on their children. The time you spend holding your children when their babies, allowing them to sleep on your chest, feeding, bathing and all the other quality time you spend with them makes a difference. Even though time had passed, I knew “that man” was my daddy.

After my dad passed, I got a tattoo over my heart that says “Daddy’s Lil Girl.”  My dad always called me “daddy’s lil girl.” I was in my twenties and my dad was still calling me his “lil girl.” The special bond I had with my father has kept me grounded. When I feel like fighting as my mom would do, the peacemaking spirit I received from my dad prevails. My dad was the first man that loved me unconditionally. He showed me what unconditional love from a man looks and feels like.  

This is a call to action for father’s everywhere. I pray it’s not too late for you to make memories with your children that will help you leave a good permanent impression on your children. What do you want your children to say about you? Do you want them to remember you with good feelings, or do you want them to learn the hard way that you failed as a father. I plead with you to make a renewed commitment to your children and be the great father your children need you to be in their lives. 

I Choose!

 

I love this song!  This song speaks volume about the opportunity we have been given to choose.  A price tag cannot be placed on the value of our power to choose.  It is awesome to know that who our parents are, what town/city we come from, or even how much money our parents had doesn’t determine our power to choose.

We have the power to choose our destiny!

So many suffer from the “blame syndrome.”  They never take responsibility for their actions.  They would rather say it’s someone else’s fault.  Well, I am writing to let it be told that, if we are not where we want to be in life, it’s our fault!  The days of living in the past and saying shoulda, coulda, woulda are over!  It’s time to carpe diem – seize the day!  Choose right now to set your life on a course of greatness.  When you epitaph is given what will be said about you?  The life you choose to live will dictate your legacy.

It’s time to choose!  Choose as India.Arie says in the song to be the best that you can be.  I CHOOSE!

Invest In Yourself

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We spend so much time focusing on others that we forget about ourselves.  We forget about our dreams, visions and passions.  We place ourselves on the bottom of the priority list hoping that one day we will be able to pursue our dreams, visions and passions.  It is important that we begin to invest in ourselves.

Investing in us means making ourselves a priority.  No longer will we place ourselves low on the priority list.

If we don’t think what we want to accomplish is a high priority, no one else will think our dreams, visions and passions are a high priority.

It’s time to assess our current situation and determine it’s time to pursue our dreams, visions and passions.

It is time for self-reflection.  What are we allowing to hinder us from pursuing our dreams, visions and passions?  When are we going to take the first step and make ourselves a priority?  What are we waiting on?  I was watching a video yesterday and the speaker said the graveyard is full of unfulfilled dreams, visions and inventions.  We don’t want to live this earth without being able to say we did everything we wanted to do, and we diligently pursued our dreams, visions and passions.

Let’s make a new pledge to ourselves that we will no longer place ourselves at the bottom of our priority list.  We will invest in ourselves!  We will dust the cobwebs off of our dreams, visions and passions and immediately begin developing our success plan.