Categories
Travel

10 Places Every Brown Girl Needs To Add To Her 2020 Bucket List

If you’re like me, you’ve probably had a wild case of the travel bug or as one might call it, wanderlust. This is a serious matter, especially if you’re a seasoned traveler. Seasoned or not, it just sucks being stuck at home. Whether you have to stay put for work, family, or save some beans for your next getaway, don’t look at the travel bug as a mere tease. Embrace it and create travel plans for yourself. It will give you a new motivation to incorporate travel into you hectic life. So if you’re diagnosed with a tumultuous case of the travel bug, consider creating a bucket list of the things you’d like to do on your next trip. Oh wait, duh, PourToi got you covered with the ultimate bucket list for our Brown Travel Girls:

1. Party in a rooftop bar in Accra, Ghana 

Ghana in itself is the spot to be if you’re curious about your ancestral roots and pure blackness. Since you’ll be there, why not order a pine wine while you’re at it?

2. Eat authentic Haitian/Caribbean food in Montreal 

As a Northeast gal who grew up in a Caribbean household, I’m tellin’ you the truth. Hop on a bus, plane, or train and check out the Afro-Caribbean influence in Montreal, the capital of French-speaking Quebec.

3. See the Shifen Waterfall create a rainbow in Taiwan 

Sometimes you gotta be creative with your bucket lists. The little things matter in travel too. 

4. Ride an e-tuk-tuk in Jozi, South Africa 

Why not discover an exuberant South African city on an e-tuk? It’s friendly to the environment and not the mention, absolute fun and accessible. 

5. Take a tour in Petit Canal 

People are sleeping on Guadeloupe, period. Petit Canal, or Ti Kannal, is a historic site known for its slave memorials. Let’s soak some history with that sun, shall we?

6. Go surfing in the Sayulita, Mexico 

Not many people get to say they went surfing in the hippy village of Sayulita, Mexico. Who knows, maybe you might see a paddlesurfing championship while you’re out there. 

7. Visit the blue city in Casablanca, Morocco

Feeling blue? Not the melancholy blue, but the ebullient blue that glistens when the sun hits it. Casablanca will have you hooked on azure blue. 

8. Drink exquisite wine from Bordeaux, France 

Visit a classic winery in Bordeaux and you will fall in love with wine again. There’s nothing like a cool glass of fresh rosé on a Sunday day in southern France. 

9. Book a room at a floating hostel in Cartegena, Columbia 

First, hostels are very cheap. Second, it’s in the middle of the sea. And it’s eco-friendly. Nuff said, where’s my ticket? 

10. See the Northern Lights in Lapland for New Years

A girl can dream but the sky’s the limit…literally. For New Years, book a round trip to Lapland to experience the Northern Lights for real and share a new year’s kiss under the sky’s colorful treasure. 

The travel bug may seem innocent at first but after lack of treatment, it can become untamable. Embark on these national treasures and cure your travel bug…NOW! 

Categories
Career & Finance

Debt Consolidation? Make It Make Sense

Debt consolidation. Bill consolidation. Credit consolidation. All these terms refer to a financial strategy whereby a person decides to take out a loan from one lender and payout all the other debts, bills, or credits from different lenders. It leaves you repaying only that single loan at a lower interest.

Many Americans have embraced debt consolidation; according to Globenewswire, it has resulted in an improvement in the credit scores for the users. So, should you also consider debt consolidation? 

To make this decision, you must dive into the deets of debt consolidation.

  • What are the pros and cons?
  • Is it right for you?
  • Should you get a debt consolidation plan or come up with a debt repayment plan by yourself?

Let’s dive into the pros and cons to help you make an informed decision.

Pros

  1. One monthly repayment instead of many

With debt consolidation, you only have one loan to repay every month. It’s easier to budget for just a single loan instead of juggling between several loans.

When one has multiple loans, the primary question is, do I repay the smallest loan as I work my way to the biggest loan (Snowballing method), or do I repay the loan with the highest interest (Avalanche method)?

But, with a single loan, this isn’t a question. It’s easy to plan your monthly budget since you know exactly how much you’re supposed to pay off each month.

  1. Lower interest rate

Debt consolidation comes with a lower interest rate. This means that you can make smaller monthly repayments, thereby increasing your monthly cash flow. The increased monthly cash flow can help you live a decent life without depending on debt or relying on credit cards.

  1. It lifts your anxiety

Debt can really make you feel like you’re drowning, especially if the debts keep rising. A debt consolidation plan gives you peace of mind, knowing that you now have a plan. A plan to pay one monthly payment to one source every single month to offset your bills.

  1. Might increase your credit score

Taking out a debt consolidation plan and paying off your monthly repayments will eventually lead to an increased score. It demonstrates your ability to take out a loan and repay the loan diligently. This has a positive impact on your credit report.

Cons

  1. You incur a fee to move your debt from different lenders to one

When you’re moving your debt during debt consolidation, you might end up incurring a fee to move the loans — the money you could have used to settle your bills or repay your interest for the month.

  1. The compounded interest over time is higher

With a lower interest rate, you often get an extended repayment period. The longer repayment period means that over time, the amount of money you’ll pay is more.

  1. Increased risk 

What are the chances that after a couple of years, there will be an emergency or emergencies that will affect your ability to prepay the loan consistently?

Today, your financial situation might enable you to make a particular repayment every month. But, if after a few years you get a divorce, an accident or something tragic happens that grossly affects your financial situation, will you still manage to make the repayments?

  1. Double debt

If you get your debt consolidated, but for some reason, you start using your credit cards again, you might end up with double debt: the consolidated debt and the credit card debt. This negates the reason why you went for a debt consolidation plan in the first place.

  1. Debt consolidation isn’t paying off your loans

Unlike what many people think, debt consolidation isn’t paying off a single penny of your loans: it’s moving your loan. It doesn’t reduce your principal amount. If you continue with your negative spending habits, failing to control your need for immediate gratification, debt consolidation will not solve your debt issues. It will only make you feel good for a few months.

Tips:

  • If the terms being offered by the consolidation program seem too good to be true, be extra cautious. Get an expert to examine the offer before you jump in. 
  • If the interest rate you’re getting to consolidate your loans isn’t lower than the interest rate on all your credit cards and loans, then it does you no good to consolidate the loans.
  • Once you consolidate the credit card debt, you have to be ready to stop using the credit cards. 

In conclusion, debt consolidation can and is helping millions of people deal with debt and improve their credit score. But is it right for you?

Categories
Healthy Foods & Drinks

5 Foods to Boost your Mood

As a writer it is so important for me to be mindful of the foods I eat. I sit so much during the day and can easily get drained and feel tired from what I eat, so eating heavy foods when I have work to do is a no-go for me. I also have to make sure that what I am eating keeps me feeling light, happy and positive or I can easily drift into not so great moods. In trying to find the perfect balance in my diet with the foods I eat keeping me full, satisfied, positive and being healthy, I discovered these foods that actually can boost your mood. Here are five mood boosting foods!

1. Berries

Berries are actually known to fight depression. I love strawberries and blueberries and they are in heavy rotation in my diet. The best berries typically come from the farmers market, however if you have to buy berries from the grocery store, try to buy organic if you can and soak them in water with a teaspoon or vinegar and baking soda before rinsing and eating. Soaking them removes dirt and bugs from them and gives them a nice deep clean. I either eat berries as is or throw them into a smoothie.

2. Dark green leafy vegetables

Dark green leafy vegetables are also great mood boosters and combat depression.Think spinach, kale, collard greens. The key to getting the most benefit from these vegetables is to do as little manipulation to them as possible. You can eat spinach and kale raw in salads and try to cook collard greens as healthy as possible.

3. Nuts and seeds

Nuts and seeds are great mood boosters. I love snacking on almonds, walnuts, cashews and occasionally sunflower seeds. Nuts are packed with fiber, protein and healthy fats and have amazing long term health benefits. So grab some nuts to snack on at work or perhaps use them to top a smoothie bowl.

1. Green Tea 

If I’m not drinking water, I’m probably sipping on a nice glass of warm tea. Green tea has natural antioxidants that fight against depression as well as anxiety and a ton of other health benefits. Try to start incorporating more tea in your diet and ditch the sugar.

5. Oranges

Oranges are packed with a ton of vitamin C and do a wonderful job at boosting your mood as well as prevents depression and not to mention taste great and are typically able to be purchased just about every season. 

What is your favorite mood boosting food?

As always,

Love & light

Ashley

Categories
What's Happening

Pourtoi.co is on hiatus: Here’s why !

In my previous post, I challenged you to do things you could never imagine doing. Well! here I go, doing scary sh*t. But this is not the end we are just getting started.

This year has been a great learning experience for me. I went through a process of trial and error. Trying to figure out what works and what doesn’t . After careful observation I think it is time to re-brand and re-purpose our content.

I noticed a lack of engagement on our website and on our IG. It hasn’t been easy trying to get you guys to engage with us. Instagram only showed our content to about 10 % of our followers. This is no good. But I’ve been paying attention……. I know what some of you care about.

So I am using this time off to give Pour Toi a make over. The Goal is to still inspire women to glow up but I want to provide a space that is personal and easy to navigate. There will be some major changes, I won’t discuss now. I’ll rather spring a surprise.

@pourtoi_____

While we are away I want you all to focus on your goals for 2020. Think positive and focus on the positive. Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all have a delete button. Don’t be afraid to delete or block negativity from your page.

@pourtoi_____ ( Our old Logo)

One last thing, don’t leave us hanging. Stay tuned! subscribe right now to our email list. I’m always looking to glow with ambitious women so If you have an idea you want to pitch or would like to collaborate just slide in our email at businesspourtoi@gmail.com.

Make this year a good one. Happy New Year!

Do you PourToi ,

D

Categories
Travel

Here’s Why You Should Live Abroad for at Least 3 Months

3 months!

That’s all it takes to adapt to a new town, whether it’s in your own country or outside. Three months is enough time for you to get acclimated into a new society. Of course, we are all different in a special kind of way, so three months isn’t a solid fact that is synonymous to everyone. Each of our adjustment periods vary from individual to individual. 

With that being said, giving yourself at least 3 months to adjust to a new city or quaint town contributes immensely to the overall growth of our personal character. Whether you’re planning to work in Ghana for 6 months or at a social hostel in Argentina, here are 5 reasons why you should live abroad for at least 3 months. 

1. 3 Months is enough time to get settled

Picture this: You accept a job offer in Ghana for 6 months. You’ll be working as a Communications Associate at a well-known non-profit organization based in Accra. Salary’s great, benefits are solid, plus you got secure medical insurance through your job. Sweet, right? 

6 months isn’t a long time in your head but trust, once you land, them 6 months gonna feel like 5 years away. For the first three months, life is just giving you lemons. Yet imagine your contract is only 3 months long and you didn’t even get to make the lemonade with the lemons from life. That’s only half the experience. Don’t rip yourself off! Take the chance and find a job with a longer contract.

2. The personal growth is real 

2 years ago, I decided to stop mid-college career to live and study abroad in Belgium for 10 months. Did I know what I was getting into? Absolutely not. But, I did grow into a well-rounded, open woman. Personal growth is the best gift you can give to yourself. Some of our greatest lessons are learned at the moments we least expect it. Traveling brings out the best in us and challenges us to look deep within ourselves to be the best person of ourselves.

3. Learning a new language/culture becomes useful 

Whoever told you learning a new language is useless can’t dream beyond their own scope of reality. When you live abroad, those French classes you took in high school become useful and work to your advantage. Even though it may be a bit difficult to adjust, your brain is getting the exercise it needs while conjugating verbs. Useful, right?

4. Getting a job becomes a piece of cake 

Your future job will praise you for living abroad and will most likely consider you over the other candidates. Just when you thought getting a job could get any easier: it did! Your resume will be pure gold.

5. You will appreciate ‘home’

We all get tired of ‘home’ but what if I tell you that you’d probably begin to appreciate it more once you leave? Home is where the heart is and once you live abroad, ‘home’ becomes more significant. You begin to miss the little things from ‘home’ such as the corner store around the block or even the little coffee shop you used to hang out in. These little things begin to stand out to you, making you appreciate where you come from. 

Living abroad has its perks and its downsides. Although living abroad may seem very intimidating, don’t you think you’re missing out on the many joys life has to offer? That’s what living abroad is all about. 

Categories
Skin & Make-up

DIY: Detoxify Your Skin AT Home With This Bad Boy

When we think of detox, we usually think of detox drinks or colon cleansers. But you can also detox your body by taking care of the most important external organ, your skin! Did you know that our skin is called the “Third kidney”? It is called the third kidney because our skin’s primary function is to get rid of toxins. So one of the best ways to detox our skin is to use a Dry brush. That’s right! this bad boy can detox your skin from outside-in.

The dry brush method has been used for thousands of years by Greeks, then Japanese and American Indians. They used dry corn cobs to brush off dead cells on their skin. According to researchers, dry brushing with a corn cob was their secret for longevity.

Hmm, if I want to live longer all I have to do is use a corn cob to detox my skin? – exactly my thoughts when I found this out.

Dry brushing involves using a brush or any rough material that can take off dead skin cells. Here’s what else dry brushing is good for:

DRY BRUSHING BENEFITS:
  • Accelerates toxin elimination
  • Stimulates blood flow and circulation
  • Improve digestion & Kidney Function
  • Reduces cellulite by redistributing Fat cells
  • Unclog pores
  • Stimulate Your Nervous System
  • Enhances lymphatic flow
  • Exfoliates & Remove dead skin
  • Anti-aging through cell regeneration
  • Polishes skin
  • Stimulating both the sweat and sebaceous glands
HOW TO DRY BRUSH THE SKIN:

Use a natural bristle brush with a long handle, so you can reach each part of your body. You can also use a loofah sponge, gloves, or a dry face cloth.

  1. Start brushing your feet then upward your legs. (Brushing the front and back of your legs.)
  2. Then, once you reach your abdomen area always brush towards the direction of your heart. Use brisk circular motions or strokes.
  3. After you finish brushing your abdomen and chest go up your neck and down your arms, back and buttock area. ( do not dry brush your face since your face is very sensitive.)
  4. Remember to brush lightly on sensitive areas like your breasts and soles of the feet.

Note: You can dry brush before or after a shower. Most women dry brush in the morning, since toxins build up when we are sleeping. After brushing it is recommended to drink eight glasses of filtered water because water also help remove toxins. In addition to drinking eight glasses of water, you should massage your skin with pure oils. Like almond, avocado, olive, cocoa butter or coconut. This will help keep your skin hydrated.

Dry brushing is not recommended for pregnant women or women with sores and sensitive skin. For everyone else, purchase a dry brush at your local beauty supply store and practice this skin care regimen 5-6 times per week for 5-10 mins, to get faster results.

SELF LOVE IS TAKING CARE OF YOUR SKIN

Categories
Daily Inspiration

2020: It’s Time To Do Scare Sh*T. Are You Ready ?

Let 2020 be the year you start doing more things that scare you. It’s time to live fearless.

I don’t know about you ladies, but I refuse to live in fear. I refuse to let fear stop me from succeeding. Here’s what I realize, when it feels scary to do something that’s when I should do it. If not I will continue to be stuck in the same place, thinking ” what if”. So this year I did some scary shit and I felt good after every scary moment. I felt good because I was finally doing some of the things I listed on my to-do list.

You may not be certain about 2020 and that’s fine. Just go for what you want. Do things on your to-do list. Dare yourself. Find different ways to get out of your comfort zone.

Remember this, the things that scare you are the same things that will turn you into the person you are meant to be.

So are you ready to do scare sh*t? Screenshot the list below or write each challenge down on a piece of paper.

Day 1 Today I dare to __________.

Day 2 Today I achieved mastery when________.

Day 3 Today I made a hard decision _____________.

Day 4 Today I ate ____________.

Day 5 Today I took a chance on __________.

Day 6 Today I mastered ___________.

Day 7 Today I said no to ___________.

Day 8 Today I stopped avoiding _______________.

Day 9 Today I accepted a compliment when _________.

Day 10 Today I asked for help from ______________.

Day 11 Today I stopped doing ______________.

Day 12 Today I let go of ________________.

Day 13 Today I got rid of ________________.

Day 14 Today I acknowledged that ______________.

Day 15 Today I was fearless when ___________.

Day 16 Today I surrendered to ________________.

Day 17 Today I took a chance on _________________.

Day 18 Today I reached out to____________________.

Day 19 Today I confronted ______________.

Day 20 Today I took a risk in_____________________.

Day 21 Today I said bye to __________________.

Day 22 Today I challenged myself to _______

Day 23 Today I did the hardest thing for me when I _________________.

Day 24 Today I did something worth doing like __________

Day 25 Today I traveled to _______.

Day 26 Today I was bold when ________.

Day 27 Today I resisted fear by ___________.

Day 28 Today I wore a color I’ve never worn before ________.

Day 29 Today I had the courage to ______

Day 30 I said yes to__________.

For the next 30 days take the challenge. I promise that you will feel Bold, Brave and Confident !

Do it Pour Toi

Categories
Daily Inspiration

11 Questions To Ask When Choosing A Therapist

Congratulations! You’ve made the decision to go to therapy. It’s a big decision but now you have another equally important decision to make – what therapist are you going to choose? About two years ago, I made the decision to go to therapy. However, it took me some time, about a year and a half, to find a therapist that worked for me and helped me address my needs. In fact, it wasn’t until the third therapist that I spoke to that I found the right therapist for me. I tried out each therapist for at least 3 sessions before deciding to move onto another. Though it took me some time to find the right therapist, I learned that everyone can benefit from therapy. Once, I found the right therapist, I began to make significant progress with my mental health and gained some tools to help me address some issues. I encourage you to keep trying out different therapists if you know that you need that kind of help. 

Before you start your search you want to take some time to think about what issues you want to have addressed in therapy. What goals do you want to accomplish through therapy? This is important because you’ll want to know if your potential therapist can help you address your issue. Once you have a clear goal or set of goals, you’ll want to have a list of questions to ask as you interview potential therapists. You can use the search finder on psychology today to look for therapists in your area. Aside from the typical questions about health insurance and office hours, below are some other questions for you to consider asking during your search.

  1. What are your strengths and limitations as a counselor? 
  2. What is your general philosophy and approach to helping your clients?
  3. What are your religious beliefs? Do you use them in your approach to helping your clients?
  4. How often would you anticipate seeing me? For how long?
  5. How do you set up counseling goals? What are they like? What does success look like for you?
  6. What is a typical session like? 
  7. Do you give your clients homework assignments? What kind of homework/reading do you give patients? 
  8. How do I prepare for my first session?
  9. How will we assess my progress?
  10. My problem is _______. How would you go about treating that?
  11. How can you help me and have you helped others like me or with this difficulty?

We hope these questions will give you the information and the insight that you need to choose the best therapist for you. No matter how long it takes, stick it out, the right therapist is out there for you and you will find them.

What are some other questions that you are going to ask when looking for a therapist? How long did it take you to find the right therapist for you? Share your stories and let us know in the comments below!

Categories
Women's Health & Wellness

Summer Walker Chooses Mental Health over Wealth

“ I truly appreciate all the support and love. As you know, I have been very open about my struggle with social anxiety. I want to continue to be healthy and to make music for y’all, so I have decided to cut down some of the dates on the tour.” Said the 23 year old “Girls Need Love” singer.

Summer goes on to say that the tour doesn’t coexist with her social anxiety and introverted personality. As an introvert myself, I totally understand where Summer is coming from. She also stated that she is a person with feelings, she get tired, sad, and it’s a lot.

“ I don’t want to lose myself for someone else. I want to give y’all what I can, so I’m going to keep making music and I’m going to do a few shows, but I can’t finish.”

More women should consider choosing their mental health over wealth. Now, I’m not saying stay in your bed for weeks and not make a single dollar, absolutely not. But know when enough is enough. Know when it’s time to rest, when it’s time to take a break, when it’s time to say no, when it’s time to put yourself first. You can not pour from an empty cup. So many of us are trying to show our talent to the world but forget what we need in order to show our talent. We need our mind, energy, and body. Rest up sis!

Money or Mind ? let us know your thoughts

Categories
Career & Finance

Millennial Home Lending: How To Get Pre-approved For A Mortgage

Only 1 in 3 millennials under the age of 35 owned a home as of the end of the year 2018 in America, according to the census report. Why is this number so low?

 

Millennials, unlike the previous generations, have unique circumstances that compromise their ability to access mortgage loans. Some of these circumstances include:

 

  • High credit standards: The median credit score in America is 695, while the median credit score for the millennials is around 668. Note, in the year 2019, the average credit score of the people who took out mortgage loans was 759, and only 10% of the lenders had a score below 647.

 

  • Crippling student loans: 61% of millennials said that they’d delayed homeownership as they concentrate on student loan repayment.

 

  • Unemployment amongst the Millenials is also pushing the debt to income ratio high amongst the millennials.

 

Despite these data, you can still own a home as a millennial. If people with a credit score of 647 obtained a mortgage loan in 2019, a significant number of Millenials, having an average rating of 668, can still get a mortgage loan.

 

The first step should be to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Here are the reasons why you should get pre-approved.

 

  • When you get pre-approved for a mortgage, you know your budget. This will guide you when you are house hunting.
  • The home sellers will know that you’re a serious buyer since you’ve already visited a lender.
  • You’ll understand whether you are ready to acquire a home mortgage and if you need to straighten up your credit issues before seeking a mortgage loan.

 

For you to get pre-approved for a mortgage, you need the following things:

 

  1. Proof of income

You will be required to produce your w2- wage statements and any other documents that will help the lender to understand your income flow. If you’re self-employed, you’ll be required to produce form 1065. Also, you’ll be required to provide your 30 days pay stubs to show your current income.

 

These documents help the lender understand how much cash flow you can afford to direct towards payments after catering for your bills and debt payments. 

 

  1. Proof of asset

The lender will also require proof that you can afford the downpayment necessary. Therefore, you will be required to produce bank statements and investment account statements. However, this depends on which loan you will be seeking. Jumbo loans are custom made for low to moderate and first time home buyers. They, therefore, require a very low downpayment. The VA loan requires no downpayment from the veterans.

 

If you’re receiving money from a friend or a relative for the downpayment, the lender will require a gift letter explicitly explaining that you’ll be receiving the payment for the downpayment.

 

  1. Good credit score

The higher the credit score, the better interest rate you will be given, and the lower the downpayment you will be required to put down. If you have a credit score of about 580 and above, you generally qualify for a low-interest rate. However, if you are on the lower end of the credit score, you will be required to put down more downpayment. If you have a credit score of above 700, you easily qualify for a 3.5% interest rate.

 

The lenders will, therefore, pull your credit score from all the three credit bureaus. They will also check your payment history to determine whether you make your payments on time or not.

 

  1. A healthy income to debt ratio

The lender will also calculate your debt to income ratio. They will take into consideration your student debt, credit card debt, auto loans, and any other debt that you have against your income and assets. 

 

Therefore, it’s vital to ensure that you pre-check your credit score and make any corrections on the report before approaching the lender for pre-approval.

 

The debt to income ratio is calculated by dividing your total monthly repayments with your income. The highest possible percentage you should have to still qualify for a mortgage is 43%. However, most lenders prefer a ratio of 36%, with no more than 28% going towards repaying the mortgage.

 

In conclusion, to get the best deal, shop with several lenders. Note, visit all your preferred lenders within 45 days so that all the credit inquiries are recorded as one hard inquiry. Otherwise, they might negatively affect your credit score. Also, remember, getting pre-approved doesn’t guarantee that you’ll get a loan. It depends on whether the information you provide is truthful and remains so before the loan closes. 

 

Categories
Self-Love & Relationships

Attachment Styles and How To Find Out Yours

Ever wondered why your relationships are the way they are? Maybe you’ve wondered why it’s difficult for you to trust people or to open up to them? Or why you choose certain romantic partners? Or why you always seem to sabotage your relationships? The answer may have to do with your attachment style. In fact, everyone has an attachment style and it’s based on the attachment theory. The attachment theory was originally developed by John Bowlby in the 1950s and is based on the idea that the “emotional bond between parents and their children is responsible for the bond that develops between adults in emotionally intimate relationships.” This emotional bond develops when you are an infant. Carers who are sensitive to children’s needs foster a “secure attachment style”. Carers who become distressed and retreat when their children are upset to create an “avoidant attachment style”. Carers who respond sensitively but are often distracted from their caregiving create an “anxious attachment style”. And carers who harm their children through neglect or abuse, create a “disorganized attachment style.”

By the age of 5 years old, your attachment style is pretty much set in stone and can become much harder to change. It’s one of the reasons why the first 5 years of a child’s development are deemed to be the most important in regards to who they will become as an adult. 

The relationship between infants and caregivers and the relationship between adult romantic partners share many similar features. Such as the following:

Therefore, the type of attachment you form with your parents as an infant often mirrors the type of attachment that you develop with other people, especially when it comes to romantic relationships.

Knowing your attachment style can give you important information and insight about yourself, your relationships and other people in your life. It can also help you be more mindful of the type of parent that you want to be. Additionally, it can help fill in the missing pieces and explanations behind some of your behaviors when it comes to relationships. Lastly, it can help you understand your parent(s) in a new light as well. Because everyone has an attachment style, that means that your parent’s attachment style heavily influenced the kind of attachment that they developed with you while you were an infant. For some people, this revelation may bring about more peace and forgiveness.

In order to find out your attachment style, you can take the following quizzes: 

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/tests/relationships/relationship-attachment-style-test

https://dianepooleheller.com/attachment-test

https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/2859

https://www.seemypersonality.com/personality.asp?p=Relationship-Test#q1

https://www.scienceofpeople.com/attachment-styles

In addition, do your own research and consider going to therapy in order to dig deeper into your own attachment style. What do you think about the attachment style theory? What do you think is your attachment style? Have you gained any new insights from learning about your attachment style? Let us know in the comments section below!

Categories
Self-Love & Relationships

Emotional Abuse: The Signs That I Overlooked

I never thought that I would end up in a toxic and abusive relationship but that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t see the signs all at once and it took me a while to even admit it to myself that I had been in an abusive relationship because again I never thought that I would end up in that position. But once the relationship ended and I did some research, got into therapy, I discovered that my ex was an emotional abuser.

According to crisistextline.org emotional abuse is described as:

Controlling another person’s actions and behaviors through verbal and emotional manipulation.

Many of the abusive actions that my ex displayed during our relationship were signs that I dismissed because at the moment it didn’t seem like a big deal but it didn’t feel right either. Many times I would find myself trying to explain his behavior. But my explanations illuminated that this relationship wasn’t healthy. Now a year later, I can pinpoint the abusive behavior that I missed.

The Signs I Ignored

  1. My ex would constantly criticize me for not responding to him in the way that he felt I should respond when he was sad or going through something. At first, I would try to use the “tips” that he’d say would help. But whenever I used them the criticism would continue. It got to the point where it seemed like I couldn’t do anything right. I couldn’t say the right thing, wear the right thing, etc.
  2. My ex would also blame me for any and everything that went wrong in our relationship. Of course, there were times when I messed up but not to the extent that he blamed me. In fact, nothing was ever his fault. I wasted a lot of time trying to fix myself when I wasn’t really the issue.
  3. My ex would call me out of my name and then validate his reasoning for doing so.
  4. There were a few times when my ex would threaten to hurt himself when he noticed that I was trying to leave the relationship.
  5. On the flip side, there were many times when my ex would withhold communication and affection from me if I didn’t do what he wanted me to do (e.g., giving you the silent treatment).
  6. Unbeknownst to me at the time, my ex would log into my email, phone, or social media profiles without my permission.
  7. My ex would take my debit and credit cards and spend my money without asking. When I would confront him about it, he would get very upset about it and never own up to any wrongdoing.
  8. Lastly, my ex always deflected the blame and responsibility for any of the above actions, leaving me to always feel like I was the one at fault (aka, gaslighting).

You don’t have to have each of these occur in order for you to be in an emotionally abusive relationship because I didn’t. It’s important to note that emotional abuse doesn’t only happen in romantic relationships, it can happen in any relationship.

The Aftermath

I know that it’s a risk to share this experience. My ex is still in my life because we share a son and I was concerned about how this would affect him. But then I thought to myself, this is a part of my story. Not speaking about it only continues the cycle of control that my ex had over my life. So I chose to share my story, to continue my healing, to hopefully bring more awareness and understanding. To maybe even help or encourage someone else who is in this situation.

Because I still get so upset when I think about how badly I was treated by my ex and I still have scars that affect me in both small and big ways. But most importantly, I am still alive. I got out before things got physical because there were signs that it was definitely headed that way. I thought my ex would change, but emotional abusers are incapable of changing. I repeat emotional abusers are incapable of changing. They are incapable of viewing people or at least their partners as people, they only view them as objects, tools to be used, as a means to an end. So I will never believe that my ex has changed, despite what he sees, the actions confirm it every time.

It’s difficult to parent with an emotional abuser because even though we aren’t in a romantic relationship with each other, the emotional abuse continues in different ways. My ex still tries to manipulate me into getting his way every chance he gets. He also still tries to blame me for things and start arguments over nothing. He still tries to get me to apologize for things that aren’t my fault. How do I deal with it? By remembering that we aren’t together, so the hold that he had is no more. By thinking of my son, and all of the progress that I have made, the milestones I’ve accomplished. By thinking of everything that I have to be grateful for. By praying even when I don’t want to. Lastly, by living my life, on my own terms again. 

If you or someone you know is in an emotionally abusive relationship, know that you are not alone. I hope that this story encourages you and empowers you to do the next step, whatever that may be. Hold on, you are worth it! Share your story in the comments section below, there is healing in our stories.