How to Survive as a Broke-Ass Writer: Dating and Relating
If you’re a writer, it probably means you’re a moody introspective introverted dork. I mean that in the kindest and most affectionate of ways, because I am one of you. Being a successful writer means you’ve probably learned the art of charm and can connect with pretty much anyone on the planet for a certain amount of time, but how do you survive after you really get to know a person and you begin to see their flaws, and they’ve already passive aggressively called you out on a few of yours?
Your job is to be an informer or an entertainer. You’re an artist, but does that make you a likeable and relatable human being? This week, I thought I’d give you some tips on how to relate to people on a genuine level. I have recently learned how to balance friendships and family relationships and even a close relationship with people of the opposite sex without any dramatic meltdowns…well, without disagreements that were not manageable and survivable.
Let’s explore a few things I’ve learned along the way about getting along with people as a broke ass writer:
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Accepting that the solution starts with rooting out the problem (Self Awareness):
It’s more than just wanting to be able to relate to people and to attain stronger and less turbulent relationships, it is about being prepared to put in time to evaluate the root problems you are having with your own actions. Relationships are a two way street.
Whether you book an appointment with a therapist or analyst, read a number of self help books, or take the time to just sit down and think about what you’ve been doing over the last few years, congratulate yourself on taking the time to evaluate ownership of your problems. It is a hard pill to swallow. No one likes to admit that they need to change because they may have been going about things the wrong way, but that is a lesson in humility.
Surround Yourself with People Who Make Good Decisions:
Look around at the people you spend the most time with. Do they make good decisions? Do they have similar goals, and most importantly, do they have the same values as you do? If you are a person who takes people’s feelings into consideration and you make real efforts to make others feel comfortable by being loyal and reliable, do your friends reflect that behavior? Are your guy or girlfriends sleeping with multiple lovers (and not in an honest polyamorous way), and trying to get over on commitments and responsibilities at every turn?
Pay attention. If you take some time to look around and you find you are not really happy with the way your friends behave themselves, treat other people or treat themselves, you might want to make a plan to meet new friends.
Find a Guru…or a Mentor:
This stems from the process of surrounding yourself with people who make you feel like you can become a better person and a better relator. Finding someone older than yourself, of whom you admire, will give you a lot of insight you could never attain from even the wisest peer.
Having a mentor or an older platonic friend will give you an insider’s look at life experiences and morals to valuable lessons.
Peep what Ram Dass has to say about it.
Be Kind, Not “yourself”:
When people say, “I’m being myself”, it is usually a defensive response to someone criticizing their behavior. People don’t want to be around someone who is angry or complaining all the time. Life is hard, but the point to having friend is to be around people who can help you make enjoyable memories.
Be selective on what you share with people because something you say that could be “venting” to you, could turn others off completely.
Build a Little Mystery:
Being private and laid back can be sexy and it is definitely attractive. Give others a chance to learn about you slowly. If you give your whole life story on the first play date you will: a) come off long winded and self-centered…and desperate for attention and b) leave nothing to the imagination for the person to ponder when you separate from them.
Draw out your relationships. Patience is key. Be a puzzle they want to piece together for years on end.
Don’t Have Sex on the First Meeting…or official date:
This particular column is for relationships and friendships, but in this day and age 20 and 30 somethings and beyond are not “defining” their roles in relationships. If you’re not going to live by traditional relational and gender roles, then I’m just going to say this to everyone:
Sleeping with someone on the first date or meeting will almost guarantee you will not get called back for another date. This theory has been tested by me personally and when I stopped sleeping with my lovers too early, I was able to obtain more fulfilling and long lasting relationships with my partners.
Have You Personal Morals and Values Carved Out:
If you’re a Satanist, that’s fine, but be willing to express your ideals and morals with confidence so other’s know where you’re coming from. If you live in a grey area, you’re going to attract people who are unsure of themselves as well. That’s makes for a messy, wishy washy friendship/relationship.
Let Others Help You…let others contribute and invest in you:
Millennium women and feminists: want to make a new friend or partner run for the hills? Flip out on them for opening a door for you or wanting to pay the tab on your meal. Men, what to turn off a partner? Be overbearingly helpful by never letting them pay for dinner after you did 3 or 4 times.
Let your partner give back. They will feel smothered by your kindness and will begin to feel like you are controlling if you don’t. You know you certainly are not controlling, but opening up, putting your pride aside and allowing your partner to do the dishes, make the bed, pay the bill, open the car door for you, cook the meal, pay for the movie, choose the movie, ect. will create a give and take dynamic that is very healthy.
Okay, we’re writers so we’re narcissists right?…Well, yes but not really. Just because we are confident about out books or articles being received well, it doesn’t mean we as people believe we’re going to be received will by others.
If you think others don’t like you, it is probably because you don’t like yourself.
Can you hang out with yourself? Do enjoy being alone? If you do, that is very healthy. If you find yourself always looking to connect with other people to avoid spending more than a few hours alone, then you should probably take some time and explore why you may be avoiding yourself.
Face your painful thoughts and memories and conquer them. You can do it! LOVE YOURSELF!