How to Tell Your Friend that They Are Being Abused

Hello everyone!

It has been a while but The Modern Day Fairy Godmother is officially 4 years old! Thank you to everyone from around the globe for your support and feedback over the years.

I write a lot from the perspective of being in a relationship because I am in one. However, what if you are one of those fortunate people on the outside looking in? It is no easy feat.

I come from a family who only believes that abuse manifests physically. I do not care what they say: emotional abuse is still abuse. More often than not, emotional abuse appears in the exertion of control. These situations are no longer like the ones on Maury where someone orders the person to call them “master” or bow to them. Instead, it becomes evident in little remarks that may seem harmless at first but then have a cumulative effect. This level of control weaves itself subtly into their lives and when they realize it, it could be too late.

I have been in controlling relationships and I also have been the friend that has had to break it to someone that their significant other’s behaviour wasn’t healthy. Contrary to popular belief, the people who enter controlling relationships are not insecure. They are strong leaders who are admirable in their character and confidence. However, they are ONLY insecure in their love lives.

I have lost a friendship  sisterhood over me being honest about her boyfriend. Although I do miss her at times, I do not regret telling her because I would have been a bad friend if I never did. I cannot guarantee that by you confronting your friend, it will go smoothly. I can only tell you the best possible way to get your message across.

Start when they are not talking about their significant other. This is important. When they are ranting and complaining about them, it is so easy to join in and let them know that they are controlling. Don’t you notice that the minute you say this, they get defensive and act like they are the only ones that are allowed to complain about Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong? That’s why it is best to let them rant and then tell them your feelings another time. Sometimes, people do not want advice but just a listening ear.

Avoid adjectives and if you need to use them, do not be too blunt. By saying that Mr./Ms. Dead-Wrong is controlling, you are opening yourself up to abrasiveness and conflict. One word I like using is “overprotective” or I even use verbal forms, such as “they like to exert a certain sense of control in their lives”. You allow them to feel like they are in a safe space and are not being condescending or demeaning.

Ask questions and rephrase their words. Listening is key and if you are just yelling at them, you are also being the controlling one. Let them express their feelings to you and then rephrase into a question. For example, if your friend says that their significant other does not accept them for who they are, you can ask “Do you want to be with someone who does not accept you?”

Remind them that it is their decision. They are an adult, you should act like one too.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

 

 

What to Do If You’re Single for 2016

Hello everyone,

 

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas/holiday! I have been addressing advice for couples for a while that I thought it would be a nice change to talk about single individuals and give some advice there.

Being single during the holidays can sometimes feel like a prison sentence. You just avoided the mistletoe and questions about when you will get a girlfriend/boyfriend/married. Now, 2016 approaches and you can’t help but see all the couples canoodling. Although there is nothing more you would rather do than make out with the cutie you met at the club an hour ago, it’s probably not the best idea, especially after a recent breakup. Here are some tips to make the end of 2015 and the start of 2016 the best it can be:

  1. Spend time with your family. If they are not too annoying. Sometimes, realizing that there are more important things than a significant other brightens your mood. Also, you are not paying crazy prices for amazing homemade food and a place to sleep.
  2. Have a house party with your friends. Club cover charge? Forget it! Have the fun at home. Order in a pizza, play some board games or drinking games, and dance the night away while counting down until midnight. You will find that you had more fun this way than by doing anything else.
  3. Spend time volunteering for a local charity, such as a soup kitchen. It will be good to realize that there are worse things than being single during the holidays.
  4. Do something fun other than getting sweaty with half-naked people at a club. Go bowling. Gather your friends and go to a pub. Go watch a movie. Whatever you do, delete your ex’s phone number. No one wants a 2016 to start with regrets.

Being single is never a bad thing. Don’t treat it like it is.

Have a wonderful 2016!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Struggling to find your significant other a gift? Here’s your answer!

So it’s six days until Christmas Day. If you are smart like me, your gift shopping is already done and just needs to be wrapped. If you are like the majority of people reading this and the title caught your eye, you are in a bit of a panic. Don’t worry, there is still time. After all, there are six days left.

I have read dozens of articles about the “Perfect Gift for Him/Her” and have heard the familiar lament of people claiming that men or women are difficult to buy gifts for.

I am about  to tell you something revolutionary to solve this problem.

 

 

Are you ready?

 

 

I am not sure if you are.

 

 

It is going to solve everything…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEY ARE NOT DIFFICULT TO BUY FOR!!!!

 

In fact, you are the one who is making it difficult for yourself. It is a matter of being attentive. We give our significant others hints without even knowing it. If you have ever been casually strolling through a mall, there will definitely be one thing they will point out that they like or something that you pointed out that they thought was nice. If you remember that moment, there is an idea.

 

Also, it was probably brought up in conversation. Remember laying down and just talking about childhood experiences or funny things you are a fan of? That’s the perfect inspiration for a gift. Superman remembered that I did ballet as a kid and got me tickets to go see The Nutcracker and I remembered that he never went to see a Leafs game and I got him tickets for a game.

However, you don’t need to be as extravagant as us. Sometimes, getting creative is never a bad thing. Do a scrapbook of favourite memories or a photo album. Knit or paint them something if that’s what you are into. After all, it is the thought that counts.

Hope this helps!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

Why Dress Code affects Dating Rituals

I never knew that the level of someone’s sexual desires could ever be determined by the presence of a collar bone.

It amazes me that we are still producing a sharp rape culture for women and many of these institutions are not corresponding with the twenty-first century.

A woman’s body is often deemed inappropriate in this manner. Girls, at a rather young age, are taught to pull down their shirts, cover their shoulders and to not bare their knees. I clearly remember that if I wore a tank top with straps that the straps had to be “three fingers” in width and I was the talk of the classroom when I wore short skorts.

The emphasis increased in high school, especially in Catholic high schools. I went to one and I did not mind not having to think about what I had to wear each morning nor having people judge me on what I wear. I was made fun of in kindergarten for not wearing Nike sneakers, in elementary school for wearing velour tracksuits and ironically, in eighth grade, I was told that my Nike sneakers were fake (note to self: Nike apparently causes trouble among kids!). However, dress code was very strict. There was only a selection of three colours of undershirts you can put under your polo (then it was change to specific gradients, such as navy blue, not baby blue), kilts were banned and shoes had to be all black with absolutely no shred of colour on them such as a logo. It was constricting.

We went on a retreat in the ninth grade in order to ease the transition to high school. We were allowed to wear our regular clothes. One of the girls in my group wore a low-cut shirt which embraced her ample cleavage and was told by one of the teachers that she couldn’t wear it because “it would distract the boys”. I’m sorry but how is this not creating the assumption that women are walking sexual objects that need to be covered up?

My mother still tells me to pull my shirt down when it is short. Unless I am in a place of worship, that is not inappropriate!

Women can wear crop tops, short shorts, ripped jeans, low-cut shirts, fitted dresses, short dresses, mini-skirts, hoop earrings, fish-net stockings, six inch stilettos or be stark naked. Unless they directly ask you to have sex with them, in this form:

“Do you want to have sex with me?”

THEY ARE NOT ASKING FOR IT!!!!

It’s the equivalent of saying that a shirtless man on the beach is fair game. You can see this in the media. Look at the recent commercial for Just Fab Shoes. There is a man asking the assumed female viewer “what it will take” for them to buy shoes from their website. He presents a couple of pairs of shoes and then asks if the viewer would like him shirtless, takes off his shirt and says “done”.

This commercial demonstrates the sexualization of both genders by using a man to sell a  product but it shows the sexualization of women more as they are “so tempting” that a man has to take his shirt off and that they will do anything for an attractive man.

Michelle Obama has worn dresses that bare her shoulders but we would never say that she is asking for it. Why? She is married, middle-age and in a position of power. Isn’t this disappointing that we are targeting single, young women who we are degrading instead of empowering?

I remember when I was assaulted at a club in Montreal. I was simply waiting to get a drink at the bar when I was touched inappropriately multiple times. I used self-defense, grabbed my friends and got out of there. I was in tears, very uncomfortable and upset and was told by my friends, “what did you expect?”

What did I expect? I expected to have a good night out with my friends, laughing and pretending that I am Beyonce on the dancefloor. I did not expect to be sexually assaulted.

Enough with the victim-blaming. Enough with the sexualization. Enough with the gender inequality.

Most important, enough with the VIOLENCE and SUBORDINATION of women.

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother

How to Make your First Chance be your Door to Forever

No matter what you have heard, first impressions are very important. They may not always be correct but they can nevertheless be memorable and long-lasting. For example, when I first met one of my closest friends, I thought she was very reserved and kept to herself. We laugh about it to this day.

However, when it comes to relationships, people may not be as patient and forgiving. A bad first date does not always encourage a second one, especially when mistakes were within your control. People make great first impressions when they are considerate, friendly, approachable, kind and social. If it doesn’t work out, you may make a connection as a friend or professional contact, which may lead you closer to the person that is better suited for you. Therefore, it is important to make every meeting you have with someone meaningful for all aspects of your life.

I discovered this video a little while back and I think it is perfect for advice on first impressions. Check it out!

What are your thoughts? What do you think makes a good first impression and what makes a great first date? Sound off in the comments below!

Sincerely,

The Modern Day Fairy Godmother