The colourful world of emoji has helped galvanise words into action. I’d have to admit, emoji can elevate meaning and convey tone with the faces, hand gestures… and even replace words altogether with symbols and objects. Therein lies a very fine line to tread before failing at emoji courtesy. Imagine being at the receiving end of these texts, where it looks like an emoji zoo on steroids was unleashed upon you. What would you perceive of it?
Recently I met a good friend for lunch, and as the chitchat progressed towards tea time, a change came over his normally sunny expression and he solemnly declared, “You know, we have to be very careful these days.” And there was a full pause. Thinking that my friend had become more security conscious, I agreed and asked if he had experienced any such incidents lately. “Ya man, I cannot be too careful nowadays… don’t know what kinda “present” they may pass on to me!” Click. The two channels finally merged into one. My dear friend was an unwitting receiver of a sexually transmitted disease, and thank gawd it wasn’t a life threatening case!
The hookup culture
With so many flirting platforms available now for sex-citement via mobile apps and online sites, the masses get to know new names and new faces at a whim. Yes it’s exciting indeed, one gets to meet new people who are mostly out for fun. But the problem may start right there. Exchange of bodily fluids from casual acquaintances is open grounds for grave concern, and anyone is susceptible.
Is being casual really okay with you? The hookup culture is prevalent in today’s society, so much so that you can just ask a random bunch of your friends and come up with a handful who may have casually hooked up with someone and inadvertently risked their lives doing it.
We can’t stress enough on the importance of consciousness. Be aware of who you meet - are you sure they are who they claim to be? How do they behave? Is it a mutual decision between consenting parties? To the ladies specifically, never feel pressured to “perform” or lay down your principles to gain someone else’s nod of approval. So how do you find that serious someone whom you can get to know intimately, and for the long haul?
The dating engine that could
Not to toot our horn and stamp our feet, though Dateworks is the professional matchmaking agency here and we are well schooled in this particular arena. If you’re waiting for a sign for a serious commitment, we are the platform for that leap! Entrust in us to place your wellbeing, your requirements for your life partner and your time, above all else. We possess invaluable experience at successfully matching couples for the long term. Many of our clients only regret one thing: not prioritising their love life while the winds of change blew out their flames. We don’t want that to happen to you, do we? With the second half of the year coming upon us, think seriously about what you have achieved so far, and what you want to gain before the year is out. Our doors are always open to serious singles!
Granted, every kind of relationship has its ups and downs. There are differing opinions and debates between friends, family members, business associates, and of course, between you and sweetie pie. Life naturally goes on in a series of discourse and discords. We aren’t preprogrammed Stepford wives and husbands in some perfect little suburbia. So how do we identify that toxic person in our lives and render them ex communicado?
Your inner circle is wary of them
There isn’t a clear, consistent line of communication between you and this person, and you can’t put a finger on what feels off about them. Your close friends aren’t keen to be around this person, and even mummy dearest isn’t too pally with them. Your closest circle of family and friends know you best, and their subconscious is inevitably letting you know that this person isn’t good for you.
You are the target in their blame game
Let’s say this person is the newest inductee into your group. All are having fun and this particular someone does or says something that makes the smile slide off your face. It doesn’t feel right. You exchange a look with someone else. Note this: a toxic person is seemingly blameless. This person will project their own faults onto you. You’re always late. It’s your fault for ordering all the good food, now I’m gonna get fat! You, you, you.
You’re being emotionally blackmailed
An insincere person makes use of your time, your presence, and how they stand to gain from you. Do you feel drained after every meet? Do you feel that this person withholds their affection and availability depending on what you can do for them? Say you can’t go to a social event, this friend may ignore your calls, or show you the cold shoulder until you change your mind. Their love is conditional, and based on conditions that can be downright ridiculous. A healthy relationship is when two people understand that availability varies over time. They communicate openly as two adults.
So you’ve pointed out this person in your life. Perhaps you did try to address the elephant in the room, and this person needs to be weeded out. We say it’s time to eliminate the toxicity of it all and return to a clean slate. Clinical psychologist Linda Blair, has a simple 3-step guide that might help.
1. Create distance
Distance yourself from that person remotely i.e. via text, email or a letter. This allows you to be completely open with them, and also tell them about your further intentions. This will seem difficult, but just make a mental note to yourself that if you meet up face-to-face, you will probably get sucked back in and find yourself unable to be completely free of them.
2. Keep it simple
You don’t need to justify your actions by explaining further. More talk, more debates! Be very definite about your message. You don’t want to leave open ends when resolving the friendship. More importantly, this enables you to take back control.
3. Cut all communication
This is the final and most important part, as you need to keep the breakup clean. After all, a clean slate is what you are after, am I right? Your friend will attempt to contact you initially. Hold onto your hairnet, for your feelings will get buffeted about like laundry in a windstorm. Because if you do give in and respond, you’ll be sending the okay that they can take over once again.
This toxic friend situation is more commonplace than people realise. We certainly hope that that helped you to identify this someone and let them go. Life is a short enough journey and time is a precious commodity. Say sayonara to the bull hockey today. Trust me, you’ll feel a whole lot better doing just that.