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Are we really the most bitchy? (black women as friends struggle stories)

Recently I have seen a lot of dialogue in the blogsphere and on Youtube about black women being cruel to other black women (the black women as friends struggle stories).

Usually the dialogue contains the author’s ‘struggle’ to fit in with groups of black women for reasons such as their skin, their hair, their academic achievements, their ‘bourgeois’ aspirations and the way they speak. In other words the authors are not the ‘typical’ black women or they don’t fit into the ‘stereotypical’ black women guise; therefore black women as friends is an ‘issue.’

Whilst I can understand and appreciate the reasons these authors write or speak on these issues (i.e., their own experiences of not fitting in because of x, y and z have had a huge impact on them) and the end result is that they highlight these issues to encourage ‘others’ going through similar things to ‘do you’ and forget what ‘they’ (black women) say.

Now there are a few things I take umbrage with about these black women as friends struggle stories:

For one, usually the author’s who were discriminated against because they weren’t (aren’t) the stereotypical black women say things such as I’m a proud black women but:

I’m not loud

 I’m smart

I’m not angry

 I’m a calm person

 I’m educated

 I prefer the theatre to the rave

People tell me I don’t act black

 People tell me I’m not black (surely if you feel your black, your black?)

Men are surprised I don’t get angry

I don’t know it just does not sit right with me; it’s like the authors are perpetuating further stereotypes by the nature of eliminating all the things that set them apart from other black women or ‘them’ (as one Youtuber recently put it).

I mean how can you profess to be a ‘proud black women’ whilst at the same time tarnishing the rest of us with the bitchy black women brush?

I mean what is this? I don’t understand *confused face*.

The second reason that I take umbrage is the fact that me as a black women; I have never really experienced this kind of ‘struggle’ or ‘issue’ (maybe I’m just lucky?).

Possibly it could be to do with the fact I grew up in Hackney in the 80’s. It’s a multicultural borough of London (black, white, yellow and green people reside there).

I had all kinds of friends growing up (black, white, green and yellow) some of my best friends were white growing up; but the majority of people (or girls) I hung around with whilst growin up were black girls, now women (and I’m not talking about black women that talked, looked and acted a certain way, i.e like me) I’ve had all kinds of black women as friends other the years.

Some of them I never imagined that as adults we would not be close; but don’t get me wrong there were no dramatic fallings out (as depicted by the authors of the black women as friends struggle stories).

No, as one expects the older we got our paths naturally separated (i.e., we went to different secondary schools, different colleges, and different universities. We moved to different areas, we got married, some of us had children, and some travelled the world) we just generally GREW UP.

I stress again there was (is) no beef!  *I was shouting just then* (I am obviously a ‘stereotypical’ black women)😀

Now that is not to say in any friendships there are no disagreements…but I guarantee you in all the friendships I have had with black girls and (now women); there was never any ‘oh she speaks like a white person, she is not black enough, we can’t be friends no more!’

Here’s another thing, I have for the past four (nearly five) years lived and worked in areas were black people are the minority and I can’t say I have noticed a difference in the prevalence of bitchiness in my office or amongst my neighbour’s.

Lets face it women; ALL women bitch, but when I read or see these things I think get a grip; if someone says to you I don’t like you because your not black enough, that person and only THAT PERSON alone is a FOOL (and let me tell you; you never lost out by not being friends with an ignoramus like that) – but please don’t paint me with the same brush; and make videos and posts encouraging an us (none typical black women) and them (all the other black women) mentality – PLEASE I BEG YOU!

Now after all this being said clearly the authors of the black women as friends struggle stories went through something however; I don’t know…

I just have a hard time believing that EVERY single black women (in the land) who did not get on with you (or vice versa YOU did not get on with them) was actually because of the reason’s you think it was (you trying to tell me every black women, really?)… if that makes sense. It could be for a number of other reasons, no?

But I’m open for others opinion’s on this…

So beautiful (black, white, green and yellow) people please share with us your black women as friends struggle stories!

*Disclaimer: ‘One love, one heart, lets get together and feel alright’

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Too Many Cooks Spoil The Broth

Recently I’ve been on the receiving end of some untimely, unsolicited and just downright poor relationship advice from a good friend.

The thing with my friend is her track record in relationships looks more like a pile up on the M25 (just one relationship wreck to the next), but even that’s neither here nor there – you could be in the perfect relationship but the title of the blog still applies to you.

Sometimes you do that don’t you. Your not happy in your own situation, not content with your own relationship so all manner of displacement occurs.

I knew my friend was displacing when her advice was punctuated with the following statements:
‘I just don’t know, it’s my gut feeling’
‘I just don’t trust men’
‘I know men more than you’

It floored me a little you know and I’m a factual person, I don’t have much time for fiction particularly someone else’s.

I had to ask what are the facts? She could not produce any.
But yet she was advising me to be in a state of perpetual fear within my relationship.
I did not want to do that. But good damn it her ‘gut’ made her quite insistent: ‘Just be vigilant’

Now I definitely believe in life there are times you have to follow your ‘gut’.
However when soliciting untimely, unwanted relationship advice to someone else about THEIR relationship is not one of those times.

I mean how can you present someone with something (advice) based on nothing? (your gut); and even if you do have something (or there is something in it) it does not automatically mean you have the right to voice it.

A number of years ago Thebdss ladies told me that a few years before; they saw someone who I was in a relationship with; displaying PDA with someone else.

Of course a part of me thought ‘why didn’t tell you me at the time’ but another part of me was glad they didn’t.

You see it came out in it’s own time in the end; plus I can only imagine how awkward it would have been for them as my friends to keep that from me; knowing that to reveal it would have devastated me; and also you never know maybe even devastated the friendship.

I mean would I have believed them or ignored them? It’s hard to say. If I believed them may be I would have also resented being told because it would have discolored my then rose tinted glasses?

Sometimes even if as a friend you can clearly see something within another persons relationship is not right you don’t have the right to say it (unless an emotionally or physical abusive situation).

Sometimes people have to figure things out for themselves. Who knows they may already know deep down the things that you as an outsider have already figured out however; a part of being a good friend is allowing them to take their own time and go through their own process in order to come out the other side.

My policy is if you ask I will tell you honestly. Other than that I don’t go fishing or offering unsolicited advice.

With that being said we all know those people (we do it ourselves) who sometimes when they ask your advice; what they are really doing is trying to get you to agree with what their plan of action is.

They are telling you what their going to do but disguising it as a what do you think?

In those situations you give your honest opinion, they justify their stand point and you agree to disagree and (watch the wreck ensue) move on!

The difference between those people who offer advice based on their gut versus say someone who has ‘facts’ (maybe even facts you have given them) is that the gut person usually becomes offended because you don’t agree with their advice.

Well my advice back to my friend was ‘too many cooks spoil the broth!’😀

Anyway good people have you ever been on the receiving end of poor advice? Did you listen? What was the outcome?

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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I’m a sucker for the mood of the nation

Olympic Fever has swept the Nation and The BDSS

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Even when you’re a world class Olympian someone will always find something negative to say so you might as well go ahead and do you!

I know that was some long winded title; but if the whole Gabrielle Douglas winning the gold medal in the individual all-round women’s gymnastics (whilst a few individuals were more concerned with commenting on her hair) demonstrates is that no matter who you are, what you do; no matter how good you are, no matter how successful (world class Olympian and all) someone, somewhere will try and bring you down!

I find it so so sad particularly when the attempt highlights the sheer schopidness (yes I said schopidness!) of the person trying to bring you down!

What the twitter person/s involved in commenting on Gabrielle’s hair (whilst she was busy winning gold and making her way into the history books) should have been commenting on was her hard work, her determination (from a young age), the sacrifices that both she and her family made (living with a host family) in order that she could pursue her dreams.

It just makes you think what is wrong with some people so small/narrow minded and focused on the unimportant things whilst missing the big picture all together.

Generally I stay away from ‘black people’ statements and by black people statements I mean you know sometimes you hear people make sweeping statements about the self hatred, stupidity of black people and I can’t help but think this whole furrow just demonstrates how the stupidity of a few; especially with the advent of social media; shows just how ignorance spreads like wild fire. I mean I watched a film called Contagion the other night and that is what social media reminds me of – just small-minded people spreading poison at times (not everyone)!

But I’m glad to say from the backlash it demonstrates that there is hope; that there are people spreading light and common sense prevailed.

I say congratulations to Gabrielle and all those out there working hard and pursuing their dreams both on a world wide platform or just in day to day life and all those building people up with an encouraging word!
Keep shinning!

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

The first time a person shows you who they are, BELIEVE THEM!

“The first time a person shows you who they are, believe them!”

I saw this Maya Angelou quote and I thought it makes so much sense, as often times  I’ll meet an individual and quite early on suss them out, (I think I am quite good a judge of character) and it’s either all good I get along with a person (I’m also quite an amiable type person) or not all good and I may keep my distance.  The above quote is quite useful in terms of interpersonal relationships with work colleagues, friends, and family etc and by and large in dealing with these people we tend to  accept individuals as they come.

However when it comes to boyfriends, partners, other halfs, whatever you term your man/woman the above reasoning goes completely out the window.

The amount of times one of my female friends will tell me a long winded story about how their “boyfriend” which is used quite often to describe quite weird and wacky ambiguous relationships where you may be sleeping together but you don’t quite know whether your together exclusively or not,  has done or said xyz (often not good things) and end up asking me what a certain behaviour, text or bb message means, is quite perplexing.

Number 1 I think well how am I supposed to know, your the one that knows what this individual is like.

Number 2 commen sense will clearly tell you what it all means.

If someone respects you in your day to day dealings with them you’ll feel respected. If someone loves you, you will feel loved.  And the same is true in reverse if someone acts disrespectfully towards you they lack respect for you and If someone doesn’t love you it shows.

We need to learn to stop seeing what we want to see and believe the truth that is before our eyes.

Occasionally there will be those relationships which we know are completely wrong from the start,  and yet we persevere trying to make it work.  It always gets so far and then it crumbles. But for the duration you know that your excusing behaviours and things that don’t quite add up. Rationalising them as meaning something they don’t and putting up with things  you don’t like.

If your one of these individuals currently trying to rationalise someone’s unacceptable behaviour towards you believe that when a person shows you who they are (the only thing you need to do is) believe them!

And act on this if necessary!

 
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Posted by on April 28, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Dusting off cobwebs…welcome to the new BDSS blog

Welcome to the new and improved BDSS blog

I will say the long gap between this post and the previous one (for me at least) has been a lesson in faith.

Looking back on my life I think I see a pattern of starting things and not seeing them through, or maybe seeing them through but not in a way where I’ve really believed it’s going to work out, hence when the going got tough the blog stopped going.

As those of you who have been faithful followers of the BDSS blog know we are four women with lives lol, raising children, caring for family, working full time, trying to juggle relationships and look fabulous all at the same time! ha ha… blogging at the same time is tough yo (as you dedicated bloggers know). Let alone if you don’t have faith in your abilities to keep things going… so it is with this that I say we are back (for good -lol) faithfully blogging this time.

A wise person once said to me “RFC– Routine, Focus, Consistency, like KFC without the K”  (Yes it was really said like that including the KFC comment).

Going to apply RFC to this here blog.

New post coming in…

 
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Posted by on April 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

Self Destruct Button

We are all prone to pressing the self destruct button from time to time, its part of the normal human condition; and although a lot of people don’t agree with Freud’s Oedipus complex I definitely believe he was onto something when he talked about the different drives. You know the idea we engage in things to bring us back to our non existent state i.e. Death drive (and Life drive…but for the purpose of this post we shall focus on the death drive!) or self destructive behaviour…
For instance I watched the roast of Charlie Sheen the other night and I can’t lie although funny in (small) places I mostly cringed throughout. I cringed No.1 because I was forced to watch it in the first place (too tired to argue over the remote control) and No.2 just the fact that such a smart, intelligent, witty (not forgetting filthy rich) guy is just genuinely f-ed up on drugs, s*x and what ever other vice he has; it was a little sad.
Not to mention Johnny Knoxville with his jokes about what he has put up his arse (Ok so not death inducing but still, why?). Johnny was bleeding by the end of the show, having run into Mick Tyson’s fist. Now let me clarify he did not have a run in with Mike Tyson, no he actually choose to run into Mike Tyson’s fist! *confused face*
*Its may have just been a fake stunt
I digress as Charlie Sheen’s clearly suffers from addiction.
Personally I define self destructive behaviour as engaging in anything which is not conducive of what you actually want
A more clinical definition can be found here (and below):
“Three conceptual models of self-defeating behaviour can be distinguished on the basis of intentionality (desiring and foreseeing harm). In primary self-destruction, the person foresees and desires harm to self; in tradeoffs, the harm is foreseen but not desired; and in counterproductive strategies, the harm is neither foreseen nor desired”
Never is self-destructive behaviour more present than in intimate relationships. We all know that person (or maybe we are/were them) who engages in behaviour, which clearly fall into the self destructive/self-defeating realm of relationship behaviours. Below are a few examples:
The tester… 
I have a friend who is with the sweetest most docile man in the world. He would do anything she asks and my friend knows it. But every now and again she ‘throws a fit’ to “test his love” (her words not mine) and my friend relays her fit throwing stories to me with relish. For instance they were out at a nice restaurant and “he looked at another woman” (her words not mine). Now knowing her and him, I think it is likely he looked in the direction of another women! I don’t think he would dear look at another women when my friend is around ha
You can guess what happened next…a fit! She refused to eat, she sulked, she argued with him – they left in silence and the next day to her delight he was making all the moves to restore peace. In other words he passed her test!  *On that particular occasion*.
Now my friend has readily admitted she knows it bad and her partner has told her so -but still she pushes him away. Repeatedly. What do you think an example of trade off self-destruction?
The self-flagellator…
The other day one of my work colleagues asked me if another work colleague was “back on” with her boyfriend. I told her in all honesty I’m not sure and in fact I have lost track! What I do know is that when my friend is with her boyfriend he induces a rage all consuming that she has said at times she could kill him and vice verse. They go from being loved up to splitting up over alternate weekends. She abuses him; he abuses her (one incident involved actual spitting).
I think it’s safe to say most of us have been a in a relationship like the above where self-flagellation would be less painful. You know one of those relationships where your other half brings out the “crazy” in you (they may be abusive, dismissive or trip any other stress-inducing trigger). 
Is sticking around in a situation which does not bring out your best an example of primary self-destruction? 
The detective… 
This may come as a surprise to you all (I’m hoping because of the cool, collected persona I present here on this blog) but once upon a time, in a relationship far, far, away I was a regular old ‘detective’ i.e., checker of my other half’s mobile phone (in other words a snoop!). This was to ensure myself that my other half was where he said he was going to be, with who he said he was going to be with; and just generally not cheating on me left right and center (my biggest fear after a previous heart break).
Now I know I’m not the first (or the last) to play detective. In fact when talking with a few of my male and female friends the majority of them have admitted playing detective at some point or another in a relationship.
Here is the thing as I said in my own case it was to ensure myself. It had absolutely nothing to do with him. In fact I never ever found what I was looking for (i.e., evidence of bad behaviour) but despite that I still checked it was like setting up for or looking for the demise of my own relationship – a whole heap of conflict! 
But I wonder why do we do it to ourselves or inflict it on others? 
No doubt feelings of worthlessness, lack of self esteem, fear and guilt all play a part in our self destructive behaviours and also historical ideas around our lovability also comes into play.  Sometimes relationships can be tough and when the difficulties seem to much to bear (either mentally or physically) and thereby threatens to throw off our equilibrium it’s no wonder we prefer to reach for the self destruct button instead.
Take the self-flagellator for instances. I think it’s fair to say we our all participants in our lives so I have wondered at times is it possible my friend fears that she is unlovable so hence is creating a situation in which she won’t be loved. The subconscious logic being by staying with a negative partner, she just confirms a deep-held belief that she is not worth healthy, real love perhap?
On a brighter note how do we over come the need to press the destruct button you wonder…

Step 1: No surprise here… Acknowledge it. If you keep doing the same thing (i.e., self flagellator style) and your getting the same results it’s time to admit it’s not working and you maybe flogging a dead horse so to speak!
Step 2: It’s ok you’re normal. We all suffer from the same things that drive self destructive behaviour (or the Freudian death drive!) be it fear, guilt, feelings of worthlessness and lack of self esteem. The difference is some of us are quicker at realizing, acknowledging and letting go; but don’t beat yourself up about mistakes made look to what you can change going forward.
Step 3: Finally don’t act on negative feelings (i.e., the tester and detective style) learn to channel the positive and let go of the negative one day at a time.
So BDSS’ers I know I said lets focus on the positives but can you think of any other self defeating behaviours we engage in whilst in relationships and more importantly can you suggest other strategies to over come them?

 
 
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