How To Build Your Self Esteem & Self Confidence

build self confidence and self esteem
build self confidence and self esteem

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Self esteem. Most people don’t know how to build their self esteem and self confidence. And it’s tough, self esteem is kind of an abstract concept. Most people feel like they know what it is but they really don’t. It’s one of those ideals people constantly chase like- purpose, meaning, life, and goodness. Self esteem is probably the most valuable thing you can have and yet so many people don’t posses it.

So what is self esteem? And how do you build your self esteem?

Self esteem, by my definition, is a sense of confidence and belief in oneself that you are a person of value; a person worthy of respect and dignity. That you are a capable and independent person no matter what.

Let’s break down the concept further. What is esteem? What does it mean to hold someone in high esteem? Well, you’ll probably really respect that person, you won’t doubt them in moments when they give you advice and you might even want to be a bit like them. Self esteem is exactly that, but towards yourself.

A lot of people throw around that phrase but don’t really have it in themselves. Often times it’s confused with ego. But self esteem is different than ego. Ego is a version of ourselves that we imagine. Our sense of self. You can have an ego and no self esteem. You can also have self esteem and no ego. You can have both. But they are separate. Like I said, ego is the version of ourselves we imagine and self esteem is the complete respect and belief in oneself.

So what do you need to do in order to build a high self esteem? It’s not as easy as you think:

1) Avoid toxic people
This seems like a given but somehow toxic people tend to slither into our lives. They love to leech off the good energy of people with high self esteem and confidence. Usually in the form of a romantic interest. When you have high self esteem you tend to repel toxic partners (because you know better than to engage them) but when it’s low, the toxics will come in droves. It makes sense to avoid someone who devalues you, doesn’t respect you, pokes at your insecurities and overall is incompatible. Yet so many men and women end up with partners that thrive on keeping their lovers down and out.

By ending relationships that hurt how you see yourself, you are taking the next step to confidence and happiness. Because it’s impossible to be happy when someone you love is hurting you. It just doesn’t work if you want to build your self confidence.

2) Avoid situations that are emotionally harmful

This sort of ties in to topic # 1, if you’re avoiding toxic people you’re essentially avoiding situations that are harmful. But that’s not enough, there are tons of different situations you’ll need to avoid in order to maintain your sense of who you are and your value.

Somehow we’re also drawn to situations that seem either too good to be true or just give us too much hope. Disappointment is a huge reason why people lose their self-esteem. It could be something as easy as wanting a guy/girl to like you and finding out he wants your friend or standing next to your supermodel sister and feeling like the most monstrous person in the world when you’re actually really cute or dating a known player but still hoping you can change him. Or studying with the smartest kid in class, only to be left feeling dumb because you take too long to do the work. These sort of small not so serious situations will peck at your self-esteem and keep you from feeling as confident as you should be.

There’s also the issue with drama. I wish people were logical but we aren’t. We’re drawn to drama because it gives us a thrill or some sort of validation. It’s so important to avoid all drama and disappointment as much as possible and not put yourself in these emotionally charged situations because at the end of it all, the conflict will cause negativity towards yourself.

Think about the last big argument you got into…it wasn’t long until you started doubting yourself and wondering why you’re going through such a hard time. You started to question who you are and your value. The truth is, you can’t always avoid drama but, at the very least, you don’t have to seek it out.

3) Remember your strength

Sometimes when I’m feeling like life is impossible and too hard, I look back at what I’ve accomplished. I think of all the really hard shit I’ve gone through like my battle with achalasia or my unplanned pregnancy or the mold that infested our house. You see, I went through all that and it was stressful but I got through it.

Chances are there are challenges you’ve had to go through too. Remembering those obstacles in your life and drawing on that strength you had to get through them is a huge tool.

Looking at your past moments of perseverance and applying that to your future is one way to build your self esteem. Why shouldn’t you believe in yourself now when you’ve proven yourself capable time and time again? This is an easy way to build your confidence. It’s not really a fake it until you make it sort of self-esteem but more about giving yourself the credit you deserve.

4) Be your own cheerleader
It’s not always going to work out that someone will be rooting you on. In reality, there might be people in your life who are actively trying to tear you down.

Life is rarely perfect in that way and in these times you’ll need to know how to be your own cheerleader and believe in yourself when no one else does.

There was a girl in my high school that was always so negative. She had no knowledge on how to build self confidence. Every conversation I had with her was dreary and self-deprecating. She always complained about how nobody liked her, she was ugly, the teacher didn’t help her, her parents suck, etc. I tried to cheer her up and get her to think about the positives in her life but it never worked. After a while it was too draining and I had to distance myself. It just seemed like she enjoyed her own misery.

The point is to not expect others to lift you up but to do it on your own, even if you have to fake your own happiness for a little while. Self esteem isn’t something that can be built overnight but is something that’s built over time as you start to see yourself as worthy.

That friend, she had terrible self esteem and even though I was a friend who always was positive, it never helped. She needed to see all the positives in herself, for herself.

5) Accept who you are
Don’t be an apple wishing it was a pear, and don’t be a pear wishing it was an apple.

We all have things we wish we could change about ourselves but some of those things are unchangeable.

When I was younger, I used to wish I had lighter skin. Can you really change the color of your skin? Not unless you’re Michael Jackson.

My skin is the color of light milk chocolate and it’s a very nice complexion, but I lived in a neighborhood that was white and Italian so I wanted a fair complexion instead. Over time I learned to really love my skin, it hardly wrinkles and never gets sunburn. Imagine if I dwelled over my darker skin color, how unhappy I would have been?

For things you can’t change, you need to learn to live with it and love it. Your quirks, your imperfections, all of it. Accepting these things about yourself and even loving them will give you the mental room to feel positive about who you are and what you’re all about.

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I think the main point here is that most people aren’t born with a ton of self esteem. I would describe it more like a muscle you need to flex to strengthen.

What benefits are there to build self confidence? Tons, actually! You can finally do all those things you wanted to do in your life but were uncertain you could accomplish. You can ask that cute guy/girl out and not feel like their approval means everything and you can start living on your own terms and no longer feel chained to your insecurities. A person with high self esteem has the ultimate freedom.

So take it one step at a time, little by little your self esteem with find you.

If you like “How To Build Your Self Esteem & Self Confidence” Check Out My Other Posts!

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Is There Such Thing As A Perfect Job?

work culture & perfect job
work culture & perfect job

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It’s pretty much the biggest question I’ve asked my self: is there such thing as a perfect job? But I guess the answer is similar to “Is there such a thing as a perfect partner?” For me, a perfect job would be 3 blocks from my house, not stressful, a great work culture, have a great or easy schedule, pay me a sh*t-ton of money or at least a livable amount and have cool colleagues who are also my best friend.

Is that really achievable?

Possibly… maybe for the top 1% of people. It also depends on how much schooling you put in. I always thought that a $100k college price-tag only made sense for people who were going to make $250K and up, like doctors and elite lawyers. My sister is an MD and only works 32 hours a week and pretty much has it easy in that regard. I would hope that if you spent a hefty amount on college, you could at least get it back in a cushy job.

I spent much of my early 20s searching aimlessly for it. My first job after college was as a purchaser for this really sketchy beauty/perfume/wholesale goods distributor. I made $2000 a month, not much to work with but I got by. What I really wanted was experience and a way to figure out my true interest. As you might have guessed, it was NOT my perfect job.

It was a COMPLETE shit show of a job. Basically, just a rich middle eastern guy opening up his shop in NYC with no idea on how to run a business in America. There was no training, compensation was shit, and the job just didn’t make sense. AT ALL. At 22 years old I was supposed to call big brand companies and convince them to sell their products to us as a brick and mortar store (which we were not) then we would resell the products wholesale to other countries. At the times, I wasn’t sure if I was doing something illegal, after all we were lying to these companies saying we were selling in the US when we weren’t.

But I did learn a lot of lessons about work culture and what to expect in a job:

Some jobs are bullshit. Like, where no one knows what they’re doing or how they’ll accomplish company goals and employees are just scrapping along. This was that bullshit job.
Not all companies are well managed or care for their employees. I had absolutely no benefits or much time off. There was no goals or standards set. It was just,”do this,” “do that,” “get this done.”
Bad jobs are just so much better when you’re working with a friend. After a while the work culture just got too stressful and I brought in my friend to work with me. It was fun, even if the job wasn’t perfect.

I ended up getting my real estate license shortly after. I realized that the employment aspect of having to work for someone else, for example being told what to do and not having control over the ideas or the direction of the company, really got under my skin.

I ended up working as a junior real estate agent after that.

But this job ended up having another set of problems. I was essentially an entrepreneur as a real estate salesperson but I had no idea how to get clients or close them or even how to manage my day since it was unstructured. Because I was unexperienced, I had to take an apprenticeship as a junior agent under a more experienced agent. This was a great stepping stone but I basically worked for free for a few months. The commission structure was predatory and I was making a slice out of a slice of someone’s pie.

Here I learned:

-When it comes to money, people are sharks, they are relentless, they will throw you under the bus, and do whatever it takes to save a few dollars. It amazed me that these clients who made a six figure income and more could be so stingy with their time and money. I could literally lose a deal (my little commission) over a $100 misunderstanding.
-That finding a mentor is hard. As a junior agent, my mentor was only concerned about making money for himself, not necessarily about helping me grow professionally.
-That being self employed makes you a slave to the clients who can demand you provide your services to them at odd hours, reduce your rate and determine your schedule. I was showing apartments in the evening after their work hours and on weekends. I had to move my schedule around constantly. Clients would try to pit agents against each other over fee costs. Long-term it kind of sucked.

After that I became pregnant and needed to take some time off. That’s a whole different story, but after giving birth I had to quickly get back to work in order to avoid financial ruin.

This next job was a godsend. It was near perfect. It paid well (more than it should). It was a luxury experience, the office was beautiful and had water, candies, snacks and coffee for us. My colleagues were great and promoted a positive work culture. I was just the receptionist but the job was easy, pleasant and without major responsibilities. My favorite job ever! And my colleagues were awesome, we really were able to work well together and build a long term friendship. Life was good. But this was a contract position so it was a project that had an end date.

Here I learned:

That good jobs where you are happy and not being preyed on exist.
That the job landscape can change. When the contract ended, I was out of a job and had to figure out “what’s next.” And to be honest, I never found such a high paying job with low stress again after that. It was a unicorn.

After, I decided to be a real estate agent again. But on my own, without a mentor and without being someone’s junior agent. I ended up joining a brokerage I liked and starting my business. I was successful at the end of 2 years with referral business and finally knowing how to be my own boss.

But then my husband lost his job and another more stable employment opportunity came up.

But in those 2 years working for myself and building a business, I learned:

-Working for yourself is awesome if you’re successful but it still has its financial challenges. Money would be tight one month and flow the next. It was so inconsistent and hard to budget. There were no benefits like PTO or even insurance. I was 100% on my own for those things. Clients were still shitty at times and there was no recourse for when I was treated badly.
-Your job doesn’t always flow with your life. In the end, I had to walk away from opportunities because after my husband lost his job I needed to take something more stable with benefits. Because of life changes I had to cut my potential. Who knows, I might have been the next millionaire broker, but I never got the chance.

Finally, I settled to where I am now, a corporate company. 10 years in the professional workforce, I’ve kind of come to the conclusion that the perfect job doesn’t exist, not for me and probably not for anyone. Right now, I’ve been going through some problems of not liking my coworkers, toxic corporate culture, dealing with an unfair sales environment (most of them are), and a terrible long commute.

And yet, 10 years ago this would have been my dream job. I’m paid a livable wage, an array of benefits at low cost, a job that’s somewhat “luxury” with the kind of clientele I service and steady hours. And yet I’m still not 100% happy.

Now I’ve learned to work with what you’ve got but, at the same time, aspire for something more. The truth is if I settled on my job and that bad work culture, I would have been stuck at that sketchy office as a purchaser.

So I take it for what it is. I’m finally somewhere I can stay for a while, and though it’s not the perfect job, it’s the perfect job for right now.

Check out my other posts!

How to Job Hop Successfully

Why Corporate America Is A Necessary Evil

How To Interview Well: Tips & Tricks For The Perfect Interview

How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier

How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier
How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier

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I’ve been guilty of it, subtly putting someone down, nitpicking flaws, needing to have the last word as a futile effort to be “right.” It’s true, I have moments where I’m the asshole and most of the time I don’t mean to be…it just sort of happens. But I’m working on it. I really want to learn how to stop being so petty and learn to be happier.

According to Urban Dictionary (my main source of definitions for modern day lingo), petty means:

1)making things, events, or actions normal people dismiss as trivial or insignificant into excuses to be upset, uncooperative, childish, or stubborn.
2)A person who habitually overreacts.
3)A person who is purposefully childish with the intent of illiciting a reaction.
4)An immature over reaction in retaliation of an undesired outcome.

You get the picture, basically an asshole. Most of the time, I don’t mean to be this way, it’s usually a response to other people’s asshole behavior.

I think most of us are petty in our own ways. At work I often find myself absorbing other people’s negativity and then giving it back in petty, unwarranted comments. Life is so stressful, sometimes my capacity for stress bubbles over in pettiness. I need to really learn how to be happier and not so petty.

Here are some of the ways that pettiness can show itself:

1) Needing to get the last word

Have you ever spoken to someone or gotten into an argument and the other person always had a biting comment back? You might correct them or clarify politely and you’re met with a derisive unnecessary comment that really didn’t do much but get under your skin. With people who are petty in this way, you can almost always guarantee that there’s a biting comment around the corner, usually it’s something to put you down or or point fingers at you for some wrong doing. It looks like this:

“Marsha, can you please wash the dishes tonight. I feel so tired.”
“Of course I’ll do the dishes Jenna, it’s not like I have anything better to do than to clean up after you.”

Of course Marsha, is being a petty b*tch about washing dishes. She could have either said “yes” or “no, sorry I can’t,” but she had to give this underhanded comment that was totally unnecessary.

3) Nitpicking

Nitpicking is an obvious one, and kind of piggybacks on needing to get the last word. It’s a way of picking at someone’s flaws until they have nothing left but bareboned insecurity. People who have experienced nitpicking tend to feel very insecure around the person being petty, it often feels like they’re walking on eggshells.

I used to have a friend, honestly she was more of a frenemy, she would always make fun of little things “jokingly.” It was pervasive from what I wore, to how I ate, to what I said. She always said it in front of other people so they could get in on the “joke.” Little things like, “why are you wearing that, it’s too hot, you never know how to dress for the weather,” or “you eat too slow, everyone always has to wait on you,” or “look how forgetful Alex is”, she always needs to be reminded of when the test is.” After a while those kind of comments tend to strip you bare and leave you feeling like you’re nothing. It’s so much harder to learn to be happier, when someone is reminding you of all the ways you suck.

3) Superiority complex
I’ve seen this happen at work more so than anywhere else. Especially with bosses or more seasoned colleagues. Somehow the status of being more seasoned or a manager makes people petty as f*ck. These people are always reminding you that you are beneath them. Whether that’s objectively true or not, it doesn’t matter.

People who suffer from this type of pettiness rely on belittling you so that they always feel in control. They NEED you to feel like you’re beneath them so they can feel superior.

5. Stubbornness
I’ve been very guilty of this one. I can be intensely stubborn. ESPECIALLY when I feel like I want to have something my way. If I’m not getting my way, then I’ll go out of my way to be stubborn over the smallest thing just to give the other person some hell. Sure, I could compromise and meet in the middle, but then I’d have no leverage for what I really want. By being extra stubborn, in some ways, it gives me some wiggle room to negotiate something else. A “tit for tat” kind of deal.

This is actually a VERY immature way of negotiating and handling disagreements but who said I was mature? Being overly stubborn is a way that some petty people (me) passively can get what they want or get their revenge.

Here are the ways you can stop being petty:

1) Be the bigger person

Pride is a hard thing to swallow and at the root of all pettiness is a sense of pride. Pettiness finds a way to “one up” someone. By being a person that is above all that, it just proves you’re an emotionally mature person that doesn’t stoop to other people’s pettiness.

Trust me, I know how satisfying pettiness can be, especially when someone is being rude to you first. At the end of the day, holding your head up high and not lowering yourself to other petty peoples’ level will give you a sense of self confidence, assurance and petty-free pride.

2) Meditate

Sometimes you just need to take a step back from the situation. Meditation, prayer or whatever you want to call it on a daily basis will help calm your nerves and give you perspective on what’s important in life- and it’s definitely not pettiness. Life is about how to learn to be happier with yourself.

Next time someone gets under your skin, you’ll be able to have the calm clarity that it’s just not worth it and let their annoying-ness roll right off.

Even if you’re in the heat of the moment and someone is being totally obnoxious, it doesn’t hurt to take a few moments to breathe before giving a petty comeback. In those few seconds, you might be able to come to the conclusion that your petty comeback doesn’t do sh*t to resolve to conflict and actually adds fuel to the fire.

So take a moment, not everyone deserves your reaction, so stop being so petty.

3) Talk out your issues

Other times people might just get on your nerves and not even KNOW it, and if you don’t speak up but just jump to pettiness, you’re going to give the wrong impression. This is the way many communication issues arise. Someone says something rude and annoying, they’re unknowingly doing it and you just get triggered.

The key here is to talk it out. Mention that the behavior that triggers you is not ok and why you feel that way. Really make an effort to explain yourself. Some people will understand and stop triggering you and stop unknowingly annoying you. Others will scoff and say, “Oh, stop being so sensitive. It was only a joke.”

To those scoffing assholes, bring on the pettiness. It’s ok, as long as you gave them the warning not to trigger you. *wink*

4)Avoid your triggers

And if all else fails and you can’t get those annoying rude people to leave you alone despite telling them, you should probably just avoid them. That’s probably the easiest way on how to stop being petty and learn to be happier. Most of the time pettiness brings negativity into your life so half the time it’s not worth the effort.

Avoid the assholes and the people who are rude and crass. Avoid people who don’t respect boundaries and are just trying to get a rise out of you.

I’m a true believer in karma and bringing positive people into your life through positivity. So avoiding and cutting out people who don’t treat you the way you deserve and only bring out your ugly side sounds like a plan.

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If you like “How To Stop Being Petty & Learn To Be Happier” Check out these other posts:

How To Be Successful & Be Happy

How To Care Less & Not Care About What People Think

The Power Of Positivity: Live The Good Life

Should You Go To College? Is A Good College Degree Enough?

Should you go to college? good college degree
Should you go to college? good college degree

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Ten years ago, no one would have asked this question of “should you go to college?,” the idea of not getting a college education seemed ludicrous. But recently, many disadvantages of going to college have come to light and it has everyone questioning, “is it really necessary? And a good college degree worth the money?”

I graduated high school in 2007, when prosperity was flowing and the economy booming. As young high school graduates we were all excited to start our college careers. My last year of high school was devoted to college applications, college tours and college nights where we would be courted by local universities. It all seemed so exciting. Here I was, about to embark on this new adventure. I imagined that my college would literally hand me a job after and that I’d be pretty much set for life after that. Honestly, I don’t know why I made that assumption, maybe it was all the statistics the colleges threw at me, but I really did believe that.

And I think a majority of us believed it, 90% of my class went on to get a higher education and the rest either joined the military or picked up a trade.

I didn’t have much debt after undergrad, it was law school that put me WAYY under. It was the one year I took but couldn’t finish. But we all make mistakes. Whether you go to college or not is a personal and financial decision that only YOU can consider and answer.

Here are my thoughts on why you should go to college:

Your parents are footing a majority of the bill. Or you have a scholarship equal to 50% or more.

College is freaking expensive. A lot of private universities cost $30K annually or more, not including housing, food and books. Certain schools will give really good scholarships if you’re in the top 20% of your class. If you were blessed enough to get a partial (50% or better) or full scholarship, I’d say that the benefits of the college degree beats the cost. If your parents are able to cover at least 50% of the costs then I’d say go for it as well.

Most white collar jobs want a college graduate and even if you get a degree in basketweaving, most basic positions require a degree. And if you’re able to get a degree cheap from either your parent’s support or from a scholarship, I’d say the risk is minimized enough to guarantee reward.

You got into a really good college program

At my university there were certain programs that were really competitive. It was the pharmacy and physician’s assistant programs but at some universities it might be nursing, finance or mathematics.

If you get into a reputable program in a high paying field it might be worth taking on the loans as long as you have a plan to pay it back. Don’t go taking out huge loans for a degree in the arts or humanitarian sciences. That’s just a joke.

You plan to make sacrifices to pay for your schooling

It’s not for everyone but even a high cost school can be manageable if you make some lifestyle changes.

I read somewhere that there was this guy that was able to come out of his Ivy League university education with only 10K in debt. You know what he did? He made a home out of his van and lived there, then he showered at the school gym. He also worked weekends to make ends meet.

Now most likely you don’t have to go so far, but little changes like going to a community college and then transferring out to a better school or living with your parents from 18-22 years of age can really save you a lot of money.

Here are reasons you should not go to college

You Just Want To Party

Some people from my high school went to party schools. They studied humanities or liberal arts but what they really majored in was how to party. I don’t know about you but $30K annually is a LOT of money to just party. I actually partied a bit during my college years but I also took my education seriously. There were some friends of mine who took their party hard college career very seriously.

A lot of people believe that the sorority/fraternity party experience is an essential part of college. Puking on the lawn, wild sexy nights with hot students, and drugs and alcohol are a huge part of that culture. I remember being brainwashed about the importance of partying in college. Movies like Van Wilder, American Pie and Road Trip were some of my favorite movies that supported that belief, but some of us took the college partying lifestyle to heart. The truth is, $30K is WAYYYYY too much to spend to just get wasted. And if you think you can drink like a rockstar AND get good grades, you’re just kidding yourself.

You don’t want to go or don’t know what you want to do with your life

I always thought it was crazy and kind of sick that our society expects 18 year olds to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives. I remember being in my junior and senior year of high school and everyone asking me, “What are you going to major in?” It’s like how the hell am I supposed to know? How am I supposed to decide on a major when I have literally NO real life experience? At times it felt like I was taking a stab in the dark. One month I’d be sold on psychology, next journalism, then legal studies.

My advice to young adults graduating high school today is if you don’t know what you want to do and have no clue, take a year off. Don’t go to college. Try your hand at different industries. Figure it out.

You don’t have to go to college right away. You can take a year to decipher your interests. That would be better than taking another year at college because you can’t decide on a major and finding yourself wasting money on prerequisites that you didn’t need for a major that you thought you wanted.

I had an old roommate, she graduated in teaching and then decided to transfer to another private school in the city ($$$) and dorm in the city ($$$$) for another degree in liberal arts (????). Well guess what! Now she has two low paying degrees and tons and tons of loans tied to her. She’s a slave to her degrees now.

So think about what you want to do, don’t just float around taking loans hoping against the odds you can pay them off easily with lackluster degrees.

You aren’t good at school

The truth is that there are a lot of people who just aren’t good at school. Like, it’s just not for them for whatever reason, whether it’s not having the motivation to study, not knowing what you’re supposed to do or not wanting to get into debt.

That’s totally fine. I don’t think our society values people who choose not to get a college degree enough. Actually there a ton of things you can do without a college degree.

-Join the military: here you can learn different trades or build a military career that is equivalent or better than a college degree

-learn a trade: plumbing, cosmetology, cooking, electrician, bookkeeping, hvac technician, mechanic etc. A lot of these are really well paying and if you’re able to get a jump on a trade early and without debt, chances are you’ll be just as well off as someone who went to college.

You’re a hustler

Become an entrepreneur. If you think of how much in loans you need to take out for college as well as the high interest rate and then you put that money towards a business endeavor and put as many hours into it as you would college, I guarantee you’ll have a successful
business at the end of 4 years.

Of course this isn’t for everyone but if you have a motivated and competitive personality, college isn’t the only option for you. Most people consider a business as a gamble, since it can fail, but isn’t college a gamble too? Especially since you’re not guaranteed a great job at the end… think about that.
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So there you have it, all the reasons you should or shouldn’t go to college. Hopefully you can take my advice to heart. I wish I had someone in my life who could kind of shake me and help me make these kind of decisions about my education, career and finances, because going to college on a loan is a big deal.

Unfortunately my guidance counselor didn’t do shit for me at the time. They were more motivated to get as many kids into college, since that determined the school’s success rate, than finding the right path for students. And my parents were just as brainwashed as me into believing that college was worth it no matter what the cost.

So hopefully you can take this advice and use it to better yourself, figure out your path and make the best financial decision about your career, happiness and life.

If you like “Should You Go To College? Is A Good College Degree Enough,” check out my other posts

How To Live With Student Loans & Pay Them Off Faster

How To Be Successful & Be Happy

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Why Men Won’t Commit & Relationship Mistakes

Why He Won't Commit & Relationship Mistakes
Why He Won’t Commit & Relationship Mistakes

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I always imagined that I would marry a man who was tall, dark and handsome, who was obsessed with me and adored me. It was a very immature kind of fantasy because relationships are complex and to expect your partner to always be available and tend to you hand and foot is actually kind of selfish. But that was what I believed for the longest. Little did I know that women everywhere were asking why men won’t commit and trying to solve their relationship mistakes.

What I did get was a husband who pulled his weight, loved our kids and one who shared his hobbies and interests with me. What more can I ask for, really? So far it seems, I already crossed the threshold of what a positive relationship is supposed to look like.

But every time I met up with my friends, I began to realize that my experience with my husband was not the norm. You see, a LOT of my friends were falling into the trap of not getting the commitment they wanted out of a relationship. And some of them weren’t getting the respect that they wanted either. And to be honest, I’ve been hearing this story over and over. It has me wondering WHY, why are all these men not committing? Has our generation really fallen off in terms of a traditional family? What relationship mistakes are we making? Does it have to do with age? What IS it?

I heard it over and over again, the same trope of my friends dating this guy for years and years, falling in love and then falling on their asses once the guy turns stale or when my friend breaks up with them because their partner can’t take the next step.

I was just at a bridal shower last weekend and I was the ONLY one already married. I’m 30. In fact, most the women there were single and most of them left wondering why men won’t commit.

Across from me at my table was Rachel, she was tall, slender with a great figure and pretty blue eyes with flawless skin. She couldn’t have been older than 26, so when she told me she was 31, my jaw dropped. She was also a self sufficient independent woman who started her career as a dentist.

Somehow we got into the conversation of her last relationship mistakes. She had been dating her ex boyfriend since she was 25. She told me that she was hesitant to continue the relationship without a proposal; he was moving to Michigan to continue his dentistry residency.

Despite her reservations, she paid all the licensing fees so she can move to Michigan and start her career there. And then she booked a one way ticket to be with her boyfriend.

Literally the week that she had to move, he TEXTED her and told her “I don’t see myself as being happy with you.”

Like, DAMN. He really just did that to her. My other friend Mariana shook her head and said “If that was me, I’d make him pay for all my expenses.”

This girl was seeing a therapist, that’s how devastated she was.

My older sister had a similar story to this, only her story involved her partner getting mixed up with cocaine and hookers.

What were these women doing wrong, what relationship mistakes were they making? Honestly…all they wanted was for someone to be by their side at the end of it all.

As I listened to their stories I just nodded in agreement. I’ve been there and done that with my Husband. He wasn’t easy to wrangle in either. But I did notice a sort of trend with the behavior of these women and I began to realize, even though what had happened to them was TERRIBLE, to some degree, they also played a role in how things transpired.

Here are my thoughts on why men don’t commit and some huge relationship mistakes women make:

1)He doesn’t owe you shit

I repeat HE DOESN’T OWE YOU SHIT. A lot of women kind of have it in their heads, if they bend over backwards for their man, if they show them that they are *special* and willing to do anything for their man, that the guy will see that. Then he’ll reward them for their hard work with his commitment, love and respect.

In an ideal world, yes, but this is the real world and in the real world when people get things for free or at a discount, they usually think nothing of it.

In fact, it’s his right to be able to leave a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship without any repercussions. After all, this isn’t a MARRIAGE, you know, a binding social contract that could have huge ramifications if you break it.

So why Rachel thought that after 6 years she had any way of getting back her losses from her boyfriend was beyond me. Or why any of my friends at the bridal shower thought that.

A boyfriend/girlfriend relationship is pretty much worth nothing. It’s all good and dandy in high school when in life isn’t serious but once you reach a certain age, ie. 23 and older, you need to set your mind on something that is more long term and stable. The main purpose is to vet someone to see if they are marriage worthy. This boyfriend/girlfriend vetting period now goes on for years, sometimes without any thought or discussion about what the next step might be.

So without marriage, the guy doesn’t owe you shit and you don’t owe him shit. So don’t expect marriage privileges in what is really a paper thin social arrangement.

2)Why would he change what he’s doing when he’s getting what he wants

Once Rachel said, “I didn’t want to move without an engagement..” and then proceeded to tell us how she made plans to move to Michigan without an engagement, that was enough to tell the whole story of what went wrong what relationship mistakes she made.

She was bending over backwards for him.

Now, a lot of women do this. They think “if I give, then I’ll get. I mean, it’s only fair..”

Wrong. If you give, you’ll keep on giving. Men are a bit different from women in this way. They have been raised from infancy to test their boundaries and to win. They’ve learned this mainly from sports and being around other boys.

There is absolutely no incentive for Rachel’s boyfriend to propose after getting her to move over there. And the fact that he broke up with her after she made plans for him like that, shows he didn’t think she would actually do it and he didn’t want her to make the move for him.

If Rachel was willing to make such a drastic change in her life without getting what she wanted, just imagine all the other ways she was compromising in her relationship without getting anything back.

In this situation, Rachel was settling and her boyfriend knew she was settling and no longer a challenge for him. In fact, he had no reason to change his behavior when he was getting exactly what he wanted. So of course men won’t commit!

3)You’re telling him what you’re worth

Your behavior tells him what you’re worth.

When a guy is ignoring you or yelling at you or cheating on you, and you do absolutely NOTHING about it other than maybe yell and scream at him, it tells him that you accept the behavior.

Look back to the beginning of your relationship when things were rosy and nice, and he was oh so respectful. You just yearn for that part of the relationship, don’t you?

Of course he was treating you nice and great during the honeymoon phase of the relationship; he didn’t know you that well yet. In his mind, you would leave him in disgust if you found out about his dark gambling addiction or if you found out he still had nudes of his ex on his phone. So he made sure to be on his best behavior and acted as the perfect boyfriend. This kept him on his toes.

But, as time went on, some of his bad behavior began to come out into the open and now he knows you know about them. But despite your reservations, he knows that you’re not going to do a goddamn thing. He’ll get the same nagging and annoying conversation he’s used to getting from his Mom about cleaning his room but now it’s his girlfriend with some other silly problem he can’t be bothered with. He’ll agree with you and with wave his hand to shoo you away while he promises to change.

And guess what?

He doesn’t change. Because you’ve already established that you will accept this but with additional negative nagging. And as a result, in his eyes, your worth has been lowered. You’re no longer someone he needs to impress or protect since you’ve already settled for his shit with little to no resistance.

4)You didn’t establish yourself as a valuable woman

A lot of women make the mistake of confusing their value with having good looks.

“If only I was prettier…he wouldn’t treat me this way.”

Honey, pretty girls, models etc. have their own set of boy troubles. They have very similar problems to you. And if a prettier girl was letting a guy treat her they way that you let your boyfriend treat you, trust me, she would have the same problems as you.

In reality, it’s your lack of boundaries that is permitting your issues in your relationship and causing men not to commit.

In addition to the nagging, yelling and crying, you’ve also let a whole bunch of things you normally enjoyed doing fly out the window because they inconvenienced your partner. These are huge relationship mistakes.

Women have a tendency to merge with their partner and start getting rid of things they enjoy or taking on their partner’s slack.

You might see your boyfriends apartment, messy and unorganized and feel the need to take care of his living space for him because he will value your “domestic skills” and his space drives you crazy. What you’re really doing is teaching him that you will be his personal maid rather than someone he needs to impress and clean up after himself for. And honestly, if your partner isn’t your husband, a person who’s made a huge commitment towards you, you shouldn’t be cleaning up after him. EVER. As my father always said, “Why buy the cow when the milk’s for free?” Why give wifey treatment when you’re not his wife?

He might critique a dress you’ve always loved wearing, saying it’s “too short.” So you stop wearing the dress because it gets too much male attention while you’re out with your partner and he gets insecure.

B*tch! What are you doing! You are definitely not establishing value by dressing down and changing your tastes because your boyfriend says so. In fact, you’re allowing your boyfriend to establish your value FOR YOU. This is probably one of the bigger relationship mistakes to make.

Overall, comparing yourself to other women, doing things for your partner he should be able to do for himself and letting him determine what you’re doing and wearing lowers your value in his eyes and that’s why men won’t commit. When you’re “under his thumb” there’s little incentive to put the extra effort with romantic gestures.

5)You didn’t walk away sooner

Breaking up is hard. No one ever wants to break up. The truth is that walking away can result in either him getting his stuff together and doing what it takes to keep you or letting you go because the relationship has met its true end.

Even when a relationship is totally expired, I’ve met some women who find it hard to let go of the partner they’ve come to lose respect for or even hate.

There’s the “sunk cost fallacy” type thinking. The belief you need to carry on because you’ve already invested too much in a relationship. The fear is that all the time and money put into it will fly out the window by leaving and that there is still hope you can still turn things around despite historic failures. Women need to let go of their “hopium” and check into reality and that is, if you aren’t getting what you want out of your relationship and you’ve communicated that more than once and there’s STILL no change, it’s time to cut loose.

Once it’s clear that the relationship will not be getting better, it’s time to take a proactive approach and stop wasting time.

If Rachel had only broken up with her boyfriend when she realized he had commitment problems, she wouldn’t have had to waste a full 7 years chasing a man she had no future with. And she would have been able to seek other opportunities in the time she had lost instead of wondering why men won’t commit.

But hindsight is usually 20/20.
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In today’s day and age, most men won’t commit. And finding one of those unicorn men who are respectful and commitment minded gets harder with each passing year. The most important thing is to take your time getting to know potential suitors, to set boundaries as issues come up and cut them loose as soon as it’s clear it’s not working out.

If I had to answer why men aren’t commiting to their partners, my answer would be that guys just aren’t incentivized to do so. We live in a culture where sex is free and easy. Where it’s available at the click of a button (porn and hookup apps) and where women are forced to compete with each other in this highly sexualized society. So women end up settling for less, taking bad behavior and turning a blind eye and not setting standards at all.

Change the culture, you’ll change society. Change society and you’ll change the minds and hearts of men. But for now, we need to set our standards higher that before, only then can we find our perfect partner.

If you like Why Men Won’t Commit & Relationship Mistakes, check out my other posts!

Single Vs Relationship: Which Is Better?

Why Dating Apps Suck

Dear Single Friends, This Is Why You’re Still Single. Love, Your Married Friend.