Weekly Quote

Stock photo: Sarah Pflug from Burst

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6 Ways to not be Lonely on Thanksgiving

Lonely people dread the holiday season more than any other time of the year. Watching everyone around them connect to those they love makes their own feelings of emotional isolation even more profound. Indeed, the holidays can make loneliness feel especially excruciating.  Guy Winch, Ph.D, Psychology Today

Do you dread this upcoming Thanksgiving? Do you feel especially lonely around this time of the year? Read below for suggestions to help get you through this Thanksgiving without the feelings of loneliness.

Be a host

If you enjoy cooking, why not cook Thanksgiving dinner at your house? You can invite other people who also may not have any plans for Thanksgiving.  If you cannot afford to provide the entire meal, have your guests to bring a dish and make it a potluck. 

stock photo courtesy of Sarah Pflug from Burst

After dinner is over, it will be time to watch football. If you do not want to host Thanksgiving dinner, how about a football watch party? 

If you are not into football, maybe you can invite a group of people over for a game night. There are a ton of games out there such as card games, Scrabble, and Taboo. 

stock photo courtesy of Sarah Pflug from Burst

Visit those who cannot visit others

Do you know of anyone that is sick or shut-in? They would probably be delighted to have a visitor on Thanksgiving. Take them dinner, if they can have it, and sit and visit for a while. 

Enjoy your children or grandchildren

If your children do not reside with you, you can invite them to Thanksgiving dinner at your house or a game night on Thanksgiving night. 

If you have small children, you can make it a memorable holiday for them. You can take them to the movies or to the bowling alley. 

As a young child, I looked forward to Thanksgiving night. This was the night that my mom took my brother and me to see the “Christmas lights”. There was an affluent neighborhood in my city where all the houses had Christmas lights. There would be a line of cars driving slowly through this neighborhood as people in the cars admired the decorations. 

When I had children of my own, I continued the tradition with them.  

The other tradition, in my family, was we put up our Christmas tree on Thanksgiving night. My mom made us hot Dr. Pepper with lemon, and we decorated our Christmas tree. Again, I kept the same tradition going with my own children. 

stock photo courtesy of Sarah Pflung from Burst

If you do not have small children, maybe you can enjoy doing things like this with your grandchildren.

Get out of the House

Some people may choose to volunteer to work on Thanksgiving if they do not have any plans.  Some companies may provide Thanksgiving dinner to the employees working that day. 

If you do not want to work, there are other things that you can do.

If you like to shop, you may want to participate in Black Friday shopping. I believe that Walmart is opening on 6pm on Thanksgiving evening this year.

Check your local newspaper and facebook for events that may be going on in your area. Someone may be hosting a Thanksgiving party at a local venue.  

For the past few years, my children and I have enjoyed going to the local Applebees and having appetizers around 10 or 11pm on Thanksgiving night. You can also do this with a group of friends and at another restaurant that is open on Thanksgiving. You may be surprised who you may see there. I often see former classmates, who have moved away, but are in town for Thanksgiving visiting their families.

Connect with other People

Do you have any friends or family that live in another town? If they do not have any plans, maybe you can travel to where they live and visit with them or you both can travel together to a place that you both want to visit. 

Maybe some of your old friends from school will be in town for Thanksgiving. Reach out to them and invite them to stop by, or maybe they will invite you over to their family’s house. 

Make your own Plans

Even if my ideas do not sound appealing to you, I hope that I have at least helped you to form some ideas of your own. Ultimately, you are responsible for your own happiness, and you must take proactive steps to live your life to the fullest and not wallow in loneliness. Start making plans today to make this Thanksgiving a great Thanksgiving. 

What are your plans for Thanksgiving? What are some other things that people can do in order to avoid being lonely on Thanksgiving?

Tips to Help you if you have a Bad Boss

More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts. Travis Bradberry

Have you ever had a boss who seemed to be the devil himself or the devil’s sister? No matter what you did or how well you did it, it just was not good enough. Did you dread going to work because you knew that you were going to have to deal with this person?

You are not alone.

According to the Harvard Business Review, ”  A study by the American Psychological Association found that 75% of Americans say their “boss is the most stressful part of their workday.”

Here are some tips to help you with your difficult boss:

Take a step back and evaluate yourself

Evaluate yourself to make sure that you are doing your job to the best of your ability. Remember that most managers answer to someone higher in the organization. A manager’s job performance evaluation is highly based on their ability to ensure their subordinates are abiding by company policies and completing their job duties.

If you, as an employee, do not abide by the rules of the company or fail to complete your job duties; you may be causing your boss to stress. This may be the reason for your boss’s behavior.

If you determine that you are not doing your best, change your behavior to see if that helps. Make a conscious effort to abide by the company’s rules. Do your best to complete your job duties.

If you are experiencing obstacles in completing your job duties, speak to your boss about it. A good boss will appreciate your honesty and offer suggestions to help you.


Determine what makes your boss a bad boss

In my situation, I came to the conclusion that my previous boss had an issue with women.

There were other incidents, but the final straw for me occurred one morning prior to our daily meeting. My boss informed me that I had to move to different office immediately. I had to move a lot of heavy items, and he didn’t even offer to help.

Another employee helped me to complete my move in time for me to attend our morning meeting. This boss, who didn’t help me move, yelled at me in front of all of the other employees because I failed to update a board prior to the meeting.

courtesy of Image by ashish choudhary from Pixabay

He knew that I was moving to a new office prior to the meeting that morning, and he knew that I did not have time to update the board before the meeting. I felt disrespected and embarrassed.

Prior to this incident, my boss ran into his office, slammed the door, and drew the blinds when a female supplier came by for a visit. Before I left the company, another female supplier complained that my boss yelled at her.

When I heard that he yelled at someone else of the female persuasion, it was enough to convince me that he had an issue with women.

Just to make sure that I was not misevaluating the situation, I became extremely observant of how he treated his male subordinates.

As you can guess, he never yelled at them in front of others. He spoke calmly to them and called private meetings with them if he was displeased with their behavior.

This list is not all inclusive, but you may have a bad boss if:

  • 1. He or she belittles you or makes you feel disrespected.
  • 2. He or she shows obvious favortism.
  • 3. You receive bad evaluations even though you are abiding by company rules and you are completing your job duties in a timely manner

Take Action

Once you determine that you indeed have a bad boss:

1) Decide if you are actually a victim of something more extreme such as discrimination or harassment.

According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, there are laws that protect employees and job applicants against employment discrimination when it involves:

  • Unfair treatment because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Harassment by managers, co-workers, or others in the workplace, because of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
  • Denial of a reasonable workplace accommodation that the employee needs because of religious beliefs or disability.
  • Retaliation because the employee complained about job discrimination, or assisted with a job discrimination investigation or lawsuit.

If you feel your issue falls into a category of discrimination or harassment, contact the EEOC and they can advise you as to whether you can move forward in filing a claim.

Remember, you must have proof to support your claim. Determine if there are witnesses that will provide statements on your behalf. You may have to begin recording your interactions with your boss in order to gather proof.

2. Review your company’s policies

Review your company’s handbook to see if there are policies or procedures to address your issue.

My current employer has a policy in place that states that all employees will be treated fairly and with respect. This policy outlines the steps that an employee should take if he or she feels they are not being treated fairly or with respect. In addition, the corporate office provides a hotline number for employees to report such issues.

3. Establish if you can address the issue directly with your boss

If you do not feel that your issue falls into the categories of discrimination or harassment, and your company does not have policies in place to address such issues; you may want to try and address the issues directly with your boss. If possible, use your conflict resolution skills to address and resolve your issues directly with your boss.

If you do not feel comfortable in speaking with your boss alone, see if there is another employee that will sit in on the meeting. If there is not another employee that is willing to sit in, you can record the meeting with your boss. To be transparent, you must inform your boss that you are recording the conversation.

4. Report the issue to human resources or someone higher in the organization

If you are not able to address the issue directly with your boss, determine if you can report the issue to someone higher in your organization.

Before you do this, make sure that you have a valid concern and that you can support your claims.

5.Find another job

If all else fails, you may determine that it is best to seek employment elsewhere.

For my own peace of mind, I elected to seek employment elsewhere because there were numerous incidents that occurred. In addition, I felt that my job was in danger.

My insecurity stemmed from the fact that the management at my old job fired an employee when he claimed that a supervisor was picking on him due to his race.

I do not regret leaving my old job behind. I now work for a better company, i have a better boss, and my job is closer to my home.

How did you resolve your issues with your boss? What other advice can you offer to others who are dealing with a bad boss?

Stock Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Henry

4 Things to Know when your Relationship/Marriage Ends

Can you recall a time that your significant other or spouse told you something so devastating that you did not know how to react? My spouse caught me off guard this past week when he informed me that he wanted to see other people. I went through almost the same thing within in my first marriage, and here are 4 things that I learned to help heal my broken heart.

ACCEPTANCE

To me, acceptance is the hardest step. Accepting rejection is hard for anyone, especially if you have years invested in a relationship or marriage. I learned that if a person tells you they no longer want to be with you, it is best to accept what they are telling you.

You are only prolonging the end if you try and change their mind, or if you make them stay when they want out. You only hurt yourself more when you try and hold on when the other person wants to go.

The rope, in the picture, below signifies your relationship or marriage. Imagine all of the energy that you exert when you attempt to pull the other person and the rope(the relationship or marriage) toward you, and the other person is pulling the other way.

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If you are strong enough, there is a chance that you may pull the other person to your side, and the other person may decide to stay in the relationship or marriage. You have a victory, and the prize is a saved relationship or marriage.

However, if they are determined to leave the relationship, they may overpower you and pull you to their side. When this happens, you have fought a good fight; but you see the relationship does need to end.

The other scenario is both of you can continue to pull the rope(the relationship or marriage) in opposite directions. One person pulls one way to end the relationship and the other person pulls the other way to save the relationship. In doing so, you both will exert pressure on the relationship or marriage(the rope). Eventually, the relationship or marriage(the rope) will break on its own.

IT MAY NOT BE ABOUT YOU

Sometimes in seeking closure in a relationship or marriage, you may want to know why the other person has decided to leave. Sometimes, the other person may lead you to believe that you are the reason the relationship or marriage failed. In reality, it may not have anything to do with you.

I am reminded of a movie where a lady was desiring to have children with her husband. The husband kept putting his wife off about having children. He finally told his wife that he did not want to have children with her, because he did not know how much longer they would be married.

Out of hurt and anger, the wife packed her husband’s belongings. She was shocked when he actually moved out. She thought that he would fight for his marriage, and she was very hurt when he did not.

About a year later, the lady saw her now ex-husband in the mall. He was with a much younger lady. As you can guess, the much younger lady was very much pregnant.

When you know that you have given your all to a relationship or marriage, don’t allow the other person to make you feel like you are the reason the relationship or marriage failed. The issues may be bigger than you.

For instance, your significant other or spouse could be dealing with infidelity issues. Also, there could be drug addiction, alcoholism, or gambling issues. Unless you can recognize that these issues are occurring, and be strong enough to work through these issues with your significant other or spouse; there may not be much else that you can do.

Understand that you are not a failure, and it is not your fault.

IT’S OKAY TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE HURT

If you genuinely cared for the other person, you are going to be hurt if the relationship does end. You may even shed some tears. I learned that it is okay to acknowledge that you are hurting.

Maybe, it will help for you to confide how you feel to an understanding friend, relative or someone else that has been through a similar situation. Also, it may be helpful to seek professional counseling.

 Sometimes, a good cry may help you to begin the healing process. Some may feel that crying or acknowledging the hurt is a sign of weakness, however, I see it as way of releasing the hurt and starting the process of healing.

PUT YOUR FOCUS ELSEWHERE

At first, it may be difficult to not dwell on your failed relationship. However, you must put your focus elsewhere.  If you have children, it is important that you still love and nurture them throughout your healing process.

I became a better parent after my first marriage ended. My son and I started enjoying life together. We started having mom/son time. We went out to eat together. We started going to the park on Saturdays to exercise together. He would run and I would walk, but we were still spending time together. 

This is also a time to get involved in other activities. Maybe, you can find a hobby that you enjoy or maybe take a class. After my first marriage ended, I actually started and completed coursework to earn my Master’s degree. That degree opened doors for me to obtain a better paying job and provide more for my son.  This time around, I have other ventures to keep me busy such as an online store and this blog. 

You may be experiencing a difficult time in your life due to an ending relationship or marriage. Be encouraged, this too shall pass. If you have experienced a similar situation, what other advice can you offer to help a person heal from a failed relationship or marriage?

Photo Credit:People photo created by yanalya – www.freepik.com