How Bachelor in Paradise Reinforces That Verbal Abuse Isn't Okay

How Bachelor in Paradise Reinforces That Verbal Abuse Isn't Okay

You are more important than the person trying to bring you down.
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I've written once about the Bachelor franchise and my opinions, but rarely have I ever praised them.

On this past week's Bachelor in Paradise, they show a couple's "most heartbreaking fight."

Derek and Taylor are Bachelor nation fans' favorite because of their quick love and also because they seem to be the only couple who isn't playing games with each other (Dean).

Taylor and Derek start a discussion about their relationship. Taylor tells Derek that he's not the man she would have pictured herself with, but she really likes him, however, there are things that he needs to work on, like any relationship. Well, Derek only hears the part where she says he's not the man she would have pictured herself with and responds with "Fuck you."

Taylor is triggered by this (like actually triggered, not the new millennial definition) and it causes a riff in their relationship. Later on, viewers find out that Taylor was verbally abused in her past relationships and that type of language is a trigger for her. This issue is later resolved with Derek apologizing for crossing her boundaries and Taylor apologizing for how she phrased things.

They teach an important lesson that not enough TV shows discuss. Verbal abuse and triggers aren't a laughing matter. Language like that shouldn't be used and people need to respect other's boundaries and past experiences.

My dear, brilliant friend, Grace Sallee, recently wrote about toxic relationships. She writes that "It’s okay to walk away from toxic people. It’s okay to let go of people. It’s hard, I get that. Once you have a close connection with someone, you deal with the good and the bad, but sometimes the bad begins to harm you."

If you are like Taylor and your past relationships has verbally abused you or things have just taken a wrong turn, I want you to know that you deserve more than that. You deserve the world and someone to make you feel safe. You deserve to have a Derek who apologizes and a relationship where you can talk about triggers and boundaries.

In today's society, all people want is to fit in and feel secure. You deserve that security.

I hope you have friends that can lift you up or you believe in a God that can lift you up so that you are able to lift yourself up and take control.

You are more important than the person trying to bring you down.

(So Taylor and Derek, thank you for reminding me of an important lesson about my self-worth, the importance of feeling safe, and the importance of speaking up.)

Cover Image Credit: Wordpress

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No, You Aren't Wrong. You Should Call Out People On Their Bad Behaviors

If someone has to be the bad guy, at least know how to do it correctly.
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I'm often seen as the motherly friend due to my age, life experience, and chosen profession which fundamentally requires you to be a caring person by nature.

I give a lot of advice and I listen to a lot of problems, most of which I'm able to put some contribution in to help my friends solve their issues. I am frequently asked a similar question over and over again.

"This person is doing this. Do I call them out on it?"

Confrontations happen every day in classrooms, on the job, in dorms, with coworkers, in apartments, in families, and with friends. Sooner or later, you will have to confront someone and you're going to have to know how to do it correctly.

I had a friend, Christiana, who came to me with this very question. In her instance, a classmate who had exhibited poor behavior over the semester came into class one day only to pick an argument with the professor. The argument was purely centered around ignorance on the student's side and they refused to accept the answer the professor was providing, even though it was the correct one.

This whole incident ended up taking a large amount of learning time away from the whole class and could have easily been avoided if the student had done a basic amount of research. When Christiana told me about this, she also added: "I want to tell her I didn't appreciate how she acted, but I don't know how."

This is what I call "the call out conundrum."

You KNOW a person is wrong but you don't want to seem confrontational or rude.

Here's the thing, you won't. At least you won't later on.

In Christiana's case, she had every right to confront the student and call them out on their behavior because she's a student at this university and she paid to be in that room so she could learn. The professor's salary is paid regardless so they didn't have anything to lose, but she did.

No one likes confrontation. It's uncomfortable and often breeds hostility and an over-exaggerated reaction from the people you did confront. But there's one great benefit to doing it.

If you call someone out, they can no longer plead ignorance.

Meaning, if you tell a person straight to their face: "Hey, I didn't like the way you acted/spoke/inferred something. It wasn't right for you to do." then that person can no longer claim they didn't know their actions are wrong.

Yes, it's 2018 and we still have people who live in such an ignorant bubble that they believe everything they've done is the right thing until someone directly tells them that it was wrong. Yeah, these people exist.

By calling them out once on their behavior, they can no longer say they didn't know any better because they DO know better. You told them they were wrong already. So if they do it again, you KNOW they know they're wrong.

So how do you confront someone the right way?

1. Identify the problem and ask yourself why it's wrong.

It sounds silly but sometimes when you confront someone, it could be something that's not actually bad. I don't really like it when people hock big loogies and spit on the sidewalks, but me going up to a random stranger and telling them they're disgusting if they do isn't going to change their actions and they probably won't care if I like it or not. If you're going to confront someone, make sure you're doing it for the right reasons.

There's a difference between something being wrong and something you don't personally like. If you are unsure, ask for a second opinion from someone who is unbiased in the situatution.

2. Confront them when you're calm.

It is better not to confront someone in the heat of the moment (in most cases). You know they did something wrong, but if you confront them right after it happened chances are you're going to be too emotional about it. Your argument will deteriorate if you come in angry or sad or if you throw in curse words every other syllable.

The only exception to this? If you see something actually illegal. If you see someone steal, harm, assault, or do anything else that is against the law to another person or property, confront them right away (after you tell the proper authorities depending on the severity).

3. Prepare for backlash.

No one likes to be confronted and no one likes to be told they're wrong. That's just human nature. If you confront someone their bad behavior, be prepared for them to either get hostile or for them to deny it. Remember, the end game is not to start a fight, it's to inform someone that they need to change their behavior/attitude.

4. Be prepared to be wrong.

It happens. Sometimes things are written that are factually wrong. Sometimes we say stuff without thinking or we don't know the whole side of the story on both sides. If you call someone out and you happen to be wrong about it, just apologize and move on.

If you followed the first three steps, you did it in a calm and collected manner and prepared an argument. Arguments can be refuted and be wrong. It's okay to be wrong.

5. Remind yourself you did the right thing.

No one likes to be the bad guy in the room. But if you see something that's a direct violation of your school's, job's, or your own personal (within reason, see #1) code of ethics or set of rules, you should say something.

Because of the Bystander Effect, if you're in a large group, we will tend to automatically assume someone else will do the dirty work for you so you don't have to.

Don't assume this ever. Everyone will start to think someone else will confront them and eventually no one will do it. Step up and do it. If you confront someone and you are a part of a large group, chances are someone else has the same feelings you do and will back you up if you need to.

Being the bad guy is never fun. But if you know how to confront someone correctly and it's warranted, call them out on it. Instead of being silently frustrated over someone's poor behavior, make it known.

Be aggressive, or it's not going to change anytime soon.


Cover Image Credit: Anne O'Hara

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5 Ways To Workout Like A Girl

When did working out #LikeAGirl become a bad thing?
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As a woman and college student, I've always felt some sort of pressure at the gym. At times, the subtle looks from other people and the "competitive" feel of working out have shied me away from trying new exercises, running on the track or proudly doing bicep curls in front of the big mirror. It always seems like people are judging you or looking at you when they really aren't. Despite what you may think, the other women at the gym cause me the most anxiety. It's the pressure of wanting to look your best and seeing others excel when you fail. This mindset, although detrimental to our self-confidence, is completely natural -- we're used to it. When I see a girl sprinting at speed 10 on the treadmill or another girl holding a plank for at least 2 minutes, I find myself questioning my ability to accomplish what they're doing.

I could never run that fast! My arms would fall off if I tried lifting that much! I might as well just give up.

Do these thoughts sound familiar? It's time to push these negative and defeatist ideas out of our mind (especially the word "never"). Inspired by the Alway's popular campaign, #LikeAGirl, I think it's time to support other women at the gym and workout together. Need inspiration? Here's how to workout #LikeAGirl with other lady bosses--

1. Walk in with confidence

When you feel good, you do good. Walk in and out of the gym like you own the place (I mean, you are paying for it), and people will practically feed off your energy. Want to lift weights in the area full of jacked guys? Do it. The weight lifting area is the most intimidating, but you'll feel instantly better once you've conquered your fear and crushed your squat workout.

2. Find a workout partner

Drag one, or multiple, of your friends with you to the gym. You'll feel more confident with other people around you, especially when they support you and lift you up rather than bring you down.

3. Do what you want

Pinterest workouts always seem so impossible that you're afraid you'll end up looking ridiculous. Now is the time to pull out those insane workouts, new moves and obnoxious yoga poses -- try something new and do what you want at the gym.

4. Support others

See someone rocking a cute pair of leggings? Recognize a friend from one of your classes? A simple wave or compliment can do wonders for anyone's self-confidence. When you spread love to others, you're more likely to receive the support in return.

5. Remind yourself

Workout #LikeAGirl -- a woman who is strong and confident. No dumbbell or elliptical can bring you down, so why not go for it? You lose nothing from going to the gym, but you lose everything from not trying. Find your passion for fitness, and never be afraid to workout #LikeAGirl.


Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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