Nobody Is Out of Your League

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I went for a wedding with some friends  a fortnight ago where I met a pretty nubile damsel. We got talking; I must admit the conversation wasn’t as smooth as I had hoped but I was lucky to cart away with her phone number and social media usernames at the end of the day.

On our way back home, I was filled with all joy and excitement that overwhelm one when he/she meets a new person. However, my friends were so pessimistic about my chances with the said girl. They all told me, “Guy, forget this girl. You stand no chance, she’s way out of your league.”

I was bemused at their level of pessimism; I mean these guys were alobams. So to feed my curiosity, I asked them a myriad of questions like why do you think she’s out of my league? Is it because you think she’s too “hot” for me? Richer/cooler than me? Too smart or sophisticated? Their answers weren’t convincing so I shouted in my drunkeness, “she’s not out of my league. In fact no girl is out of one’s league so I’m gonna give it a try.”

You see, just like my friends, many people believe leagues exist when it comes to the opposite sex. They seem to think that once a guy/lady is ridiculously attractive, smarter, more ambitious, richer or funnier than them, they are out of their league. Many guys are scared and intimidated to approach such ladies because they feel they don’t stand a chance with them. They find themselves constantly analysing the potential compatibility between themselves and these kind of ladies, oftentimes how can such a person be interested in me? serves as a valid excuse not to push further.

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Contrary to popular belief, leagues are standards set by an individual to protect himself/herself from possible rejection. Standards are subjective; they are based on personal contructs and not completely social constructs. For example, most of us are guilty of asking questions like “how did they end up together?” when we see a person we hold in high esteem with an average or below-average looking partner because we have set certain standards for them.

Back in 2009/2010, some of my female friends were livid when they heard Nigerian A-list actress Genevieve Nnaji was dating singer/entertainer D’banj. Then, Genevieve was bigger than D’banj in terms of celebrity status and international recognition. I wonder what they’d say if Genevieve and D’banj started seeing each other now.

The fact remains that every guy has 50:50 chance of getting a lady’s number or dating a lady but this chance can drop to zero real quick unless one goes for it. All one needs is to gather some liver to approach the lady and say your mind. I mean what’s the worst thing that could happen? She decides to give you a fake number? Lies about an imaginary boyfriend? Ignores your calls? Or politely/coldly turns you down?

Rejections are a norm in life. God has given a man the right to ask the lady out and the lady the right to accept or decline his advances. Everyone has suffered (and will still suffer) rejection in one way or the other. Even the “out of your league” girls we often worry about have their own insecurities. So don’t let rejection thoughts eat you alive when you haven’t even told her how you feel about her yet. She might be interested and patiently waiting for you to make a move or maybe you could go for her and discover she isn’t all that after all. Either way, it is better to try and find out than wondering what if.

We are so hung up on how we see others and the halo effect. Leagues are something we create in our heads. They are an illusion. Nobody is out of your league. Before you limit yourself and say you’ve no chance of being admitted into that guy’s/lady’s life, try and apply first. You can’t gain admission without applying.

The Past Does Matter

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Everyday I hear people say, “the past is the past. It doesn’t matter; just leave it there.” This always gives me a wry smile because anyone going on about how the past doesn’t matter has shown his/her hand.

Does the past really matter? Yes it does! If the past doesn’t matter, why do we still see people the way they were back in Secondary School or University (until proven otherwise)? Why does your doctor always take your medical/clinical history when you visit the hospital? Why do your potential employers check your track record during an interview? Why do people cling to their culture/tradition? Why do African parents insist on investigating their potential in-law’s family history? I could go on and on but I am pretty sure you get my point now.

This may sound harsh or judgmental to many reading this but this is just me embracing reality here. Personally, I don’t judge people by their pasts anymore but it gives me an idea of what to expect from you and prepare myself for it.

This is not a “fun” topic; people are often torn between digging into their potential partner’s past and leaving the past where it belongs. Paranoia grips us when people try to find out certain information about us that we don’t want them finding out, and dealing with disrespect, distrust and uncertainty.

Most people would ask, “what’s the essence of asking about one’s past when s/he will definitely lie? After all, people do change you know” Yes! People do change but our past must have had a huge factor in triggering this change.

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Life is about events, which can either have positive or negative effects on us. Also, these events have a tendency to reoccur so taking history of these events prepare us better to face such things when they reoccur.

For instance, our immune systems spring into action when pathogens (viruses, bacteria and other microbes) invade our body and try to get rid of these foreign invaders. Afterwards, our immune systems make a memory for them and subsequent responses to these antigens are quicker and more effective than those that occurred after the first exposure.

Your past is your story; we are not proud of the wrong choices and mistakes we’ve made but these mistakes often embolden us in all ramifications. We build/develop ourselves based on past events and experiences.

For instance, apostle Paul/Saul went about persecuting Christians with zeal until he was arrested by God on his way to Damascus and was converted to Christianity. He preached the Gospel of Christ with the same zeal he used in killing Christians back in the day until he was martyred.

Life is about patterns; some we carry with us whilst we acquire others as we go along. However, sometimes we let these patterns go unnoticed and this can have a drastic effect on our perceptions of logic, and cause and effect. A good understanding of these patterns allows one to have a different outlook on life as well as the insight to embrace the truths unfolding around us.

Finding out the truth about your new partner’s past is often hard to take, especially for the broken-hearted and faith departed but it is better to know the truth and be prepared for the worst; it saves one from so many things s/he probably could have easily avoided. The past also helps the future generations to act from the mistakes of their predecessors.

Nonetheless, it is also possible to ignore the past and still have happy and fruitful personal relationships with people. In everything, there’s always an outlier.

Thank you for making out time to read this article. If you have enjoyed it, please comment and share your views on this issue. Also, do like, share and follow the blog.

The Friendship/Gossip Triangle by Chukwukadibia Ude

The friendship/gossip triangle represents a geometric series of conversations between three persons who know each other.

This piece explains how these conversations engage many others who revolve inside the triangle thereby instituting positive or negative attributes depending on the nature of these conversations.

A triangle has only three points representing three persons as explained in this piece. (Any shape can be used for this analysis but what matters is the understanding derived from it)

The lines that bind the three points are assumed in this piece to be bound with two things: THE TONGUE AND THE EAR.

Simply put the tongues and the ears of those at the three points of the triangle.

(For emphasis, THE HANDS could represent the lines when you consider the social media or instant message applications that we operate nowadays. In any case, the hands only type what would have been said if it were possible to talk).

THIS ARTICLE WAS BORN WITH A REFLECTION ON THE USE OF THE TONGUE

(The ear is only considered because the next person who speaks, speaks only what is heard or speaks a different interpretation of what is heard)

HOW THE THINGS WE SAY PUT US IN SITUATIONS WE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO HANDLE

Why do we give deaf ears to the Philosopher Socrates’ advice? He said: “if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?” As easy as it sounds, almost everyone disobeys this principle.

Why do we always involve people where they have no responsibilities at all? Joyce Meyer even clarified this stating pro actively that “anywhere you do not have responsibility, do not bother to have an opinion”. With this, even when the speaker has made the mistake to speak what you see as irrelevant to you, you could help stop the flow if you pay attention to Joyce’s advice. The baseline is that when one starts a conversation, the receiver/listener could help shorten it if what is to be said is neither true, good nor useful or as well following Meyer’s statement. This will teach the speaker a lot about what is actually necessary to be said.

Here comes the analysis:

Three persons A, B and C are friends who know each other and represent the points in a triangle while their tongues and ears join these triangle points and as well bring about many companions who are not in any case necessary to the personal friendship of A or B or C or even their group relationships.

Questions to ponder:

Why would any of A, B or C tell their problems with anyone of the other two to the third?

Why won’t the two resolve their problems?

Why explain your personal affairs to the other two? Are they God?

Why mention what someone did to you and even his/her name to the other two? Do they have any responsibility in your problem with him/her? Why can’t he/she approach who offended him/her?

Why would the other two also spread the issue to many others?

Why can’t A tell B what he/she doesn’t like about him/her? Why rushing to complain to C? Why rushing to communicate your issues with another person to someone who isn’t involved? Have you thought of the dangers of involving him/her?

Why would A, B or C act as a friend but actually works as a spy? Are you in party politics or are you practising in the field of detectives?

Why would A destroy the friendship of B and C (or B that of A and C as well as C that of A and B)? Why involving D to Z in your friendship with A, B, C, A & B, B & C, A & C and even affecting the friendship of A, B and C with D to Z?

Even if what A says is true about B or C or B and C to D to Z, how good or useful is it to them?

If you understand this well, you will observe that only the tongue has engaged so many companions.

Oh, the power of the tongue. This power is seen to hold life and death as recorded in Proverbs 18:21 and the advice thereof is that he/she who loves it will eat its fruit.

The ear of the receiver has also helped to transfer the information by hearing and the tongue of the receiver then keeps making it a geometric build up until the triangle makes one’s life almost ruined.

D to Z in the analysis represents many people we involve in what does not really concern them. We multiply our companions by the things we speak out. Remember, Proverbs 18:24 warns that a man of many companions may come to ruin but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Find that friend and still follow Socrates and Meyer’s advices on such a friend.

Not taming the tongue can be likened to a bad attitude and a bad attitude is seen by some great men as a flat tire which means you cannot go anywhere without changing it.

Most times, the way we see life could make taming the tongue almost impossible. We may want others to be like us. We live by the law and expect everyone to do to us the same we do for them forgetting that everyone sees life differently. Using our ‘do me, I do you’ perspective, we hardly trust, we complain a lot, we give up on people easily, we involve many things and many people even when the situation has not got the extent we think about. The way we think about life has been a contribution to our use of the tongue.  When we see life as a law, there is a low understanding of love and where there is no love, there is dishonesty and all these lead to the way we apply our tongues to irrelevancies. Even the holy book confirms that love is the fulfillment of the law and not the other way round. When we love, we could help shape our lives. Do not forget that mercy triumphs over judgment as noted in James 2:13.

Comparison is another big threat to friendship. The more we compare, the more we take sides. The more we take sides, the more we hardly know the truth. The more we know less of the truth, the more biased we become. The more biased we become, the more we never see something good in people. This in turn blocks the knowledge of the truth. The funniest thing is that we know the truth just that our negativity buries it. The final point is that it leads to hatred and envy.  With this, all we do is TALK, TALK, and TALK. Guess who we talk to: people that have no business in the subject matter. The tongue sells the product of our comparison to markets where there are no customers at all to buy it rather than mere advertisements. No one buys the dummies, they are just samples. Please, let us reduce the extent we sample many people. Why have more dummies in your shop than real products?

If you feel disturbed about someone, please call the person and have a face time conversation. Life is a test; we only pass it when we stick to approaches that promote value. Without the right values, nothing is sustainable.

Someone advised that a right word at the right time to the right person at the right time can’t be a coincidence but orchestrated by God. We all make mistakes but we are also aware of the new mercy of God we have every day so let us always filter our words before speaking.

The way we see life, how we think about others, how we react to what others do to us, the way manner in which we rush to explain things to people who act as if they care, etc. should be our next line of action when it comes to change.

I remember the update someone used on social media; it says “Your thoughts, Your life, Your choice”.

If you have said what is not meant to be said, this is the time to have a re-think. You could be causing a lot of injuries. When you speak what is neither true nor good nor useful, you cause a lot of harm. Like Benjamin Franklin highlighted, the tongue offends and the ear takes the cuffing. He also advised that it is better to take many injuries than to give one. He, whom you have given so many injuries, will be pitied but you who cause the injury will be hated. Be wise. Do not speak off the cuff, otherwise you will feel so injured within yourself as well. For those who listen, when it is your turn to speak, don’t speak off the cuff as well.

If you have been wronged by what someone said about you, do not worry. Rumours do not define you. Even if what is said is true, count it as a something that requires you to grow. Remember, it is only at the tree loaded with fruits that people throw stones. You are so fruitful, that’s why most people are interested in you. Keep shinning. The problem is not the problem but your attitude about the problem.

In all you do, discipline the tongue so well. No plan will survive first contact with the enemy as stressed by Van Molke. Often times, we reveal our plans to people with our tongues.

One thing could help make the tongue always so clean. It is not tooth brush and paste. It is the ability to keep the mind clear and bright. Someone stated that the mind is the window through which we see the world. Most times, the tongue says what the mind feels or the interpretation given to what is seen or heard which revolves around the masterpiece called the human mind.

Despite Uncle Remus quote stated thus, “you cannot run away from trouble, there ain’t no place that far”, I believe that we could still reduce our troubles by minding what we say and listen to.

If you desire the inner zone of the triangle to be filled with peace and true friendship, mind what you say or listen to or discuss. If you desire the inner zone to be filled with gossips, worry and injuries, then keep talking the way you want. Its either you create a friendship triangle or a gossip triangle.

Do not gossip. Do not allow gossips or it gets into you. It destroys the mind. The pain of the mind is more than the pain of the body.

Within us, we have so many troubles. Do not go criticizing others. D.L. Moody even emphasized “right now I am having so much trouble with myself that I do not have time to criticize my friends”.

Settle your issues with who is concerned. Do not make it a debate for others. The others you tell have no business. Such debates make no good history.

Make your friendship triangle peaceful. Find friends who try as much as they can to make theirs peaceful. Embrace them.

Be watchful as it is the only way. If you are just careful, you could still make a lot of mistakes. Being careful is not enough. If you don’t want it to be heard, tell no one at all. Use your discretion to filter words that you want to release; words could uplift or destroy you.

Whatever mistakes you have made, see them as lessons learnt and forge ahead. Malcolm Forbes defined failure as success if we learn from it. The worst is repeating the mistakes; the triangle will grow as a gossip triangle to a gossip decagon and become unbearable. It is always better to have a peaceful network in a friendship triangle even if the triangle is so small. Mind your thoughts, mind your tongue and mind your ears. When you do not know what to reply over what you heard, do not start explaining; just smile. A wise man made a wonderful comment that no matter the language you speak, a smile will never need a translator.

The tongue weighs practically nothing but only a few can hold it. I need to learn, you need to learn, we need to learn.
We can make our relationships sustainable. Let us be truthful. Let us be lovely and lovable. Let us be faithful. Let us forgive. Let us encourage greater values. Let us know. Let us learn. Let us grow. Let us live. Let us be alive. Let us be peaceful.

Watch your tongue, hold it, keep it clean, and discipline it.

Filter what your say and what you hear.

Clean your ears, not with cotton buds, but with listening filter.

Keep your minds clean and bright.

In relationships with people, engage your mind only on what is true, good and useful about people.

Manage your stakeholders; engage who is responsible or accountable, consult who is experienced, objective and unbiased when necessary and inform only who is to be informed when necessary.

Encourage value and you see your relationships become highly sustainable.

AN APPROACH TO LIFE; LET US WATCH IT!!!

Divorce: A Trend In Nigeria Now?

“Everybody seems to be getting married and the unmarried ones seem to be getting more worried.” That’s a tweet from one of the numerous people I follow on the social media, Twitter.

My friend, Mikael gave me the shock of the year so far on my birthday. He told me he wants to settle down with his girlfriend after just three weeks of dating.

Mikael and Valerie met at a birthday party in February and they hit it off. Mikael is one of those guys girls describe as tall, dark, handsome and rich while Valerie is a nymphet with a sexy British accent to say the least.

When he broke the news to me, I was non-plussed and speechless for a while. As a matter of fact, it took me two minutes to recover from the shock.

“Are you serious” I asked him. He told me, the lady is a British citizen, sexy, educated and from a well-to-do family. What else does he need? Although he didn’t say the words, it was obvious he’s settling down with the babe because of her physical attributes and rich background.

I’m really worried for my dear friend because a wise man once told me “Do not marry while too young, for you have not experience enough to train your son; nor be too old, that you have not the patience. There is a mean in marriage, as in all things”

“No man is the same after marriage. Either his joys are doubled and his sorrows halved, or his joys are halved and his sorrows doubled.”

Honestly, the rate at which young people say “I do” is becoming worrisome not because marrying at a young age is a bad thing, NO but because the rate at which they marry is directly proportional to the rate at which they separate and just like the wise man said, there’s a mean in all facets of life.

Call me old fashioned but I believe marriage should be for better, for worse till death parts the couple. Nowadays, people are in a hurry to walk down the aisle, same way they are in haste to separate when one squabble comes along.

In 1969, United States Governor, Ronald Reagan of California signed the nation’s first no-fault divorce bill to eliminate deceit associated with the legal regime of fault-based divorce. A decision he later described as one of the biggest mistakes of political career. The new law eliminated the need for couples to fabricate spousal wrongdoing in pursuit of a divorce;

Thirty years later, the myth of the good divorce has not stood up well in the face of sustained social scientific inquiry — especially when one considers the welfare of children exposed to their parents’ divorces.

The children are often the victims when parents separate/re-marry. They are forced to watch their parents fight themselves in court for their custody. Children from divorced are often if not always troubled. The role of a father and mother as a team in the life of a growing child can never be over-emphasized so they need to stick together even if they don’t get along anymore, just for the sake of the kids.

Due to civilisation and imitation of western culture, divorce is on the rise in our dear nation. Most young men seem to believe the only aim of marriage is for pro-creation while others succumb to the pressure from their girlfriends,via pregnancy or otherwise to put a ring on her finger and legalise their coitus.

Then, there are the desperate ones especially the females, who plunge into the pool of marriage with their make-up on, polluting the pool as a result.

Most people crumble under pressure,the pressure from some families has made a lot of people miserable because they ended up with people they weren’t supposed to end up with it.

There is also a group that believe in fantasy/fairytale of marrying early and growing up with their kids so they rush into what they aren’t ready for, all in a bid to have that “happily ever after” life.

We need to understand that marriage isn’t a “boyfriend/girlfriend” issue. Marriage is sacred, a union blessed by God, who detests the word, divorce. (Malachi 2:13-16; also read Matthew 19:9 & Ephesians 13:4)

There’s no rush when it comes to marriage, take your time to know your partner inside and out, know what he/she likes and dislikes, make sure you can cope and live the rest of your life with his flaws as well as he’s ready to live with yours.

Marriage needs maturity, understanding, wisdom, endurance and tolerance to cope with the hitches that come with it.

Always remember, marriage is not about what happens at the wedding but what happens after the wedding.

Sex And Hickeys

I got a very funny phone call this week. My friend, Xavier rang me, sounding very worried over the phone so I was scared & at the edge of my seat, thinking something of great importance was amiss.

He told me he’s noticed a black patch always appears on his neck after a long kissing session with the girlfriend and he’s very worried it could be a symptom of a sexually transmitted disease. LOL

This “black patch” is known as a hickey or love bite. A love bite is temporal red mark on the skin caused by excessive kissing or sucking–with enough force to break open some blood vessels around the surface or beneath the skin. It can appear as a bruise or mark.

It appears during/after foreplay hence the name, passion mark, love-mark or love patch. It can be afflicted on any part of the skin but the commonest areas are the neck and arm.

Its effect is just superficial and is never dangerous. The biting is believed to be the cause of the hickey while sucking is sufficient to burst superficial small blood vessels under the skin.

Some hickeys disappear after just a day while others take up to a maximum of 5 days to vanish completely. However, you can work on speeding up its disappearance by applying ice on the hickey to reduce the swelling, rubbing them with a chilled spoon to break up blood clots, and applying a warm compress to older hickeys to dilate vessels and promote blood flow.

Alternatively, you can cover an exposed hickey by wearing a turtle neck top, long-sleeve or sweater, or even a scarf to avoid others from seeing your love bite. For the ladies, make up will do the magic, they can be covered with foundation, powder and fake tan.

As for guys, well you can buy a gauze bandage and plaster, cover your hickey, and think of a really good story about your bogus injury.