Compare Me Not

“Oh, there you go, comparing me,
to every little model on the tv screen”

That’s a hook from Destiny Child’s song “Through with love”

Comparing people is as bad as it gets. Nobody likes to be compared to another person. It creates envy, jealousy and enmity.

If you doubt me, hype and praise your boyfriend/girlfriend’s friend in his or her presence, he or she “must” search for something bad about the person to tell you.

Parents are the emperors of the comparison kingdom, they compare their kids to the kids of their friends and other family members. I’m pretty sure no kid likes to be compared with the sibling or a family friend’s child.

Parents fail to understand that even brothers/twins from the same womb have different destinies. The gift Obi is endowed with is totally different from what Emeka is blessed with so why compare them?

Although parents believe the comparison ought to spur the child to work harder and reach the acme of his endeavours, it can make the child to believe he’s never good enough or he’s not accepted by the parents.

In 2000 Blockbuster, The Gladiator, Emperor Marcus Aurelius (played by Richard Harris) caused an enmity between him, his son and heir to the throne, Commodus (played by Joaquin Phoenix) and General Maximus Decimus Meridius (played by Russell Crowe) when he made known his intention to grant temporary leadership to Maximus before dying.

Commodus already bitter that his father favours Maximus over him, murders his father in a fit of rage and claims the throne before ordering the execution of Maximus, his wife and son.

Comparisons with others who are better off or superior on an upward comparison can lower self-regard whereas downward comparisons can elevate self-regard.

A good example of upward social comparison relates to women and their perceptions of the self and others. For example, a woman looks at images of idealized others, and feels as though she is not equal to what she sees.

Some women have reported making upward comparisons in a positive manner for the purposes of self-motivation, but the majority of upward comparisons are made when the individual is feeling lesser and therefore evoke a negative connotation.

Comparing people rarely ends well, let’s push it under the carpet.

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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.

Twitter ruined my marriage (culled from Nairaland)

Efe and I got married two years ago. Before we got married he really wasn’t all into social networks but now he’s on all of them: Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other silly social networks. I wouldn’t have minded if it was just Facebook, I can deal with that. Everybody is on Facebook. Normal people are on Facebook. But Twitter…

That’s a different thing entirely. All sorts of home breakers and husband snatchers are on there.

I started to notice something was wrong when Efe started spending more time than usual on his Blackberry. He’d come home from work, kiss me briefly before settling on the couch with his Blackberry in his hand.

I would tell him something like “Honey, I went shopping today and just guess who I saw.” And he would grunt. Or I would tell him to come to the dining for his diner and he would say something like “I’ll be there in a minute” and he would take forever to get up. He’d take forever to eat and still wouldn’t finish his meals because he was tweeting.

He’d go out with friends till late and fall asleep as quickly as he hit the bed.

The day that my suspicions were confirmed was the day he left his Blackberry on my reading table while he was in the shower. I did not intend to snoop. I was reading a book quietly with my mug of coffee in one hand and my highlighter in the other when his phone beeped.

I ignored it the first time.

It beeped again.

Then again.

Again.

My will to ignore it weakened with each beep and I reached for the phone. He had Socialscope notifications, direct messages actually, from @Ivy_L_Chick. Her avatar was quite small but the little I could see was cleavage. I was just about to read the rest of the direct message when I heard the door of the bathroom creak shut.

I jumped and dropped the phone like it had scalded me. Efe cocked an eyebrow my way.

“What were you doing with my phone?” he asked, coming towards me. I felt like a criminal.

“Nothing. I wanted to check the time.”

He nodded and continued dressing. I believed he believed me until he was on his way to work; a functioning clock was directly in front of me. It has always been there. I put it there myself.

By the next time I could lay my hands on his phone, there was a password on it. It was on my ninth try that I heard Efe’s footsteps in the hallway. I quickly pulled out his battery and restarted his phone so he wouldn’t know that I had been trying to enter his password.

Instead of the usual brief hug and kiss, Efe lingered awhile with me in the kitchen he even helped me do the dishes and he did not reach for his phone once. Not once.

He started noticing my new hair dos again, he started complimenting me again but I was not content with having Efe back.

A need to go through his Twitter consumed me so much that all I could see at night was @Ivy_L_Chick’s avatar. I could see it in the mirror in the morning, in the television in the afternoon and yes, in my dreams at night.

Finally, one morning, I decided to get a Twitter account. I was familiar with all the lingo because my husband used it so much. Oftentimes, he would refer to one of his friends as @thatblackboy instead of Tunde or he would say Ejiro’s avatar makes brain or something like that.

I opened a Twitter account on a Tuesday morning with the handle @barbiexxx and an almost completely Unclad avatar i found through Google. I started tweeting Efe and retweeting all his tweets. Soon after he followed me back and sent me a direct message.

@ThatEfeGoi: Hey. Wassup?

@Barbiexxx: I’m good. You?

@ThatEfeGoi: I’m chilling. Nice avatar.

@Barbieexxx: Thank you! Yours isn’t bad either

@ThatEfeGoi; lol i appreciate.

@Barbiexxx: you’re welcome

I wished he would say something flat out incriminating like “Want to hook up?” but he didn’t.

Not that day. Not the day after or even the following week. But my mind was still not at rest. Why did he put a passcode on his phone if there wasn’t anything he was trying to hide from me? There was and I was hellbent on finding out. I just never stopped to think about what I was going to do with the incriminating information but I wanted it as bad I wanted my next breath.

I got the evidence I wanted right in my lap two weeks after the first direct messages we shared. He sent me a message asking if I wanted to “hook up sometime on Saturday” He had told me that he was going to watch a match with a couple of friends at a bar on that same Saturday at the same time he wanted to “hook up” I told him that I would be available.

The next few days after that were the longest days of my life and when Saturday came, I was more than ready to face my two timing husband. We agreed to meet at Spicery hotel’s lobby. I got there at 2:15pm fifteen minutes after we agreed to meet. I can’t begin to describe the look on his face when he saw me walking towards him, swinging my handbag menacingly in my hand.

“So this is what you do behind my back ehn, Efe?”

He was speechless. I was so mad I caused a scene right there in the lobby in front of the receptionist and some of the cleaners even some people came out of their rooms to see the woman who was bashing her husband with her handbag.

We haven’t said two words to each other since that day. Efe now sleeps on the couch while I cry myself to sleep. Nothing Efe says to me will change my mind about what is happening between us. Things are no longer the same and I doubt they ever will be. The minute he walks out the door in the morning, the dirtiest images of him with another woman fill my mind.

Efe still denies that he has ever cheated on me but I don’t believe him because I can’t find the direct messages he exchanged with @Ivy_L_Chick anymore. I don’t believe.

I don’t believe!

I cannot say for sure that I am not losing my sanity. But I can say for sure that my marriage isn’t the same anymore. Efe and I aren’t the same anymore either…

FriendZone…We All Hate That Shit

My buddy, Max and this girl, Nkechi have been platonic friends for some years now. They met at Max’s elder brother’s wedding. Max was bewitched by Nkechi’s beauty and endowments. As a fast guy, he made the move and got to know her. They exchanged numbers and BB pins. They fixed a date two weeks after wedding and that’s where things went awry for my friend.

Max wanted a relationship with Nkechi but she didn’t want the same, she just wanted a friend to talk to and lean on when she’s troubled. Due to the fact that he really liked her, he didn’t mind just being the guy she pings or calls when she’s bored because he wanted to be close to her at all cost with the hope that one day things will go his way. Poor Max, if only he knew he’s been friend zoned.

The term “friend zone” was popularized by a 1994 episode of the television sitcom Friends, where the character Ross (played by David Schwimmer), who was lovesick for Rachel (played by Jennifer Anniston), was labeled “mayor of the Friend Zone”.

Friend zone is when a member of the opposite sex (usually one you want to hook up with) declares you to be “just a friend”, thereby ruining all potential chances of sex. Friend zone is basically a preemptive rejection where people get too comfortable with someone and see them as only a special conversation/sharing info partner ‘a friend’ and unconsciously reject the person as a sexual opportunity and would be shocked and appalled if that was brought up.

When a guy agrees to be friends, he’s forced to stifle his attraction while regularly seeing and talking to the woman he’s attracted to. She discusses her love life and has the audacity to ask his advice on it. He performs occasional “manly” household and automotive favours for the women. Essentially, he does everything a boyfriend would do – without the benefits. Friend zone means holding her shit while she shops for underwear you will never see her in.

The act of Friend-zoning is mastered by the ladies. Girls friend-zone their suitors due to so many reasons such as: Insufficient attraction to the man, misinterpretation of nonverbal cues from the man signaling his interest in deepening the relationship, and there is sexual repulsion (but not enough to block a friendship) but when given a taste of their own medicine, you’d see them whining and complaining. E.g. I’ve tried everything for Alex to like me, it’s not working. It’s as if he doesn’t know I exist. He doesn’t even touch me; I want him to make me feel like a woman.

In my opinion, it is very easy for a guy to like and date a girl out of pity (for all she’s done for him) and persistence but very hard for a girl to return the favour. If you are a guy dating a girl you have wooed for years, she could be dating you because you are opulent or there’s no one else in her life at that moment and she’s ‘managing’ you for the mean time until a ‘better’ dude comes along. After all, nobody wants to be lonely and we all love it when somebody loves and cares for us.

A lot of people are currently in the friend zone without even realising it. Once the friend zone is established, it is said to be difficult to move beyond that point in a relationship. There is general agreement that once a man is in the friend zone, it is difficult to get out. A platonic relationship has formed without sex and can continue indefinitely.

Despite the pitfalls of friend zones, some have argued that a man can benefit from actively cultivating a friend zone once an interaction or relationship with a potential partner has entered one. The theory here is that the friend zone may evolve into something more, particularly if the man establishes an air of trustworthiness and intimacy that his partner finds attractive and has never shared with previous romantic partners.

Peer Pressure: Good or Bad?

 

It is a natural phenomenon for us to copy and want to be like the people we admire in life. The struggle to fit in at all cost has made a lot of us to do what we wouldn’t do on a normal day. Peer pressure is tantamount with the youths; after all we spend most of our day in the company of friends more than our parents and siblings.

As kids, our parents choose the kids we hang out with; preferably kids of their friends. As we grow, we fight to remove the shackles our parents have on us and choose our clique of friends. Most times, we choose people who have similar interests, beliefs and experiences to ours. Together, you and your friends make decisions and influence each other every day.

Making decisions on your own and standing your ground is worrisome; but when other people are drawn in and try to pressure; it gets more worrisome. Friends affect and influence our lives even without us realizing it, just by spending time with us.

Psychologist Wendy Treynor described peer pressure as “Identity Shift Effect”. One’s state of harmony is disrupted when faced with the threat of external conflict or failing to conform to a group’s standard. Thus, we conform to the group’s standard but as soon as one does, eliminating this external conflict, internal conflict is introduced. To rid oneself of this internal conflict, an identity shift is undertaken where one adopts the group standards as one’s own, thereby eliminating internal conflict; returning one to a state of harmony.

To me, Peer Pressure is the hassle by friends for us to do something we don’t want to do. It doesn’t have to be  negative; it could also be positive .

For instance, on the negative side, most of my mates started lighting a cigarette as far back as JS2/3. Even though some didn’t want to be part of it but because they were scared to be labelled a Jew man, they gave in to peer pressure and they are hooked. Others started snubbing some people because their clique frowned at the sight of them talking with the unpopular ones alias nerds/jew men.

Positively, friends’ pressure can help us learn a lot of things like a new skill. In my primary school days, after watching soccer stars like Diego Maradona, Roberto Carlos, Raul Gonzalez and Savio; I believed left-legged players had more shot power than those who play with the right leg so I pressured my friend Chife for us to learn how to play football comfortably with both legs and we did it!

Some years ago, I had a near death experience that left me incarcerated in a hospital for some months. Then, I was an under graduate in my 400L. With exams lurking, I lost hope of writing the exams and made up my mind I was going to spend an extra year in school but my friend didn’t want to hear any of it and sent me an SMS I will never forget. She said “if there’s anybody I know that can pull this off, it’s you”. Those eleven words urged me to read and instantly, energy from nowhere sprang up in me and I started flying like those men you see in Red Bull commercials. I wrote that exam from the hospital and came out with flying colours.

As we grow older, peers naturally play a greater role in our lives. Due to the amount of time we spend together, we develop close bond with our peers and may feel so connected to them that they are like an extended family.

So do you think peer pressure is good or bad?