Sanity Rattlers aka Pet Peeves

Why is it that you can be having a great day, a really the-sun-rose-up-and-personally-smiled-at-me glorious day; then that one thing happens and casts a dark shadow over the day. And no matter how brief, it just puts a blight on the day.

In that brief dark moment, you feel as if you are just a toe nail away from losing your mind. It may not make sense to anyone why this thing makes you (a known cat lover) want to grab the nearest kitten and pull all its hair out; because it doesn’t even make sense to you.

But here we are and life must be lived and pet peeves must be had. So I am going to share some of mine because I want to hear some of yours.

Let’s do this…

1} People that cannot sit properly and systematically in a Keke Napep (a rickshaw):

Rickshaw Illustration

Mr Green, Mr Blue and Mr Purple in the backseat of a Keke.

Disclaimer about illustration: This is my first ever attempt trying out Microsoft Paint and it may be my last. 

Let me translate briefly what the people in the keke are saying.

Mr Green: I will lean back because it makes sense to keep my shoulders away from Mt Blue.

Mr Blue: I will lean forward for the same reason as Mr Green.

Mr Purple: I will lean back for the same reason as Mr Blue and also because it is impossible for my shoulder from this distance to be anywhere near Mr Green.

See! It is a win-win all round.

So tell me why there is always that genius in a Keke who can’t make up their mind and lean forward or backward. Instead what they do is place themselves in whatever position the person next to them is in; and if the person alternates, they immediately follow their direction. And God bless your fragile heart if you are like me and sometimes find yourself sitting in between two of these geniuses.

Amateurish personality assessment verdict: These kinds of people do not make great team players because they are forever lost as to their place on the team.

2) People that hum loudly to a song they are clearly hearing for the first time or a song they clearly do not know the lyrics to:

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Blending in while standing out.

Seriously, who are you try to deceive. And just how are you meant to get away with that deception when your very attempt at deception sells you out. Why not just do like normal people do when they hear a song they like; which is move to the rhythm of the song with their heads or bodies.

Amateurish personality assessment verdict: Do not put these people on the front lines of anything. They feel they can outsmart everyone without doing the necessary homework.

3) People who steal your words or ideas and repeat them verbatim to others as though it is their original thought, right.in.front.of.you.

How do you know it is your own thoughts and ideas? Well, because you had the same conversation with them the day before and they had no thought or idea about the issue. They even asked you what you thought about the issue. And it is those same exact words that are being repeated to another person while you watch them take credit for it.

As someone who likes to share knowledge and learn from others, I know how it can feel when something resonates with you. It almost feels like yours but you know that before you heard or read it, you had not thought or spoken it out loud. Maybe it was buried in your subconscious, but face it, it never got let out till someone else said or wrote it.

Now to take all the credit and be shameless about it right in front of the person you heard it from, that just shakes my core and makes me think never to trust you with important things.

Amateurish personality assessment verdict: These are the potential murderers who haven’t found the right motive yet.

4) This happened a couple of days ago and I don’t know if it qualifies as a pet peeve but it did annoy me.

In church, the girl sitting next to me kept running commentary on everything going on from the singing to the pastor’s message. And to make matters worse, she kept poking me in the ribs with her elbow so I can acknowledge her comments and spontaneous laughter.

I almost lost my mind.

Usually I am a good sport  when a stranger pulls me into a conversation. I feel it is a symptom of loneliness, plus I can distinguish between a lousy talkative person and someone interested in good conversation; so I usually indulge them.

But this Sunday, it felt like I was being dragged by my hair and with the constant elbowing… it was too much. Unfortunately, there was nowhere to run to.

Amateurish personality assessment verdict: *I haven’t decided yet.

Bottom line, the things that get me may seem ridiculous to you and vice versa. I have no logical explanation for my annoyances and I am sure neither does any one else.

Even the name pet peeves is comical if you really look at it. I just believe this phenomena is in every one of us to make us a little weird. And in my opinion, life is more interesting and colorful when it is  little weird.

So what rattles your cages?

 

 

Some images via flickr

Why Chatting Is Difficult For Some People

Social media and a lot of apps seem like they are meant to connect us with one another. But if you take a moment and shut down your screen, you will see that they are really meant to feed a need in us. And this is the need to be validated and entertained. This does not take away from their usefulness by the way. It is just a silent extra feature.

When that need is taken out of the equation. then real life has to be faced. And facing reality is not a natural skill given to us all from the moment we were born. Constantly facing reality head-on is an acquired skill that comes with finding courage and daily practice.

Unfortunately, a lot of people do not know when it is time to put down the social media technique of posting something that incites responses/likes; and pick up the technique of having real interractions.

Well, the above is usually my short answer to the baffling question, ” Is it so hard chat?”

N.B or P.S (depending on your origins): In these parts, chat ot chatting means the use of Whatsapp or BBM(blackberry messeanger) to have a conversation… forgive me if you already knew this.

But apart from that being my main reason for peoples laziness at carrying conversations(due to the afore-mentioned social media trap); I have other theories, these are:

  1. They want a different relationship from the one you currently have with them. It could be that you are aquintances and they want to be really good friends. But are either scared to explore what it means to be your friend or are again just social media lazy. How else would you explain someone writing  ‘Hi!’ and you replying with a ‘Hi back at ya’ and then it takes them three days before they reply with an annoying  ‘Hello’.
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Miscommunication at its best.

2. A proper relationship is what they really want. For females, if the guy is not making any move, they try to stay within the line of sight. Hence the daily ‘Hi’s’.

Here, we haven’t evolved to brazenly asking a guy out. And in this case however, I think it is also this singular focus of getting the guy to make a move on the girl’s part that it becomes so paralysing to try to do anything else.

For the guys, they do not yet have the courage or focus(not-sure-I-actually-want-to-be -in-a-relationship-with-her syndrome) to make the move. So they keep it consistent with the ‘Hi’s’ and the ‘Sups’ untill that great day.

I am not sure it occurs to either of them to try to have a conversation in the meantime; which might just be a faster way to get to their final destination. It is either this, or the social media trap mentality or plain laziness at making the effort to engage another person.

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I’ve put my heart out, now you decipher.

3. You may unknowingly be in a cold war with the other party. This has happened to me a lot. As a scatterbrain with the unknowing ability to offend and fail at uknown(at least to me) expectations, peoples toes sometimes get stepped on.

The senario usually goes like this, a person starts a chart with you, followed by monosyllibic answers to your questions/statements then followed by the silent treatment.

N.B or P.S: The proper Whatsapp silent treatment goes something like this: You send a message and it has been instantly read, as indicated by Whatsapp. But the reply comes 10 hours later and the next reply another  15 hours after the first. And nope, their phone didn’t die as Whatapp gives you an update of the last time they checked in, which is every half hour.

In this situations, I have learnt to get straight to the point by stating I sense a coldness and then I ask if anything is wrong. The real story usually comes out.

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Erm, am I suppose to read your thoughts from the back of your head?

4. Fear of rejection or being misunderstood. I personally think this fear is heightened when you aren’t standing face to face with the individual. Some have argued that most people are emboldened when behind their phone or computer screens. These people are interesting to chat with but when met in person turn out to be boring and unable to carry an actual conversation. I feel those people may not be interested in having a real friendship or relationship in the first place, so they assume a persona that makes the virtual relationship interesting.

Someone genuinely interested in the first two senarios mentioned above will have the normal fear and anxiety of not knowing if they are acceptable or not. I have felt more anxious sending texts and not knowing what the reply might be than having one on one conversations in a related senario.

Words are the most functional tools I find, not because I am a writer but because it is the clearest mode of expression.

Actions are more powerful than words, true, but also more easily misunderstood, ignored or taken for granted. When you write something clearly, unless the individual reading it does not want to engage(which is a clear reply in itself) , it is hard for anyone to claim you meant something else. And people will try to do so, if your words make them feel a certain type of way, All of this is meant to indicate how they want to relate with you (especially when you are being clear).

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Clarity. Saving lives since forever.

These are my own theories, for why some people find it hard to be engaging in a chat. I have been asked more times than I care to state why I am engaging and entertaining while chatting or in a conversation. And after my many confused, “Isn’t everyone?” and “I don’t believe you. All humans must be naturally good at chatting, we have words!!!”. I decided to analyse a few chats and put my theories out.

Honestly, I just didn’t want to chalk it down to laziness, confused entitlements and emoji’s. Life is more complicated than all that put together.

Why do you think people find it hard to chat?

 

 

 

Images via Flickr

Who Is A Hater?

If you are of Nigerian descent and believe you have haters, you are not paranoid just reflecting your true feelings about other peoples success… yeah I said it.

STOP! Don’t close this post because you are already pissed at the first paragraph; it is not your fault, you are after all a product of our environment. There is a really good and unavoidable reason for how you are feeling and don’t worry, you are in the majority.

A post explaining why, precedes this and you can pause on this one, read it Here and then come back.

If you have read the preceding post, come on in, today is the day of liberation. Freedom from the shackles of envy is yours for the taking.

Do haters exist? Well… why not, I have lived with and met some people that have given me the heebie Jeebies ( an idiom I have been dying to use it). People that could not even pretend to be happy at my success. You can just imagine how truly unhappy they must have been not to pull of pretense; we after all have made a culture of  pretending.

However, my thing is an individual is innocent until proven guilty. And if someone doesn’t walk up to you, use their words and express their hate, then you cannot assume they are a hater. If their silent actions make you really uncomfortable then my friend, you run and you run fast far away from them.

Fortunately, not unlike being envious, believing you have haters who are sitting in their dark cupboards staring at your Facebook updates and trying to light those ‘God bless me plenty’ photos on fire with the green light of envy blazing from their pupils, also has its importance in the scheme of things.

These are:

a) To help distract you from that true sense of failure you would otherwise be feeling: Common, admit it, when you were a child did you dream about a Hyundai whatsits-name or did you dream of being an astronaut? But since that dream hasn’t come true on account of all the challenges thrown your way that you haven’t been able to overcome; a banker is what you settled for. Now you need to show the world some kind of success and silence that inner voice still trying to speak  on behalf of your hopes and dreams.

Denial that crafty snake, sliders by and whispers in your ears, assuring you that you have achieved… something. And this is evident by those imaginary Hyundai-less people squeezing their face at your acquisition while silently weeping over their lack.

The Bad News: Unfortunately, Bonnie Ware an Australian Nurse who spent several years in Palliative care looking after patients in the last twelve weeks of their life says, the top expressed regret is, ” I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” This means in the end, no true comfort will be received from ‘stuff’ unless they were gotten while living out your dreams.

The Good News! Now you know. What are you going to do about it?

b) To feed the darkness in you: There is no human incapable of great evil. The most notorious recorded criminals in history are all human beings. This basically means we all have tendencies. And the reason some of us don’t succumb, I personally feel is not out of fear of jail or death; it is just that we just haven’t allowed the desire to consume us beyond reason.

As a Christian, I lean on the grace of God and walk solely in the light of Christ. And this light fills me with love. Love is a powerful tool, don’t believe me, ask the little guy below.

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Seriously the trap is, the moment you start thinking of your haters, you need to create reasons for their alleged hatred. And since they haven’t verbally given you one, guess where you begin to search? In the inner recess of your own evil tendencies; by creating reasons and scenarios why their hate must have been triggered. And this is a never ending well.

The Bad News: When digging a well, previously buried sands and other things will be brought up to the surface; and you will never know what will be uncovered.

The Good News! Buried sand and other things remain buried when not dug up. If restlessness and itchy fingers are your worry and you need to dig something, dig into your capacity for love and expand that hole, it is the better alternative.

c) It indicates you are totally sold to the societal machine, conditioning and whatever expectations are put on individuals in that decade (it keeps changing and that alone should tell us something) :

Personally, and my friends know this, I do not have a dream car or plan on personally owning one. I do know the ease and comfort having one brings. And whenever it is raining and I get to borrow my Mom’s car, it is with deep gratitude that she owns one. And in the event I end up having a car, it will definitely not be for daily use.

As a writer, I have gotten tons of my material from the goldmine of public transportation. This is one mine I will not readily relinquish. Whatever society’s expectation is for someone my age, unless ‘they’ will become Scheherazade, visit me daily and tell great tales I could never come up with no matter my effort, there is zero interest in me to please that expectation.

You may hate driving or feel inadequate to be someone’s life partner; but you do it either way because it is expected. And this hater accusations just perpetuates the circle of misery as you are inadvertently reinforcing the so called standard.

The Bad News: Our culture is one of relentless probing. People that can barely spell your name will look you in the eye and list all the wrong things in your life; and this is not to mention the liberties taken by family members. Its tough out on these streets.

The Somewhat Good News! Valid rebellion is your only course of action. It eventually earns you respect and reluctant support. It is doubly tough to make your rebellion work but the victory is delicious.

I will stop for now.

You can argue for the validity of the existence of haters but I support my stand; they only exist because of us. There is a potential hater in everyone except when we always choose to respond in love and kindness; not easy but doable.

So choose love always.

I love you with the love of the Lord; my own human love is work in constant progress.

 

Featured Image Via Flick (Pink Marina)

Who would you like to avoid in 2016?

Most times, when people are asked the thing they do not like most or cannot stand in other people, they say lies. And I wonder how people can say that boldly when we all lie in different shapes, sizes and forms.

I know, I know some of us never tell lies;  we just exaggerate a bit when telling stories for effect and to be more entertaining *wink*. But some of us have the occasional ‘slip up’, it is called being human. My most deliberate lies however, are told when I am fending off a guy. I just do not feel charitable enough to bear with the insistence that comes with that sense of entitlement some guys have. So I lie to crush any hope for possibility.

Lies are mainly told out of fear, research has shown and even people for whom lying has become a sickness and sort of second nature; it is usually as a result of the fear of the exposure that comes with truth. This fear is very real, heavy and sometimes debilitating. So instead of facing our fears, overcoming them with the truth that sets free, we respond with a lie. This is a struggle most of us intentionally try daily to overcome.

And it is for this reason, this fear, that I believe we should forgive people that lie to us more easily than those that commit other crimes against us. It is actually an act of kindness and one acknowledging our very shared humanity.

Do not get me wrong, forgiving a person doesn’t mean you have to keep them in your life. For that, you need to judge for yourself, the weight of the choice they made against its effect and consequences.

I have regretted keeping some liars in my life after forgiving them. These are the ones who refused to admit to their lie after they were caught red-handed. And these are the category of liars I would emphatically say, do away with immediately. Cut them out of your life because they believe you are not smart enough to find them out and would not feel the need to stop telling the lies they know are very damaging.  So cut them off! Or at least keep them at arms length, this might actually help them long term.

Now the group of people I absolutely cannot stand are disrespectful people. Nothing irks me like a disrespectful person. Liars are universally liars, they would lie to their mother, father,brother, lover, in fact, they would even lie to God without blinking or at least feign ignorance about the truth to him. But disrespectful people are very selective and they do not disrespect everybody. They only do that to people who as we say here in Nigeria, ‘dey don see finish’, and that is what gets me the most.

Disrespectful people feel they have calculated the whole sum total of your life and will treat you with the measure they feel you are worth. Mind you this measure they use, is against the measure of what they think of themselves.  So they weigh you against themselves, according to their standards and find you falling short.

My question is, who made them the standard?

Its true the ‘world’ has put things out there as the true worth of individuals based on beauty and wealth. But we all have to make our choices, don’t we?

And we have. The funniest thing I hear when people want to establish themselves after feeling disrespected is by saying, “Do you know who I am?”. As if the disrespect wouldn’t have happened if the totality of who they are was known, even though it is that same ‘assumed’ totality by the other party that led to the disrespect. Confused? I know, its how I feel whenever I witness that kind of situation.

Unfortunately, even though they are still my worst kind of people, I have lived long enough to realize that disrespectful people are the most insecure people; but my sympathy hasn’t fully matured enough for me to want to bear with and still hang around them. They usually pick on people they feel are beneath them to feel better about themselves. Or they get a ‘high’ out of trying to pull down confident people who they feel in a materialist sense, have no reason to be confident.

Disrespectful people are definitely on my avoid-list of 2016, I do not like the negativity and dehumanization they carry with them.  It is easier to avoid them to Facebook, thanks to the unfriend button (unfollow is the coward’s way out).

I know there are people that commit more heinous crimes in the world but on an everyday level, disrespectful people get me the most.

What kind of people will you try to avoid or de-clutter from your life in 2016 or will you just let the love of Christ dwell richly in you as you embrace everyone equally?

I would love to live out the second option but I am not there yet.

Never Date A Broke Guy!

This is golden advice I promise, one I have given to many a friend which unfortunately always falls on deaf ears. Its like those seeds in the parable of the sower in Matthew 13 that fell on rocky ground. The seeds that wanted to spring up and they did, but because their roots had not gone deep enough, when the sun came up, it burnt the young plants and dried them up. The rocky ground wasn’t good enough because it didn’t have good soil.

The things affecting the goodness in the soil of the hearts of my friends and most girls, preventing my words from taking root are:

  1. The naivety in the hearts of normal human beings that just want to be loved.
  2. The veiled treats made by those stories, pamphlets and testimonies about girls who refused to date broke guys but later had to gnash their teeth in  regret. This is because those broke guys, hallelujah! rose up to become billionaires.

Honestly the second thing has put more fear and gotten more girls for broke guys than love ever did but…c’est la vie.

Back then, every time I advised against dating a broke guy,  I was hit with statements of shock. Mostly because my friends and most people that know me, know I  see no value in materialism. So my advice seemed like a contradiction or that’s what I told myself to console the many failures to heed it. But in hindsight, I am sure they thought I was joking or said it for some kind of comic relief.

I have seen the damaging danger of acquiring money. By this  I mean the damage in having too much of it with no purpose to share and spread it to increase value all around. Truly, if I knew for sure I was going to survive an erupted volcano (We have dormant ones on the plateau) and had to save two things outside my family, it would be my laptop (Writer struggles, its like an appendage) and Ipod (Music is life!), end of story. So this is really not about the money or material things.

What is it about then? Well, I am glad you ask.

It is about the value I have seen men place on themselves and by extension, on the things they surround themselves with; based only on the amount of money they have.

Don’t forget I used to be the Mayor of the friend zone, so therefore, I am an authority on this. Like I have said many times, when you are the Mayor of that prestigious establishment, you get told eh.ver.reey.thing. It is a zone of trust and honesty.

In the friends zone, I learnt that most guys’ value and confidence lies in their pockets, bank accounts, designer clothes and accessories. Growing up, I use to think designer things were items  guys killed themselves to buy; I didn’t know any girl struggling to buy designer products. Times have changed somewhat but in my teenage and early adult years, this was the case.

Anyway, the above mentioned things are what I found were very important to guys as it relates to interfacing with the world and getting a girl.

Wait, did you think guys placed their value on their intelligence? How many swaggered out geeks do you see running the streets and chatting up girls? And good looking guys mainly use their physical attributes as a shield for deception. It gives them the confidence to walk up to a girl but watch them crumble when in that same moment, a guy with more money starts talking to the same girl.

Now in relation to what they have in their pockets, most broke guys date in two main ways:

a) According to their present level: Which means the girl is also broke and in their minds, has not seen any better. This means she won’t make them feel bad and  would be appreciative of whatever they have to offer.

b) According to the level they aspire to: This is the category belonging to the leeches and self-disrespecting guys. The funny thing is, it is majorly good looking guys in this category. Remember no money, zero confidence but their looks gives them enough confidence to chat the girl up and bamboozle her. And the truth is most girls have a weakness for good looking guys.

And it is based on this that I tell my friends never date a broke guy because it is either he is:

a) Managing with you according to his present condition or…

b) Using you to elevate himself. And this means if he gets elevated beyond where you are, you are suddenly not going to be good enough because such guys only keep aiming higher.

I’m sure someone is now saying, so Ulan what do you mean, you money monger? Broke guys are not entitled to love and relationships or what?

Of course they are entitled and I have personally dated one or two or three broke guys. Who am I kidding, I have dated mainly broke to ‘okay’ as we say here, guys. This I know again in hindsight is the reason most people do not take me seriously when I give my golden advice; I seem to be leading the cause for dating broke guys.

But, if it helps, this is kind of my criteria for selection.

  1. He wasn’t really born broke or hasn’t really been broke all his life but has fallen on hard times. In my mind this gives him a range of understanding about what money is and how useful it can be. KEY CHARACTER TO NOTE:  Be sure he is not in denial of his current state and living on past glory or struggling with a chip on his shoulder.
  2. The purpose of his life is clear to him and he is working towards it. This is always very clear in how he prioritizes his time with you, with his guys and with the things he is working towards. KEY CHARACTER TO NOTE: Playing around when there is career-furthering work to be done is not even an option.
  3. He may like to look good or totally not care about it but he is not fussy about how he presents himself in public. KEY CHARACTER TO NOTE: He works with what he has and keeps it moving.
  4. This relates to (3). He is also not fussy about how you look or present yourself in public and raises an eyebrow when it looks like you are trying to present yourself above your means.

This is just a few of the things I note off the bat but as an analysis guru, trust I take it a lot further than that.

I know most people may not agree with me but ladies, just listen to this; when next a broke guy asks you out and a gut feeling arises that tells you not to go there; ignore that guilt grenade pamphlet of  ‘date a broke guy, because broke becomes billionaire’ message and please before gambling with your time, drop the pamphlet, go round your neighborhood and do a survey of girls that got dumped the moment their boyfriends ‘made it’ and I bet you that number will banish all your guilt away…

…Or you can just call me, I will give you tons of numbers for your personal reference.