HOW I DECIDED WHAT COMMUNITIES TO JOIN ON VINA

As an online community manager for an engineering company and for my own personal community, Vivi e impara, I strongly believe in the power of community to connect people and share knowledge. At VINA, this is something that can be done very well!

According to the State of Community Management 2018 Report, communities are impacting the way we live and the work around us. The research is compelling:

  1. Communities are change agents: Community programs impact multiple functions, stakeholders, and departments in organizations. They have immense potential to be agents of change by efficiently dispersing knowledge and information across organizations and their markets.
  2. Communities create transformational value: Community programs show an average ROI that exceeds 2,000%. They enable behavior changes that directly impact profitability and revenue generation, while also having an overwhelmingly positive impact on brand and cultural sentiment.
  3. Community teams are underfunded: Community professionals are burnt out due to increasing success and workloads without the accompanying increase in resources and support. This is limiting impact.

As a VINA Ambassador & VINA Society Writer, and an active member of The Community Roundtable network, I’ve used VINA to connect with women with similar interests as mine. I’m active in many communities, including bloggers, dog owners, foodies, and yoga, to name a few. While chatting with new vinas on the app, I’m able to find something in common with them. And if not, then I’ve met someone different from me that I can learn from.

Just this past week I connected with a fellow yogi. In the introduction on the app it says, “Share your favorite spot to shavasana! Then how about trying each other’s favorite yoga studios together?” This quick introduction not only helps new vinas find a cool new yoga studio, but also suggests an activity to bring women closer together based on mutual interests and understanding. Now, what’s better than that?

I’m grateful that VINA is supporting the diverse interests and skill sets that we as women represent. VINA challenges and recognizes us and celebrates what we have in common and what makes us different.

Download the Hey! VINA app today and find out for yourself! Join a few communities and realize just how beautiful it is to bring us all a little closer together. 

HAPPY NATIONAL WOMEN’S HEALTH WEEK!

woman getting her pulse checked

The United States Women’s National Health Week is from May 12th through the 18th this year! Here are a few ways to keep your health in check so that you can continue being the most badass version of yourself:

GET YOUR WELL WOMAN CHECKUP ASAP!

If you haven’t already gone in for your annual checkup, now’s the time to get it scheduled! I don’t know about you, but I’m a borderline hypochondriac so I’ll do anything that’ll reassure me that I’m not nine-months pregnant or that I have a rare, incurable disease. A thorough well-woman checkup will include preventative screenings such as breast examinations and pap smears.

START MOVIN’ AND GROOVIN’

Woman's silhouette running against the sunrise

According to World Health Organization, one in four adults live a sedentary lifestyle. This leaves you susceptible to common diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. The good news is that it’s never too late to adopt a more active lifestyle.

Just recently I started seeing a personal trainer and I’ve never felt so strong in my life. Now, I’m not saying you suddenly have to start doing SoulCycle every week or become a yoga guru, but even just incorporating brisk 15-minute walks into your routine could make all the difference.

ADOPT A HEALTHIER DIET

Did you know your gut can tell you more about your current health state than any other part of your body? Think about it; how often do you deal with bloat or constipation or fatigue? It can even affect your sleep and weight! Bad gut health is a result of consistent bad eating habits (along with a few other factors such as stress levels and hydration). That means the best way to get your gut in check is to have a well-balanced diet. Try to cut back on foods with a high sugar or trans fat content and replace them with more fibrous foods. Maybe even get tested for subtle food allergies you might have.

Be warned though. Your doctor might tell you that you’re allergic to garlic and you’ll question everything you know about yourself – not that I’m projecting or anything.

Long story short vinas, a better balanced diet = happy gut = happy you.

KEEP YOUR MENTAL HEALTH IN CHECK

A girl reading poetry with a cup of tea

According to Women’s Health, one in five women in the United States (I’m sure it’s similar in other parts of the world) have experienced a mental health condition. Thankfully it’s becoming more acceptable to be open and honest about mental health issues in the workplace, in schools, and even between loved ones.

I personally struggle with depression and anxiety. It’s been a long road getting to a place where I can manage it better, but I still have a long way to go.

So here’s your reminder to be kind to and patient with yourselves vinas. Treat yourself to some “me days” accompanied with some wine (or coffee or tea) and a good book (or your favorite T.V. show). Of course these should not be in placement of treatments provided by a licensed therapist if you choose to seek one.

BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY

Here’s my last one for you vinas, and it’s an important one. Be sure to practice safe behaviors such as quitting smoking (or not starting), not texting while driving (I ain’t a saint, I struggle with this one too), wearing your seat belts, and using protection.

I want to end on a high note and remind all of you vinas that the first step to loving yourself is taking care of yourself, so please keep these tips in mind year-round.

Even better download the Hey! VINA app today and share these tips with some new life-long friends.

HOW TO BE THE BEST FREAKING BRIDESMAID EVER

Stand in line ladies!! The bride-to-be just made her decision about who is going to stand next to her on her big day, and you’re gonna be in it!

How exciting! Congratulations to the happy couple. But your job is a lot tougher than you think.  Yes, yes, the bride and groom have flowers and chapels and food to sort out, but your job is firstly,  to make sure your bride has the best bachelorette party ever, and secondly, to make sure that her wedding day goes on without a hitch.

The first thing you need to understand is that while you do get to help her plan, it is NOT your day. Know when to back off. Know your place. Especially if you’re not the maid of honor.

Run ideas past, her but don’t overwhelm her with unnecessary details. Give her options to choose from but don’t make it impossible.

It’s easy to get stressed out about the details, but remember, she’s probably stressed with this and other things already.  Take it easy.  Bring her a glass of wine at every opportunity you get.

If there are a few of you, make sure that you’re all on the same page with everything. Communication is key. Everyone needs to know everything at all times. Try to keep bitchiness to the bare minimum. We all know that sometimes some people can push you to your limits. Take it from us, it’s not worth it. Just take a deep breath, smile and keep your cool. If things become a little overwhelming, take a deep breath (do you see where I’m going with this?), smile and brave-face through it.

The best part of being a bridesmaid is not the big day, it’s the bachelorette party. And planning the perfect day for her is going to be epic.

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  1. Know the bride well enough to know what her favourite things were as a child. Maybe you might not know but one of the other ladies might. If that doesn’t work, contact a family member.
  2. You already know what her favourite things are now.
  3. Mix that up with some Magic Mike action, and you’re set to go.
  4. Stay in contact with all the other people in the bridal party. It’s good to be on top of things.
  5. Help the bride with whatever she needs for the night. Be it lip gloss or a ride home.
  6. Be consistent. Nobody likes wishy-washy.
  7. Stay in your lane. If it wasn’t your job, don’t try to do it better.
  8. Notify her husband-to-be and his best man of your plans. We know you’ve got this, but they need to know that they are on stand-by (if they are) if you need them.
  9. Arrange keepsakes for the night for all the guests and one in particular for the bride. A photo collage or a memory book works great.
  10. Don’t be boring. Show up, show off and have the best freaking night of your lives.

With these tips, we know you’re going to be the best bridesmaids ever, vinas!

If you’re in need of some vinas to throw some big day ideas off of, find your next wedding planning crew on Hey! VINA today!

8 ASTROLOGICAL FRIENDSHIP GOLD STARS 🌟 DO YOU MATCH?

You’ve just matched with a new vina. Happy days! You’ve plenty in common and things are lookin’ pretty promising. But you may well be pondering, could this be your future bestie or will they be just another thank you, next-ie?

Well ponder no more!  The branch of astrology known as synastry, from the Greek word synastria, meaning favourable conjunction of the stars, is the study of relationship potential and compatibility. It can provide insight into whether your friendship has all the markings of a sweet match or whether you’re headed for, well, a pretty rough patch.

So, whether you’re just getting started on the friendship path or are 20 years in and still going strong, you may question – does your friendship have the legs to last?  Here are my top 5 friendship synastry gold stars and I’ve teamed up with insightful asteroid astrology researcher, Astrologer IQ, for his top 3 asteroid friendship synastry gold stars.

Psst- Don’t know your astrological placements? Or your Moon sign from your Jupiter sign? No stress! Head over to astro.com to find out more. You will require the date, time and place of birth for both you and your vina. Alternatively check out the Friendship synastry report.

TOP 5 PLANETARY FRIENDSHIP GOLD STARS

🌟1. Sun conjunct Ascendant – I know you.
This is the perfect match for mutual understanding of each other. You’re truly on the same wavelength. You support each other and can relate without the need for words. Chances are, you’ll feel like you’ve known each other a mighty long time, even if you’ve only just met. This is one of the best friendship synastry aspects for sure. Hold on to this vina, she’s a keeper!

🌟2. Mercury conjunct, sextile or trine Mercury – We think as one.
Mercury rules communication and how you prefer to communicate with others. With Mercury in harmony, you tend to think on the same wavelength. Conversation flows naturally and harmoniously. Misunderstandings are few and far between and excellent comradeship is pretty common.

🌟3. Moon conjunct, sextile or trine Moon– I feel you.
This vina just gets you. She understands what makes you happy and what makes you sad. She hears your heart in ways others simply don’t. She feels your lows and shares your highs. You’re on the same wavelength emotionally, and this sure feels good.

🌟4. Venus conjunct Jupiter – Sweetness and joy.
With a positively aspected Venus and Jupiter, you’ll bring sweetness and luck to each others’ lives. And a fair measure of smiles. You’ll enjoy sharing gifts with each other. Providing there are no major disharmonious aspects, this is a super aspect for friendships.

🌟5. Jupiter conjunct, sextile or trine Mars– Let’s make things happen.
If you’re wanting to achieve things with your vina, be it fun adventures, study or even business, the link of Jupiter and Mars blesses your friendship with the energy to achieve big. If the two signs are in conjunction,  it’s time to set your mutual sights high!

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TOP THREE ASTEROID FRIENDSHIP GOLD STARS

🌟1. ASTEROID VESTA sextile, trine or conjunct VESTA – True dedication.
If you are the type who cares about dedication in friendship, then this is one of the best aspects to have, as this triggers a feeling that both of you must be dedicated to one another and try to put the other’s needs ahead of your own during important moments for one another.

🌟2. ASTEROID PSYCHE or ALMA sextile, trine or conjunct your Vina’s PSYCHE or ALMA – Soul sister.
This is an aspect that helps create an inner “soul” level understanding of one another and due to this deep level of understanding strengthens the bonds of friendship.

🌟3. ASTEROID FORTUNE or TYCHE sextile, trine or conjunct your Vina’s FORTUNA or TYCHE – Lady luck.                                                                                                                                                    This aspect represents the good luck that arises from a strong friendship. This is the kind of aspect that helps two friends open a small business together and take it to dizzying heights. The very presence of a friend with such an aspect can bring good fortune.

If you have any of these gold stars with your vina (the more the merrier), the chances are that you’ve found a great friendship match. But watch this space – my next blog will feature red flag planetary and asteroid friendship synastry aspects of hidden enemies.

& While you’re at it, find your astrological match over at Hey! VINA!

WHY YOU SHOULD PLAN A GIRLS WEEKEND THIS SPRING

Not that you absolutely need a handful of reasons to ever plan a girls weekend, but the process alone can be daunting. When you get past the hard parts — like gathering your closest vinas, deciding where to go and setting a budget — the rest should be smooth sailing. In case you need a little nudge in the right direction, here are five reasons this spring is the perfect time to plan that long awaited, much needed girls weekend away!

RECONNECT

Day-to-day life can get crazy, and it’s easy to lose contact with your friends during the week. So planning a girls weekend will make for a perfect opportunity to catch up with your vinas. Nothing is better than having time for long conversations about your goals, dreams, and what’s new with who. Part of getting together for the weekend with your best friends is all about the deep and meaningful conversations!

UNWIND

You work hard, and you deserve some time away from your job. There is so much bliss in having to do absolutely nothing, even if it’s just for a couple of days. Take a journal with you and record your mood on your mini-vacation. Share it with your vinas and reflect on how it compares to your mood during the week. You’ll see just how important it is to plan a weekend away once in awhile to unwind and relax!

DISCOVER

Planning a girls weekend away this spring entails shopping trips and dining out. Maybe you’ll discover a favorite restaurant or even a tourist attraction. Discovery doesn’t stop there, though. A trip like this will allow you to experience new things and learn about yourself and the relationships with the ones around you!

EXCITEMENT

Excitement is all around when you go away from home. Whether that be from the anticipation or from an activity on your trip. Regardless, even a few days away will satisfy your urge for adventure and fun!

MEMORIES

The most important reason of all — the lasting memories you’ll make with your vinas. It will be a trip you never forget and you’ll forever be reminiscing about the wild adventures and amazing experiences’ you all shared. You’ll have pictures to look back on and smile upon great moments with your girl friends.

Looking for new ladies to take a girls trip with? Check out Hey! VINA and find some adventure-loving vinas today!

WHY BEING A NEW MOM CAN BE LONELY–AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT

Being a mom has been one of the most rewarding yet challenging roles that I have played in my 30 years of life thus far. Learning how to balance your own needs, your spouse’s needs, a career, and the needs of a new baby can oftentimes feel overwhelming and leave you feeling mighty lonely even though you are constantly surrounded by others.

I can relate to these feelings because I have lived through the lonely feelings, and I still have those moments where being a new mom can feel like an island.

The feelings started during my maternity leave and after my husband’s paternity leave was over, and the reality sunk in that I would be alone with this little human for over eight hours. Thoughts like “when will my spouse/partner be home from work?”, “what would the baby and I do together?”, “if he gets sick what happens?”, and “he’s napping, and I need some adult conversation…but all of my friends are at work” ran through my mind like a loud church bell. Take all of those thoughts and then add Postpartum Depression and you get one hell of a sad and lonely mixture.

But my fellow vina moms, there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it doesn’t involve having to wait until your child is in college to feel like a part of the human race again.

Here are the top 3 things that I did to kick new mom loneliness to the curb.

LOCATE A COMMUNITY OF MOMS WHO ARE POSITIVE, NON-JUDGMENTAL, AND WHO LIKE TO SEEK “ADVENTURE”

This was possibly the best way that kicked loneliness to the curb! I decided that there is strength in numbers, and that surely if I felt this way, that other new moms did as well. Locating a tribe that fits your personality can take some trial and error, but when you find that core group of moms, you will have found a diamond hidden in all of the coal. They can relate to the late nights, early mornings, the feeling of wanting adult conversation, and are learning to navigate this whole Mom life right alongside you. Some great places to search for these groups are Hey! VINA (of course!), Meetup, your local church, MOPs groups, mom based exercise classes, or even Facebook groups. These groups have given me support and motivation when I need it the most.

GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY

I know some of you are rolling your eyes at this suggestion. I’m a mom who is an entrepreneur, so I know how busy we can all get, but getting to learn more about my community has helped me to not only volunteer for a cause that I believe in, but has helped me to meet others and find events and activities to make me feel like I am a part of something bigger. When looking for volunteer opportunities, try to find an organization that will let you be flexible and bring your baby. The organization that I chose let me bring my son, and it not only exposed me to a whole new group of people but helped to make his world larger as well.

TRY VIEWING THIS LONELY TIME AS A CHANCE FOR SELF-DISCOVERY

There are going to be times in our lives when we don’t have the opportunity to hang out with our friends, and volunteering may not be an option. So, I found peace in changing my mindset. I started to shift my thinking from “I’m lonely” to thinking “what can I learn today about myself?” This thought process has helped me to become more confident in finding the things in life that I am passionate about. It led me to start journaling my feelings, reading more positive material, and helped me to become more comfortable with being “lonely.”

Moms are strong, there’s no debating that, but there are times that we need to feel a little more “seen.” If you are lonely right now, don’t get discouraged! Start by taking these three baby steps to feel connected and watch your world start to take a beautiful and fulfilled shape.

For more ways to meet awesome vina moms, be sure check out Hey! VINA!

Q&A WITH AMY SHEPPARD ABOUT HER #KISSMYFATASS MOVEMENT

We interviewed Amy Sheppard, musician and women’s activist, about her #KissMyFatAss movement that she created through Instagram!

1. Hi Amy! We find the #KissMyFatAss movement so inspiring and so needed. Tell us about what inspired this movement? Was there anything specific that prompted you to start it?

It all began when I was scrolling through my camera roll looking for a photo to upload. I came across a photo I really loved but my butt was looking really dimply. I was thinking about ways I could manipulate the image so that it was “post worthy.” As I was trying to blur out my cellulite on FaceTune I thought… “What the hell am I doing?!” I posted the photo (Sans FaceTune) and wrote a caption along the lines of “I have cellulite, kiss my fat ass if you find it offensive.”

2. Why do you think the hashtag resonates with so many people?

I feel that people are tired of being fed perfect images 24/7. When they see someone upload an honest an unaltered picture, they have something to connect with. It gives people permission to be themselves.

3. What makes the conversation around body positivity and acceptance so important during our cultural climate?

Almost everyone is worried about their external appearance these days. There is so much emphasis placed on making sure that your life appears perfect in every way. The thing is, life isn’t perfect. Bodies aren’t perfect. The more honest we are with each other, the less alone we will all feel.

4. What’s next for #kissmyfatass?

At this stage, I’m just really enjoying creating a positive community.

5. Is body image something you’ve dealt with for many years? Tell us about the dark time. How did you get through it and who helped you?

I have dealt with body image issues for as long as I can remember. Growing up I was an overweight child and I was bullied for it. Once I lost the weight, the body image issues didn’t subside. I was never good enough. It has taken me years to realize that self-worth has nothing to do with how much you weigh! There’s so much more to focus your life on than counting calories.

Sheppard OMW Press Image by Caitlin Boland

6. Do you read Instagram comments, or do you steer away from them? Why or why not?

I read my Instagram comments. I try to reply to them all. As I said earlier, I want to build a community of positive people. I want to be able to help others who might be struggling or just be a friendly presence.

7. How does it feel to know the impact you’re having on so many women who’ve found confidence through this movement? Are there are any specific people that come to mind, who have contacted you and explained what a difference you made? Would love to hear about it.

I get so many messages and comments daily from people who find my posts of value. It truly means the world to me. In helping others, I have also found the process very healing for myself. It just goes to show how many people do suffer from body image issues.

8. VINA is all about helping every single woman find their tribe—their community of women who they can lean on. Who is your tribe? Who is your support system?

I’m so fortunate to have some incredibly strong women around me. I draw most support from my mum and my sister Emma. We are lucky enough to work together and we see each other every single day. A bond like that is unbreakable.

9. How do your girl friends lift you up? What are your favorite things to do with them?

One of my favourite things to do with the girls is to either head to the gym together or go for a nice long walk. It’s time without technology and a time to encourage one another. It’s like having a mini girl gang.

10. In typical VINA fashion, how do you usually spend your Sundays?

On Sundays, I invite my friends around and we spend all day either in the pool, or watching movies. Sundays are for chilling.

11.  Lastly, tell us about Sheppard! What’s going on this summer for you guys?!

We are taking some time to write album 3! We can’t wait for you all to hear it!

Check out Sheppard’s “On My Way” lyric video HERE!

HOW TO STAY ON TASK WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO

Accept life as it is, in it’s naturalness, and live it in its totality.

Osho

I’ve often begun tasks or set goals with impressive enthusiasm only to end up losing motivation and never finishing. What are we supposed to do when we lose interest in finishing something we once deemed fulfilling or important? Trying new things or learning new skills unfolds the same way that life does. It is extremely unpredictable. However, we can learn to accept the journey in its naturalness. Here are some tips and motivation that keep me pushing and trying new things. 

LOSING MOTIVATION + THE FEAR OF NOT ACCOMPLISHING GOALS

It is quite normal for anyone to lose motivation after they begin any task. Fear may also come creeping in, in the midst of achieving a goal or a task. Fear can be tamed by assessing the inner dialogue that one has with themselves. When I have too many negative thoughts intruding or interrupting my progress of achieving a goal, I set aside time in my daily schedule to tackle the thoughts. I normally write down my negative thoughts in a journal and find ways to change the negative thoughts into something more positive. To get back my motivation, I normally take my mind off the goal I am trying to achieve and focus on a hobby or something that I enjoy doing. Doing something that I love sort of gives me the energy and mindset to work towards my goals. I always keep in mind that I have a balance between goals and hobbies. I try my best not overwork myself, as this may create a lot of strain and stress. Finding new hobbies can also be very helpful in putting myself out there, and, who knows? I may meet new people in the process. 

FORGOTTEN DREAMS: REMEMBER WHY YOU STARTED

When you lose the motivation to achieve a goal or a task at hand, it may be easy to forget why you started in the first place. Getting to achieve a goal has its ups and downs, and it’s quite realistic to bear in mind that there will be challenges along the way. I normally speak to people I know, who understand how significant achieving that goal is whenever I find it difficult to remember that. It could be useful to ruminate on and evaluate how far I’ve come since I initially started working towards achieving that goal, so that I am constantly motivated and am fueled to continue working towards my goal(s).

girl jumping at top of mountain

SET AND BREAK DOWN GOALS INTO SMALLER CHUNKS

In order for you to achieve a goal, you might need to break it down into smaller chunks. When I had issues meeting new people and putting myself out there, I broke down the goal into more manageable chunks. I used to struggle with crippling anxiety, and I worked on my anxiety in order for me to approach people. I practiced my social skills at random events. Despite how awkward I was when speaking to strangers, I still managed to learn from all the mistakes I made in the past and make progress from that. Putting oneself out there not only accounts for meeting people at social events, but even talking to strangers! You would be surprised at how that can boost your confidence. Today, I know how to articulate myself well with confidence, because I chose to learn from my mistakes and not let that stop me from growing. Mistakes are part of the process. I couldn’t get things right from the get-go, but when I fell, I got back up again. I am a human being, and mistakes are there to help teach and help me grow.

WORKING WITH PEOPLE WHO HAVE SIMILAR GOALS

two professional women smiling and working together


Working with people who have similar goals has kept me on the right track. Surrounding myself with people who are accomplishing what I want to accomplish will provide constant motivation and inspiration.

Social media applications are a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Apps like Hey! VINA have helped me meet a whole lot of amazing friends. Speaking to people online made me feel less anxious about talking to them in person, too.

REWARD YOURSELF

I thought it would be a good idea to reward myself every time I made progress in reaching my goal. I am not extrinsically motivated, but sometimes I reward myself with goodies or presents. I’m more intrinsically motivated, so it would be best to look at how achieving the goal adds to my personal values.

TAKE A LEAP OF FAITH

I always try to keep in mind that I should not compromise who I am for the sake of achieving a goal, meeting new people, or, even more so, putting myself out there. So I say: jump and take a leap of faith whilst trusting the process!

Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, don’t sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy. Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

Dale Carnegie

Sending love, light, joy and angel blessings your way. Let us rebuild a healthy state of mind!

And of course, you can always practice putting yourself out there by chatting up a new vina on Hey! VINA today!✨👯

TABOO TOPIC TUESDAY: MOVING ON FROM A FRIEND

Maybe they don’t make you feel your best. Maybe they haven’t been supportive of an exciting new chapter in your life. Maybe you’ve been meaning to do so for a while.

No matter how you slice it, cutting ties with a friend or someone you care about can be really painful. When you make the decision to end a friendship or move on without someone, it’s understandable to feel sad or upset about it. But likely, it isn’t a decision you’ve made lightly.

It can help to ask yourself a few questions about the situation (maybe even write them down in a letter you won’t ever send to the person/people you’re moving on from) to alleviate your own feelings of hurt and help you understand that you’re doing this for you.

Do they support me?

Of course, it’s not ideal to have blind support from your friends; we need our friends to tell us if we’re being self-destructive or making decisions that can harm us in the long run. But if a friend or group of friends isn’t there for you during hard times? Maybe let them go. Conversely, it can really hurt if you have a new opportunity that might be really exciting, and they choose to make it about them without showing any support for you. If they can’t be happy for you about the amazing new parts of your life, it’s time to find people who will be.

Do I feel better after talking to them?

This doesn’t necessarily have to mean after talking to a friend for advice or when you’re looking for comfort; this can just mean in general! Do you always feel worse about your body after having dinner with a friend who constantly talks down about themselves or you? Do you leave their house with a sinking feeling after they spent the entire time you were hanging out filling your ears with mean-spirited gossip about other friends, when all you really wanted to do is discuss the latest episode of The Good Place? If you feel worse after speaking to them than you did when you walked in, it might be time to move on.

Do they treat you the way you deserve?

Sometimes the people we thought we cared about the most are the ones that show their true colors when you’ve had a communication mishap or you have an argument. Are they mature when it comes to handling disagreements? If they never apologize or take responsibility for their actions, that puts a lot of pressure on you to diffuse conflict and tension. You deserve respect, and you should be treated with some.

These questions aren’t the end-all be-all; it can be really difficult and extremely complicated when dealing with friendship problems. Just remember: if you’re considering cutting ties for your own mental and physical health, you should trust your gut. It’s usually right.

Start swiping and find some awesome new friends on Hey! VINA today!

HOW TO DEAL WHEN YOUR PARTNER AND VINA DON’T GET ALONG

When I was dating my ex, he and my cousin – who was like a sister to me – never seemed to get along. They were both always good to me, and they were genuinely thoughtful and loving people, but it would always feel so tense whenever they were in the same room. I don’t know about you, vinas, but I personally dislike it when my loved ones can’t get along. I over-exert myself to make sure other people are happy…so this situation was basically a nightmare. I mean, what was a vina to do? Break-up with who was then the love of my life, or cut ties with my own blood?

“But Kaitlin, isn’t it obvious, if your friends don’t like your partner, that must mean they’re not the right match!”

Not necessarily.

“But wait, you’re talking about an ex! So obviously your vina was right about not liking him from the beginning.”

Now hang on!

My cousin and ex never explicitly said they didn’t like each other – they just had clashing personalities. Sure, it didn’t work out between me and him but that’s a different story to be unfolded later. The fact was, at that time, I had two people I cared about a lot, who cared about me, but didn’t care for each other.

“Okay…so how did you deal with it?”

Glad you asked! I avoided it! Just kidding. Reflection was a key part of dealing with this issue. I had to make sure there was no underlying reason for my two loved ones to not like each other – like, it would’ve been understandable if my cousin didn’t like my ex because he wouldn’t let me go out and live my life or that my cousin took advantage of our friendship, but that wasn’t the case. What it broke down to is that they had different interests and different lifestyle choices. In any other given situation, they just wouldn’t be friends, but they had to interact because they were both associated with me.

Eventually, I just kept the two separate. If they didn’t have to be around each other, I wouldn’t force them to be. When it came to situations where they did, both my ex and my cousin were respectful of each other’s relationship with me. They would just suck it up, make small talk, and call it a day.

Did I wish we were just the best of friends who always got along? Of course, but it’s not always going to be like that. So, my advice to any vinas dealing with a similar issue is to be reflective on the people you choose to hang out with and the people you choose to date. If they’re always bringing you up, supporting you, and loving you, then it shouldn’t matter if the two can’t get along, because the fact is – they’re not dating each other.

The best advice comes from the best of friends. Download the Hey! VINA app today!