Self-Care: Taking Care of You First

If you’ve ever been on an airplane, you’ve seen the attendants sashay along the aisles demonstrating what to do in the case of an emergency: secure yourself and oxygen mask first and then your children’s. The logic is, once you’re safe and secure, you can do the same for the little ones. Otherwise, you risk passing out and hurting yourself and the child. Following the same concept, securing yourself first is important in life, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about putting yourself first.

guilt drenches you when you say no.

They say money changes people, but it changes the people around you quicker than it changes you. You finally get a decent career and suddenly they see you as Money Bags. They don’t see the student loan payments, car note and other bills. So, they lean on you for cash, and you give it to them every time.

When they need an Uber ride or $20 for a sack of weed, a text from them chimes. If you don’t give it to them, something twists inside of you. Even though you want to pay a bill or just blow your own money, guilt drenches you when you say no, but you should say no. Or you’ll enable them to come to you every time.

…ask yourself, “What can I do for you?”

Sometimes a friend needs a ride, so you pick them up. Or you run your brother and his family to the grocery store. You do these things as a favor so much, those you do them for feel entitled. If you don’t do it, they’ll ignore your messages, speak badly behind your back or whatever, but who cares? Why should you?

Everybody has life figured out until it punches them in the face. You owe it to yourself to make your life as comfortable as possible. That means extending yourself less in every direction to find your center. It means asking yourself, “What can I do for you?” and then doing it. If you don’t make time for you, who will?

That said, I believe we have responsibility to give back, and it doesn’t have to be freely pouring money into the hands of others. You can help get someone a career, or you can show them a process to achieve something. Before you can do that, you have to prove it can be done. So, although giving back is the intent, you have to have something to give.

If someone walks away because you can’t or won’t loan them $20, that’s what it costs you to excuse an untrue friend from your life. No relationship should be contingent upon what you can do for the other party(ies). Do less favors. Say no more. You’ll be happier in the end.

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Ye: White Dollars Matter

Left to Right: Rapper and Fashion Icon Ye and Conservative Political Commentator Candace Owens. Photo from

Reluctantly, I address the rapper and fashion icon Ye’s “White Lives Matter” t-shirt controversy. I’ve been hesitant to because, although I don’t know Ye personally, I’ve come to know his tactics. Right before he releases an album, a new shoe or style, he does something drastic. He gave his support to Donald Trump and then asked him on live TV to release incarcerated alleged Chicago gang leader Larry Hoover. Ye “ran” for president and then released an album shortly thereafter. Now, within a week of wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt, news sources reveal he’s purchasing a conservative media company.

But is it OK for Ye to wear a White Lives Matter shirt? By asking that question, you’re giving him what he wants. Say what you will about Ye, but he’s a marketing genius. His critics will point to the interview he did for LeBron’s The Shop which was cut after the WLM stunt. The critics will use this as proof that Ye’s bound to fail.

However, LeBron has become a lighting rod for white conservative rage. They see him as a spoiled rich crybaby who’s perpetuating a false idea of Black racial oppression. From their perspective, Ye was exercising his right to free speech when he wore the WLM shirt. LeBron’s axing Ye’s interview is proof that those on the left are trying to rob Conservatives of their rights. No matter how little sense it makes, to Conservatives, Ye is the victim.

Moreover, Ye has been seen with Conservative commentator Candace Owens who’s made a living out of being the Black person who’ll say the hateful things white Conservatives won’t say publicly; it’s gotten her wealthy and notorious. She speaks out against Black people at every turn, attempting to brainwash them and lead them to slaughter as she makes a profit. Seeing how willing Conservatives are to pour money into Black people who publicly drag their own, it’s not surprising Ye sees a way to easy money.

Kanye’s WLM shirt doesn’t matter. Yes, he’s the same guy who said on national TV in 2005 that George Bush, then-president, “don’t care about Black people.” Neither does Kanye. His goal has become to get filthy rich as quickly as possible by any means. Does Kanye’s WLM shirt really change anything? The mere fact that were having this conversation gives Kanye the win.

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Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears: Comedians or Pedophiles?

Left to Right: Comedians Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears. Photo from CNN.

Recently, news broke that Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears are being sued for child abuse. A 22-year-old woman accuses Tiffany and Aries of manipulating her and her now 15-year-old brother into filming sexually explicit child pornography skits for Funny or Die. The accuser is a child of Tiffany Haddish’s longtime friends. Tiffany and Aries deny the accusations. I have seen one of the videos in question, and it is bizarre.

In a 2014 video called “Mind of a Pedophile”, Tiffany plays the mother of the boy who was 7 years old then, while Aries plays Tiffany’s creepy uncle. Over the course of the video, Tiffany makes up different excuses to go out. Aries reluctantly agrees to watch the boy each time.

In the first scene as R. Kelly’s “Bump and Grind” plays in the background, Aries peeps through holes he cut in a newspaper to peer at the boy. The boy plays on the floor, dressed in nothing but his underwear. Aries licks his lips as he watches the boy.

Next, Tiffany leaves the boy in the tub and Aries in the bathroom with him. Aries makes some creepy faces and eventually crawls into the tub with the boy.

In the last scene, the roles are reversed, and when Tiffany leaves, the boy peeks through the holes of the newspaper and watched Aries. Then the boys begins to rub baby oil on Aries as R. Kelly’s song continues to play. At the end, a caption reads “Watch Who You Leave You Kids With” or something of that nature. It’s placed there as a disclaimer of sorts that lets the reader know the video is addressing a serious issue in a satirical way. However, is there more to the story? Are Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears molesters?

Are Tiffany and Aries Wrong?

The 22-year-old victim also described another time where Tiffany and Aries coerced her into mimicking fellacio for a skit in 2013. The victim was about 13 years old. This too made her feel uncomfortable. The purpose of this video hasn’t been addressed by Aries or Tiffany.

Child abuse is an issue within the Black family that many times go unaddressed. The accused is usually somebody close in relation to the child. The victims grow up feeling damaged and may suffer psychologically. What’s done to them can’t be undone. Though they might heal with time, they will always remember what happened to them. So, shedding light on this issue is important. However, what Tiffany and Aries did was counterproductive.

Although Tiffany and Aries may argue they shot “The Mind of a Pedophile” with good intentions to bring awareness to sexual abuse within families, the pair did a terrible job of executing it. The video with the boy is disturbing at best; at worst, it’s criminally sick.

Some might say the warning “Watch Who You Leave Your Kids With” was placed there to protect Tiffany and Aries. They might say the two knew how the video could be perceived and decided to place the warning there in the event of public fallout.

Still, questions are unresolved: Who was the adult in the room? Who’s responsible? Funny or Die, the comedy video website, acknowledges working with Tiffany and Aries but deny having anything to do with the videos. Authorities must conduct a full investigation into Tiffany, Aries and this company and its practices.

What Does This Mean for Tiffany and Aries?

I had been a fan of Tiffany Haddish for more years than I care to count. Her story of coming from an abusive family and growing up poor stuck with me. Even when she was cracking jokes in front of an audience of ten, I always knew her future was bright. Now, that brightness is dimming.

I’m not sure how the world is going to treat Tiffany. The allegations against her are a mountain of trouble. At least one video exists, and from this, many will draw their uncomfortable opinions. Hollywood doesn’t want to fight for actors or comedians. It is a heartless place focused solely on its bottom line. This might be a five-to-ten-year setback for her.

Aries Spears was hot in the ’90s and early 2000s. His career had been on the decline until recently. He’s been hosting a podcast and appearing other places. His money doesn’t come from the mainstream as much as Tiffany’s. So, he’s not as vulnerable as Tiffany Haddish because Hollywood is about done with him anyway.

Also, as furious as we may become, some might point at that similar things have happened in Hollywood. For instance, in Godfather, 16-year-old Simonetta Stefanelli was forced to be bare-chested for a sex scene with 30-year-old Al Pacino. That movie lives on in Pop Culture as a classic, although it literally has child pornography in it. Furthermore, in 2019, Seth Rogan released Good Boys, a film where three real 13-year-old boys watch porn, play with sex toys and do other sexually inappropriate things.

The Takeaway

Tiffany Haddish and Aries Spears did produce at least one inappropriate skit starring a child. It was done for laughs, but it fell flat and crossed too many lines. In the end, they harmed two kids who have to live with the haunting memory of being used in such a disgusting way. What the future holds isn’t clear, but one thing is for sure: this is going to cost Tiffany Haddish a lot more than it will Aries Spears.

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Don’t Jump to Conclusions about Texas Nurse Who Allegedly Killed Six

Traveling nurse from Texas Nicole Linton, 37, has been charged with six counts of murder and six counts of manslaughter after allegedly speeding through an intersection, leaving six dead. Citing a record of Nicole’s alleged thirteen previous wrecks, the prosecution claimed she was a danger. A judge gave Nicole a two-million-dollar bail, which was increased to nine million before being changed to a no-bond. The loss of life caused by this incident is sad, but we shouldn’t jump to conclusions about Nicole’s guilt, especially since people in similar situations faced probation, and she may not even be fit to stand trial.

Nicole Linton/Facebook

At the age of sixteen, Ethan Couch in Burleson, Texas, killed four people, paralyzed two and injured a total of nine people while drunk, high and driving on a restricted license. He fled the scene of the crime but was ultimately arrested and charged with manslaughter. His defense was the “Affluenza” defense, claiming Ethan was so wealthy, he couldn’t tell right from wrong. Though he was convicted, Ethan got probation. He eventually fled to Mexico, was caught and sentenced to 720 days in jail. He did some of the sentence and got out.

Although Ethan was a juvenile, he could very well have been charged as an adult. However, it’s not surprising that a white teen from a wealthy family basically faced no consequences for his actions. For the same actions, the Black woman Nicole Linton is facing up to 90 years in prison. Already, people have judged her, and the judge has given her a no-bond. According to her lawyer, Nicole may have some mental health issues, but it doesn’t seem the court is taking this mitigating fact into consideration.

Nicole is a traveling nurse, and many nurses work twelve-hour days. No one knows what was going on inside that car with her. She could have fallen asleep, had a jammed gas pedal or something worse. Though lives were loss, this is not a time to hang her out to dry. Nicole deserves to have her side of the story heard. If Ethan Couch can kill four people and paralyze two while high on drugs and drunk and get probation, we should be willing to hear the defense of a nurse who helps to save lives.

Nicole may have a mental illness, according to court records and her attorneys. Those suffering from mental illness need compassion. They should not be prisoners; they should be patients. Let’s not forget we live in a country that puts more money into bombs than it does healthcare. Nicole may not even be fit to stand trial. Stop yourself from judging her. Let her team tell her story, and listen with open ears and caring heart.

J Reed, MFA is an adjunct English professor and writer from Chicago, who writes fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. Subscribe and share. Follow J Reed on Twitter @jreed913.

Six Years a Blogger: The Good, the Bad and the Beautiful

Six years ago I thought, “There should be a website about me where I voice my opinion.” That thought birthed AKA TheReedersBlock. This was before I became an Adjunct English Professor. At the time, I was a grad student navigating the nuances of higher learning and finding my voice. I couldn’t have predicted the success of this site that focuses on all things from self-help to politics. To say it’s been easy would be an untruth. Having gone from grad student to Adjunct English Professor over the lifetime of this site, I’ve interacted with the good, the bad and the beautiful.

The Good

When I started, I’d already tried starting blogs before, all of which failed. From those failed experiences, I gained humility and insight into the difficulties of running a successful website. I had to create content to drive traffic to my site, spread the word and be consistent. Instead of being fueled by unreasonable expectations and no experience, I approached this site with goals and a plan, even if they weren’t specific enough.

Creating this site fit well into what I was already doing as a grad student in the MFA program: writing and blogging. Because I was already doing so much creative writing in my program, I used class assignments I’d done as content for my website. With my professors’ highlighting the errors in my assignments, I didn’t have to proofread as much.

Also, my bachelor’s degree is in English Professional and Technical Writing. I already had a good grasp of English Writing, so I didn’t struggle to put my ideas into writing. They flowed naturally from the tips of my fingers to the screen of my computer without many errors, not to say there were none. I’ve found regardless of how much I proofread a piece before publishing it, there’s always an overlooked missing comma, awkward phrase or something to correct. Having studied English made it easier to write with fewer mistakes.

Also, I employed what I had learned in college: always edit, revise and proofread. Being familiar with the writing process, I understood the importance of each of these steps. The average blogger who doesn’t have an extensive background in writing may publish five or ten articles or blog posts weekly. However, because they have so many errors in their writing, their audience doesn’t take them seriously. Their audience loses interest. The tighter a piece is, the more likely it is to inspire repeat visitors. So, I made sure to clean up my pieces as much as possible.

Creating good content is hard because it requires being in the know. In grad school, I was around an assortment of writers who had blogs, websites and podcasts. Having them to converse with and bounce ideas off gave me insight into what people were talking about. Using this information, I created content in connection with some of the biggest news happening. Because of this, almost all my content is successful, and some is extremely successful. The more relevant your writing is to your audience, the more successful it will be.

The Bad

When I started, I just wanted a space to say what I wanted when I wanted. Other than readership, I had no long-term goals. If my site made people smarter, more active or feel better, then I’d done my job. So, I created entertainment, political and self-help content. I didn’t understand how to use my site as a funnel to sell more of my books.

In hindsight, you deserve to be paid for the content you produce, but creatives always feel icky for selling things. Asking somebody to buy your books makes you cringe harder than you do listening to the telemarketer trying to sell you a vacuum. I suffered from this too. As introverted as I am, the idea of trying to convince somebody to buy something made my skin crawl. Now, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to put a monetary value on what I produce. You don’t have to be a starving artist.

Though keeps a steady stream of visitors, the content varies so widely that readers are here for various reasons. Because of that, it’s difficult to funnel some of the visitors to my books. I don’t plan on slimming down the content areas of TheReedersBlock. However, –my newest site — is succinct, focusing on helping people cope with pain, be it physical or emotional. With a newsletter, books and cheat sheets centered around the subject of pain, my niche will be more fulfilled.

The Beautiful has acted as a public journal for me, allowing me to vent into the world and have somebody care to read it. I don’t know many of my readers personally. I’m not sure why they come the first time or what makes them come back. I do know thousands of people from over half a dozen countries visit my site regularly. My hope that they found hope keeps me going. This site is my therapy.

During grad school, I worked hard getting straight A’s. On nights I had a paper due or content to turn in for the university’s blog, I toggled between working and working on this site. It was fulfilling to be putting what I was learning into action. Sometimes, you ask yourself, why am I in college? Whenever I asked this, my site reminded me. College was my vessel to make connections and learn how to be effective in my writing. Maintaining my site became its own form of therapy.

The most beautiful part of running this site is the many visitors. I may not know all of you personally, but I appreciate you nonetheless. You make this site relevant. Without you, who am I writing to? So, thank you all for caring what I have to say. This site documents my transition from student to teacher (professor) literally, and if it weren’t for you, I probably wouldn’t have documented it.

So, that’s my life as a blogger over the past six years. Follow to get new articles and a newsletter by me surrounding coping with painful situations.

Lizzo’s Obesity and Bad Fans

J Reed, MFA is an adjunct English professor and writer from Chicago, who writes fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. Subscribe and share. Follow J Reed on Twitter @jreed913.

If you’ve been on social media, you’ve likely heard of Lizzo, the 34-year-old Minnesota rapper whose popularity has been growing. She’s actually a classically trained flutist as well. While some appreciate her music, others are turned off by the controversy she causes with her style of dress and behavior. Women have come to her defense when her critics made comments about her weight. While the heavyset Lizzo has come to represent the freedom women seek in body confidence, others say her behavior is shameful, but who’s right?

To Dress or Not to Dress

Even being plus-size, Lizzo is known for wearing revealing clothes that leave little to the imagination. Labia nearly exposed, Lizzo has performed in front large crowds in one-piece outfits without fear. Though she has a wave of support from her fans, others wonder why she has to dress so provocatively. Those who cringe when she pops up on television are offended seeing her dress in a way that inspires her young followers to do the same.

Her supporters note rappers before Lizzo like Lil Kim, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B and others use sex to sell albums. If no one complained about the other rappers before her, why should they complain about her? Actually, Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj as well as other female rappers face backlash for their overt sexuality and some of the clothing they wear.

One of the most prominent critiques of Lizzo’s provocative dress is, how Lizzo wears her clothes is the problem. For instance, in today’s pop culture, a thin guy wearing extremely baggy clothes may be mistaken for a bum. Skinny jeans – or at least jeans that fit well – are in. Lizzo wears clothes the wrong way. Instead of her clothes accentuating her curves, parts of her body spill out inappropriately through designer cuts in the fabric. Her critics are basically saying, wear what you want but be classy about it.

Lizzo’s Health

Others who disapprove of Lizzo are concerned about health risks associated with her weight.  A couple years ago at the start of the pandemic, fitness expert Jillian Michaels asked, “Why are we celebrating [Lizzo’s] body?” Jillian followed up by saying, “… it isn’t going to be awesome if she catches diabetes.” None of Lizzo’s doctors have come forward to say Lizzo’s weight is killing her or putting her at a higher risk for disease. However, generally speaking, it’s well-known obesity can cause diabetes, heart disease and sudden death.

People came to Lizzo’s defense and claimed Jillian was “fatphobic”. Though Jillian issued a statement via Twitter acknowledging the beauty and worth of every person, she didn’t back down from her position that we shouldn’t be celebrating obesity, a deadly disease. Still, the wave of Lizzo fans accused Jillian of fat-shaming people. Jillian faced calls for her to be cancelled, and this brings up the issue of political correctness.

Cancel This

Jillian is a fitness expert who has worked on shows like The Biggest Loser in hopes of helping contestants lose weight. Her purpose in the public eye has always been to assist others in achieving healthier lifestyles through exercise and diet. Taken in context and considering who she is, her remarks matched with who she is and what she does. Even if her statements fell short of insulting or malicious, Jillian still dealt with the threat of being cancelled.

However, it seems those who defend Lizzo have given her an image immunity card and created a false reality in which being obese isn’t a potentially deadly medical issue; it’s promoted as her living her best life. It seems that she and her fans prefer living as if obesity doesn’t kill instead of addressing it. Her fans drag any person who says anything about Lizzo’s obesity.

Behind clothes doors, you can only wonder what’s happening in Lizzo’s personal life. Those who really care about her – those who know her personally – are likely concerned about her health and her image. It’s fine for Lizzo to live her best life. A person’s best life shouldn’t come before their health. Fans rarely see the signs which is why when singers such as Amy Winehouse made songs about refusing to go to rehab, fans didn’t know how serious her alcohol addiction was until it killed her. Until then, fans simply thought Amy was “living her best life.”

The Takeaway

Lizzo is a rising star with so much more to accomplish, and she doesn’t have to overexpose her body to get there. How she dresses is up to her, and no woman should be judged solely by what she wears. Still, there’s a classy way to wear any article of clothing. With heart disease and other ailments arising from obesity, Lizzo must take her health seriously. Fans who encourage adverse health conditions don’t help. If you love Lizzo, you want her to live as long as possible. Lizzo has to dress better and take care of her health.

Guard Gives Keys to Male Inmates to Rape Female Inmates

J Reed, MFA is an adjunct English professor and writer from Chicago, who writes fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. Subscribe and share. Follow J Reed on Twitter @jreed913.

Corrections officers of Indiana’s Clark County Jail in Jeffersonville are being accused of renting keys to male inmates so those inmates could roam the jail and rape female inmates. Allegedly, ex-corrections officer David Lowe is responsible for selling the keys to inmates for about $1,000. About 28 women have come forward, alleging to have been assaulted by inmates after Lowe gave the keys. The events occurred throughout October 23, 2021 and into October 24, 2021, and Lawyers have filed two separate lawsuits on behalf of the women who endured this torture. Clark County Sherriff Jamey Noel has been named as the lead defendant in the case.

Officials who allowed this to occur must be held accountable. Although Lowe benefited off the crimes of that night and is allegedly directly responsible for giving the male inmates the keys, there was a breakdown in the system. The area where the female inmates were located was under 24-hour surveillance. This means a number of individuals had to turn their heads to allow this to happen.

The Federal Government needs to perform an evaluation and investigation of the Clark County Jail in which this heinous act occurred and promptly fire and replace those in charge. The system doesn’t need rebuilding; the rules are there. It needs new personnel. No progress can be made just by changing the paperwork. Policy on paper that isn’t enforced is a waste used to protect officials who don’t abide by it.

As this story develops, continue to call for the arrest and prosecution of all officials who contributed to the rape and abuse of women.

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Remaining Yourself in the Workplace: Protecting Your Identity

J Reed, MFA is a college adjunct English professor and writer from Chicago, who writes fiction, nonfiction and local and national news stories. Subscribe and share to get new self-help articles. Follow him on Twitter @jreed913.

Remaining Yourself in the Workplace

You’ve made it past the interviews and landed the job you wanted, but the hard part is remaining who you are while working with your judgmental coworkers. Every morning, you crawl out of bed before the crack of dawn and get jammed in traffic on your way to work. It’s not easy, but you do it every day, making sure nothing you did the day before inhibits your ability to make it to work on time. The hardest part of work is dealing with your judgmental coworkers, but there are ways to remain true to yourself.

Mastering Yourself

To master yourself, you must know yourself.

The workplace is crammed with coworkers who drive a Mercedes, Tesla or other vehicle they’re paying hundreds of dollars for a month. Some carry Gucci bags or brag about the shrimp at restaurants you have to reserve a spot at weeks in advance. Your coworkers red-bottomed shoes clack through the halls as she struts around. Your coworkers have pizzazz, a certain flare that comes with vacationing overseas. You on the other hand are just you, no luxury vehicle, no designer names across your jeans, unimpressive, you think. Where do you fit in your workplace?

The workplace can be like social media. I once saw an optical illusion photo of a house any celebrity would be excited to call home. Though the house in the picture looked real, it was an illusion. The “house” really wasn’t the astounding property it appeared to be. These are the types of pictures that make it to social media: glorious and beautiful but lacking the whole story. As they do on social media, people share what makes them look best. They give you clips. Your coworker might brag about the tan they got while on vacation, but they won’t tell you about the person they caught their significant other French kissing on that same trip.

Knowing your coworkers share what they want and drive luxury vehicles for status and stares, you must know where you fit into your work environment. Are you the luxury car type or the type who drives whatever gets you to work? Are you a fitness nut, or do you eat what you want? Are you a social drinker or not a drinker at all? Introvert or extrovert? Though these things may seem small, all of them are things you’re judged on in the workplace. Your vegan coworker may frown when he hears you eat chitterlings. Your coworkers might laugh in the breakroom about the loud, shaking vehicle you drive.

So, the question becomes, how comfortable are you with yourself? If you waver under the gaze of a judgmental coworker, you’ll not only look weak but you’ll feel weak. Who are you? What are your values? Are you single or married? What information will you share with your coworkers? What information will you omit? You must know who you are and what you stand for. Otherwise, you will be molded by what people think of you.  

Before sharing information about yourself with coworkers, consider what you want to share. Remember, you don’t owe anybody any explanation of who you are or decisions you make in your private life. Your identity is your own to share – or not share – as you see fit. It’s fine to associate with coworkers, but there is a very fine line between sharing and oversharing. Don’t invite too many people into your personal life with the details. Be careful of the coworkers you associate with.

Naturally, there are argumentative or drama-loving coworkers in every field, so be selective with whom you have coffee. Some coworkers can’t help spilling everything they know or gossiping behind the backs of others. They aren’t hard to spot mostly, but sometimes they come off as a “helpful” person. Oftentimes, they offer to help you with your work, and you accept that help sometimes. Behind your back, they’re probably telling the supervisor how they “had to help” you. Regardless of your coworker’s intentions, their sharing this information can make you seem lazy or incompetent. This is why you must keep your circle small and master who you are.

Mastering Rude or Judgmental Coworkers

Depending on where you work, you have dozens or hundreds of coworkers, all with their own personalities. In certain work cultures like that of college campuses, nearly everybody has a title. To protect the image that helped gained them their titles, people walk with their noses tilted upward. They ignore “Good mornings” that come from the title-less or those they consider beneath them. People like this set themselves apart by the clothes they wear, cars they drive or communities in which they live. To feel big, they make people feel small. Rude and judgmental coworkers make you cringe, but you can handle them effectively.

You’ve likely had a coworker make a not-so-flattering comment about how you dress. Or your supervisor hinted she doesn’t care for your cologne. Whatever the case, you feel picked on or singled out. This is something bullies do to make themselves feel good. Coworkers who always have something negative to say about you are miserable. You could argue back and forth with them or ignore them. Nothing gets a bully’s skin boiling quicker than being ignored. This is an effective way to avoid escalating the situation.

Sometimes, ignoring a bully is like pouring gasoline on a barn fire; their egos won’t allow them to be shrugged off. They might snicker more loudly or use profanities as you walk by, and that stings like a wasp. You have to look them in the eyes and tell them to leave you alone. It’s important you make eye contact, so you appear unafraid. Fear feeds the egos of judgmental coworkers, so don’t display it. Nine times out of ten, a cowrker won’t punch in the face. In the off chance you are, a good lawyer might turn that face punch into a pay day.

If your coworker makes rude comments about your style of dress, the way you wear your hair or anything else, address that coworker. Tell them why you don’t like their comments and that you want them to stop. Do not threaten to report them. If you tell them you’re going to report them before you do, they might report you first. Even if you’re the victim, proving it once somebody makes a claim against you is difficult.

For the feistier bunch, when your coworker says, “Your car is nice, but the color is ugly”, you can say, “You have nice shoes, but your personality is garbage.” Meeting insult with insult isn’t the best way to deal with a judgmental coworker. In situations where you can’t depend on management to address the issue, you might have to resort to delivering insults back. Fights have started over smaller issues. Just be cognizant of that.

In Case You Are an Introvert

If everybody drove a Lexus or Mercedes, spoke the same way and ate the same foods, individuality would not exist. Since the early 1900s, this country has been promoting the “extrovert”, the people’s person who can fit in with any crowd. The workplace demands leaders who work well with others and fit in with the culture of the workplace. Employers prefer smiling, waving extroverts over tight-lipped introverts who’d rather stare at their shoes than into the eyes of another person. There are as many introverts as extroverts, but people commonly identify as extroverts to avoid the stigmas that come with being an introvert. However, the push and yearning to be an extrovert fails to consider the value of introverts.

By nature, introverts would rather observe a conversation than to dive into it. They think more than speak and find small talk hard to engage in. Many of them prefer being alone over being around crowds of people. They are often brilliant in how they find solutions to problems. Though they are not people pleasers, they are loyal, focused and dedicated to whatever they put their time into. If you are an introvert, you know the pressures of new social situations, but you also know how to navigate them unnoticed.

The push to meld the individual away within work culture is inspired by fear of the individual. Employers prefer employees who fit in because disrupters challenge the status quo. Disrupters ask questions, stand up for their rights and speak their mind. In workplaces where elitism prevails, everybody wears a mask of fakeness and having a pedal stool is common, the introvert is feared.

If you are an introvert, don’t pretend you want to talk about football if you don’t. When somebody questions you about your personality, shrug. You don’t owe anybody anything. You’re the best thing to happen to you. Be awkward; be shy; be observant. Whatever you are, be you.


Workplaces can be cesspools of judgement, and you have to know yourself. Your coworkers are on diets, paying high car notes on a Benz or spending their last on Gucci bags. They do all of these things for the reactions of others. Hearing someone say “That’s a nice car” makes their hearts flutter. Without recognizing the fakeness, you risk becoming a person more concerned with impressing others than being who you are. Master yourself and your identity. Know what you want and who you are. Being an introvert is a benefit not a crippling disorder. If you master yourself, you master your workplace.

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