Lions Don’t Loose Sleep Over the Opinions of Sheep

I don’t quite know who I am yet with so many people trying to define me. People are always trying to whisper and talk about who I am when I’m not around to hear what they have to say. It is cowardly to talk behind a person’s back, and no matter how many times the gossip-tellers make people swear not to tell anyone, it will always get back to the one being talked about.

And something most people haven’t quite grasped yet is that there is a difference between talking about someone and worrying about someone. It’s understandable if someone knows a secret that could possibly harm someone else physically or emotionally and needs to confide in someone that can be trusted to help in the situation. We’re human and no matter how old we are we will never be able to take the weight of the world alone on our shoulders.

What seems to happen, though, is that when we confide in someone that we believe can help and that we believe we can trust they don’t always live up to our expectations. People talk no matter where you go. It’s a conversation starter for some people. “Did you hear about what so-and-so told me about so-and-so?” Most people don’t value and respect the relationship of a confider and a confide-e anymore. So it’s difficult to figure out who can be trusted with the secrets that are eating away at you on the inside. How do you know if the person you’re confiding in is going to keep this between the two of you? You don’t. And it takes a while to learn this.

I’m a second year college student, and I’m still learning that I can’t always trust the people that I surround myself with. A simple solution could be just not to hang around these people, but that’s impossible when you share an organization with them or when you live in the same building or when you have the same classes. It’s difficult trying to decide who is trustworthy and who are the people that you can have fun with but not connect with on an emotionally deeper level.

Over the summer, I had a close friend. She would call me almost every night and talk to me. She would tell me all of the gossip going on back up at school while I was at home and she’d tell me all about her problems and worries. As the weeks passed, I began noticing a trend. She wouldn’t ask about me; if I tried bringing up something relating to myself, she would almost instantly shut the conversation down to talk about something in her life. She would spend hours complaining about people who had once been close friends, revealing to me all of their secrets that they had confided to her. When I met a boy whom I began to like, her first words “He’s ugly.” When she met a close friend of mine for the first time all she had to say about her was “She smells weird.” Now having a close relationship with someone who knocks down anything or anyone you like is very difficult to maintain. So at the beginning of the new semester, I chose to distance myself. I couldn’t be around someone who only ever injected negativity into my life. I would still be her friend, but I didn’t want to hang around her constantly. She grew angry because of this, and instead confronting me about why I wasn’t hanging out with her every day anymore, she went to other people. She began spreading lies, trying to make herself look like a victim. I found out that this wasn’t the first time she had done this. She continued to tell people false things about me. Her ultimate goal was to make people hate me. So she spread lies.

This was not a true friend, nor was she ever. Not everyone will like me. I know that. But what bothers me is that girls think spreading lies about others will make themselves feel better, like she did. She could have just talked to me, and I could have talked to her. I know that I tried explaining to her how I felt, but she would never truly listen to what I had to say. And when she believed things had turned bad she became vicious just like she had done to the others before.

I pity her. I really do. Because she is lacking that much self-esteem that she has to try to trash other people’s reputations in order to feel better about her own. She was trying to get to me, make me upset, and I admit that I was at first. I cried when I found out she was spreading lies and making others think of me in that negative way. Then I realized it doesn’t matter. I learned a lesson. I trusted the wrong person, and now I have to be strong and show people that I’m not the girl she’s attempting to make me out to be. I have to just hold on and be confident in myself. Because, though I’m still trying to figure out who I am, I do know my values and loyalties and those aren’t ever going to change.

I know that I am the kind of person who will always tell the truth when it’s a situation that matters. I’m not going to sit here and preach that I’m some saint who has never lied before. Of course, I’ve told probably over one hundred lies in my lifetime. Lies to protect me when I’m scared; lies to get out of situations I really don’t want to be in. But I know how to tell the truth to someone’s face. I know when the truth is important, and I would never tell a lie in order to hurt someone.

I know that I am the kind of person who respects people and the things they do. I may not agree with everyone’s choices, but I’m understanding of them. I’ve made choices in my life that I’m not happy about, and I had to live with them and deal with them on my own. Everyone has their own burdens, and we’re all going to slip up at times. If it’s a slip up that is truly worrisome, I would want someone to worry enough about me to approach me about it or confide in someone that would talk to me.

I know that I am the kind of person who will not gossip just because I’m bored with my own life. Everyone has his or her own business. I know I have my own business going on. Try to imagine that every time you air someone else’s dirty laundry that you’re also airing your own at the same time. And know if you absolutely have to tell someone, confide in a family member. It’s what I do. They don’t even know these people that I vent about, but they listen, give advice, and it makes me feel better. It keeps me from spreading things that are hurtful to others.

I know that I am the kind of person who would support anyone that needed help. I’m not going to just abandon someone in a time of need. I may not always have the best advice, it may even be cliché at times, but I’ll be there. I’ll volunteer my time when no one else wants to, and I won’t leave anyone or anything until I’m sure that there is nothing left to be done.

I know that I am the kind of person who forgives. It may be challenging but it’s not always impossible. The only stipulation is that I will never forget what happened.

People will always try to tell me who I am. They will always try to tell others the kind of person I am, but the thing everyone needs to realize is that we should never listen to second-hand information because our sources aren’t always that reliable. People unconsciously twist information in their heads: they forget important details and gloss over the positive because we are a society that focuses on negativity.

If there’s anything to take away from all of this, it’s this: Don’t let other people define you or your opinion on anyone else. Be wary of who you’re trusting and the information you’re getting. And if you find out anyone is talking negatively about you, either confront them about it or recognize that they’re doing it out of spite or jealously or boredom. They aren’t worth your time, and don’t ever let them affect the things you do.

“Lions don’t loose sleep over the opinions of sheep.”

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Sassy, Classy, and Southern

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A Guide for Women of the South

  1. Drink sweet tea on the back porch while watching the sunset with your family.
  2. Your beliefs are vital to the person you are. Always take a moment to respect what you believe.
  3. Keep a set of values. Hold steady to what you believe in and never let anyone influence you to forget your morals, even for one night.
  4. Always have at least one pair of cowboy boots. They look great all year around.
  5. Not to lose weight, but to feel good inside.
  6. Wear red lipstick when you go out.
  7. Always remember to keep your toes painted or nude. Never let them be seen chipped and peeling.
  8. Wear your pearls often. Nothing says elegant and classy like a good strand of pearls.
  9. Tattoos are a great form of expression. But it’s best to get them in easily coverable places. In the real world, some businesses are sticklers for not having seeable tattoos.
  10. If you go out and drink, know your limit. Having fun is okay, but sloppy drunks are a mess to deal with.
  11. In accordance to number ten, always have a ride and never let someone you just met bring you home.
  12. Wear your heels for dress-up occasions, but keep in mind how high your heels actually are. Don’t be sporting hooker heels that you can’t even walk in.
  13. If you don’t like country music, then be able to tolerate it. Besides, it’s actually catchy and wholesome.
  14. Find yourself a southern gentleman. If he doesn’t hold the doors open for you or buy you dinner on the first date, then he’s not worth your time.
  15. Wear your hair, makeup, and clothes to look beautiful, not sexy.
  16. Always dress nice. Don’t go running around looking like you just rolled out of bed. Because you never know who you’re going to meet. You could be meeting the love of your life or a future manager.
  17. Learn how to cook. This is an important skill you’ll need for the rest of your life.
  18. Life is full of little moments. Live in the moment instead of being glued to your phone.
  19. When posting selfies, no duck faces or cleavage, ladies. It may seem funny or sexy in the moment, but it just looks trashy in the long run.
  20. Don’t curse on any social media outlet. There are over a million other words that would suffice. Your name is always tied to whatever you post.
  21. Have good grammar when posting online or sending emails. Reread everything you type.
  22. Always be kind to others. If you don’t like something or someone, confront it once. If it continues, ignore it and keep on smiling.
  23. Don’t let someone’s negative opinion bring you down.
  24. Keep in mind that education is important. Don’t let it fall to the wayside for anything.
  25. If someone burns you once, shame on them. If they burn you twice, shame on you.
  26. Respect and love your mom. She’s already lived through what you’re going through. And she can have some pretty great advice. All you have to do is confide in her and ask.
  27. Never be afraid to admit that you don’t know what you’re doing.
  28. It’s okay to cry; it helps release all of the pent-up emotion. There’s nothing embarrassing about it. Just be capable of regaining your composure and be ready to continue the day.
  29. Be able to have fun; getting muddy every now and then is always a great time.
  30. Nobody is perfect; just try to be the best you that you can be.

Social Media: Keeping It Classy

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One thing I always hear my parents complaining about is the ever-changing technology of the twenty-first century. The generation born in the later 90s through now is experiencing a world dedicated to the Internet and all of the technologies that come along with it. This is the world that we know. A technology savvy world where posting what you’re doing, wearing, eating on social media is the trendy thing to do.

I’m an admitted social media addict and am constantly logging on to my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram to post about things I consider fascinating in my life and also for stalking my friends and family to keep up with what’s going on. I also usually use my social media pages as one of my main sources of world news, along with following pages that have daily posts of fun facts and cute baby animal photos. I can’t even get out of bed in the mornings without checking my phone first to see if anything new happened while I was asleep. It gets addicting.

However, one of the major problems with social media is that everything you do and say is out there for everyone to see. Even if you think your profile is private or you delete an embarrassing photo you’re tagged in, whatever is posted is out on the Internet for the world to see. Forever. Nothing ever gets deleted for real.

So here are some simple rules to follow for posting on the Internet.

Would you want your parents to see that?

            If you wouldn’t want your parents seeing a photo of you topless, beer in hand, or showing rush boobs, then don’t post it. If your parents don’t want to see that then the world doesn’t want to see that. With that being said, don’t place yourself in compromising positions that could potentially end up on social media. With today’s technology, everything you do publicly can find its way to the Internet through images, words, or videos.

I’m not saying don’t go out and have fun. Just be cautious of your surroundings and who has their cameras out while you’re chugging beer from a keg.

Check your spelling and grammar before you post.

Nobody wants to read your posts if they’re having to sit there and decode what you’re trying to say. You don’t want to look illiterate on the Internet, especially if whatever your posting is something you want to be taken seriously for. If future employers see your posts full of spelling errors and made-up words, they most likely will discard your application because they see this as the real you, not the person depicted on the application.

Employers look at what you post on the Internet to get a sense of who you are, and you want to be able to have an online presence that reflects upon you in a good way. Don’t be left feeling embarrassed by what you posted the night, week, month before.

Avoid getting involved in confession pages or debate pages.

            It’s understandable if you want to follow certain pages because of your beliefs, interests, or organizations you might be associated with, but the best thing to do is not get personally involved with them. You don’t want to be that bigoted person who tries to shove his ideas down peoples’ throats and calls out anyone who disagrees.

You have your own ideas. Respect the, But also respect the ideas of others no matter how rudely they may be presented. It’s best not to get involved in a debate because once you post your name is linked to whatever is said. Fueling the fires of debate could potentially get your profile spammed with hate mail. If future or current employers are linked to your negative online image then they most likely won’t want that reflected back onto their company. In extreme cases, you might even find yourself without a job.

Following a Confessions page is just a bad idea all together, but thousands of people still do because they are a great source of juicy gossip. However, sometimes local or college confession pages will post things you don’t agree with. Posters could bash beliefs, organizations, or even people you may know. So in order to not be angered by these posts, it’s best to simply unfollow them. You don’t want your name to be associated with a page that allows posters to trash people, organizations, and ideas along with posting a multitude of inappropriate content.

Parents: Please don’t exploit your children.

I hate pulling up social media pages and being bombarded with parents posting pictures of their naked children running around or on the toilet. I understand that some of these are milestones in a baby’s life, but try to keep the more personal photos documented to a photo album at home, not social media. Even though you may find some photos funny, by posting it you are exploiting your child. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take these pictures, but keep them for yourself and for your family to view. I cannot stress this enough. There are a lot of crazies out in the world who could potentially get their hands on these photos, even if your profile is set to private.

Think of it like this. You post a picture of your child running around naked doing something silly. Not only are all of the people you’re friends with going to see it, but if one friend likes this photo or comments on it, it will show up on their newsfeed and all of their friends can see it.

Another thought you have to consider is what’s going to happen when the child grows up. What if somehow one of his naked baby photos gets out and a classmate gets a hold of it? This could cause potential bullying or ridicule.

So please, keep naked and personal photos of your child to yourself, and don’t post them all over social media.

I hate to break it to you, but no one actually cares.

Ranting about people on social media pages just shines a bad light back onto you. Real people solve their real problems without having to complain about it on the Internet. It’s one thing if you talk to a close friend about your problems, but it’s another if you blast your social media pages with your troubles.

The posts where you’re indirectly calling someone out, but you don’t mention their name? Yeah. Most people who you’re friends with are going to know who you’re talking about. If you have a problem with someone then confront them about it.

Reading a post complaining about how alone you are after a break up? Sigh. Eye roll. Keep scrolling. Talk to friends, not social media. Half the people who are your social media “friends” aren’t your friends in real life. Sometimes things you post might just be fuel to a fire against you, and you don’t want to be the subject of gossip when your friends get together.

Truth is, when you complain on all your social media pages, people begin to think negatively of you, and if you continuously do it you’re going to be unfollowed or deleted until the only people left are drama-seekers who have nothing better going on in their life than to follow the drama of yours.

Don’t be a troll.

Trolling is one of the recently coined terms for someone who stalks the Internet to find something to complain about. They typically only have negative comments to say and will continuously comment negatively on everything they see. They are trying to start an argument; that’s the thrill of the game to them. Don’t go around hating on everything you see. Try to keep negative comments to yourself. And if you’re being attacked by one of these trolls, your best options are to report them, unfriend them, or block them from your social media pages.

 

All of these tips for using social media are really subcategories of the one main Internet rule: Be careful what you post and where you post it. Anybody can get their hands on anything from the Internet if they just dig deep enough. Whatever your life aspirations may be don’t let old social media posts haunt your future.

Keep it classy, ladies and gentlemen.