Alyssa J Freitas

December 1, 2015

Respond v. React

We all know that wave of feeling that rushes over us when we are angry or hurt or frustrated. The best of us take a moment to breath and think before responding, while the rest of us simply react. Depending on the day, it is easy to fall into the latter category, so what can we do to ensure we are in the former?
Respond v. React

There is no doubt that taking a moment to put things in perspective and think about the implications of your words and actions is hugely beneficial and promotes appropriate behavior. However, when your emotions are flowing and you feel passionately, it can be all too easy to react and regret it later. Today I am going to share with you some methods you can use to make sure you respond in the best way possible.

Count to three.
Some people suggest ten (but let's be honest, that always feels like an eternity...), however I believe that three can be just as effective! Basically, it comes down to taking a few moments to think rather than jumping to conclusions or being accusatory or uncooperative. We all know what we should do in most situations, and sometimes all it takes are a few seconds to realize it.

Put it in perspective.
Is this going to actually cause a large issue, or will it just be uncomfortable? Will it be a big deal a year from now? A month from now? Ask yourself these questions and I bet you'll find that you don't need to be worried about it all that much.

Think about the possible solutions.
Sometimes when you are faced with a problem, all you can see are the associated issues. But, I suggest that when you take some time to consider it you'll come to realize that you are more than capable of coming to a resolution. This can be applied from anything to group projects, relationships, or even just the pressure you put on yourself.

What this all comes down to is not freaking out, not placing blame on others, and being thoughtful in your actions. By pausing, thinking about its effect on the great scheme of things, and being a problem solver rather than perpetuator, you can be a responder instead of a reactor.

How do you deal with your own responses? What advice do you have?


November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! In honor of the holiday I've decided to take a day off from posting on one of my usual topics. Instead, I'd like to wish all of you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving. Enjoy the company of your loved ones and celebrate all of the immense blessings we are so fortunate to count our own.

If you didn't see Tuesday's post on Thanksgiving etiquette it's not too late to check it out and still get some benefit from it!


November 24, 2015

Thanksgiving Etiquette

The holidays are upon us, and with Thanksgiving in two days I thought it would be a good time to go over the etiquette associated with this celebration. Whether you'll be a host or guest, it's a good idea to keep in mind the comfort of others. I'm going to give you some tips pertaining to common situations so you'll know how to handle yourself and make the best decision.
Thanksgiving Etiquette

You're seated next to someone and you have no idea what to talk about...
We all know the feeling of getting through the usual small talk with someone and not knowing where to take the conversation next. This can be particularly difficult when it's someone you don't know well and are unsure of his or her interests. Now is the time to pull out your inner investigator and use some questions to find common ground. Asking about travel experiences and plans, books, music, holiday memories and the like is a good way to start. Be an active listener and make follow up inquiries to keep the conversation going.

Uncomfortable topics make their way into conversation. Help!
When politics or religion or economic policy discussion comes to the table it doesn't bode well for the enjoyment of all, so avoid it! Yes, it can be fun to have a debate, especially when you are passionate about a subject, but Thanksgiving dinner is not the time or place.

You just KNOW your cousin is going to ask again about your single status.
This sort of prying is completely expected and, some might even argue, acceptable in a private or intimate setting with your family or close friends. However, you have no obligation to respond to these sort of inquiries. So what can you do to avoid such conversations? Your main method of defense is to deflect the questions.

One of my favorite ways to do this is to turn the question back on the questioner: "Remind me, how did you and (insert name of significant other) meet?" "How long have you and (insert name here) been together?" "Speaking of romance, I'm sure you and (insert lover of questioner) have some great plans for the upcoming year! Tell me all about it." This should get your point across while also serving as a great distraction and new avenue for conversation.

Your host begins to clean up, but insists he doesn't need any help.
Ask once, ask twice, and accept denial on the third time. Sometimes a host can't help but begin to straighten up but still wants his guests to enjoy each others company and linger at the table. Just remember that the host in charge of the meal and guests should follow his lead.

Here is information about general dinning etiquette.
And here are some ideas for hostess gifts.
Once you enjoy a great meal, here is how you should craft your thank you note.
Check out all sorts of etiquette posts here.

What are your suggestions for getting through and enjoying Thanksgiving?


November 19, 2015

YouTube Love: The Girls With Glasses

When I found out I had to get glasses (check out a real throw back post from 2013!) I immediately began to do some research on YouTube, the most reliable of all sources, for picking out the most flattering glasses. I stumbled upon the channel of The Girls With Glasses and have been hooked ever since.

YouTube Love: The Girls With Glasses

First of all, their theme song is beyond adorable.

When it came to picking out my glasses, I loved their video with general advice and follow up videos with more specific tips.

These girls are always thrifty, funny, quirky, playful, and all around an absolute delight. One of the recent videos really stole my heart because I love anything to do with pirates, and cute children are a huge plus :)

What sets the GWG apart is their genuine joy for life and their kindness which flows in every video. They are classic and always behave like ladies. They prioritize their families, embrace their femininity, and are always smart. 

Who are your favorite YouTube stars?


November 17, 2015

Wonderforest Guest Post: Expanding Your Horizons

This was originally a guest post on the Wonder Forest blog.

"Do you want to go and hear Laverne Cox speak tomorrow night?" my friend asked. Laverne Cox is an actress, best known for her role on Orange Is the New Black, and an advocate for the LGBT community. As the first openly transgender woman to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the acting category, she has been a strong force and representative for the community.
Wonderforest Guest Post: Expanding Your Horizons
Photo credit: Ally Marcino

"Umm, sure, I guess" was my less than enthused reply. Normally, I would have very little interest in this sort of event but something told me to say yes, so off I went to stand with my friend in line for over an hour to be admitted to the packed theater to hear Laverne Cox speak. It was amazingly informative to hear her share her experiences and her take on the world, as it is so different from my own. By attending this event, I realized that you can learn an infinite amount by opening your mind and taking in the ideas of others.     

As difficult or uncomfortable as it may be to expose yourself to unfamiliar situations and information, there are many benefits to expanding your horizons.

To read the rest of this post head on over to the Wonder Forest blog!