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Does your help sometimes hinder?

Does your ‘ help ’ sometimes actually hinder?

Does your help sometimes hinder?I know what it’s like when you have someone reach out to you to share about a problem or challenge that they’re having. You want to be there for them, you want to be the best friend you can, you want to help them.

You know exactly what to do.

You listen to their problems. You know how they feel, you’ve been there yourself.

You want to help, support, nurture.

You want them to feel better.

You want to have helped them in some way.

So you dive in and do everything you can to help them get out of where they’re at and into a better place.

They feel better, you feel better…everyone is happier.

That makes you the best friend in the world, right?

Well, maybe.

The thing is that sometimes we’re so eager to help a friend to move out of her pain…that we don’t allow her to really feel it.

As we know, in order to fully release emotions, and to let them go, we need to fully feel them.

So sometime by trying to help someone ‘feel better’ we actually deny them the very thing they need to be able to process their emotions and move on.

So how can you help?

Well the first thing you can do to help a friend who is going through a tough time is allow them to be where they are.

Rather than trying to pick them up and help them feel better…allow them to be where they’re at, allow them to feel how they feel, and to express it. Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone is to just allow them to fully express how they’re feeling, and ‘get it all out’.

By doing this, we’re not just allowing them to go through their process, but you’re actually helping them to do it by fully feeling their emotions in order to move through them.

If they’re wallowing as opposed to processing (if you’re not sure the difference between wallowing in your emotions and processing them then check out this post here: http://feminine1st.com/emotions/whats-difference-feeling-emotions-wallowing/) then by all means feel free to give them a nudge so that they don’t stay somewhere that isn’t serving them, but if they’re just being in their emotions so that they can process them then sometimes the best thing you can do is just allow them to be there.

Allow them to be in their yucky stuff…allow them to be in their pain….and just be there with them.

When one of my closest female friends was going through a tough time a few months ago the hardest thing was the fact that we don’t live in the same country. We both said the same thing…if we’d been in the same town, we’d have spent a weekend curled up on a sofa under a duvet allowing her to be in her stuff, but having me there to support her while she needed to go through it. Not to do anything, or say anything….just to be there.

When we’re going through a tough time, the hardest thing can be feeling like you’re doing it ‘alone’…so having someone to be there with you when you’re going through the toughest times can make all the difference.

I was visiting another friend about 18 months ago, when she was going through a very difficult time. In spite of the difficult time, she was feeling the need to put a ‘brave face’ on things, and not to give in to how she was feeling. One afternoon while I was sorting out a few things in my room she came to the door and simply asked, “Can I talk to you?”

We sat crossed legged opposite each other on the bed and over the next half an hour I sat and listened and held her hands as she crumbled in front of me. I barely said anything, I just sat and held space for her. I listened. I reached out to her. I let her be exactly where she needed to be…in order to choose to deal with her situation differently.

Rather than running around all evening meeting up with people and doing stuff to keep the people around her happy…she realised that she needed to take care of herself. The two of us went to a restorative yoga class that afternoon followed by a mediation centre in the evening. The difference in her was amazing, and it was all because she’d been allowed to just go through her process.

So when you find yourself in a situation like this I encourage you to ask just one of two simple questions: “How can I best help you right now?” or “What do you need from me right now?”. Maybe even offering “I can just listen, or just be here if that’s what you need”.

…and the key with answering those questions is to not be attached to them answering in any particular way…allow them to tell you what they want and need, and then be there to give it to them.

Sometimes the best help doesn’t look like help at all. It’s just a friend standing by another friend, being there for them.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

How can you get the help and support you want and deserve?

How to get the help and support you wantSo last week I started to share with you the 7 key mistakes that a lot of women face when trying to get the help and support that they want and need from the men in their life.…and today I get to share with you the rest of the key mistakes AND the 3 simple steps to getting the help and support you want and need in the future:

So what are the 7 mistakes women face when trying to get help and support?

So here is the rest of the 7 key mistakes that women face when trying to get help and support from the men in their life:
  • 3. Not communicating what you want at all – For a number of reasons women don’t tend to communicate what they want.  It might be that they did it once and didn’t get the reaction they wanted so swore off doing it for the rest of their lives.  It might be that they don’t actually know what they want…so they don’t know how to ask for it (but are still unhappy when they don’t get it).  It might be that they’re afraid of communicating honestly what they want, in case they still don’t get it.  Well I’m here to let you in on a secret.  If you communicate really honestly what you want, there’s a possibility you’ll get it.  If you don’t, you pretty much guarantee that it’ll never happen.
  • 4. Communicating what you want indirectly – In a video recently I talked about ‘man language’ and ‘woman language’.  I go into it in more depth in the video, but as a reminder ‘man language’ is often about communicating simply, directly and effectively.  ‘Woman language’ often involves more indirect communication…such as trying to communicate what you want by saying what you don’t want, hinting or suggesting.  Unless you are clear and direct with what you want and need, a man won’t necessarily even understand that you’re trying to communicate this to him, as that’s not the way they naturally communicate.  If you say to a man ‘doesn’t this X look like a lovely place’, he’ll often take it at face value…rather than as a hint that maybe you’d like to go there!
  • 5. Not being consistent – If you ask for something from someone once, the chances are they might remember.  If you ask for something from someone a few times, the chances are higher that they’ll remember it.  If you ask for something from someone every week, or month, or whenever a given situation comes up then they are far more likely to realise it’s important to you and make it a priority to remember.  The more consistent you are, the easier you make it for him to meet your needs.
  • 6. Not appreciating when they do it ‘right’ – Men love to be appreciated.  In the same way as criticism cuts to the core of a man, appreciation speaks to their core in a positive way.  Remember it doesn’t have to be ‘perfect’ for you to appreciate it, if you can see he’s making the effort to help and support you in the way you’ve requested, then show him that you appreciate that.  Making a point of thanking him and showing your gratitude and appreciation when he helps and supports you in a way that you really feel helped and supported will give him the motivation and desire to it again next time!
  • 7. Not setting the game up for them to win – Men like to win, they want to make you happy, they want to be able to help and support you and feel like your hero…so help them to help you.  Set up the game so that it’s easy for them to ‘win’ at it…that they know the rules, they know how to win the points and that when they do they’ll get the ‘prize’ of your appreciation and gratitude.  If you set the game up so that it’s easy to win, they’ll want to play again and again and again…even better when they win, you win, and when you win, they win.  Who wouldn’t want to play a game when the outcome is always win-win?

So how do we get the help and support we want and need?

So now we know the 7 mistakes, how do we get the help and support we want and need?Remember to A, B, C…

  • Ask – For his help
  • Be Honest & Consistent – With what you really want and need to feel his help and support
  • Constant Appreciation – When he gives it to you

So how do I ask for the help and support I want and need?

One question that I sometimes get when I share this advice is “How do I ask him for the help and support I want and need?”  When we’re not used to asking, sometimes we’re unsure how to go about it.

You can take the approach of just ‘trying it’ and seeing what happens, starting a conversation with “Honey, I’d really like your help with something” or “Could I ask you to help me with something?” and seeing what happens.

But the alternative approach is actually to ask him how to ask him!  Simply saying to him “If I wanted your help and support with something, what would be the best way for me to ask you for it?” leaves the door wide open for him to tell you how to ask in a way that works for him.

…and you then know how to start the process the next time you want to practice your A, B, Cs…. 🙂

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do you know how to deal with emotionally charged situations in your relationship?

Do you know how to deal with emotionally charged situations with your man? Claire Brummell, Feminine 1stWhen it comes to intimate relationships, emotions are the life blood.

They are the heart and soul, the foundation, the core.

…unfortunately emotions are also one of the biggest differentiators between the masculine and feminine.

How do the masculine and feminine approach emotionally charged situations?

Emotions are a way of life for the feminine…the feminine experiences the full range of emotions, the depth, the breadth, the highs, the lows and everything in between.

Conversely, the masculine is more driven by logic.  Reason, analysis, deduction…following the rationale and making informed choice.

As we know, we all have both masculine and feminine inside us…which gives each and every one of us the ability to connect with and use both emotion and logic.

We do, however, have a tendency towards one or the other.  There is one that is more natural for us, one that is our default, one that is our core nature.

When it comes to men and women, the majority of men tend to be more masculine at their core, and the majority of women tend to be more feminine….although there are people for whom it is the other way around.

How can I deal with emotionally charged situations in my relationship?

When it comes to intimate relationships (especially during times of stress, or when there are problems occurring) having a way to navigate the differences between the masculine and feminine approaches to emotions can be essential.

Now positive emotions don’t tend to cause many problems…but when we’re dealing with more challenging emotions, it can be of huge benefit to be abel to bridge the gap between the masculine and feminine.

Because men and people who are masculine at core don’t have the same experience of emotions that feminine people do, they don’t have a frame of reference in how to deal with it.

So often when there are challenges in relationships the feminine wants to talk, to deal with the emotions….whereas the masculine wants to take a more logical approach…find the problem and fix it.

When feeling emotional the feminine often wants to feel more connected and supported, she wants to move towards her partner, to connect more, to feel like he’s there for her.  On the flip side, the masculine often prefers to have time and space to deal with challenges, to work it through in his own mind first.

If I had a pair of shoes for every woman I’ve met or connected with who has been frustrated by her partner’s need and desire to ‘fix’, or backing away when she wants him to move in and support her, I could probably wear a different pair every day for the rest of my life and still have extras to spare…

So today I want to give you a gift…a fantastic technique which has been invaluable for me personally in my own intimate relationship, and that I know has helped many others to navigate these differences in a way that works for both parties…

 

So do you want to know more about how to deal with emotionally charged situations in your relationship?

I would love to share more with you about this and so many incredible topics, and so I’d like to invite you today to join the Feminine 1st Family as a Bronze Member.

What does Bronze Membership Give Me? Well in addition to all of the features of our Free Membership, you will also get access to all future weekly Feminine 1st videos for the duration of your membership. You will also have the opportunity to submit requests for topics to be covered or questions to be answered in these weekly videos.

The Feminine 1st Family launched fully on June 1st and therefore if you would like to continue to enjoy the new weekly videos (and request a video responding to your specific question) I am sharing a very special introductory offer until the end of June.

So click here to find out all about how to deal with emotionally charged situations in a way that works for both you and your relationship.

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

Do the men in your life know how to help and support you?

Do the men in your life know how to help and support youAs I talked about in last week’s video blog, one of the biggest challenges in relationships is communication.I know from the various conversations I’ve had with women around the world, that a lot of women are frustrated that they don’t feel helped or supported enough by the man in their life.If they’re honest, these women know deep down inside that their man wants to help, and often he’s trying to help, but his way of doing it doesn’t necessarily resonate.

What does help and support look like to you?

It’s important to understand that we all have our own idea of what help and support look like.

There are some fundamental differences between the masculine and feminine in what constitutes ‘help’ or ‘support’, and there are also distinctions that are completely unique to us as individuals.

The masculine’s approach to support tends to be ‘fix it’.  Find the problem, find a solution.  Quick, efficient, effective.  Bish bash bosh…job done.

The feminine’s approach to support tends to be ‘talk about it’.  Connect with the person, share what’s going on, express how you’re feeling, see what else might be affecting the situation.  The feminine takes as much time is needed to make sure a person feels heard, that they’ve got everything off their chest, that their emotions have been expressed and that they FEEL better.  There might be a solution, there might not.  It doesn’t matter.  The only thing that matters is that they feel better about it.

The masculine can often want help in the form of space and distance, to be by themselves, to figure it out, whereas the feminine often wants to get closer to others, to feel connected and that they’re not alone.

Then there are our own individual ideas about what constitutes help and support.   For some people asking questions is helpful, because it helps them to reach their own conclusions…for others they want advice, suggestions and ideas.

Does my man even WANT to help and support me?

The frustrating thing for so many masculine men is that they not only WANT to help, they LIVE to help.  Nothing makes them happier than feeling like they are helping and supporting the women they care about….they just don’t necessarily know how.

So they help in the way that they think will help…and can often end up making things worse.

The more they try to help, the worse things get, and because they don’t want to make things worse they stop trying to help.

So if men want to help and support, and women want their help and support…surely there must be a way to make this work?

…and there is.

How can I get the help and support I want from the men in my life?

We just need to learn to bridge the gap.The gap between what we actually want and need, and what they think we want and need.There are 7 key mistakes that a lot of women face when trying to get the help and support that they want and need from the men in their life…so today I want to start to share these with you to help you get what you want and need in the future:

  1. Expecting them to read your mind – In an ideal world, where Manolo Blahniks were £10 a pair and the rivers were made of chocolate, men would automatically just ‘know’ what we want and what we need.  But we’re not living in an ‘ideal world’…I know, I’ve been looking for a £10 pair of Manolos for years.  Just because we want them to ‘know’ doesn’t mean they do.  Unfortunately they’re not just women with a couple of external amendments.  We think completely differently.  We are completely different.  If you want them to guess, the chances are that they’ll guess wrong….because they’ll guess according to the world as they see it…which is totally different to the world that you live in.
  2. Criticising them when they do it ‘wrong’ – Men don’t tend to respond well to criticism.  Actually no-one really responds well to criticism, but when you criticise a man you cut straight to his core.  Now most women think this is therefore the most effective way to communicate what they want…but in reality when you take this approach he’s likely feel attacked,  to put up the defences, and keep his distance.  When he’s in defence mode, he’s very unlikely to be taking note of your wants and desires…he’s more likely to feel like he’s been engaged in a battle, and all that matters to him in the moment is making sure he doesn’t lose.
So now I have some good news and some bad news.The good news is that there’s so much I can share with you to help you to get what you want and need in the future.The bad news is that I couldn’t fit it all into one article…so come back next week to hear the last 5 mistakes…and the 3 simple steps to getting the help and support that you want and need in the future.

Until then, stay fabulous!

Claire x

Thursday Thought Quote: The easiest way for someone to help you is for you to show them how ~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

This week’s Thursday Thought:

The easiest way for someone to help you

is for you to show them how

~ Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Thursday Thought Quote: The easiest way for someone to help you is for you to show them how - Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Have you ever been this kind?

Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st, KindI’m curious, how kind are you?  Do you show kindness to others?  Family? Friends?  How about strangers?

I’m someone who tries to be as kind to others as I can be…and I’m someone who believes that the more kindness that a person puts out in the world, the more kindness that comes back.

…and while I was in the states a few weeks ago, I had a situation where I was in desperate need of some kindness…

How kind is the average person?

These days I think that people get a bit of a bad rap.  If you had to say how kind the average person is…what would your response be?  Do you think there are more people who show kindness out there than people who aren’t?  I’m not sure that people realise how many people there are who do….

But then someone comes along who shows how kind a stranger can be…

So today I want to share with you my experience…of a moment when I needed a kindness shown to me more than ever…and how it showed up in the most unexpected way…watch the video now to see more…

This is exactly the reason that I try to show kindness wherever I go…and the reason I encourage others to to….and here it is the card where I got to pay this kindness back…

Paying a kind act back, Claire Brummell, Feminine 1st

Could you be this kind?

So take a moment this week to ask yourself…could you show this sort of kindness to others in your life?  To family, to friends, even to complete strangers…and how would you feel as a result?  How much would it enrich YOUR life from being that kind?

…and if you enjoyed the story then please take a moment share it to inspire others to share kindness with others too, and see how kind you can inspire them to be!

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x

Would you like to know how easy it is to inspire someone?

inspireInspiration is a funny thing.

We can inspire people in so many situations, often when we’re not intending to inspire, that’s when we can inspire the most.

I’m very lucky in that I’m easily inspired.  People inspire me every day.

But do you realise how easy it is to inspire others?  It only takes a little effort or a little time and you can have a profound affect on someone’s day / month / year / life.

It doesn’t take a lot, just to want to make a difference to someone else.  For no other reason than ‘you can’.

In the last couple of months a group of friends and I have been blessed with the opportunity to inspire other people…some friends, some strangers… every time it touches my heart.

If you want an opportunity to act right from the heart, to connect back to what’s important to you, to remember who you are at your core, to just ‘be’ who you are…find an opportunity to inspire someone else.

The funny thing is that we sort of ‘fell’ into doing these things.  There was no big master plan to ‘inspire the world’…the opportunities kept coming up and we kept taking them.

It began when a friend of ours was having a bit of a tough time.  She had lost someone close to her and was finding it a hard journey.

A lot of her friends weren’t close to her geographically and wanted to offer some support and love.

So we each recorded a short video for her and one of us brought them all together to create a message that genuinely touched her heart:

http://tiny.cc/sannehugs

When a few weeks later another friend posted online that someone very close to him and his family seemed to be losing their battle with cancer they wanted some advice on how to inspire her and lift her spirits in her final days.

Although many of us didn’t know Jan or her family directly, we all came together to show love and support for her with another video compilation that touched her heart and the hearts of the people who were closest to her:

http://tiny.cc/janhugs

Jan died a short while later, but knowing that we had brought a smile to her and her loved ones in such a difficult time meant so much.

The last video we did was for a very dear friend whose son tragically decided to move on from this life only a few short weeks ago.

He had so many friends around the world who wanted to reach out in support of him to show how much they cared.

Between us we put together this message for him to show that we were all there with him to help him through this difficult time:

http://tiny.cc/garyhugs

In addition to this we’ve taken opportunities to be part of global flashmobs for peace, to give out free hugs and smiles around London, and another video project is in the making for a special little boy who is inspiring others with his journey.

If you would like to get involved in this new video, click here to see how to join us – all you need is a webcam and the desire to make a little boy smile: https://www.facebook.com/groups/459281954104118/

But inspiration doesn’t have to be big…it doesn’t have to change the world.  It can be as simple as making another person smile…just by giving them one of your own.

Inspiration is easy…and it changes people.  When you’ve inspired someone once, it lights a fire inside you to want to do it again.  When you’ve seen that you can affect someone else’s life for the better, you can’t help but want to do it again and again and again.

Inspiration is one of the key aspects of femininity…inspiring others just by being ‘you’ and doing something from the heart is one of the most powerful things that a feminine woman can do.

So the question is – who do you want to inspire today?

Stay Fabulous,

Claire x

I'm fine

No thanks, I’m fine.

I'm fineHow many times a day / week / month do you say this sentence, or a variation of it?

It’s ok.

I’m fine.

I’ll manage.

It’ll be alright.

We spend our lives telling everyone else that we don’t need any help, assistance, guidance or support.

Often, when someone offers to help, the words of dismissal leave our lips almost before the suggestion has been made in full.

It seems that we are so used to proving to both ourselves and everyone else around us that “we can do it” and “we can cope” that we don’t even stop to consider the offer.

I feel we are so good at giving out and helping others…but not so great on the receiving front.

Well, the downside to that is that even the deepest of wells have a bottom at some point…and if you keep taking out, without putting back in, eventually it will be empty.

Us women are exactly like this. We give out, and out, and out, and out…but we forget that in order to have something left to give, we need to remember to replenish.

Receiving is a vital part of maintaining our feminine core…if we receive, we can continue to give.

Many years ago, I was the personification of the phrase “independent woman”. If something needed to be done, I could do it, I could handle it. There was nothing I couldn’t manage.

I would offer to help everyone else…with pretty much anything…but I didn’t like accepting help.

I didn’t want to put anyone out, or inconvenience anyone. I could do it….regardless of the fact that it might take me twice as long, or three times as much hassle.

When someone reminded me of two things:

If I kept giving out constantly…and never received…sooner or later there would be nothing left to give.

By not receiving myself, I was denying other people the pleasure of being able to give. Helping or doing something nice for someone else can really make your day…who was I to deny someone else that great feeling?

It was a major wakeup call.

I was chatting to a friend last week who was organising an event and having trouble finding a venue. When someone offered to help, her instinct was to say “No, don’t worry about it, I’ll manage”…when instead she found herself saying “actually, that would be great”.

Those 5 words saved her stress, hassle and extra workload which (given everything else that needed to be done) made a HUGE difference to her week.

The venue was sorted, and she didn’t have to worry about a thing…and the person who helped got to feel great about helping out someone they cared about.

It was a win-win situation…which wouldn’t have existed if she had insisted on proving that she could do it herself.

So the next time someone offers you help I’d like to ask you to be a S.T.A.R.

Stop – Stop first before saying anything. Be sure to respond to the offer they are giving you, not react to the fact that someone is trying to help.
Think – Think about what they are offering you. Would it help you? Will they feel good for being able to do it? Could you suggest a compromise which would work for you both?
Acknowledge – Acknowledge what they have said and thank them for their offer.
Receive – Receive the offer graciously.

If we all learned how to be stars…think how sparkly life would be! 😉

Stay Fabulous!

Claire x