Don’t you just love overhearing snippets of conversations?
I’m not a snoop but some types of random communication between strangers help to kickstart my writer’s ear — I like to tune into the way people talk, their quirky wisecracks and tone of voice.
It can be interesting research for any writer.
Because its real life now, that’s why. Every writer knows how important it is to capture authentic dialogue in their work. It’s the unique flavor of people and their conversations that we want convey in our creations. Even nonfiction writers who pen their wonderful articles here on Medium can learn so much from the art of listening, right?
Sometimes, its enough just to listen to the earth.
There are a few young men working outside in my neighbor’s backyard right now. I can’t see them. Too many trees in the way. But I can hear their laughter and quick witted banter over Sydney’s coolest radio station — their blue colored choice of music, tuned into Triple J.
J for …. Jives? Jockey? Jam?
I actually don’t know. Let the “J” remain as mysterious as the lady-jesting blokes out back. Yes. They have been chatting about females. Or rather, teasing each other about the opposite sex.
I’m not eavesdropping. Promise. But it’s a bit a hard not to hear them when volume control is nil. Anyway, they got me laughing. Here’s a little preview:
“You can’t tell me that’s she’s this and that. She can’t be all that good if you’re her only option.”
“Maaate… does she even know your name?”
Real life. Real love. Real conversations.
More Real Life & Love
This month, I have had the greatest pleasure in working with my LOL writers to bring their real life & love conversations to the page. We’ve had a little taste of just about everything — from wild African ventures to Holi Indian celebrations to soulful poetics to falling in love to the odd controversial piece.
I love being a part of the diversity that we are creating together for our readers, and honestly, I think that I am in love with all of you — gratitude, that you choose to house your good work here at LOL with me and Miss Sassy Lexi.
Check out the March story pages below. There is something there for everyone. ❤
There’s always a friend you can never quite trust.
She’s the friend who barely waits for your back to be turned before she transforms into a sex bomb, tossing her hair and swinging her hips as she saunters across the room with your man firmly in sight. You try to quell the annoyance splitting your brain as she smiles wide enough to swallow him whole. You take a breath, reminding yourself what it means to be the “better” person — the collected, Stoic kind of person. Besides, you know that he only has eyes for you. But that isn’t always enough to tame the jealousy trickling in your veins like poison ivy, is it?
Hell, no. You’re only human, honey.
“Every girl in here has got a girlfriend they don’t trust around their man.”
Jealousy is one of those emotions that instantly implies childlike negativity. We’re frequently told that it’s not healthy or “evolved” to feel the pain of jealousy, or we are instructed to stop being so sensitive and be more stoic in our approach to life. Because to not be vulnerable or acknowledge why we are experiencing a certain emotion is better than actually feeling the raw emotion of life, right?
Stoicism may teach us to accept the present moment and be less focused on desirable pleasures and the fear of pain, but none of us are totally immune to experiencing a “negative” pang-feel every now then. Or the tantalizing sensations of sexual desire for that matter.
And who in their right mind would want to deny such wonderful pleasures, anyway?
Certainly not I.
It’s called living, experiencing, connecting and learning, and frankly, I believe that feeling a little romantic jealousy has its purpose in love. Every emotion you feel is valid, regardless of what others have to say about it or if you feel as though you’re overeating. Further, your feelings actually reveal something about you, as well as that they may indicate the depth of your feelings for someone else.
You may be feeling jealous because you are head-over-heels in love.
Jenni Skyler, who is the director of The Intimacy Institute in Colorado tells us:
“Feeling jealous at some point is totally normal because it’s a Band-Aid emotion, so to speak. Everyone experiences two core emotional fears — a fear of not being good enough or a fear of being left out. We all have at least a little degree of one of those two issues — we’re basically wired that way.”
So, we learn that jealousy is a normal emotion to experience in our relationships from time to time. Though, when faced with a trusted friend who vies for your man’s attention each time that she’s in his presence, the blow can do a double-time on your psyche.
Here’s what she looks like and how to handle it.
A Woman’s Toolbox = Feminine Sexuality
Whether she admits it not, just about every woman eventually realizes her one powerful advantage over a man is her sexuality. We learn how to work our assets to attract male attention, and we just as fast acquire the skillsets to play on a man’s sexual desire, if we want to go there. Truthfully speaking, women have been groomed to behave this way to win male attention over her sisters from the get-go.
It’s just how it is.
And this innate sense of knowledge is true for a woman irrespective of whether or not she permits herself to use her sexually-alluring feminine virtues in a persuasive manner.
According to an article published by Science of the People, “men are more attracted to a woman who engages in flirtation behavior to show she is available versus the best-looking woman in the room.”
All good. Flirting is a natural part of the mating game. It’s just that some women are more comfortable exploiting and using their sexuality to manipulate men than others, and, unfortunately, some women possess no boundaries when it comes to who’s man they are flirting with — friendships be damned.
The Flirty Friend
You can be flirty. I can be flirty. Depending on who’s doing the flirting, it can be quite fun and definitely arousing. But I most definitely have never crossed the “flirty” line with a girlfriend’s man. That has never been my style.
Personally, when it comes to flirting, I much prefer to playfully tease a man on an intellectual level rather than bat my lashes and push my boobs in his face like a brainless ditz. There is just something about a man who can use his intellect to stimulate. It’s like the ultimate foreplay to foreplay, if you know what I mean.
Hmm… back to the flirty friend.
I used to know the woman in the opening paragraph around the same time that I met my now husband. She was a shocker around men. It didn’t matter who he “belonged” to — if he was male and within her proximity, he was an open game.
My friend had no qualms about shamelessly flirting with my husband each time she was around us. I’m talking full-ball performance here — from showing up wearing revealing clothes to the coy smiles to the accidently-on-purpose pawing all over him to the relentless playful banter.
It was draining just watching her.
Naturally, he reacted accordingly. She was a gorgeous woman and, well, it’s hard to find a hotblooded heterosexual man in this world who doesn’t respond in some fashion to the attention of an attractive lady.
It’s an ego thing.
Makes him feel connected to his “sexual-conqueror self” and all that masculinity stuff, reminding him that he’s still got what it takes to capture the interest and hook attractive women.
Enough said about that.
I’m not sure if my friend behaved like a hussy due to some kind of buried childhood scarring. You know, like “daddy” issues or fear of abandonment and whatnot. Honestly, I didn’t care. I’m not the type to pin the blame of adult behavior on childhood trauma, and especially not when it comes to matters of the heart.
We all have a past that we must work on if we’re going to get the most out of this life. And most adults know the difference between good and bad behavior within our friendships, too.
Chris Rock is a funny guy. I remembering hearing the below quote and laughing because it was so true when he said:
“When a guy introduces his boy to his new girlfriend, when they walk away, his boy goes, ‘Aww man, she’s nice, I gotta get me a girl like that.’ When a woman introduces her new man to her girlfriend, after they walk away, her girlfriend goes, ‘I gotta have THAT guy.’”
It just goes to show that a woman can be downright determined when she fancies a man. Even more so when she falls in love with him. Let’s not explore that scenario right now.
Handling the Flirty Friend
At first, I tried very hard to be the “better” person in the above-mentioned situation. I didn’t want to let my friend’s extreme flirtatiousness affect me. Even though she possessed some lovely qualities — she was fun, upbeat, kind and interesting — I knew deep down that what she was doing was pretty rotten.
It doesn’t matter much you focus on the positive qualities of some people, or how far you strive to be that “better” person, at the end of the day it comes down to what you are willing to accept as a part of your life experience.
The entire situation eventually snowballed when she showed up at my doorstep eager to impart saucy titbits craftily concocted by her fascination. That was when her devious mindset had worn down its final thread — The cunning tongue, rear door insinuations and sly attempted take-downs …. the way she seemed to have no regard for my feelings.
So, I handled it. I cut her from my life and never looked back.
Sometimes, the anecdote to poison ivy is having the guts to suck out the venom and walk away. Because life is too fleeting and precious to waste on the weeds.
Austin Powers. For some reason, the prolific 1960s spy who was unfrozen and thrust into an array of new assignments in a confusing ’90s world, is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of someone exceptionally cool — “Yeah, baby?”
Okay, so the main selling point of the film series was clearly imbued with the joyous sexism reminiscent of early Bond flicks, but no one can deny that the always-up-for a-good-time, lusting for life and love Austin Powers, was exceptionally cool in his own right.
Have you ever observed someone and thought: “Whoa! That dude is so cool. I want to be like that.”
It is never because of what there are wearing, what they do for a living or what they own. It is because there is something about them that makes them stand out from the crowd.
Something you admire.
That’s how all exceptionally cool people are. Their way of being in the world — how they think, what they choose to do, and how they talk and move — is all part of their wildly different identity that draws others toward them.
If you’re anything like me, you may wonder how they got to be so damn cool. Is there a secret to being less-than-ordinary? Were these people just born with a magnetic personality?
Thankfully, we don’t have to be a shagadelic imitation of Austin Powers to be cool. That is because there is no one secret formula that separates what we call exceptionally cool people from the rest of us — it boils down to what and who they are, along with certain qualities that come naturally to them.
And it is something we can all easily learn and effectively reproduce in our own lives.
1. Cool is Friendliness
Sometimes it can feel as if the world is full of rude, ill-mannered and inconsiderate people.
That is very uncool.
The thing about the people we consider to be cool is that we appreciate them for their caring nature and willingness to treat others in the way they would like to be treated.
They will give you their undivided attention and you can sense their genuine interest in you. These kinds of people know that a friendly attitude makes a positive impact not only at an interpersonal level, but to the world as a whole.
Kindness creates a ripple-effect.
I don’t need to tell you that kind-hearted and friendly people attract more of the same into their lives, and that makes us want to spend more time getting to know them.
Applying the Friendliness Quality
Being kind and friendly makes you feel good about yourself — happier. Make an active choice to qualify any negative feelings with something that feels better.
All of us can take the initial move towards potential friendly behavior with others. We can all make a difference.
2. Cool is Confidence
“As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.” — Nelson Mandala
To be clear, when I speak of confidence, I’m not talking about blind arrogance here — that’s another category altogether.
However, I am touching on the type of self-confidence and self-belief that is needed to have faith in your skills and creativity — the kind that helps you keep striving to realize your life goals and dreams.
Yes, cool people have their low days and self-doubts like everyone else, but they also have the ability to overcome the fear of the unknown, set their personal-bar high and follow through with the courage to start new things.
They are the type who continue to test their limits and skills, while forming new ideas in their quest to manifest their greatest desires. Even when those around them are still pondering how to get started.
We naturally admire these people.
Applying the Confidence Quality
Try not to confuse confidence with ego. Rarely does one equal the other. Believing in yourself is what allows you to rise up and reach your potential. Realize that self-belief has a cause-and-effect motion, exactly as Nelson Mandala said in the above-mentioned quote.
That is positive power imbued in exceptionally cool confidence.
3. Cool is Philosophy
Every exceptionally cool thought leader is a forward-thinking rebel by nature. These individuals don’t much care about authority and are fast to question the ideal moral framework with regards to traditionalism, “right human conduct” and conformity.
Austin Powers provides a groovy example of a revolutionary mindset:
“If we had known the consequences of our sexual liberation, we would’ve done things much differently, but the spirit would remain the same. It’s freedom baby.”
Those with a sense of inner-freedom are the type who naturally live their life knowing the truth of John Allen Paulos’s popular observation about life:
“The only certainty in life is uncertainty”
Very cool people are open-minded with a focus on what matters most to them — their quality, freedom and vision for life, regardless of what others think of them.
Applying the Philosophy-Quality
I’m not suggesting that you need to break the law, wave your protesting-pitchforks at the next “extremists” rally or host psychedelic orgies to be cool.
But do try to make the time for introspection — stretch your awareness to encompass self; go deep and ask the important questions — about yourself, the world and your life purpose.
Analyze stale societal conventions that may be holding you back.
You see, opening your mind to new ideas is what creates positive change, improved thought-patterns and ways of being. Philosophy in a nutshell.
4. Cool is Inspiration
Just by being who you are.
A quality many cool people demonstrate is the innate love to evoke inspiration as much as they are motivated by the inspirational qualities in others. They give and take in mutual balance as they willingly share what they know minus the airs and graces.
That is, without being condescending or expecting something in return.
I also think that cool people strive to bring out the best in you by showing trust in your potential and lending you words of encouragement. It just feels uplifting to be around someone like that; as if you don’t need to worry about being judged, scorned or undervalued, even when you mess up.
But the best thing about cool people is that they walk-the-talk — fully backing up their words with actions, showing you what you mean to them.
Real life cool people know the power in showing up for others.
We can all do that.
Applying the Inspiration Quality
Don’t do things for people and always expect the favor returned. Try not to say things you don’t mean or make promises you cannot keep.
Short and sweet — keep it real. That’s inspirational.
5. Cool is Desirable
We all want to feel seen, known, and cherished by others.
Right? It’s the feeling that drives us towards attaining love, intimacy and connection in our lives.
Attraction is the energy emanating from within that draws people closer to us. It creates desire, intrigue, and deeper connections in relationships.
What is often misunderstood about desire and attraction is the fact that it has very little to do with your outwardly appearance and everything to do with how you feel about yourself.
Attraction happens from the inside out.
One of the coolest guys I know dated my girlfriend for a number of years. He wasn’t overly attractive but he was smart with a voracious, magnetic personality, and he was funny as hell.
Humor is very cool. You know this.
Anyway, just being around my friend’s fella somehow switched my energy meter to high, and that made him a desirable person to hang out with.
Cool people are less likely to spend time trying to create an appearance that fits a particular aesthetic and more time cultivating an inner connection to who they are.
Applying the Desirable Quality
First, you must realize and internalize that desirability is not about what you wear but how you wear it, and it’s definitely not about what you do but how you do it.
Feeling like an attractive human being is about cultivating an inner-connection to who you are and standing strong within yourself as that person.
Appreciate and love who you are.
Self-love and self-care are key factors because when you feel good about yourself, others will find those same qualities highly appealing. And it’s desirable.
6. Cool is Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, express and control your emotions, and it is a very cool quality in a person.
Whether expressing honest feelings or dealing with a blow-up of some sort, it takes a certain level of intellectual capacity and self-awareness to remain “together” during the hard times.
Think about the people you consider to be cool. I bet you seldom see them acting out with anger, or slicing and dicing someone with harsh words when things don’t go their way.
Cool people keep their cool.
They understand the significance of staying under control when circumstances force them to burn out. They also realize their irrational response will achieve nothing other than to worsen the situation.
They work at dealing with problems by focusing on solutions, rather than losing their cool. And they make sure you know that you are important to them, regardless of the circumstances.
Applying Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is mindfulness-in-action — it’s the ability to empathize, communicate effectively and defuse conflict.
Be conscious of your inner-world and immediate responses by practicing mindfulness through meditation, yoga, breathing exercises; and paying attention to the moment, your body and your feelings.
7. Cool is the Language of Love
What sets exceptionally cool people apart from everyone else is that they see the good in others and don’t withhold expressing their love to the people they care about.
It touches our hearts so deeply to feel the truth and honesty of love.
Somehow, cool people are able to effortlessly touch you in the most meaningful and unexpected ways with their deepest truths, acts of humility and humble hearts. They are the type of people who show you beauty where you previously saw none, as well as restoring your faith where you most need it.
That’s what cool people do — they remind us to believe that we too are worthy of great love, beauty and kindness.
Applying the Language of Love
Truly exposing yourself to the language of love can be scary because you must allow yourself to become vulnerable. I totally get that.
However difficult it may seem, you have got to remember that love is worth every bit of putting yourself out there, as that’s what creates deeper connection and intimacy in your life experiences.
Exposing ourselves to great love and vulnerability takes courage — take a deep breath and dip your toes in a little at a time. Trust your intuition. Celebrate your ability to sense and experience love deeply in this lifetime.
That’s what makes you beautifully human.
8. Cool is Being Your Authentic Self
It may very well be impossible to always operate from your authentic self, but it is entirely possible to become aware of and connect with your authenticity. It is making the choice to merge with that immaculate, hidden part of yourself once again; learning who you really are and how to be true to that person.
Cool people know the value in authenticity and keep up the inner-work to be able to identify when their behavior or actions don’t align with their authentic nature. They realize that to experience a meaningful life is to fully embrace who they are, holding their inner-sanctuary in a place of love and forgiveness, along with the important people in their lives.
Exceptionally cool people empower others with their presence. They have a knack for making you feel cool, too, just by being around them.
Applying the Authentic Quality
To find your authentic self, you’ve got to dig beneath the layers of borrowed thought processes and learned behavior, social conditioning and expectations; as well as needless education and unnecessary moral policing.
Qualify every aspect of your life by honoring who you are. Accept, connect and strengthen how you choose to love yourself and others.
Being authentic takes real practice and effort, though it’s an important aspect of your humanity worth striving for.
Friendliness, confidence, philosophy, inspirational, desirable, emotional intelligence, love and authenticity, are all shared qualities that come naturally to exceptionally cool people.
But they won’t tell you that they are essentially good people. They won’t need to — their actions will speak loud and clear.