COMMUNICATION: MEN ARE DIFFERENT, WE WOMEN TOO

When it is about the differences between male and female characteristics, we usually come across typical clichés. But this is not what my article is about. I should rather make us women aware that there are sociological differences between the sexes which we should know about. This might help us understand men (even) better.

The sociologist Leonard Benson says that girls are more related to individuals, and boys more to objects. And this is how it continues during adulthood: many men like to talk about the job, finances, cars, sport or politics. We women, however, generally like to talk about things related to other people. As already mentioned, I do not want to reinforce clichés, but we women must not be surprised if we do not always immediately find ourselves in a common basis for conversation with men.

WOMEN COMMUNICATE DIFFERENTLY AND ABOUT DIFFERENT TOPICS THAN MEN

The linguist Robin Lakoff (1) discovered the following typical differences:

_ women tend to ask more questions to keep conversation flowing; men understand questions more as a direct request for further information

_ women show more interest in their conversation partner than men who aim to prevail more in communication

_ women use more affirming words than men, such as “great!”, “beautiful!”, “wonderful!”, or “amazing!”

_ articles (in women magazines) are somehow always related to psychology in almost every area, from sex to money and nutrition

_ in men’s conversations numbers occur more often than in women’s. Men – even those whose Maths qualification tests are worse than the ones of Rwandan silverback gorillas – appreciate the security of numbers, says Colin McEnroe in the magazine ‘Mirabella’

“AND THE MORAL OF THE STORY …”

If men and women want to develop better communication with the other sex, men should talk more about people, and women more about facts. Maybe men do not find personal topics particularly interesting, and women find facts austere. But as soon as you are aware of the difference, you could at least understand better different needs for communication, accept it more easily, and react to it more ideally.

A series of blogs that can help us to see men with new eyes, understand them (even better). If you want to get more information on this topic, I recommend the book ‘You don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation’ by Deborah Tannen

(1) Lakoff, Robin Tolmach: Talking Power, 1990

Women

WHY IT IS WORTH THINKING ABOUT MINIMALISM IN YOUR OWN WARDROBE

Capsule Wardrobe. And again I have learnt a new word! It is always really amazing for me, and admirable as well, what people come up with. Therefore, I like the idea of a minimalistic wardrobe very much, which, at the same time, aims for sustainability. To have a so-called Capsule Wardrobe means, to manage with less clothing, but nevertheless, to be always well-dressed. And eventually it is about not getting lost looking for the 115th item of clothing in your wardrobe.

I honestly have to admit that I have not tried it myself, but for a few years my focus on buying clothes has clearly been: less is more!

WHAT IS A CAPSULE WARDROBE?

The fashion blogger Caroline Joy Rector (www.un-fancy.com) suggests composing a capsule wardrobe for each season, consisting of 37 items. Namely:

_ 15 tops

_ 9 trousers or skirts

_ 9 pairs of shoes

_ 2 jackets

_ 2 dresses

In addition, handbags, accessories, jewellery, pyjamas, sportswear. Caroline recommends wearing this Capsule Wardrobe for three months, combining the different items, and no shopping. She has even provided a special capsule builder app and a capsule wardrobe planner online for download.

HOW THE BUILDING OF A CAPSULE WARDROBE WORKS

FIRST: Before you start composing your own capsule wardrobe, you need plenty of time and leisure to think about the choice of items of clothing:

_ Do I spend most of the time with children (at home, at the playground, in the kindergarten)?

_ Does my place of work require a business outfit (for example banking, insurance, commercial representation)?

_ Do I spend most of my time in work clothes (as a doctor, midwife, nurse)?

_ Do I work online from home?

_ How often do I have appointments with dress-code?

SECOND: For your capsule wardrobe you define your colour scheme, such as:

_ two (neutral) basic colours, for example, black, dark blue, grey, or brown

_ two contrasting colours, for example, pink and turquoise, and

_ white or light beige.

THIRD: Totally clear out your wardrobe! Only underwear, socks, swimwear and sports gear, as well as accessories (belts, jewellery, bags, scarves, gloves, hats) are allowed back in the wardrobe.

FOURTH: Now you sort the clothing items according to four priorities, labelling them appropriately:

_ ‘FAVOURITES’: clothes you love wearing all the time, which are not too big or too small.

_ ‘MAYBE’: things you do not want to be separated from because they are connected with pleasant memories, or they were very expensive.

_ ‘GET RID OF IT’: clothes you want to sort out (donate them, give them away as presents, or sell them at flea markets, or in vintage stores).

_ ‘NOT NOW’: things you like to wear, but are not appropriate for the current season. They go into a drawer, or a separate part of the wardrobe, waiting for their use in the relevant season.

FIFTH: Eventually you put the ‘FAVOURITE’ pile back into the wardrobe; everything else is stored away.  You only choose from this pile in the next three months.

SIXTH: Briefly before the end of the season, you start planning for the next one. Planning three months in advance can only be a guideline, of course, as the weather is not always respectful of the seasons. But we could divide the year into spring (March to May), summer (June to August), autumn (September to November) and winter (December to February).

SEVENTH: You do not have to stick to it rigidly. If it is 38 instead of 35 items per season, it is okay. Maybe you find a new favourite piece during the season which replaces another one. The main thing is that you only buy things that fit in the ‘FAVOURITE’  pile. And you should have fun doing so. And keep remembering: Less is often really more!

Women

TAKE TIME FOR YOUR FEMININITY. CONNECT WITH YOUR ANCESTORS

“What are my ancestors to me? I live in the here and now!” This might sound like a fair point at first. But only as long as you become aware that everything and everybody, belonging to your family, is energetically connected.

You have your position in the line of ancestors, just like a pearl on a string of pearls. Therefore, you are also part of the energy field of your female ancestors.

The connection with these women – no matter whether you personally know them or not – always contains a great healing potential.  For the entire female energy field of your family. You do not even have to know what sort of lives these women led, what challenges they had to fight, or whether they were strong or weak personalities. It is primarily about realigning the female field of your family.

So take time for your female line of ancestors, connect with them in your thoughts. Send positive and loving thoughts to the women who lived their lives before you. Build a respectful connection to them. You can also use one of my energized symbol cards, or create your own ritual with crystals, flowers or candles. Let yourself be guided by your female intuition. It will show you what to do.

Women

SASKIA BRUYSTEN. WHEN YOUNG WOMEN CHANGE THE WORLD

Saskia Bruysten was only 27, when she reached a turning point in her life. She started to wonder whether she wanted to continue her life in the same way. She was a successful businesswoman, and asked herself:

  • Is the economic system, which I confidently act in, fair?
  • Can’t I do something more important with my knowledge than simply increasing the sales of cosmetic companies?

In 2008 she heard the Nobel Prize winner Muhammad Yunus talk about his concept of ‘social business’ in London. She was so excited that she started her own agency with him, to gain even more publicity for his ideas.

Three years later she still was not happy with herself. Therefore, she suggested that Yunus should create a new concept to develop even more social businesses. This was the start of YSB – Yunus Social Business.

SMALL ENTREPRENEURS INSTEAD OF LARGE CORPORATIONS

Instead of large international corporations, she now consults small entrepreneurs, which, for example, produce chlorine for decontamination of drinking water in Haiti. YSB also brought the Ugandan stove builder Awamu on track. 20 000 low smoke stoves have already been sold.

The start-up of a small company in Africa is not handled any differently to a large one in Germany. What counts is the quality of the concept, not the needs of the founder. The selection process is accordingly strict.

I admire Saskia Bruysten for leaving big business, to realise her talents in a social business concept. I hope there will be many more young women like her, who want to change the world, by supporting small entrepreneurs, and not large companies, with their knowledge.

Women

No longer get in your own way and MUSTER ALL YOUR COURAGE!

10 steps for women who eventually want to fulfil their potential

“Do not be too shy and hesitant in your actions. The entire life is an experiment. The more you experiment, the better.” (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! This is not a new revelation, but the lost chance on inspiring experiences, necessary changes, or important steps forward.

Life without calculable risk remains shallow, just like a boring watery soup. And the colourful life might roll past you while you are incapable of making a decision because of doubts and despondency.

Where do you actually stand in your present life?

Maybe in your life there are also a few brave steps waiting for you? What about the following questions for a brief self-reflection:

  • Do you find your life an obstacle run?
  • Are you facing a decision you are scared of, and you do not want to commit yourself?
  • Do you implement your wishes and dreams?
  • Do you act too impulsively because thinking too much scares you?
  • Are you dreaming of adventures which will never happen?
  • Do you leave important decisions about you and your life to other people?
  • Do you tend to be pessimistic?

It is important to listen to your feelings when making decisions. But be aware how strongly your gut feeling can be influenced by artificially construed fears.

Your fellow people’s remarks may energetically weigh you down and unsettle you. These people haven’t got enough courage themselves, or they do not want you to walk your path determinedly, and to make your decisions bravely, just because they fail in doing so.

Do not be misled! Courage can be trained, just like muscles!

How to get out of the despondency trap:

  • Make your decisions rationally, if you are emotionally insecure, and do not know what is right or wrong.
  • Get plenty of information before you make significant changes in your life.
  • Grab the opportunities for change which life offers you, and do not let them roll past you.
  • Do not only prepare plan A, but also plan B (or even plan C).
  • If you feel insecure, take small steps to get closer to your aim.
  • Learn to distinguish between rational and irrational thoughts which might have a negative influence on your decision.
  • Realize that there is no life without risks, unless you spend the rest of your life in bed (and even there you might feel claustrophobic).

Nothing ventured, nothing gained! But if you are courageous, step by step you will become more confident, you will suffer less from mental stress, you will see your aims more clearly, and eventually reach them through increased willpower. And one day you will have forgotten what you were scared of.

 

Women&Consciousness

VANESSA REDGRAVE (79) IS MODELLING. A STATEMENT AGAINST THE OBSESSION WITH YOUTH!

While the majority of fashion magazines are still obsessed with very young and anorexic models, an absolutely relaxed Vanessa Redgrave poses in front of the camera. In her role as a Gucci model she makes a quiet statement, which, however, was followed by a considerable amount of press reaction.

The Italian fashion house could attract the British actress as the figurehead for their 2017 collection, and made her the star of the whole campaign. Chief designer Alessandro Michele approached the actress, who we know from films such as ‘Howards End’ or ‘Foxcatcher’.

ROMANTIC LOOK WAS SHOT IN ROMANTIC ENVIRONMENT

The photo-shootings for the Gucci-cruise-collection 2017 took place in England, at Chatsworth House, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire. The photos show an extremely romantic environment, which should inspire us to put on one of Grandmother’s skirts, in addition to our own wardrobe.

Whereas more and more curvy models can be seen on the catwalks, there are still only a few models aged 60+ or 70+. There is the strong suspicion that designers’ motivation is not the urge to provide ‘curvy women’ with chic dresses, but to open a new market segment. And this segment seems to be more interesting and promising than the 60+ or 70+ customers.

However, I find it extremely enjoyable that an increasing number of women, no matter whether they are tall or short, well-built or slim, old or young, dress in a feminine style, and according to their personal taste. Thus emphasizing their personality.

Women

STOP BEING YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY! 10 STEPS FOR WOMEN WHO FINALLY WANT TO LIVE THEIR POTENTIAL

Do you sometimes move through life like a car that has the parking brake put on?

Do you block yourself because you are still chasing completely exaggerated or outdated ideas?

Are you continuously restricted by rigid patterns of thought and behaviour as well as by influences of your childhood?

Do your blockages swallow up too much of your energy, which you could apply more sensibly and profitably for your potential?

… Maybe you do not even notice your blockages in everyday life anymore …

… because they have become a part of you – or you have become a part of them,

… because you have always been that way and have not even hit on the idea to have a closer look at your “brake pads” yet, or

… because you are afraid or too lazy to have a closer look at your blockages and therefore are unable to understand in which patterns you are stuck or on which beaten tracks your life runs.

STOP BEING YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY!

I invite you to ponder over the following prompts at least once:

Step 1: Lay your self-pity to rest!

  • Do you sometimes think that things are easier for other people than they are for yourself?
  • Are you convinced that nobody is able to understand how big your problems are?
  • Do you have the feeling that life treats you unfairly?
  • Do you tend to speak of negative rather than positive things?
  • Do you think that your cares are bigger than most other people’s?

It is very simple to fall into the trap of self-pity and get stuck there. But as long as you are caught in this trap, you will be unable to make changes to yourself or your situation. As soon as you have freed yourself from your trap of self-pity, you will have new energies at your disposal that will help you take your life into your own hands.

Step 2: Forsake your stubbornness!

  • Are you holding on to past events?
  • Are you cleaving to your fixed ideas?
  • Are you unable to revise your opinion?
  • Do you have difficulty being a team player?
  • Are you leery of others?

It is rarely expedient to try to command everything and everybody. Frequently, paralysing fear is at the bottom of control addiction and the inability to let go of fixed ideas. It is really too bad that you waste so much energy, which you could apply much more profitably, through your fixation, stubbornness or fear of losing control.

Step 3: Pick yourself up after a failure!

  • Are you afraid to even think about a possible defeat?
  • Do you receive your self-worth from your success?
  • Are you afraid of looking like a loser to others?
  • Are you daunted by failure?
  • Do you resort to excuses when your plans do not work out?

Perhaps you should have a closer look at the subjects of failure, defeat and frustration, because it is possible that you feel like so many other people to whom failure is completely unacceptable. Many of us have been designed for success from an early age onwards, which is why failure is not tolerable or at least very difficult to tolerate for them. But maybe we should accept failure as an important part of our personal developmental process?

Step 4: Learn to cherish solitude!

  • Do you sometimes go to the restaurant, cinema or a concert alone?
  • Are you of the opinion that being alone is boring?
  • Do you continuously surround yourself with other people or are you continuously talking to someone on the mobile phone?
  • Do you think that meditations or keeping a diary are a complete waste of time?
  • Are the TV or the radio on in the background when you are alone at home?

Nowadays, it is simple to communicate with other people at the flick of a switch, no matter where they are right now. Maybe you have forgotten how to be alone, maybe you feel impelled to communicate with others all the time. Quite frequently fear of loneliness or of insignificance are at the bottom of this kind of behaviour. Isn’t it about time that you let go of these blockages?

Step 5: Give up your impatience!

  • Do you always want things to be attended to immediately?
  • Are you annoyed when others are unable to keep up with your speed?
  • Are you convinced that things will not work out if you cannot see results immediately?
  • Are you of the opinion that everything has to happen fast in life?
  • Is the proverb “Rome wasn’t built in a day” incompatible with your philosophy of life?

Time flies – and you with it. Maybe you often have the feeling that you could miss out on something if you are unable to keep up. Maybe you simply overrate your chances of arriving at a result more quickly or you would even like to take counter-productive shortcuts in your developmental process sometimes. Frequently, the realisation that change needs time can prove very helpful, just like grape juice, which can only mature into noble wine when stored for an adequate amount of time.

Step 6: Let go of your fear of change!

  • Do you have difficulty facing decisions?
  • Do you dread leaving your comfort zone?
  • Are you thinking a lot about changes, but keep postponing them?
  • Are you afraid to change your daily routine?
  • Do you have difficulty implementing and seeing through planned changes?

If you are scared of changes, you will probably find yourself in a dead end one day. After all, life means change, on a large and on a small scale: You won’t be able to learn new things, your quality of life won’t improve and your problems won’t vanish into thin air on their own if you do not have the courage for changes. The longer you postpone these changes, the more energy you will have to muster to see them through.

Step 7: Brace up!

  • Do you sometimes dream of travels and adventures, but do not have the courage to make your dreams come true?
  • Do you always imagine the worst-case scenario?
  • Do you leave decisions to other people, so that you do not have to decide for yourself?
  • Have you already forfeited once-in-a-lifetime opportunities?
  • Do you avoid taking risks because you are afraid of possible dangers or failures?

Maybe you grew up in a pessimistic or anxious environment. Maybe nobody has set you the example that it sometimes needs courage to take a calculable risk in order to give one’s life the decisive turn. Maybe you are a safety freak and cut yourself off from the many opportunities life has to offer due to your lack of daring. But: “No risk, no reward!” If you are too afraid of realigning yourself, you will never be able to go from A to B in life.

Step 8: Learn from your mistakes!

  • Do you make others the scapegoat for your mistakes?
  • Do you allow enough time for looking for solutions for a problem?
  • Do you find it tedious to look for alternatives?
  • Do have difficulty giving up inhibiting habits?
  • Do you sometimes think: “I am never going to do that again!” but do it again anyway?

If you want to learn from your mistakes, you won’t be able to avoid honest self-reflection. It is important to have a close look at what has gone wrong, what has been your contribution to a mistake and what you are trying to push to the back of your mind because you refuse to believe it. Mind the warning signs that are trying to show you that you have pursued the wrong path before going on. You need a healthy dose of self-responsibility in order to learn from your mistakes and be eventually able to benefit from them.

Step 9: Do not cede your power to others!

  • Does your well-being depend on how kindly others treat you?
  • Do you do things because others have persuaded you to do them, because they badger you or expect you to do them, without in fact wanting to do those things?
  • Do you have difficulty setting bounds to others and saying NO?
  • Do you think a lot about how you can win over other people?
  • Is it important to you to be in everybody’s good books, because you want others to think highly of you?

As long as you give others power over yourself, you will feel dependent, uncomfortable and eventually unhappy. You will be dependent on others, because your feelings are bound to their opinion. You allow others to determine your self-esteem. You are becoming more and more sensitive to their criticism and turn like a weather vane in order to please them. Isn’t it about time to stop doing that?

Step 10: Rejoice over other people’s happiness/success!

  • Do you envy others instead of being delighted for them because they have made their dreams a reality?
  • Do you have difficulty being on friendly terms with or spending time with people who earn more money than you do?
  • Do you sometimes gloat over other people’s misfortunes?
  • Are you unwilling to listen to other people’s success stories?
  • Do you sometimes feign to be happier or wealthier than is actually the case?

Do you know the difference between envy and jealousy? Jealous people think: “I want to have/be able to do what you have/are able to do!” But envious people think: “I want to have/be able to do what you have/are able to do, but I do not want you to have it/be able to do it!” Jealousy – if it is not too pronounced – can be a corrective, but envy is highly unhealthy! It is grounded on deep feelings of insecurity and problems of self-worth – and certainly does not get you anywhere.

If you want to tap your full potential, then you should start with becoming fully aware of your blockages in order to dissolve them gradually. After all, they waste a lot of your energies. Whatever you have planned for this life … stop being your own worst enemy!

 

Women Women&Consciousness