HOW DO I GET TAKEN SERIOUSLY AND PROMOTED AT WORK?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a 25-year-old woman and I am pretty smart and very ambitious but somehow at work, I feel like nobody takes me seriously even though I volunteer for extra assignments and do a great job. What can I do to be taken seriously at work and maybe get promoted eventually?

—Ambitious (United States)

DEAR AMBITIOUS:

It could be that your bosses and co-workers underestimate your abilities because of your age. It could also be that there may be ways you can portray yourself more seriously. For example, many people are humble even when self-confident and so may not quite be portraying their abilities fully—for example, volunteering for assignments that aren’t as visible or high-priority or even making statements but using intonation that makes those statements sound uncertain or like a question.

I would ask one of your successful friends who has been in the work force a while (preferably in a similar field) for their feedback on how you can be taken more seriously on work. They might give you their impression as far as the way you speak or dress or generally purport yourself. Then make those changes and notice how things shift over the next month or two.

Next, I would ask your supervisor for a meeting and let them know you are wanting to X, Y, and Z (be specific about what your hopes are for the next step in your career there) and ask them what you need to do to make that happen. Go prepared with a portfolio of specific things you’ve accomplished at the company and how you’ve contributed thus far.

Best of luck, my friend.

WHY DO PEOPLE ALWAYS THINK I’M GAY?

10/25

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a straight man in his thirties but people always think I am gay and outright ask if I am gay. I don’t understand it. What is going on?

—Bewildered (Straightland)

DEAR BEWILDERED:

Bottom line is it’s really not your issue to worry about. If you’re straight, then let people think whatever they want or ask whatever silly questions they want.

People have different pictures (some cultural) about what qualities a gay man may have. The truth is that every single woman runs both male energy and female energy and every single man runs both male energy and female energy. Some people run more of one than the other and the proportions of either may change in the moment according to whatever we’re doing. But let them have whatever pictures they have and think whatever they want and just live your life and enjoy it and don’t waste your thought and energy on nosy questions that aren’t really any of anyone’s business in the first place.

WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO LOOK FOR WHEN PICKING A SPOUSE?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

What is the most important thing to look for when picking a spouse?

—Looking for Love (Brazil)

 

DEAR LOOKING FOR LOVE:

For me, that would probably be compatible values. For example, if the biggest priority to one person is humanity and making the world a better place for all and the other person’s biggest priority is having stuff, they might not be that compatible in the long run. That doesn’t mean you can’t have stuff AND make the world a better place, but if one partner prioritizes having stuff over helping others, for example, it might not work out.

Values can entail lifestyle (for example, someone prioritizing health and clean living might tire of a partner that is always doing drugs or drinking or eating only bacon fat, or someone who loves hiking and skiing and being active might be frustrated with someone who prefers to lounge on the couch, and of course the couch lounger would undoubtedly feel frustrated if their person were always trying to drag them along to climb some mountain) or sexual needs (a person to whom sex is very important might feel frustrated if with someone who doesn’t give a fig about sex).

And even though you asked me about the most important thing, I’d have to add that it’s important to pay attention to how you feel in your body when you’re with a potential mate. Do you feel comfortable and secure? Happy and confident? Or something else? Listen to your gut.

SUNDAY SHARE: SINGER LEXI WALKER

WHY DO RELATIONSHIPS SEEM TO GO SOUTH?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a man in my fifties. I was married for 10 years and then divorced and since then, have dated many women. Things go well for a while and inevitably, even though they are each and all great, things go south and not in a good way! Why does this happen? I am beginning to think a happy long-term monogamous relationship (much less a good marriage) is a myth like a unicorn or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.

—Baching It for Too Long (United States)

DEAR B.I.F.T.L.:

There are many reasons relationships go south (and not in a good way haha). Is there a theme in what you hear from the women you have been with? If they have all (or mostly) mentioned certain things (for example, feeling like you’re not present or whatever else they mention if they mention anything), pay attention to that and look within to see what you can do to change these patterns if you would like to address issues that seem to consistently get in the way of you having a good relationship.

It’s also very difficult (but certainly not impossible) for relationships to succeed in general because different issues and energies come up in relationships. If you can imagine, each of us have our own issues that we are working through, whether it’s self-worth or addiction or whatever else. When you put two people together, no matter how great each person is, these issues are compounded and will come up more and more, particularly as you get to know each other beyond the fantasies and projections of what you each believe each other to be initially. However, it is worth doing the inner work and also working with each other to see just how deep your love can grow when you grow to know each other as divine spirits living within perfectly flawed human personalities if it is important to you to have a loving relationship.

COULD YOU HELP ME UNDERSTAND MY DREAM?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

Had a dream that I was maybe in South Africa in a little hardware store talking to one of my former co-workers. Suddenly she mentioned that her daughter had passed away. Later I was in an infirmary getting treated for two small cuts on the tips of my two middle fingers, one on either hand. Then in an adjacent room the person putting Band-Aids on the cuts also put a needle into the outline of a person on a piece of paper. The place the needle went in and started oozing white and blue liquid. The woman said “I don’t like this one bit!” I thought maybe she was observing that I have high cholesterol.

There was other stuff that I don’t remember. What do you think, Dali Mama?

–CURIOUS (UNITED STATES)

 

DEAR CURIOUS:

That’s curious you knew I like interpreting dreams. Haha!

Maybe you were having a premonition that something is wrong with your co-worker’s daughter or perhaps that your colleague is letting herself die (what she has left of herself) by living her life only through her daughter.
The heart line is on the middle fingers so perhaps your body was telling you that you need to take better care of your heart and cardiovascular system. And yes, cholesterol and also blood sugar are some things you might want your doctor to take a look at. Also that you’re not really living your life—so they’re injecting the outline of where you would be if you were in your body, which is full of corporate energy and societal energy but your life force and essence are missing from there so your spirit is telling you about it so you can make a choice to inhabit your body and live your life if you want to.

Live the life you want, my friend! Now is here!

WHAT KINDS OF THINGS IS IT OKAY FOR ME TO LET MY KIDS WATCH?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

Do you think it is harmful to let my kids (5 and 8 years old) watch PG movies with slight violence but it’s more kidding-around stuff? Like Home Alone, for example. I’d rather my kids don’t watch that kind of stuff just yet but my wife thinks it’s not a big deal. I just feel like they’re going to see all kinds of things when they get older and I’d rather protect them from it a little while longer while I still can.

—Concerned Father (United States)

DEAR CONCERNED FATHER:

I’d have to re-watch the movie but I seem to recall the main character defending himself and the house with violence against the robbers. I think it depends on the kids (how sensitive they are or how easily influenced they are) and also it depends on you and your wife being able to provide a context or framework whenever they see a movie like that—saying afterwards, for example, “In real life, of course you shouldn’t do X, Y, or Z because you could hurt someone very badly.”

If it were my kids, I would probably try to expose them to movies and shows and people and situations where people interact in a much more positively and healthy fashion and where people solve things in a much more peaceful and productive manner, especially until they are older because that kind of violence (even in a comedic sense) can seep into their consciousness and affect some of their choices and can also desensitize them to others.

Thanks for being conscious of what your putting into your kids’ minds. You’re creating a better future for them and the world!

HOW DO I WORK THROUGH MY FEARS OF SUCCESS AND FAILURE?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I have been paralysed by my fears from taking action in my professional life for the past few months. This lack of action has affected my mental as well as financial well being. It all comes down to a fear of success, as crazy as that might sound. And also, a little fear of failure and rejection.

Ultimately I am scared that if I take action and make things happen in my business, it will propel me towards success that I won’t be able to handle and that it will bring me added responsibilities. I’m scared that new responsibility will tie me down and make me less of a free spirit and be a noose around my neck. Also I will have to take responsibility towards others who buy my product: I am a perfectionist so it kinda scares me, the potential fault finding and finger pointing of others.

My fear of rejection by clients is the flip side of the coin. I don’t deal with rejection well or bounce back up quickly. I retreat even more.

How can I break out of this self-sabotaging behaviour? And how can I drastically change perspective and shed my fears?

—Success Hungry Yet Success Scared (S. Africa)

DEAR S.H.Y.S.S.:

Many people have fear of success as well as fear of failure but don’t understand that those fears are holding them back. Your awareness of these fears will help you work through them more quickly since you can do so consciously.

Perhaps you can take the first step of breaking down your bigger goals into small concrete tasks in order of priority and tackle them one by one. Focusing on concrete tasks will ultimately be more productive for you than focusing on abstract worst-case scenarios or fears of being successful and then tanking or fears of being rejected (or your products rejected) by clients.

As you complete each small task, ensuring that they are part of your larger goals, validate each step you took and validate yourself for taking that step. Do this consistently and build small changes and, over time, this will result in a drastically changed perspective that you will have created by practicing changing your way of thinking over time.

You might want to work with a counselor also to help you work through those fears and the root causes.

I wish you any success that you want. I have no doubt you are capable of success as you work through these energies. I applaud your efforts.

IS THERE ANYTHING WRONG WITH PLAYING VIDEO GAMES TO DECOMPRESS?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a professional man in my fifties and I am in management and make a lot of money. The thing is I spend a lot of time playing video games in the evenings and on the weekends. It helps me wind down. However, this is not going down well with the wife and she wants me to go to therapy. I do not think this is an issue that warrants a therapist as it doesn’t interfere with work and at least I am not out getting drunk and sleeping around. She reads your column and I want to know if you agree with me.

—Gamer (United States)

DEAR GAMER:

You didn’t mention how much time you spend gaming so let me just ask you a few questions. Are the video games taking a disproportionate amount of your free time? Is your urge to play video games out of control sometimes? For example, are you unable to relax without playing video games? Do you feel like you sometimes use games as a way of avoiding dealing with stress or dealing constructively with the cause of stress? If the answer to these questions is yes, you may want to explore therapy and figure out alternative ways of winding down. Maybe even fun stuff, including more quality private time and also couples time, including sex!

Think about these questions. It seems that the games are causing some stress in your marriage. It sounds like your wife would like more quality time with you and also would like you to be more emotionally present with her rather than playing games. Is there some way you and your wife could compromise, perhaps spending more quality time together while still giving you time to decompress by playing the games.

HOW DO I GET OVER MY STAGE FRIGHT?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a singer and I have to say I’m pretty decent except for the fact I have horrible stage fright and my voice tightens up and I really get in my head. How do I stop this?

–Fraidy-Cat Performer

DEAR F-C PERFORMER:

Google exercises for singers and performers. Often, simple stretches and exercises can do a lot towards limbering your physical body, which can help.

Also, get out and sing as much as possible, from open mics to house parties or even karaoke. The more you do it, the more you will gradually feel comfortable.

You might want to also sign up for some lessons with a singing teacher or a vocal coach. There’s a great opera singer named Diva Jones who does Skype sessions, who can give you some great tips. I highly recommend her, even to have some initial lessons to build yourself a strong foundation for singing and keeping your voice healthy and strong.

Finally, try allowing yourself to be a clear channel for the music and the song that you love, allowing it to flow through. When you start to worry about you or how you sound or whether you’re singing poorly, know that this mindset is clouding your clarity as a pure channel for the music, and reset your space to simply be a vehicle for the song you love, allowing it to flow through you.

Keep making music!

SUNDAY SHARE: “Glorious” by David Archuleta from Mormon’s Children’s Choir

HOW DO I GET TO KNOW A WOMAN WITHOUT SEEMING CREEPY OR HARASSING SOMEONE?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

Can you tell me how to get to know a woman without seeming creepy or like I’m harassing someone? I know these days it can be considered harassment to comment on a woman’s looks so how do I make my interest known without being a creep?

—A Good Guy (United States)

DEAR GOOD GUY:

That’s a great question and wonderful that you’re cognizant of avoiding potentially creepy come-on lines. How about just saying, “Hi. I’m ____. Nice to meet you.” Or even, “Hello. How are you?” Or comment on a shared experience. For example, if you’re at a bar and listening to a band, you can comment on the music. After you start a general conversation, if you seem to be hitting it off and have things in common, you could say something like, “I’ve enjoyed talking to you. Would you be interested in coffee (or dinner or whatever) sometime?”

Personally, as a woman, I am always much more interested in getting to know people who treat me like a person rather than getting to know men who just comment on my looks without knowing anything about me.

Thanks, Good Guy!

HOW DO I IMPROVE MY RELATIONSHIP WITH A GOOD MAN WHO IS KIND OF CHECKED OUT?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am in a long-term relationship with a man who is very kind and polite to me but he is almost on autopilot and I feel like he never really listens to me. When I try to talk about my feelings, his eyes glaze over or he becomes even busier with work. How do I improve this relationship? I am not happy but I also care about him a lot and don’t want to leave him.

—Is There More Than This? (United States)

DEAR I.T.M.T.T.:

You can do your part but ultimately the relationship will not change unless he himself is willing to make some changes. Sometimes when people are working too much and perhaps not sleeping enough, this lifestyle can affect their cognitive functions such as focus or the ability to really listen. Another factor could be that some people feel overwhelmed when dealing with emotions (theirs or someone else’s) and they check out even more than they already are because they get overwhelmed and go unconscious to what’s going on around them or even inside of themselves.

Perhaps you can simply tell him how much you care about him and say that, because you care about him a lot and you’re invested in the relationship, you’d like to figure out a way that you can connect on a deeper level with each other. One thing you might want to try is couples therapy (and possibly individual therapy for him). Maybe you could also explore meditating together, or a grounding exercise like yoga or couples’ yoga, or spend more time together outside in nature where they are less distractions. You might even want to explore orgasmic meditation or tantra as well to help you both connect more deeply.

If he is unwilling to make any changes, you will need to decide whether the pleasure of being with him outweighs your feeling of not being heard or feeling like you are with someone on autopilot. Also, I encourage you to examine if this feeling of not being heard or of being on autopilot is something inside of you that he is simply reflecting back to you. I encourage you to work too to own your voice and your own consciousness and see if you start to notice some changes in him as you are working on yourself.

Much love.

HOW CAN I COMFORT MYSELF OTHER THAN BY SMOKING?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I’m having difficulties in stopping smoking. I’ve been a smoker all my adult life but I’ve been vaping for a few months (using an e-cigarette). However, lately I tend to fluctuate between vaping and having a few cigarettes a day when I’m tired, lonely or down.

I have identified that I smoke cigarettes by way of seeking comfort—to go unconscious for a few minutes in order to distract me from my feelings. In what ways can I go to myself for comfort as opposed to going to a cigarette? I hope I manage getting off the cigarettes and vaping in the long run for good.

—Desperately Seeking Comfort (Argentina)

DEAR D.S.C.:

Good awareness about your reasons for having smoked.

To comfort yourself, when you crave a cigarette, instead do some small thing that your body wants—do a nice stretch or have a healthy snack or take a whiff of one of your favorite essential oils. And consistently replace the ritual of smoking with whatever reward for your body you choose at trigger points of smoking—when you feel down or after dinner, or whenever you normally would have smoked.

Congratulations on taking care of and honoring your body and also for consciously changing old patterns. Good on you!

HOW DO I GET OVER MY OLD SWEETHEART?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I spent a lot of time getting to know and falling in love with someone special. We had great affinity and spent a lot of time together. Our paths went in different directions and I have moved on to a great degree, recognising it wasn’t meant to be. Although I don’t pine after this person any more, what I can’t get over is the belief that I won’t meet anyone else with whom I feel that merging of hearts and minds and souls. That I’ll ever feel as safe or wanted with anyone else. Or that my heart will skip a beat for someone else like it did for this person. Any thoughts on how to build a bridge and get over it once and for all? I’m so done with myself feeling this way. Thank you.

—Stuck (New Zealand)

DEAR S.:

Thank you for asking this question.

First, make space for your new mate by releasing old energies (old hopes and dreams about your previous relationship). Also, you might want to clean out any reminders of your old mate as well—photos, digital and otherwise. If you are friends on Facebook, perhaps unfollow him for a while until you’re solidly on a path where you don’t get caught up in moments of regret or fears that you won’t be able to feel that way about someone new.

You will indeed meet someone new but it’s important to get in a space where you will both recognize this new person as a potential mate and also have room in your heart for him. Get out there and join group activities such as Meetup or other clubs with people of similar interests. If you like hiking, look for a hiking group or a film group or singing group or whatever excites you. When you’re ready, you might even want to try online dating but you might want to start with groups so you can just have fun socializing and getting out and making new friends and being part of new communities.

Keep in mind that often when we want something and we’re impatient, it may feel like it will never happen or we cannot imagine how or when something will happen. Before you meet your old mate, do you remember feeling like you never would meet someone new? But you did, as you will again!

Much love.

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