How You Can Tell If You’re Putting In Too Much Work In A Relationship

Relationships are hard work. You’ve no doubt heard people say this before. But the notion of “working hard” on love can be confusing. Exactly how challenging is it supposed to be? When can you tell if you’re actually putting too much effort into a relationship and not getting enough back?

Well, if this possibility is something you’re grappling with, begin first and foremost by checking in with yourself and your needs in the partnership. And as therapist Dea Dean, who has a private practice in Mississippi, tells Bustle, there are some more obvious signs you may be in an imbalanced dynamic where emotional work is involved. For one, if the invitations you extend to your partner for connection, partnership, or communication are denied or dismissed repeatedly, this indicates a problem, Dean says.

“If your partner says they are willing to meet a need (more quality time, healthier boundaries with friends or family, equal share in household responsibilities), yet their behavior consistently reveals unwillingness and a lack of follow-through,” Dean says, that’s not a good sign.

And as Lisa Myers, 32, tells Bustle, she has found herself in unbalanced relationships where she gives things up to focus on her partner’s needs. “My biggest thing has always been ‘dumbing down’ my success or how social I am because it makes my partner’s uncomfortable,” Myers says. “Literally every one of them.”

While every relationship has its ups and downs, and the internal dynamic between the two of you might shift, in general, it should be a give-and-take that works for both of you. Below, take a look at some signs that you might be doing too much when it comes to keeping your relationship working.

1. You Feel Drained When You Hang Out

It's normal to feel confused or stressed out when your relationship is taking an inordinate amount of energy.

Shutterstock

Every now and then, being around your partner — or anyone, for that matter — can be draining. But as life and relationship coach Diana Venckunaite tells Bustle, hanging out with your partner should be fun, fulfilling, and relaxing for the most part. It’s the kind of dynamic that should lift you, not deplete you.

“If you feel exhausted physically, mentally, and emotionally every time your partner leaves, then you may be doing too much work to please your partner and going out of your way to make sure that everything is perfect,” Venckunaite says. Are you the one who makes the plans? Takes care of the food? Tries to maintain the peace? Ask yourself what you think your “responsibilities” are, and if they are truly balanced between you both.

2. You Feel Like Your Partner’s Therapist

“A relationship needs a strong foundation of being one another’s rock during tough and stressful times, where you trade who will be the support for who on and off,” Venckunaite says.

But if you find yourself being “the rock” over and over again, then you have to sit down and think if you’re getting enough from the relationship.

You both deserve to be mutually supported, and feel safe to ask for help and let your guard down. And remember, even as a source of love and strength, you aren’t responsible for each other’s emotional issues.

3. You Feel Irritated A Lot Of The Time

It can feel very frustrating to  be putting in more emotional work than your partner.

Shutterstock

You might start to get irritated with your partner once you begin recognizing there are some imbalances, Venckunaite says. Maybe it’s because you always end up being the designated driver, or you can predict in advance the way your partner is going to behave in a social situation.

“You’re not a babysitter,” Venckunaite says. And you shouldn’t have to feel irritation that foreshadows the same things happening every single time you go out.

4. You Feel Your Contributions Are Unmatched

Dean says that if you are giving on an emotional, financial, or physical level and it’s not being reciprocated in some balanced way, you can easily become critical and withdrawn.

Do you pay for everything and do all the house work? Are you always providing emotional support and doing all the planning? Even if you give different things, you want to make sure you are giving to each other in an equitable way.

“In order to avoid [imbalance] partners can frequently ‘check-in’ with one another and give non- judgmental feedback about how they can better help one another and find balance in negotiating responsibilities with finances, housework, emotional care and relational preferences,” Dean says.

5. If Your Partner Asks For Something Small, You Feel Resentful

Resentments can build easily when you feel unappreciated.

Shutterstock

Again, if you feel like you are putting a whole lot into the relationship without much in return, you might notice yourself feeling bad in general, but that might be doubled when your partner asks you for something. For example, if you feel like you’re constantly the one giving, having them ask for that glass of water at the end of the night might be the last darn straw.

“If this is happening to you, take some time to identify if your resentment is stemming from your own needs going unmet,” Dean says.

If you do indeed find that is what’s going on for you, it’s time to communicate with your partner.

“Once you’ve informed your partner of the imbalance in your dynamic and invited them to demonstrate care for your desires, evaluate whether they show willingness to match the level and frequency of care you’re longing for,” Dean says.

Ultimately, never doubt that you deserve a supportive relationship that makes you feel respected and seen. Even when it’s a lot of work — it should be work for both of you.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

My new book, Angel with a Broken Wing publishes of Amazon June 20th!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Eileen – Chapter 10 – International Restaurant

I love Amelia. She is Megasun personified. Best employee ever. Achilles is completely oblivious because all he does is deal with the salon and the fitness center from 10am to 3pm.

After that is when the magic and the money happens.

He has no contact with me and the girls unless something goes wrong at the salon. My job is to make the salon sing and never call him.

I have the best staff I’ve ever had in the history of this company.

 

Achilles has lived his life with $9 an hour marginal garbage for years. But you bring me in and you’ll get better staff, because that’s what I do.

Does he appreciate it? No. He’s Greek, They work and grow and run businesses. They never trust their staff because most of them are shit and can’t be trusted.

But something magical happened in 2016. Achilles suddenly got a $50k corporate guy to come give him the fuel that professional, in the rat race, gave to corporations every day. But I drove that into a tanning salon. I was sick of corporate america and working for a bunch of weak assholes.

I can use all of my powers in this retail outlet.

What if we invest into a fitness center ?

Lets do that.

Sadly, never happened.

Let’s open another salon on the other side of Broad.

Never happened.

I’m the greatest employee you’ve ever had, and you’re still just running the last tanning salon in the city of Philadelphia.

We’ve faced our struggles and it’s all good, but here we are in our busy season.

I’m grateful for Amelia and Eileen.

They are hands down, the greatest employees I’ve ever had.

How is that possible?

Amelia, great with the clients, calm, cleaning, fun, charming, the extra stuff. Eileen, always charming, calm, and beautiful but willing to jump in whenever necessary.

I’ve some how been blessed.

Amelia and Eileen are beyond great.

I love them both in their earnest and elegance.

They run the front counter and get it right every night, and I get the luxury to run around the salon and just clean beds and do laundry. (Love it!)

That shows me that the most masterful member stands down while his best runs the ship. They’re ready and they’re better than him for this job tonight.

I have hired the best and this progression shows me that I’m right. They work independent of me and Achilles barely knows who they are. I would find that odd but I know him. He’s dealt with garbage employees for ten years, and can no longer tell the difference. I think he’s even losing sight of his very finest.

I want no credit in this, Amelia and Eileen are my best hires, and I am so very proud of them. I simply trained them and these lovely birds flew.

Oh darn…. I’ve been so caught up in how great my staff is… I promised Eileen if she got three compliments on her make up (Which is always amazing) I’d buy her dinner.

Sadly, she only got two but we did go to McDonald’s, and she loved it.

We did a group text to Amelia that I took my hire to “An International Restaurant for dinner Friday night.”

We all had a good laugh over it and I can’t wait to take Amelia for gelato as soon as possible!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Sun Stories: Trinity – Chapter 2 – Ghosted

I was stoked. Trinity had this vibe she gave off that was electric. Just the way she spoke, and the way she moved in the salon.

I knew this girl was special. Maybe not for me but just special in the world. She had such great energy, I knew despite her struggles, she had risen above. Like me, an over achiever with low self-esteem, that became the cream that rose to the top. The shining star in an enormous company. I had made that journey myself and I could feel who Trinity was and what she HAD to accomplish.

I knew she had a boyfriend. He’s probably a great guy. He lives in Boston and was cool with letting Trinity go to Philly and make her way.

I like him already. (That’s a secure guy that lets his bird fly to pursue her dreams and is confident enough in himself and their relationship to let her go.)

I love this dude.

I’ve been through this scenario already with Michelle, when Delaware Dave was trying to reclaim his high school sweetheart. If you read Michelle, you’ll see how that went. (See: Michelle – A Brand New Day)

I don’t want to hurt Boston, but Trinity feels like Michelle and I love how I feel when I’m around her. It feels like Michelle without the commitment so there’s blood in the water.

Let’s see what happens. I’m happy to be alone now at my age, but the old lion is always ready to get up for a good chase. (Still hanging in there with Cherie, but because of time and distance it’s been strained)

I can’t help it.

I text her.

Trinity is new to Philly and has zero friends and has made that clear.

A gazelle on Serengeti.

We’re supposed to meet at Square 1682 for the hookup drinks, but fucking Church and Amelia want to hang. It’s cool… Bros before Hos. (See: Church – Brand Ambassador and Amelia – New Hire)

I love them both. Church is a dear friend and Amelia is my hire, and I love hanging with them both on Monday evenings.

It’s like… Our night.

I know Trinity said she’d be available Monday night for my Square 1682 hook up, but my man, Roman isn’t working so I’m screwed that night. (See: Roman – Rock and Roll Bartender)

Which is fine, I’ll push Trinity off to Tuesday or Wednesday when he’s on. I’ll go to Marathon with Church and Amelia Monday and meet up with Trinity on Tuesday or Wednesday. Easy enough. The iron is still hot, and she needs friends and social time.

I text lovely Trinity the following:

Monday

“Hey I can’t do tonight, but Tuesday or Wednesday evening would work. (Free drinks!)

Crickets.

Tuesday

“I’m sure you’re busy with all you friends… but let me know if your want to hang at Square 1682 tonight or tomorrow?”

A week goes by and it is absolutely heartbreaking crickets.

Nothing.

I have mad energy for Trinity and for her to disappear is heartbreaking to me.

It’s just how my mind works.

I’m actually angry at the salon and tell Amelia all about it. I’m so mad that I’m not getting the dopamine drop I was expecting I go through withdrawal. (This tells me something about myself)

Amelia tells me to settle and now worry about it. (She’s so chill and amazing) But I’m so pissed and confused I just decide that while she works the front counter, I’ll just run around and clean beds and do laundry.

Where’s my Trinity? What happened? I know she works a lot and I like an industrious gal, but why has she simply disappeared?

I check her visits in the system and she hasn’t been in since our last encounter and number exchange.

I always worry, (as charming as I am) that maybe I have run off one of these pretty young girls.

(Never happened)

But where is “Stranger in a strange land” Trinity?

What happened?

I really like her and we had an amazing vibe.

I just don’t know….

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly THE BOOK now available on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

 

 

Sun Stories: Tis’ The Season

The salon is insane. We’re busier then we’ve ever been.

Tis’ the season. It’s Spring and everybody needs to get tan. Most people think that the busy season would be the Winter. It’s cold, dark and Seasonal Affective Disorder kicks in for most of us here in Philly.

But that simply isn’t true.

Sure we have our regulars and the folks that come in to prepare for winter vacations and SAD, but Spring is our Christmas fourth quarter at our tanning salon.

People going on vacation, prom, formals, weddings, formals, and just getting your base on for the summer are in high demand. We have 140 people roll through here a day on our 10 sun beds and one spray tan unit.

Sun Myst around the corner is a failure. Old city Tans died a year ago. Hollywood Tans vanished years ago. We’re the last and best tanning salon left in Philadelphia with the best most modern equipment and best pricing.

But… for some reason, this year I have the greatest part-time staff ever.

I’ve worked my butt off month after month maintaining this salon’s excellence with my partner Achilles. We’ve been through a lot and if you’ve been reading phicklephilly you know we’ve been through the ringer with staffing.

Hell, that’s why I came here in the first place. I did his advertising when I worked at the now failed Philly Weekly. I was looking for a fun part-time gig because I like to work. I saw the lithe clients and thought it’d be fun.

I was right.

Achilles was always complaining about his staff. But you get what you get for the price you pay in the hospitality business. Staffing was the bane of his existence until I came along.

I worked a lot of shifts and brought the salon to its current level like any job I’ve had in the past.

Excellence.

That’s all I can do.

If you’re going to do a job, do your best. Period.

I’ve spent 30 years in the rat race and mired in corporate America and it sucks. Sure the money’s there…but what a price we all pay.

I see bright-eyed college girls tanning for their events and then I see them a year later pale and broken in a corporate job. $50,000 in college debt starting their lives in some shitty job.

So sad.

Not the vibrant students I met a year ago.

Shit. I was in L.A. working as a short order cook and playing in a band when I was 20.

My own daughter Lorelei doesn’t even want any part of collegian life. She’s lived with me here in Rittenhouse for the last three years and has a great job in the restaurant business. She’s kicked it since high school. She’s been promoted three times since then and is killing it in the industry. That and being in a solid relationship for the last five years with her boyfriend. I’m a huge friend of this boy. He’s a good man.

Baby’s doing well.

 

My staff is amazing this season. Amelia and Eileen. I couldn’t have dreamed better employees.

Amelia with her smarts and charm. Her work ethic simply lights me up. She’s so forward thinking and industrious at 24 yrs old. When I work with her I feel like shess an extension of me in the salon. The things I’m dealing with… laundry, customers, maintenance, new intakes, cleaning… Amelia’s on it. When I work with her it’s like working with a better,  version of myself.

I’ve worked in corporate America my whole life. I’m a deadly sales guy. I’ve done every job and I’ve murdered it.

But the biggest problem I have always faced was being a sales manager.

I’m a salesman.

Like my mother’s father before me. I live to go out and sell.

I know what makes a good salesman.

I’ll correct that in a minute…

A good salesman serves his clients with quality products that meet their needs.

To me that’s a rep.

A great salesman is a guy that gets off on closing the deal while he’s meeting the needs of his clients desires but still meeting their needs.

I was a financial broker in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.  I remember my boss asking us why we all got licensed to sell brokerage. It was during the Clinton administration and the economy was booming. It was a great spot to be in. (I like Bill, fucker that he is, but he had nothing to do with it. It was just the cyclical scale of commerce in the world and Clinton lucked out. Don’t fool yourself America.)

He said it was so we could make a lot of money.

Every guy in the room agreed with him.

I liked my boss but I silently disagreed.

I knew from my 20 years of selling VCRs,TV’s, liquor, and whatever else he was wrong.

Sales isn’t about money.

It’s about getting off on closing a deal and not about making money. It’s about providing a quality service to your client and building a relationship with them.  Providing long term wealth for their family was paramount.

The wealth you amass is not about making that money. It’s incidental to the hard work you did to provide your client with a valuable service.

That was always my goal.

I always knew, that if I did good honest work by my customer the reward would come, and it always did… automatically.

I made thousands and thousand of dollars at every job I ever I did.

Sadly, my poor life choices sucked my efforts from me.

An ex-wife I had to pay child support to for 15 years, and all of the other bills that come with wealth and possessions.

But I never minded. I paid my bills and I soldiered forward.

I love to work and I love all of the good people in my life.

Sure I worried about money, but we ALL do. That’s just part of life.

But I always knew I could make more. I can always generate more revenue. That’s what I do.

My father retired at 62.

He did zero after that.

I would have loved to seen my dad working in a deli, or a wine store or an antique store. He would have killed in any of these businesses.

Pablo Picasso was found dead at 92 working on a sculpture.

I don’t want to be that old, (I’m sure everything hurt by then!) But I want to be that.

I’m 58 years old. If I get 20 more trips around the sun I’ll consider myself blessed, but I’m cool with less. (Who gives a shit. Phicklephilly lives forever online!)

This piece was originally supposed to be Chapeter 7 for Eileen, but we’ll get to her in a second.

I never know when the blood is going to gush good emotions.

I’m going to write about Eileen and Amelia because as I said they are the best girls I’ve ever employed at our salon.

I’m so proud of both of them and cherish their dedication and friendship.

We’ve obviously got new Sun Stories to tell… so stay tuned.

Thank you!

 

Thanks. I hope this was helpful. I’d like to hear your thoughts on this piece.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Buy Phicklephilly the BOOK on Amazon!

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Amelia – Chapter 4 – Double Agent

It’s Monday and we’re busy as hell. I’m cranking the counter at the salon and Amelia is running around cleaning beds.

Tis the season at the salon. We are in full swing and Amelia is stepping up to the challenge.

April through July is insane in here and that’s why she’s here. I’m grateful and we’re working well as a team.

New people are signing up and the regulars are rolling in. It is non-stop mayhem. This is the busy season. I’m so happy to have Amelia here now. She’s great as I’ve written before. But she’s on top of the cleaning and the laundry. She’s what I need. I must keep the customer service up.

Waves of clients come in to tan. We get hit with three waves of people. Non-stop tanning. We feel the urgency and it makes us want to tan ourselves.

We agree that when this crazy night ends we’re going tanning, which is fun.

I have been a die-hard slave to this place for two years and haven’t tanned in two months.

I hired Amelia and Eileen. Part of their deal is they get to tan for free as long as they’re employed. Both girls have jumped on the tanning wagon. I realized I couldn’t be the pale old white guy and dove into tanning with great vigor.

I started tanning like a maniac and love the results. I’m getting brown as a penny, and I’m even using a sticker to track my progress.

I hope Cherie appreciates the white heart on my pubic mound. Because that’s where it is.

Yea, I did that. A sweet white heart above my angry cock, but we are talking about my 24 year old co-worker so lets tap the brakes on tanning.

I really like working with Nicole. I actually like her better than Eileen. She’s older, and more mature and just so much greater depth that her teenage counterpart.

Plus, I spend more days with Nicole and I just like her better. I feel I can be honest with her the more I know her.

Amelia wants to start dating again.

She’s new to the city and lives in a studio with her cat. (Not good. As we know at phicklephilly!)

But if you’ve followed her series, she’s great and there’s so much hope and growth here.

She gives me a great reveal during our conversations.

“So you’re back on Bumble. That’s good.”

“I matched with this person but she seems like high maintenance.”

“You like Garret but…”

“What happened to your last relationship?”

“She didn’t trust me.”

“Wait. What?”

“I’m bisexual.”

“So is my sort of girlfriend.”

“Cool. Yea she fucked me over. We were together two years and have been split for nine months.”

“I’m sorry. So you’re even on both buckets. Your next love could be a guy or a girl?

“Yes.”

“Does your family know?”

“No.”

8th child in an Irish Catholic family based in central Pennsylvania.

Here’s a lovely girl that I absolutely adore. I love working with her. I love her work ethic in all that she does. I love her honesty and integrity.

I’m fascinated by the blessing that’s come upon our salon with these two wonderful women.

As much as I love Eileen as my hire and her savvy on the computer and her obvious beauty, I love Amelia more.

We’ve had some intimate conversations. I told her things about me. (No idea why but kind of love it.)

She told me she’s bisexual.

I instantly loved that.

Amelia is such a great employee and a wonderful person. We spoke about this at length and I’m glad she trusted me enough to confide.

I wish I knew more people like Amelia.

An elegant woman who was completely okay with her sexuality and able to love everyone.

I’m fascinated by her but do not look upon her as an oddity. A beautiful woman, born into a family of ten. They all have dark hair and baby daughter Amelia is blonde and blue-eyed.

And she’s kind of gay.

We’re all kind of gay. We just refuse to accept it.

But our Amelia has decided to tell me about her journey and I’m honored that she trusts me enough to tell her story.

I’d never do anything to hurt her or her reputation. (I’ve already told her some crazy gay shit from my childhood and she may even hook me up with a hot, passable TS)

A blog post I will celebrate on every social media site!

That’ll be amazing.

But after all of this… We went to Square 1682.

Church was there. He’s on point with burgers and insane drink recommendations. (See: Church – Brand Ambassador)

Amelia had a Sazerac and sipped a bit of it and I got her calamari.

I plowed three Chardonnays with ice like I always do and my favorite bartender Roman was on point. (See: Roman – Rock n Roll Bartender)

The night was good and its good for Church to talk to real girls. That’s all I bring. Fresh, nice girls that are fun to talk to. Church needs the practice .

Amelia’s cocktail, calamari, and my 3 Chardonnays all equal to $12 bucks. Total hookup.

I send Amelia home and tell her I got it because it’s all free. She loves this and for the first time feels the power that is the CHAZ.

We were in the salon tonight and she’s already talking about making a date for Gran Cafe La Aquila for the gelato.

Amelia wants this.

I know so much more about Amelia now. She’s equal for boys and girls. I look forward to more adventures.

It seems insane but phicklephilly writes itself…

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Amelia – Chapter 3 – Getting To Know You

Amelia could actually be the best employee we’ve ever had. I don’t know it for sure yet and neither does she, but that could be a trust statement.

I’ve never had two girls working with me at night during the busy season at the salon.

But I love it. I have busted my ass for 9 months on my own there. We were desperate to find some help. I hung up signs. We may have gone on Craigslist. We had a few girls apply but they were mostly alcoholics and hookers. (Not kidding) It’s hard to find quality help that’s willing to work those hours for $9 under that table.

But by some cosmic miracle I’ve been blessed with not one but two girls that are my comrades during this crazy Spring tanning season.

Initially I was apprehensive of a stranger like Amelia coming in from one of our trainers from some gym, but I have grown to adore her.

I’m so accustomed to running this entire place on my own it almost feels odd that I suddenly don’t have to be responsible for everything.

There’s someone else taking care of cleaning the beds, doing the laundry, and vacuuming.

I have the whole night mapped out in my head and now I have a helper that makes all of these chess moves without my guidance.

I love it.

Amelia is a wonderful woman. She’s the perfect hire. Beautiful, smart, fit and progressive in her approach.

It’s hard to teach her the computer when it’s mad busy. I have to do it. I know it. Fast and efficient. I don’t want Amelia to have to be baptized by fire. There’s no reason for it.

I’ve worked for shitty managers and they drop you into the fire. You learn quickly but its a painful experience. I’d rather have Amelia watch me rock and watch me and learn without the searing pressure. But if I’m at the helm and she’s cleaning beds I can cross sell and up sell more and that’s what we need right now.

It’s our busy season and I need to kill it.

I”ll train her, but cash is king right now and I need to be at the wheel.

Amelia is very utilitarian like a soldier. She’s on top of the cleaning and the laundry. That’s what I need right now. Perfect. Stay on top of the beds and let me keep the clients moving.

Amelia is on it. I like that about her.

She’s more proactive than Eileen. Both good but different. It’s something I have to deal with and Achilles can sit in his hot tub and collect the money.

The night is cranking. We have new clients and the place is making money.

 

My buddy Church rolls in to tan and hang. (See: Church – Brand Ambassador)

Normally we go to dinner after I close the salon. This time we invite Amelia.

She accepts and we all head over to Marathon. I know everybody over there and so does Church.

I’m happy to hang with my new hire and Amelia is lively. Because she’s military, she and Church connect which is good for him. He needs to get better at talking to girls.

We grab food and drinks and it’s a lovely meeting. I’m stupid happy I finally have staff and they’re actually cool. And… we can hang. Love that. (I never hung out with any of my former employees.)

Amelia could actually be the best employee we’ve ever had. I don’t know it for sure yet and neither does she, but that could be a trust statement.

The thing that really struck me about Amelia was her diversity.

I had an image of her when I met her.

Fit. Workout girl. Worked at a gym. Getting her certification in personal fitness. Air Force reserves. Uber on the weekends. A worker. (Loved that)

We’re sitting in the booth and I’m plowing a Manhattan, Rye up, with a brandied berry and she’s having a whiskey ginger. We start to talk.

She went to theater college. She wanted to be an actress. University of the Arts. She’s done acting. She’s done Stand Up.

I love her more.

She starts to sound and look like Annabelle. (See: Annablelle – Nice To Meet You) Not the bad parts of Annabelle, because there are plenty, but the good parts.

Here’s a girl who has risen from the grinding failure of show biz and has made her way out of that and worked her butt off to move forward.

She’s a bit more progressive over the salon than Eileen. More on top of the operations.

but I love Eileen and she is SO good on the computer.

This is new ground for me.

I adore them both and I’m so happy we’ve found not one, but two great women to work for our salon!

Going for drinks with Amelia at Square 1682 next Monday with or without Church!!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Sun Stories: Eileen – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You

I feel like when I was doing all of those things I was a ghost in my own life.

Eileen started tonight. She’s 18 and beautiful. You’ve been reading phicklephilly, I have to get to that.

She arrives and is wearing a grey shirt and tights. All of the girls wear that now. I have no idea why. It’s too revealing of their curves.

Imagination is the king of fantasy.

I have three sisters and a daughter that lives with me. Our salon is built on respect to women and that’s maybe one of the reasons they choose us. We’re all about respect. (Well that, and the best pricing and the best equipment in the city!)

It’s Thursday. I miss Amelia who is awesome. I love having her here to help me navigate the nights here at the salon. But tonight I get to meet my hire.

Eileen arrives. She is wearing a grey shirt and black tights. She looks fine to work here. It’s sporty and conservative. She’s fine.

When it’s super busy in here she’ll probably go with a tank top and shorts but I digress. (Kidding!)

Eileen is my hire. I chose her. I knew she was amazing from the start.

Eileen is beautiful. She’s studying criminal law at Drexel and is a freshman.

No worries. I’m training her and she’s following me around like a pup and cleaning beds.

Just so you all know. I’ve had many opportunities to exploit my underlings but I never did that. I learned that from my father, Because he ALWAYS did that. And my daughter Lorelei and I are too BARR, (My mother’s side of the family) to pull that shit)

Eileen is doing a great job. I adore her.

I’ve killed myself for so long over so many shifts. I’m just happy to have the help. I have Cherie. I’m not going to try to tap Eileen. She’s like a daughter or a niece for god’s sakes.

“My patents split up when I was 3.”

“Me too. Lorelei was three and a half.”

“I have a half-brother. He’s nine and looks just like me.”

Shows me pics and that kid looks a lot like her.

Cute kid.

I show her pics of my daughter.

I love being around lovely Eileen.

New people intrigue me and we need help. She’s so pretty. I love that I always liked that. I love the sound of her voice. So sweet and like a song. I’m happy she made the call to join our team.

Last year it was Summer and me. I love Summer. So efficient and cunning. I love her as friend and a co-worker. I miss her so much. (See: Sun Stories: Summer – Night Shift Girl)

“I had a sister who died when I was 9.”

“Oh my god. What happened?”

“She was born with a heart murmur. She had so many operations. It was so sad. She died after five weeks.”

“I’m so sorry. What a horrible way to come into the world if even for a brief time.”

“Yea. It was really sad. My mom still wears a little pendant with her name on it.”

We turn the conversation to happier thoughts.

The night passes and I’m training her on cleaning the beds, when and how to do the laundry, vacuuming the salon and folding the towels.

Eileen is a quick learn. I even notice she’s watching the computer screen intently while waiting to go clean the beds. That’s what we hired these girls for. Clean beds while I manage the salon, sales and the clients.

But while Eileen is standing there with her spray gun and towels, I notice her eyes are on every transaction I’m doing. She’s very visual and smart. She’s learning the system even on her first night wiping down beds.

She’s my hire. I chose her the minute I met her. She’s extraordinary. I can see she’s working out. An 18 year old teenager raised in the digital age. Her brain is wired to learn looking at a computer screen.

Me, the old horse, grew up in an age when there were no computers. Only books. I learn slowly. These kids today are like lightning. Say what you want about millenials. You just don’t understand them. You brought them into this world, but their learning abilities are beyond anything you know.

Sure they have no game, and no sense of direction, or spacial awareness. They are slaves to their phones, but they learn the software of anything faster than any of us born even 30 years ago because of technology.

Achilles always complained about his staff. They were a bunch of young girls he was paying $9 an hour. Of course she has the flu the day after St Patrick’s Day. They all would call out sick and were never reliable.

This crap went on for 10 years! He had three salons and he closed two of them because it was, “same headache, times 3” he said.

I get it. It’s hard to find good staff in the retail and hospitality industry industry. I never knew this because I worked in corporate america in banking and advertising my whole life. But for $9 an hour you’re going to get a lot of bubble head kids. It’s just the nature of the business.

But then he got me.

Everything changed.

He finally had an anchor. An older mature man that would give you the $80K employee experience for coolie wages. (As my mother would say)

I know he appreciated it and couldn’t believe his good fortune, but always treated me like any other employee. I get that. That’s all I wanted. I wanted to work. I realized after being in the rat race for my whole life that it was all folly.

The suit and ties. The houses, the cars, the marriage, the children, the stuff.

So much stuff.

I was living the life I thought I should be living to fit into some American dream.

It’s all bullshit.

All of it.

Lies.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to work hard and make money and move up and build a life for yourself.

You make more money, and become an executive and get a good pretty wife and a house and a mortgage, but is that what you really want?

We all follow the same path our parents did. Just that. But does it work for all of us?

Not so much. But we get caught up in it because that’s what we’re taught. We’re children and we are told by our elders that it’s the key to a happy and secure life.

Bullshit.

Work hard. Eat shit sandwiches in a job you hate, sacrifice your happiness, and make a bunch of money and secure a bunch of STUFF.

Stuff and possessions is you filling your empty heart with a temporary hamburger.

You’re full for three hours and then you are you again.

I never want to go back to that. I’ve had all of that and none of it means anything.

I hated all of it. I now want for nothing.

I feel like when I was doing all of those things I was a ghost in my own life.

I live a simple life now and my daughter Lorelei lives with me since she was 18 years old.

The universe has somehow righted itself.

I’ve worked at this salon for 2 years and now we have this fitness center and it’s starting to take off. But I’m no longer harnessed to the bridle of corporate america. My best friend of 20 years is owned by Wells Fargo and he’s rich, but his life sucks royal Canadian moose cock everyday. I love him, but his wife is gone. He has no kids, and he’s left in a pool of mediocrity with his fifty something Asian girlfriend. He’ll never marry again because he feels like a failure and it’ll just be him at the end of the day with a pile of money and his rhumetoid arthritis.

I smoke and drink and work all of the time. I love my life. Everyday I’m looking forward to doing something and seeing a friend or lover.

I can’t believe my good fortune.

But then I pause and think, I built that.

We can look back on our lives and see it as a bunch of crazy events and stories, but if you really look at it, it’s a lovely novel woven by you.

 

Eileen finishes vacuuming and folding towels.

She’s had a great first day and I’m proud of her. I knew she’d be wonderful.

I’m on my feet everyday and active. I’m interacting with our clients and selling my ass off. I’m training this lovely girl, and she is laughing at my jokes.

How bad is my life?

We lock up and I show this raven haired beauty how sometimes the lock box can be a bit temperamental.

The lights are out so I use my flashlight app to guide her downstairs.

We say goodbye. I tell her that she’s done a good job on her first day.

She gives me that firm handshake that I loved upon our first meeting.

Off she goes.

“See tomorrow, Charles!”

 

I finally hired a winner.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Sun Stories: Eileen – Chapter 1 – My Hire

Happy New Year!

A girl calls the salon and asks if we need help. We’re hitting our busy season and it’s getting nuts in here by myself. I’ve been fucked for the most part. We’ve had little inquiries and I’m worried. I’m getting run over every night here. We’re making money, but I have to keep the level of service up. I need another person here.

If someone walks in and has never tanned before or it’s simply a new client that’s going away and need to ‘get a base’ I have to spend time with them.

If 5 people walk in behind them I’m screwed. I have a waiting room full of people wanting to get into beds and I’ve got people leaving.

I can’t be in three places at the same time. People are signing up, people are waiting, people are leaving, beds need to be cleaned, what’s going on with the laundry? It gets crazy in here.

I tell her we do need help and that she should come in. She tells me she’ll stop in tonight. I literally forget about it when I hang up because I’m so busy.

It’s hard to find talent for the salon. You get what you pay for. But that’s just part of this business. I’ve learned this in the 2 years I’ve been here.

I hung a shitty Help Wanted sign on the end of the counter. It got wrinkled and mauled by all of the customers that lean on the counter.

We have this cool rich dude that comes in and tells me the sign looks like it was written by Michael J Fox. I let him go on our system and make a better sign. He makes two and hangs one on the wall behind me. I appreciate that and he’s right.

But still.. very little bites. I work so much that people just think I need a day off.

But that call came in. I forgot her.

I’m blazing through clients and it’s busy. I’m getting run over.

I put a girl in a sunbed and there is a girl behind her. I speak:

“Last name?”

I need to keep them moving.

“I called and I’m here about the job.”

She looks 24. Attractive. Fit. Dark hair, fair skin, glasses and dressed to impressed.

I love her.

We’ve had so much shit come through here and Eileen is like a breath of fresh air. She almost seems too good to true.

Beautiful girl. Firm handshake. I can sense professionalism.

Gotta have her. I can feel it. My hire.

I immediately send texts to my partner.

“Where are the applications? I have a live one I really want. She seems amazing!”

Achilles as awesome as always literally signs on to the system from home and prints off the application.

I’m amazed and love him for this, because he can feel my earnest on this applicant. Which also shows he trusts my judgement.

Eileen is dressed professionally and I am floored by my good fortune this late in the game. I can just tell. Criminal Justice major at Drexel. This is a serious girl. I already adore her.

She’s from Missouri. We’ll get to that. She can kill it for us during our busy season and then go home for the summer and work as a hostess at Olive Garden. She started at 8 bucks and is now at $9.70 and hour. You don’t get that kind of raise as a teenager in a year.

This is a quality girl. I can see we here at the salon have hit tanning gold.

I like her for this job and so I’m impressed with her.

I tell her I’ll text her if she has the gig and she’s cool with that.

I didn’t even know about Amelia at the time. I thought I would have my new magic girl all week but that was still in question.

I still needed to find out what the hell was going on. Quite suddenly we went from nothing to two girls.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Sun Stories: Amelia – Chapter 1 – Seasonal Hire

I’ve been working at the salon for the last two years. We opened the gym in the new location and it’s been a struggle. But nothing stops the super influx of clients in the Spring. Proms, graduations, Spring Break, weddings, and tans for the summer. We’re ready for it all.

We’re the best salon in the city. We have the best equipment, staff and prices. We destroy Yelp reviews and we are beloved. We do one thing and we have the best service and the best packages.

Oh, and now they’ve had me for the last two years.

Renaissance.

Achilles had 3 salons over the last 10 years. He closed the Ardmore and South Philly locations. When I was doing his advertising at Philly Weekly, he said is was all due to staff.

I asked why, and he told me that running 3 tanning salons was just 3 headaches times 3. Which means all shitty employees, non-stop.

I get it.

He has me now. A guy that is an $80k a year guy giving all to his business. The other girls get fired or quit and I pick up more shifts while working for Philly Weekly.

I just like to work and be busy. I start working for my client and the place starts to swing. We’re getting better Yelp reviews and we’re selling better packages and blowing out lotions and accessories like mad.

It’s because he has a deadly sales guy from the rat race that is committed to his business.

Achilles almost doesn’t know how to handle this animal in his zoo.

But he embraces it and is happy with the requests.

We’ve burned through so many shitty employees and there have been so many ideas of new businesses we could create.

I am gravely disappointed in how we have failed as a partnership for a business together. It was poorly planned and we got heat from a gym on the third floor from us and it has caused a lot of problems. They’ve hurt our plan, but we’ll march on.

I love Achilles, and I know him better than anyone, but it’s better if I keep my money in the stock  market and just work with him.

I feel like I’m digressing, and I don’t want to write anything negative about a man I really respect and trust. But I just don’t think a partnership is in the cards for us.

I need to focus on Amelia.

 

We were trying like crazy trying to get a girl to help at night during the busy season.

The salon will explode over the next three months and I need another employee.

I need a girl who will be like Haley. (See: Haley – Lightning In a Bottle) I need Summer. (See: Summer – Night Shift Girl) Great girls that helped me run this business like a machine. I adore them both. (Just go find them in the blog)

Achilles is trying to find someone. One of the trainers says there is a girl who works at a gym he knows is looking to pick up some additional shifts.

I don’t know this girl. I’m out of the loop and I don’t like it. Who is this chick? I haven’t met her and know nothing about her. Achilles sort of hires her without my knowledge.

He’s been in this business for 12 years and has seen it all. I have to trust his instincts. Or do I? His biggest headache has been staffing for over a decade. I’ve been his stable saving grace. He’s hired some shitty people.

Not really. What do you get for $9 an hour under the table? You get what you pay for.

I’m apprehensive. Amelia is starting next Monday at 4pm. I have no idea what to expect.

Well, I hope she’s not some 30 year old buffed fitness lady that isn’t a match for this salon.

But time will tell.

 

I’ve been working at the salon for the last two years. We opened the gym in the new location and it’s been a struggle. But nothing stops the super influx of clients in the Spring. Proms, graduations, Spring Break, weddings, and tans for the summer. We’re ready for it all.

We’re the best salon in the city. We have the best equipment, staff and prices. We destroy Yelp reviews and we are beloved. We do one thing and we have the best service and the best packages.

Oh, and now they’ve had me for the last two years.

Renaissance.

Achilles had 3 salons over the last 10 years. He closed the Ardmore and South Philly locations. When I was doing his advertising at Philly Weekly, he said is was all due to staff.

I asked why, and he told me that running 3 tanning salons was just 3 headaches times 3. Which means all shitty employees, non-stop.

I get it.

He has me now. A guy that is an $80k a year guy giving all to his business. The other girls get fired or quit and I pick up more shifts while working for Philly Weekly.

I just like to work and be busy. I start working for my client and the place starts to swing. We’re getting better Yelp reviews and we’re selling better packages and blowing out lotions and accessories like mad.

It’s because he has a deadly sales guy from the rat race that is committed to his business.

Achilles almost doesn’t know how to handle this animal in his zoo.

But he embraces it and is happy with the requests.

We’ve burned through so many shitty employees and there have been so many ideas of new businesses we could create.

I am gravely disappointed in how we have failed as a partnership for a business together. It was poorly planned and we got heat from a gym on the third floor from us and it has caused a lot of problems. They’ve hurt our plan, but we’ll march on.

I love Achilles, and I know him better than anyone, but it’s better if I keep my money in the stock  market and just work with him.

I feel like I’m digressing, and I don’t want to write anything negative about a man I really respect and trust. But I just don’t think a partnership is in the cards for us.

I need to focus on Amelia.

 

We were trying like crazy trying to get a girl to help at night during the busy season.

The salon will explode over the next three months and I need another employee.

I need a girl who will be like Haley. (See: Haley – Lightning In a Bottle) I need Summer. (See: Summer – Night Shift Girl) Great girls that helped me run this business like a machine. I adore them both. (Just go find them in the blog)

Achilles is trying to find someone. One of the trainers says there is a girl who works at a gym he knows is looking to pick up some additional shifts.

I don’t know this girl. I’m out of the loop and I don’t like it. Who is this chick? I haven’t met her and know nothing about her. Achilles sort of hires her without my knowledge.

He’s been in this business for 12 years and has seen it all. I have to trust his instincts. Or do I? His biggest headache has been staffing for over a decade. I’ve been his stable saving grace. He’s hired some shitty people.

Not really. What do you get for $9 an hour under the table? You get what you pay for.

I’m apprehensive. Amelia is starting next Monday at 4pm. I have no idea what to expect.

Well, I hope she’s not some 30 year old buffed fitness lady that isn’t a match for this salon.

But time will tell.

How to Shut Down the Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

Manipulative people are difficult to deal with. There is often no end to the tricks they will use to guilt trip you, twist situations, and get what they want from you. The good news is that most of them use the same statements to get their way, so you can prepare to deal with them.

Learning how to respond to the most frequently used psychologically abusive tactics can help you keep yourself safe from even the most brutally manipulative individuals.

How To Shut Down The Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

1. I trust you; I just don’t trust other people.

A manipulative person, especially a partner, might constantly try to control your life. When you ask them why they don’t trust you, they’ll insist that they do, but that it’s other people they can’t trust. They may use this as an excuse to:

  • Check your phone and email
  • Run background checks on your friends
  • Refuse to let you go anywhere on your own
  • Prevent you from spending time with certain acquaintances

This turns the onus around on you, making you seem unreasonable while they look protective and strong. The problem, of course, is that this doesn’t make any sense – if someone untrustworthy is able to convince you to cheat, then you yourself weren’t trustworthy to begin with.

What’s the best response to this situation? Well, it should go a little something like this:

“I’m the person who you are dealing with here. It makes no sense for you to have to trust other people in order to talk to me. By reacting this way, you are making the assumption that I am weak-willed or prone to doing something bad if someone else entices me. It’s very disrespectful and you should trust in my honesty and faithfulness.”

2. You’re being too sensitive/crazy!

This is a type of gaslighting and it can really make you second-guess yourself. When something goes wrong and you try to talk about it or call it out, a manipulator will belittle you for your lack of positive thinking. They might say:

  • Calm down, it was just a joke.
  • Why do you always take everything so seriously?
  • You’re being crazy right now.
  • Stop being so sensitive!
  • You’re overthinking this entire situation.
  • It’s not actually that big of a deal.
  • You’re just misunderstanding me.
  • Lighten up!
  • Nothing you’re saying makes sense.
  • You really need to learn to loosen up a bit.
  • This is so unreasonable of you.

It definitely doesn’t help that manipulators naturally prey on people who are sensitive, in a positive way – people who are empathetic, understanding, and emotionally intelligent. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive to begin with, and it shouldn’t come up when you’re voicing a valid concern.

Gaslighting can make you feel like you’re the crazy one, or like you’re overreacting and being insane. It’s a common manipulation tactic to trick you into giving in. Don’t fall for it! Here’s what you should say instead:

“This is something that is very important to me and it would mean a lot to me if you would listen and hear me out. It’s not fair of you to call me crazy or sensitive just because we don’t see eye-to-eye on something.”

3. I already said sorry; what else do you want?

Apologies are always a good way to go. But manipulators don’t use them when they truly are sorry and seeking forgiveness. Instead, they use it as a quick way to get out of a nasty situation and stop you from being angry or calling them out.

Unfortunately, that’s not how apologies work, especially for more serious transgressions. It’s normal to need to take some time to deal with the aftermath of what the other person did to you. You can’t switch to positive feelings right away.

This is reasonable and perfectly understandable – but a manipulator doesn’t think so. They think that since they’ve dropped the magic word, everything should stop right then and there. Demand a fair amount of time to recover from what happened by saying something like this:

“I really appreciate your apology, but apologizing doesn’t automatically heal all wrongdoings and wounds. Give me some time to process this and heal.”

4. Look what you made me do!

One key sign of a manipulator is that nothing is ever their fault. They refuse to take the rightful blame for anything wrong they do and will find any way to twist it so someone else is at fault. Manipulators are unable to take ownership of their mistakes, so they often try to pass the responsibility to someone else.

These types of people might say a number of different phrases to try to pass themselves off as innocent and pin the blame on you. Of course, it’s ridiculous to be blamed for something you didn’t do at all, especially when it’s the other person who is hurting you. To shut them down, say this.

“I am only responsible for what I do, and you’re responsible for what you do. It was your decision to act how you did, and I cannot make you act in a certain way, nor can I do that to anyone else.”

5. I would never hurt you.

This sounds like a good statement with kind intentions. It sounds reassuring and gentle. But manipulators don’t use it that way – they use it so you brush less obvious forms of abuse under the rug.

For many people, the deal breaker line is drawn at physical abuse. Meanwhile, emotional abuse becomes more and more prevalent, but you’re not as aware of it. This allows many forms of toxicity classified as psychological and emotional abusive to continue.

A manipulator is very aware that your limit likely lies here too, so they’re careful to never cross that limit. Instead, they are abusive in “sneakier” ways that they hope you won’t notice, and they throw you off the scent with phrases like these. So if someone is feeding these lines to you, respond like so:

“You can hurt someone in more ways than physical. Understand that a lack of physical assault doesn’t mean that there isn’t emotional pain.”

6. I already did something nice for you; why are you still angry at me?

Just like with the apologies, manipulators may do a nice thing for you so that you’ll drop some issue. They might buy you something expensive or do you a favor in hopes that your gratefulness will cause you to forget their problematic behavior.

It’s easy to fall victim to this kind of ploy. When someone is kind to you, you might feel bad demanding further apologies or may feel guilty when you are still mad at them. But keep in mind that there is nothing that can “buy” forgiveness. It has to be earned graciously with patience and changed behavior.

If a manipulator is trying to make you feel bad because they bought you a gift, say this:

“It was very kind that you bought this for me, but there’s no price tag on my forgiveness. If you’re attempting to use this present as a bribe for my forgiveness, you can take it back.”

Or, if they didn’t buy you presents:

“It was very kind that you did this for me, but you cannot buy my forgiveness with chores and errands. If you have an ulterior motive for helping me and doing these nice things, then I’d prefer you didn’t do them.”

7. I will hurt myself if you leave me.

This is one of the most dangerous forms of emotional manipulation. Someone who stops you from leaving them, or stops you from doing anything they don’t want you to by threatening to harm themselves, is incredibly toxic and a danger to themselves and to you.

Why is this so problematic? Well, this is the clearest type of manipulation. They don’t want you to do something, so they make it so you will feel guilty and suffer immediate consequences if you do it. That way, they can make themselves look like the victim and paint you in a bad light.

Many people feel pressured into staying with abusive partners because of tactics like this. They force themselves into positive thinking to “save” their manipulative significant other. Don’t fall prey to it. Stand your ground and let it be known that you will not be swayed with a statement like this:

“If you are experiencing these thoughts, please call a suicide hotline or an emergency number. I can help provide numbers for you if you like. I have told you why I have chosen to leave, and my decision is made, so please respect it.”

8. I understand your feelings, but trust me – I know what’s best!

No one should be allowed to make your decisions for you. A manipulator will pretend to be looking out for you but is instead pulling your strings to convince you to do what they want. They’ll use any types of words and phrases to convince you that they understand you when they either don’t at all or really don’t care.

Yes, everyone could use an outside opinion sometimes, but at the end of the day, you still know yourself best. A manipulator isn’t actually seeking what’s best for you – they are selfish and want specific things for themselves, so they’re just trying to rope you along.

In any partnership, you deserve to be respected and heard. Your opinion matters just as much as the other person’s; a lack of willingness to compromise or talk it out, instead resorting to cheap tricks like this, is a huge red flag. Don’t fall for it. Instead, say this:

“To presume that you know what’s best for me, even when I tell you my opinion, is very controlling. I would like for what I have to say to be listened to and respected. I believe that the best thing for us is to make these big decisions together, as what is best for you may not actually turn out to be what is best for me.”

Final Thoughts On How To Shut Down The Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

Dealing with manipulators is exhausting. Although we referenced romantic relationships for many of these instances, they work for all types of people, regardless of your connection to them.

Manipulators come in many forms. They can be your partner, a family member, a friend, a colleague, or even a mere acquaintance who you barely know. Regardless of who someone is to you, manipulation is wrong, and it’s important that you know how to protect yourself. Shutting down their most common phrases will show them that you’re not someone they can play their mind games with.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly