In the last 2 years, I have made some changes to the way I socialize within my circle. I was frustrated with feeling like a punching bag just so I can be around other humans. I took a long hard look at the way people (including family) really treated me and asked myself "Is this the way I enjoy socializing"? Well, it turns out I hate being bullied and treated like crap by other people. I needed to stand up for myself and be the one who says "I do not like the way you talk to me".
Let me explain. Culturally we give others permission to put each other down. We allow others to tell us how inadequate we are and that we will never accomplish anything. We make fun of each other and laugh about it. This treatment does not build a positive relationship that motivates success. I have no idea why I allowed it for so long. I should not have to pretend to like being made fun of by people who are supposed to be building me up. That is not a positive circle that leads to success.
I decided I cannot be successful if I continue to remain in daily relationships that make me feel like I should not even try getting out of bed in the morning. I need to stand up to my bullies and tell them and show them it is not ok. If I am not comfortable saying this, then I need to reevaluate every relationship. So that is what I did, and I must tell you it is a lonely journey. It is necessary, but it is lonely.
I wrote a blog a couple of years back about creating a positive circle. You have no idea how important that is until you start eliminating people in your life who cause you mental trauma. Once you start eliminating these people you realize you can stand up for yourself to create a mentally healthy environment in which you can focus on your goals and actually accomplish something.
Before I started this process I was confused about my career choice. I was frustrated with my finances. I did not have real personal goals, and I could not create effective career goals. I now have a clear picture of my life and finances. I now have a career goal that makes me happy, and I have people in my positive circle who only build me up and support me. I make it an important point to be direct when I do not like the way someone treats me, and I gave myself permission not to feel guilty about it.
I am sure there is someone who will read this blog who has a circle of friends that creates this mentally traumatic environment, and you feel like you have to live this way. Either because they are family, or you have known them a long time. You do not have to leave a social environment feeling bad. You can stand up for yourself. Give yourself permission to say "that is not ok". You will see that mental healing will begin and you will begin to focus on the positive things that actually make you happy. Be the one who will stand up for you, because you are worth it.
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I remember when I was graduating from high school choosing my college major. I didn't really have a picture of what I wanted to be, but I felt like as long as I went to college and remained a responsible American, I was going to be respected. Fast forward to a day when I was holding my first born son in Yoshinoya. The waitress kept staring at me and my son. She finally asked me “is that your son?” I told her yes with a smile. At that time my son who is biracial was very light in color. The waitress asked me if I was sure. I told her yes. I didn’t think anything of it. I went on with my day.
Going even more into the future I remember going to my son's first public school. I walked in the office for the first time and the office manager looked at me with such a disdain as if she knew me and I definitely did something to her.
Now fast forward to this year. Finally all the light bulbs in my head that captured those moments lit up. Black women in America are the least respected population with the most impossible role to fill. The thought process I had graduating from college was naive. I thought to myself that my degrees and perky personality would make me employable and a respected team player. The road I started on at that time is an impossible road and it was not until this year that it occurred to me. This matters because had I known then what I know now I would have done life very differently.
As a California girl I would have made it my business to attend an HBC or at least take many more African American Studies classes to educate myself on the harsh reality that would be my life as a black woman living in the United States that this year I realize are not really united at all.
Black women walk this world with an impossible task. I have written a blog before about my own personal struggle existing in a corporate world as a black woman and following the social norms expected by society. As we are watching this divisive environment in the US it is clear to me that the role of a black woman is never going to be easy.
There have been recent events in which accomplished black women are called out for owning expensive purses, killed in their own homes, making a stand for justice, and even running for Vice President that have sparked hatred and criticism when it should be changing the narrative of the stereotype that has plagued black women for so long.
Historically, black women have been stereotyped as too loud, too rude, too bossy, too ghetto and ignorant. It has already been proven that black women are the more educated demographic in the world, that is not enough to change the narrative. Black women are making headlines being successful, adding to the American culture in a positive way yet every little thing we do is scrutinized and turned into the stereotype that the world has cast upon us.
The frustrating truth is we have to take it from every other culture, even our own. The black woman on black woman bitterness in the place of business and in public adds to this narrative. We are just as hard on each other as anyone else and this needs to stop.
Now that America’s racism has been exposed to the world, this is a great time for black women to join together to change this environment. We already have the impossible task of raising or living with black men while having a clear understanding that they may not come home. We also have to fit into the social norms that have been set for us in order to even make any type of income to provide for the household, which more often than not is typically the only income.
So my question is how can we change this narrative in a big way. Like I said it’s not enough that there is a black woman qualified to run for Vice President not to mention a black woman billionaire. When will it be enough to change the narrative? When can I be upset without being called an angry black woman? When can I not understand something without being considered ignorant? When can I be in a great mood and silly without being considered a drunk or drug addict? When can I use my voice to stand up for myself without being called loud and bossy?
It is an impossible role. It is time we change the narrative and give ourselves the room to be who we are without allowing the world to put us in a box to shut us up. The time is now that we have these conversations. Stand on our platforms. Raise each other up and stop putting each other down.
I welcome my readers to have this conversation with me. Add to the comments and let’s work together to make a change if not for now but for the future. I wrote this blog and held back, because I want to hear what others think. Communications Camp is a platform used to have these difficult conversations that may be difficult to communicate. I think now is the time we can change this conversation and the narrative that has been written for black women.
Join the conversation. Comment on this blog or email Communicationscamp1@gmail.com
See relevant articles.
1. Cardi B's Hermes Bag Controversy
2. Kamala Harris Accused of Sleeping Her Way to the Top
3. Black Women are the Most Educated Group
4. What Breonna Taylor's Case Says About Black Women's Stance in Society
5. Previous Communications Camp Article Mentioned
Welcome back Campers! It has been a long time since I have written a blog. So many things have happened that is was difficult to address our most current communication challenges in a way that was constructive to everyone.
Instead of ranting about today’s most current political events and new culture adaptations, let us have a conversation about how we can address these items in a way that should create an inclusive environment and provide an education for everyone. At the end of the day that is what our various communication styles should be doing. We should be creating a narrative and educating each other.
Someone we can all learn from is one of my favorite Greek Philosophers Socrates. His approach to creating moral and ethical conversations while educating his listeners was to ask questions.
Without giving a formal lesson, I can briefly tell you he is the father of Western Philosophy and he was credited for being a moral and ethical philosopher. Socrates was the mentor to other famous philosophers such as Plato.
Although Socrates has no publications to his credit, his legacy and way of finding the truth is still the most effective. (https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/socrates/)
One thing we can learn from the Socratic method is the process of asking questions to truly understand another person’s thought pattern. We do not all agree as humans and some of us will never be on the same page, however we can take the steps to understand each other.
Socrates was never afraid to ask about the train of thought of someone he was communicating with. This method allows a listener to understand the train of thought before giving an abrupt statement that would add no value to the conversation.
A perfect example during these contentious times is a question everyone can ask “why do you feel this way?” You can apply this to any conversation that you do not necessarily agree with and may have a wildly passionate opposition to. You can follow that up with “Tell me more about that statement” if you still have not gained an understanding of why they have this opinion. At the end of the day there is no right and wrong there is just the understanding and opinion of everyone (which everyone is entitled to)
As humans and Americans, we never have to have the same ideals and opinions. We can however make every attempt to understand the other side. Some opinions are based on personal experience, previous knowledge, foundational familial upbringings, and sometimes just a clear lack of knowledge.
At the end of a conversation if you still are not in agreement that is fine. You can always end the conversation with “I can understand your view. We don’t have to agree.” Then change the conversation to something you do agree with. Lighter conversations like the weather, deserts, personal adventures, anything else. Just maintain civility.
Stay tuned to continue the conversation. If you have feedback you can message me on the blog, or send me an email at Communicationscamp1@gmail.com. Join the conversation.
Before my transition into education, I worked in many corporations. I always hoped to make a difference and give my big personality a platform any company would love. In previous blogs, I have discussed my extensive background, education, and volunteer experience. After escaping (what could have been a trap from my true happy career), I found that many corporate environments have become even more toxic with the illusion of possible success.
Corporate environments (specifically call centers) are designed to create a new sense of beginning for an optimistic employee. Once the employee buys into the appearance of diversity, inclusion, team work, education, and possibility of promotion they find out the hard way that they were the industry Hansel and Gretel lured to the witches house.
It is important to understand immediately if a corporation can provide you with the career you hope to have now and in the future. I understand that when you are looking for a job you want to accept the flashy headline and sincere promises of the interviewer, but I must warn you: your health may be at stake if you do not do your homework.
With the amazing benefits of having the internet we can research each and every company that is hiring. The company has reviews from previous and current employees. Just Google the company name with the words “employee reviews”. Do not ignore any information in the reviews you read. There should be a healthy balance of good, bad, and ugly. If you put your specific position you are applying to in the search engine with that company name you will find out everything you need to know about working for that company in that position.
Thankfully there are plenty more jobs available. If this is the one, take it. If not, save yourself now before is too late. Your health and life are too valuable to waste it on a company that will never appreciate what you can bring to the table.
This type of research is considered self-education. This is one of the 5 hallmarks of success that is on the Communications Camp journey. The goal is that we all find healthy communicative ways to approach life interventions successfully. Your career and the healthiness of your career should be an attribute of your successful communication. Don’t fall for the Hansel and Gretel traps many companies offer. Find the company that works for you.
This new year we entered the year with positive and ambitious energy. I myself am ready to conquer the world focusing on my 5 hallmarks for success. Based on my research all 5 hallmarks are the key to success. Let’s remember what those 5 Hallmarks are:
I must admit self-discipline is truly the most and important and it is difficult. What if you can establish a disciplined circle that changes the way you think? This can be life changing. You can admit defeat in self-discipline while agreeing to be a disciple to discipline. It is completely ok to follow the beat of the drum of those in your positive circle who have the attributes you are trying to inherit. That is the entire purpose of establishing a positive circle of friends and family.
In reflection, just think of children growing into adults, we obviously understand what it means to be disciplined by good parents and teachers. However, you can’t be a successful adult without learning to discipline yourself. I have researched many lifestyles and success stories. With every true success story comes the hard work and disciplined behaviors of someone trying to accomplish goals. These behaviors can be waking up early to add more to the day, establishing a work out regime to be healthier, staying focused at work and following even the most mundane rules, I can go on and on. The bottom line is discipline is key to being successful.
To be clear discipline is not a temporary solution. Merriam Webster defines discipline as: A) control gained by enforcing obedience or order, B) orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior C) SELF-CONTROL
As I always remind you, Communications Camp is about the journey of communicating values and concepts to be successful. I too am on the journey, so you are not alone. There are many areas of my life that require me to establish a sense of order as described in the definition. I will say consistent actions create long term values. We may not see immediate success or overnight success because that’s not the point of being self-controlled enough to establish behaviors that lead to success. We simply stay focused on the areas in our lives that are not successful, stay focused on the overall goal, and make the corrections. That’s it!
Let’s see if we can continue into this still fresh new year staying positive and establishing discipline in areas of our lives that can make the difference in our success.
Welcome back to a brand-new year. Like many of you, I made a resolution or 2 to keep myself focused on success. This year I will focus on breathing before jumping. I tend to be proactive unnecessarily. I am sure many people will not admit to jumping the gun and making major mistakes. I have learned from my past that is ok to follow the journey steady and calm instead of trying to race to the finish.
This year Communications Camp wants to be your educational tool for communications success. Please tune in to the podcast Communicationscamp.podbean.com for new episodes, follow us on Twitter @compcamp1, and watch the newly implemented You Tube channel by searching Juanita Espino. We invite you to catch up on episodes and stay engaged.
Last year is behind us. I don’t know about you, but I want to make 2019 the best year ever. May every camper have a healthy prosperous and communicative year. Take every opportunity to be amazing and remember the five hallmarks of success:
It has been a long time since I have felt inspired to blog. This topic is near and dear to me, because it is something I struggle with. Selling yourself sounds cheap and needy, however it is one of the top 5 tips for success. It cannot be ignored, and it certainly must be trained.
When you have a passion or a gift, you naturally want to venture into that field as a career or hobby. If it is a service you can offer to other people, you are not doing yourself any favors by staying quiet about what you do. I myself struggle with telling everyone about my blog and podcast. I even struggle with telling everyone I am a wonderful substitute. These are things that I am passionate about and they provide an income for my lifestyle, however when people ask what I do I respond with “I am a substitute teacher”.
Selling yourself is more than providing a bullet point reference to your life. It is giving a presentation that makes the receiver of this information want to know more. It is not enough to hand out a card and state your status. You must own your passion and give it life in 5 or less sentences.
I will use me as the example since this is something I struggle with as well:
Interested Party: What do you do for a living?
Me: I am a blogger, podcast facilitator and substitute teacher. My platform is based on learning successful communication strategies and sharing them with everyone. I highly recommend you read my blog and listen to my podcast, I am always looking for feedback.
Interested Party: That sounds interested. How can I listen or subscribe?
Me: That’s easy! You can log on to communicationscamp.com for my blog or listen to my podcast at communicationscamp.podbean.com
It seems easy when I write it down. As I have discussed in previous podcasts and blogs, some of us are predisposed to negative language that causes automatic self-doubt. I cannot express enough how important it is to change your circle of friends and family to positive influence and grow as a person who loves themselves enough to sell their passion. This is the true power of success.
While selling yourself may be a struggle, it may be the one thing that changes our status mentally and financially. You yourself need to decide your value. This will mean ignoring the negative words and thoughts that have suppressed you and your success and embracing the positive vibes you are given in order to sell your passion and turn around your success.
The term “village syndrome” defines a need for employees to tribalize in the work environment. Employees enter a work environment and make friends, establish enemies and create an environment in which they begin to share life together within the work environment. Not all employees are accepted in the village and not all employees choose to be part of the village.
Understanding “village syndrome” is important since most adults spend 8 hours or more throughout the day at work. These relationships can define a person professionally and personally. Establishing a village can also hurt an employee’s chance of growth within a company.
The pros to adapting to the village environment:
Having a work life balance is important. In addition, creating a positive circle of peers both at work and at home can make the difference between personal success and employment frustration. Employees must walk a thin line between being a team player and developing a village syndrome lifestyle which in most cases set employees up for failure. Even though building relationships is an important part of socialization, personal relationships that are built at work can be positive or negative.
It is true, work relationships can lead to strong positive personal relationships that last for years. This is because typically an adult only socializes at work. Recognizing the pros and cons of village syndrome is paramount to a healthy lifestyle both at work and at home.
Very rarely do I need to post in my “Opportunities for Excellent Service” section. Companies need to show a complete inability to ensure customer service based on their own warranties or what is expected. When I do run across an experience that is egregious I need to let everyone know what to expect and how the company can work towards communicating better with the public.
Let me start with this, vacations are a luxury regardless of the discount or deal provided. Understanding this, a company that offers something that is 100% optional to the public should tread lightly and go over and beyond to create an experience that makes a vacation necessary. Especially in this world of outsourcing and tech-service. No one wants to call a company for a non-essential service and receive service that they can receive by just using a computer or an app. Otherwise why even bother calling.
With this understanding, I need to explain why there are far more options for cruises and vacations than carnival cruise lines. I need to try to keep this short. The experience it self is long and drawn out and still not resolved.
I booked a cruise based on a promotion I received boasting reduced down payments back in January. I went on a cruise with Carnival the year before and it was not horrible, so I decided it was a great deal. I received notification that the final payment was due. Since it was summer, and I am a substitute teacher, I called to ask if an extension would be possible. I spoke to an agent who said yes. When I was ready to make any type of payment, I could call back for an extension. I called back for an extension. I spoke with an agent who said she can provide a 7-day extension with my 50.00 payment. I said that’s wonderful. However, I needed a little more time. I said is it possible to push the trip back. She said yes. We agreed on a date that would allow me until the end of August to pay. I pay her 50.00 to extend the trip.
I received an email itinerary. Everything looked wonderful except there was an extra 100.00 admin fee that was never disclosed. Of course, I called back to dispute the fee. I will spare you the drama and just tell you since then I have been hung up on and yelled at by agents defending the actions of other agents. I have asked to speak with a manager and I was told no such thing can happen. It was my fault for listening to the first 2 agents.
As stated in the 2nd paragraph, cruises are optional. They are not necessary. My husband and I travel often. I have never received such horrible treatment for such a simple request that should have initially either been denied or approved. Here are things Carnival can do to improve their service:
In previous blogs I have discussed the challenges of being black in the work place. As a brief recap: I cannot seem too smart, I must control my passion about any topic as not to seem like the angry black woman, I can’t be too happy, I can never be upset, and my appearance “ethnic neutral”.
Recently in the news we have heard the insidious calls to the authorities while African Americans do life in their daily routines. We can’t bar b que, fall asleep in dorms, drive, or even go to a coffee shop. It is becoming Jim Crow all over again because of the feckless (thank you Samantha Bee) response from entitled Caucasians to black people trying to live.
If this pattern is not corrected, I fear this will have a negative effect on ethnocentrism in the work place. I am using my platform to acknowledge there is fear. However, we cannot let this fear dictate the progression of equality. This will have a negative effect of the types of jobs people of any ethnicity can have. The effects have probably already segregated ethnicities in some work environments, and we are not seeing the full effects yet.
Let’s be clear, this is not something that just affects African Americans. The trending issues are the tip of the iceberg. If we are not socially aware and have the conversation that we have been avoiding for years, we could set back the equality movement started in 1942 when the Congress of Racial Equality was established.
The conversation needs to start at home. Discuss frustrations and fears in a non-hostile way. Then work your way through your circle. Remember your circle should be your close friends and family that complete your positive network. If you have minority adult children, discuss fears by other ethnicities that may cause them harm and how to they can make safe decisions without compromising their dignity. Do not fear correcting racist attributes of friends and family.
Even if you are not in a minority household, there needs to be an understanding of what is trending in terms of the racial divide and how important it is to embrace other cultures and be social leaders of embracing the narrative of equality and love. No one is blameless in the regression of equality even if you are not “BBQ Becky”.
Let’s work together to preserve current freedoms that have already been fought for and established. Let’s work further to create positive conversations that lead to equality for everyone. We need to fight back against those who wish to passive aggressively segregate ethnicities and genders in America. The message needs to be we all belong to one race and that is the human race.
Listen: Communicationscamp.podbean.com Follow: @compcamp1
Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor