#SWAAYthenarrative
4 Min Read
Culture

Do you remember that iconic best-selling 1990s dating book, The Rules, that helped all women redefine the dating game to win at love? Well, Black women, including yours truly, have a unique cultural experience that does not mirror other segments of society.

There is women's culture (think #MeToo) and then there is Black women's culture. Many times, we are the first in our families to go to college and we mistakenly believe that if we know our job and do it well, that is enough, which is not true. Many of us have also grown up in single parent households and in more urban communities where we have had to conceal our natural femininity in favor of a more masculine energy. An armor develops within us from not feeling properly protected, insulated, or accepted.

There is women's culture (think #MeToo) and then there is Black women's culture.

Many of us come from families that did not have access to mentorship, healthy family dynamics, or positive reinforcement; which led to feelings of inferiority, intimidation, and defensiveness. In a desperate effort to conform, gain acceptance, and approval, many of us have relinquished our power or not acquired what I refer to as "the softer skills" that come quite naturally to other groups of women.

A lot of us cultivate a more masculine energy as a result of emotional and psychological trauma we have experienced as Black women, between being criticized for the texture of our natural hair (can we talk about the fact that we have literally harmed ourselves with chemical straighteners and weaves to make other people feel comfortable around us?), and facing colorism based on our individual complexions (many times within our own community). Many of us have grown up in largely matriarchal households with mothers and grandmothers who were too overburdened with day-to-day survival to teach us the fine points of femininity, social skills, business etiquette or what a healthy romantic relationships looks and feels like. The Pink Pill is our own exclusive playbook that Black women are teaching to each other. Yes, The Pink Pill is "The Rules" for Black women. Why? Because we need our own set of rules.

For anyone reading this who is not aware of how some of the social queues differ in the Black community versus other populations, I can tell you that Black people share a shorthand, a social language and behavioral code that is perfectly acceptable within our own community, but fails to successfully translate when interacting with people of other cultures. As far as Black women are concerned, this social language disparity hurts us and impedes our progress, leaving us confused and frustrated. I know because I was there… until I Pink Pilled Myself.

Once we emerge in the workplace, ready to take on our career and armed with the education we were so focused on, we are often told by our elders, "Go to work, do a good job, keep to yourself and come home."

To break this down further, within our own community, Black women are often taught to deal with conflict by being very direct and using blunt language. While acceptable among other Black women, this approach to conflict resolution is frowned upon in other eco-systems. We are also taught to "get your education, don't worry about men, and don't get pregnant." Those are the ABCs of how Black women are taught to think as we are growing up. Once we emerge in the workplace, ready to take on our career and armed with the education we were so focused on, we are often told by our elders, "Go to work, do a good job, keep to yourself and come home." In other words, "You don't want any trouble. Just be happy you were invited to the table and don't draw attention to the fact that you are Black." Add to that our own feelings of insecurity about not offending anyone with our natural ethnic hair, our cultural views, or our bold ideas that may come across as "angry," it is a lot of weight to carry. It's not easy being the only Black woman in the room.

So, what results from all of this? As Black women, we often find ourselves perpetual fish out of water, whether it is in the boardroom or in the dating world. Oftentimes, we are shut out of other ecosystems, denied career advancing opportunities, failing at love, and all the while never understanding that there is a social and professional language that we never learned to speak.

What I discovered was a secret subtle language that other women use, subconsciously, to recognize each other

We deserve better.

When I first started this Pink Pill journey, I read every book, spoke to mentors and coaches, and interviewed women of other backgrounds to discover what the missing link was between Black women and women of other races and cultural backgrounds. What I discovered was a secret subtle language that other women use, subconsciously, to recognize each other. Whether at a cocktail party, in an office, during a girls' night out or through other networking channels, these subtle and softer skills of self-expression can mean the difference between a Black woman winning in love, life, and her career or losing out big time.

I broke it all down and created my online course, The Pink Pill, especially with other Black women in mind, to learn these language cues to help them thrive and win among other ecosystems. What is amazing to me is that upon introducing the course to other Black women, I got an overwhelming acknowledgment of all the disparities I had observed. Hundreds and then thousands of women were signing up to take the proverbial "Pink Pill" right along with me. I realized that not only had I created the most successful online course for Black women to ever be created, but the emails and DMs I received have confirmed that this sacred advice was working in women's lives.

As a Black woman, we have to be culturally fluid. We have to be bilingual and navigate effectively in both types of ecosystems. That's The Pink Pill.

3 min read
Lifestyle

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Email armchairpsychologist@swaaymedia.com to get the advice you need!

Help! My Friend Is a No Show

Dear Armchair Psychologist,

I have a friend who doesn't reply to my messages about meeting for dinner, etc. Although, last week I ran into her at a local restaurant of mine, it has always been awkward to be friends with her. Should I continue our friendship or discontinue it? We've been friends for a total four years and nothing has changed. I don't feel as comfortable with her as my other close friends, and I don't think I'll ever be able to reach that comfort zone in pure friendship.

-Sadsies

Dear Sadsies,

I am sorry to hear you've been neglected by your friend. You may already have the answer to your question, since you're evaluating the non-existing bond between yourself and your friend. However, I'll gladly affirm to you that a friendship that isn't reciprocated is not a good friendship.



I have had a similar situation with a friend whom I'd grown up with but who was also consistently a very negative person, a true Debby Downer. One day, I just had enough of her criticism and vitriol. I stopped making excuses for her and dumped her. It was a great decision and I haven't looked back. With that in mind, it could be possible that something has changed in your friend's life, but it's insignificant if she isn't responding to you. It's time to dump her and spend your energy where it's appreciated. Don't dwell on this friend. History is not enough to create a lasting bond, it only means just that—you and your friend have history—so let her be history!



- The Armchair Psychologist

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