Tough guys don’t mess with dinosaurs

Many thanks to I Fucking Love Science for putting this cozy ensemble on our radar. Don’t get caught un-armed ever again!

little rexes_2

Give your RAWRS a a real punch of intensity with this comfy gear.

Even better, your little rexes and big rexes can find a size!

big rexes_1

Prefer Raptor? There’s one for you too!

Little Rex_1

  little rexes_3

Find your hoodie at www.nothingbutdinosaurs.com!

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Grief: the silent RAWR

Grief. Loss. I am not a fan of those words for so many reasons, but they hold weight over us in a way that few other words are capable of.

Grief we feel, loss is what we almost had or had once upon a time. Beyond the letters themselves, there are few other words that can adequately describe to another human being what grief feels like. Wanting someone to understand grief without experiencing a loss is, in my humble opinion, darn near impossible. What is also striking is that the loss or reasons for grief can vary dramatically from person to person but the depth of pain, hurt and fear knows no bounds.

Whether you’ve lost a friend, a grandparent, a parent, a spouse, a child, a fur-baby or any other being or maybe even a job or the dream of a future, it hurts. It hurts a lot. It feels like your heart has literally been shattered into pieces, left in broken tatters. You wonder how you haven’t died from a broken heart…yet. You wish you could go with them just so the pain will stop. You wish you could turn back time to when that future was possible. Each breath hurts. Each smile takes pain to crack. Some days you wonder how you will ever carry on.

I say carry on because moving on is not possible. You will never forget, not for a day, rarely for a moment. Moving on, getting over it, letting it go, growing up, all of those mean words imply forgetting. You can’t forget. Forgetting is not an option. Carrying on is. When you carry on, you carefully and compassionately pick up the pieces of your broken heart (oftentimes with help) and with a brave face, move into the next present moment. You carry your loss with you, in your heart. The scars on your heart make you stronger. If you allow it, the cracks in your heart let love sweep in and out like the ocean waves.

Frozen tear on leaf

Grief hits your insides like waves, sometimes a large wave tumbles over you when you least expect it. Sometimes you brace for impact only to find the wave barely crossing your toes. To lessen the waves of grief, there are things you can do. There are tools to help you find and pick up those broken heart pieces.

When faced with a wall of grief and a shattered heart, it is time to mourn. Mourning is the work you do to process the grief. Mourning takes many outward forms: crying, writing, crafting, talking, sharing and so many more. Mourning is what saves us.

You will mourn not only the past and the present but also the future. Honoring the future you thought you had by acknowledging the present you’ve been given requires a strength that feels impossible to summon at times, but is absolutely possible.

If any of the above strikes a chord with your heart, I encourage you with all of mine and all of my RAWR to find a HEALTHY outlet for your grief. Many people turn to destructive behaviors which will only cause more pain and suffering. It takes strength to talk to a friend, go for a walk, cry, smile, write, sing, play, work, create, and mourn.

Just when you think you can’t go on, you can’t possibly be strong enough to [insert mourning activity here], that is the moment to think of your loss. Feel the love you had for that person or dream. It is in that love that you will find the strength to carry on.

Marie and Rauls lucky 5 leaf clover

searching for clovers of hope

I carry on. I am a survivor of grief. I mourn. I mourn on a daily basis. This post is my mourning. This post, and so many other moments of mourning are what saved me. What moments of mourning have or will save you?

*this post was originally published on A Day at A Time

**this post is dedicated to Indy and George. ❤

Dinos for dessert

Several of my friends have kiddos approaching or passing their first birthday. In the spirit of birthday RAWR, I thought it fitting to share a slideshow of Dinosaur Birthday cakes to get your creative juices flowing! Many thanks to iVillage for compiling the full list of cakes, images and RECIPES. For the full article, CLICK RAWR.

Of the 21 cakes shared, my favorite is this guy…

Dinosaur Cake

Doesn’t he just look tasty? For this Rex’s recipe, click RAWR.

How to avoid packing the kitchen sink: 15 tips for RAWR-free travel

Flying and traveling is in my blood. Ever since my dad was a 7 year old little boy flown on his first plane ride in a rickety, gut-lifting bug smasher- he was hooked. He ever so kindly passed along the love of gut-lifting excitement to his eldest, me. There’s nothing quite like that moment when your intestines rise in defiance of gravity and your body exudes adrenaline and your mouth utters an unstoppable “WHEEE!!!!!”. At least for me it’s a positive feeling (unlike poor Raul who is NOT a fan of gut-lift). However, that feeling doesn’t always come to me in positive moments of pure blissful excitement. I also get that feeling anytime I’m about to start packing.
High Flying Marie
There is something about delineating my daily needs into a finite space that must travel with me for X days that is gut-liftingly terrifying. The thought of picking only ONE black sweater and only TWO pairs of shoes and maybe just the RIGHT dress leaves my heart racing and a panic attack around the corner.

Usually a two or three day jaunt only takes me a few hours to whittle my possessions down. The worst was when I did a study abroad and was going to be in Europe for a month. Beyond buying the biggest suitcase I could find (tip: Bigger is not always better, especially when you need to carry that big ass bag across Roman-era cobblestones!), I spent close to a week picking out clothes only to put them back. I stayed up ALL NIGHT the night before my flight, obsessing over all the little things I could or should bring. I consulted all the travel guides I could afford. I was going for that sleek world-traveler look and ended up over packing what I didn’t need and under packing what I could have used (um, Europeans wear jeans. Somehow I didn’t think that was possible and did not pack a single pair. Wearing khakis and dresses left me standing out more than if I’d brought that saggy pair of GAP jeans! How was that NOT in my guide books?!?)!
Flight Tracker
Having been packing up my belongings and moving or embarking on road trips or plane hops since I was just a wee fat baby, I’ve learned a few things in my traveling years. This is my attempt to help you avoid an angry RAWR and experience easier traveling days ahead…

1. Have one sturdy, medium-large checkable suitcase. Hard sides help protecting your stuff but can also be restrictive in what you can pack. Plan to use this suitcase for any trip lasting longer than a week to a destination requiring anything more than skimpy swimsuits.

2. Have one light carry-on suitcase that fits the maximum carry-on dimensions for the airlines you fly. Make sure it has wheels and a long handle. It’s even better if the wheels are ultra flexible and can move in more than two directions (back and forth only sucks, aim for multi-directional).

3. Have one lighter bag that is larger than a purse but still fits the required dimensions for carry-on. A computer bag is a good example- you can really max out a good computer bag. Also make sure it has a good strap. Few things suck more than getting a hickey and a fat bruise on your shoulder because you’re running for gate 19 with a bag that has a poorly designed strap.

4. You really can fit more everyday clothes in a bag if you roll them. But know they get wrinkly so pick a place with an iron, a steamy bathroom or hosts who don’t care. Before stuffing your life’s possessions into a carrier, be sure to place suits and nice dresses carefully and flatly along the bottom of the suitcase.

5. Always bring extra socks and undies, but you don’t need to roll them. 😉

6. Pack one outfit for a cold day and one for a hot day (relative to where you’re headed). Then pack layers to get you between the two. For instance, a tank top, camisole or undershirt, a short sleeved shirt and a long sleeved shirt can easily get you a few days of wear.

7. Pack only one nice outfit, but two nice shirts. If you find yourself surprised with a dressy event, you won’t have to re-wear your only nice outfit but won’t have to lug two full outfits with you.

8. If you’ll be gone for less than a week, you shouldn’t check a bag. I’m serious. Suck it up and pare it down. Even with all the 20 minute bag delivery promises, do you really want some creepy TSA guy searching through your chonies for explosives that didn’t originate from you?

9. If you do have to check a bag, leave some dirty chonies on top. No one wants to touch your dirty undies. I know it sounds pretty disgusting but even creepy TSA guys get grossed out by dirty chonies. (Just not the really really creepy ones, but let’s hope the TSA has been good at weeding them out or keeping them away from our chonies.) Ever since I started doing this packing arrangement for checked luggage, even the times my bag is “Searched” it’s not really searched. I know because they don’t set off the boobie traps, they just leave the flyer that your bag has been searched.

10. Pack extra ziploc bags (sandwich and larger for a flexible variety) and include some plastic grocery bags. Use the grocery bags to keep your shoes’ cooties off your goods. The other bags will be self-evident the moment you need them.

11. Leave the jewelry at home. Seriously. Don’t hold up the security line because you have 10 pieces of jewelry to strip out of. Don’t go to a country more impoverished than the one you came from with all your precious family jewels around your neck or on your fingers. You’re just asking for trouble.

12. Getting through security quickly can be a breeze: Pick shoes that slip on and off. I personally love wearing my Costco-sourced slippers because they’re comfy and if they get gross, I won’t feel bad about tossing them. Pick an outfit to wear while traveling that is comfy and easily washed while traveling. Please, leave the bedazzled jean jacket at home. No one likes the person holding up the security line because they didn’t think about what they were going to wear to the airport. Remember to empty your pockets before you hand over your ID and boarding pass, even that cell phone that has grown into one of your appendages should be tucked away in a bag.

13. Go to your favorite department store’s make-up counter the week before your flight and schmooze a nice sales lady into giving you a couple free samples. Usually a face wash or mask will last more than one use and you won’t need to lug a huge bottle or buy new at your destination. If you feel bad about schmoozing, buy just one thing then you won’t feel so bad. But the idea is to get little sample packets that pack nicely.

14. Still wondering how NOT to pack the kitchen sink… here’s my method for a trip lasting 3 days to a week:
Bare Essentials
-1 pair of undies and socks for EVERY day you’re gone
-1 casual outfit (jeans or khakis and a t-shirt or comfortable clothes suitable for being in public)
-1 nice outfit (slacks and nice top with sweater or suit)
-1 crazy comfy outfit (pi’s, ounge wear, sweatpants and non-public-worthy clothing is good)
-1 medium weight jacket or sweater (even airplanes are cold on the way to Cabo)
-1 nice pair of shoes and 1 casual pair of shoes you can walk for more than an hour in
– If your destination climate is cold, pack 1 pair of long johns
– If your destination climate is hot, remember your swim suit. Unless you’re going to a nude beach, no one wants to see your junk.
– Toiletries: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, face soap, moisturizer and sunblock, a comb, make-up (if you wear it!).

15. Backups:
How much quantity you bring depends on the number of days traveling. If you’ll be gone for more than a week, multiply quantities by two for each extra week of travel up to four weeks.
– 1 or two casual tops- to be layered or mixed with casual pants
– 1 ‘Sunday best’ shirt or top to be worn with Nice outfit
– Ladies can substitute a skirt or dress for any outfit above
– work out clothes and shoes
– scarves, sweaters and accessories- aim for ones that coordinate with multiple outfits to save space

I’m sure there’s more and may need to write a sequel because I know I’m forgetting some very important tips… but enough about me.

What are some of your best traveling tips?

Dino Yummies for Doggies

Dinosaur Nylabone

Maybe your dog isn’t motivated by ripping the guts out of simulated nature. Maybe, just maybe, your dog wants to just chew on bones. All day. Bone in paw, butt on sofa, ah, heaven. If that’s the case, check out this Nylabone shaped T Rex! Maybe your dog is a dino-snob and would rather spare the T-Rexes.

They’ve got you covered with the Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus. Nylabone Stegasaurus

Now, before you go rush out and buy a bunch of new chew toys, make sure you read the ingredients and watch for signs of allergies. Many dogs are allergic to certain foods, sometimes contained in chewable products like Nylabone. If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction, please seek veterinary support.

Dino Eggs for Doggies

Egg babiesWhen the wiggles in our lives need a new puzzle, I love turning to the Egg Babies collection. We’ve tried many non-food based toys but the one that brings the same joy to my dogs as ripping the “guts” out of a live animal (ew.) is none other than the Egg Babies Dog toys.

The experience gets better when, instead of picking up the pieces of a broken squishy, you can easily stuff all the eggs back in the toy and start again. We also like to mix it up with the occasional Kong or baby carrot.

Find your Dinosaur Egg Babies Dog toys on Amazon.

Our pack’s go-to favorite?

Clearly the Dinosaur! He still survives to be stuffed another day!Egg Baby dinosaur_belly view with eggs

Photo Jan 22, 7 15 09 PM

Dino on a stick

Dinosaur Candy moldWith company in town and feeling touristy, Raul and I ventured down to Pike Place Market last week. We found ourselves wandering in Sur la Table and myself drooling over this cute dinosaur candy mold!

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I’d actually be the early bird catching the worm, er, dinosaur.  Um, YUM!

However yummy the dinos might be, I’ve never made candy dinosaurs before so I thought I’d find some support. The awesome gals at A Beautiful Mess outlined a step-by-step approach to crafting successful dinosaurs on sticks.

Should you feel inspired to get your own set from Sur la Table then I wish you happy molding as you bring tasty dinosaurs back from extinction.

Dino vs boy

Ever wonder who would win in a dino vs man fight? In this case, Dino vs boy? We vote the little boy wins. Make your little boy win by picking up a rex vs man tshirt from Think Geek!

Man walking Dino

Ask me about my Rex

What a clever way to conceal your inner dinosaur, only to be revealed when asked…  The Rexes at All Things Rawr LOVE this T-shirt! Need a quick Halloween costume or just another outlet for your frustrations?

Find it on Amazon!

Convertible T-Rex Shirt

Convertible T-Rex Shirt

Grandma’s got a… beer?

ID-10032444A Reader:

Within my more somewhat liberal, Catholic, northern family, all gatherings include beer and wine for the adults (even children’s birthday parties, which are more family affairs than bunches of little kids). My husband’s family are Southern, conservative, and more generically Christian, some baptist, and anti-alcohol of any type.

We live 5+ hours from both of our immediate families, in opposite directions. My husband feels more at ease with my immediate family than his own, and our local group of friends, who have become our family, are much like my family. We gather for their kids’ birthdays, and the adults have a few beers while the kids eat cake and shoot nerf or water guns.

Our son is nearing his first birthday, and my husband wants his party to be like those of our friends and my family. He doesn’t even want his parents there, because he doesn’t want them to judge our friends (no one ever gets out of hand). We never drink around his parents out of courtesy, and it took many years of us being married before DH didn’t hide any beer we had in the house when his parents came to visit. He’s honestly too hard on his parents, as annoying as they can be at times, and really tries to cut them out. Not that I particularly enjoy hanging out with them, but I smile and exchange niceties, they are our son’s grandparents. Thoughts on handling this situation?

Kayce:

I actually come from a family just like this; my mom was raised strict Roman Catholic, even attended a Catholic school with nuns who hit the kids with rulers, while my dad was raised Southern Baptist and was forbidden to dance (including prom!), drink, or even have playing cards in the house (they lead to gambling you know). Thankfully they both rebelled, first by marrying each other (via secret elopement), and then by distancing themselves from both doctrines. They still read the Bible to us as kids, but allowed a dialogue about what the teachings meant to us, and encouraged us to seek out our own interests in spirituality.

Their gatherings always included some drinking and lots of card playing & dancing. To this day I’m surprised when I find that I know parts of the Bible more than most of my Christian friends, and I make it a point to connect with my Source (or God) every single day. I’ve never had a drinking problem, or a gambling problem for that matter, and I can’t say that dancing has ever lead to sex for me (I’m not that great of a dancer haha)!

I remember a happy, healthy childhood while my parents have struggled most of their lives to forgive their parents for the expectations that were placed on them at such an early age. So, I guess the bottom line is figuring out what’s more important to you- trying to live a life based on what your church has interpreted as being upright while judging those closest to you, or connecting with your friends and family in a real way that lasts generations and affects everyone they in turn meet. Its important to be honest as adults and to lead by example for your children; the family members can choose whether or not to attend! It’ll ultimately be their loss if they distance themselves, but they might surprise you and come around – rawr!

Marie:

As it’s your party, (since you planned and are hosting it!), if you want to cry, you can. But I doubt you will because you seem like a realistic gal with her head squarely on her shoulders. It’s obvious to me you want everyone to feel welcome, drinkers and abstainers alike. Keep that feeling in your heart and all the guests will feel it.

Coming from a family with a history of alcoholism and where many members of my family have bad memories associated with alcohol, I can understand the need for a ‘dry’ event, religious beliefs aside. Alcohol can bring out the bad side and more voracious comments at the wrong time. And after attending many dry family events, I can also attest to the great social lubricant that it is. Sitting awkwardly on the couch for a few hours is hardly fun for anyone.

So looking for a happy medium, let’s separate alcohol from the obvious. Set up two beverage centers, one with non-alcoholic punches, juices and spritzers (oh my!) by the food and festivities. Set up a “grown ups only” bar somewhere off to the side (maybe in the garage or laundry or back bedroom). Get a bunch of blue Solo cups and a couple packs of fun colored Sharpies or maybe something extra fun like differing Mustache stickers and have everyone personalize their cup to drink from. (I’m sure your cool friends will “get it” and cooperate.) Then it’s a little less obvious who’s drinking and who’s not.

Lastly, designate a “quiet room” for anyone (of ANY age) who’s having a fit. Fill it with some calming music, soft blankets and pillows and keep it pretty dark. Then, if someone does get unruly, grown up or grumpy munchkin, there is somewhere for them to retreat to without causing a scene and ruining the party. (Unless it’s you crying, and then, since it’s your party, you can cry if you want to.)

The return of the dinosaurs

T RexFeelin’ a little lonely or need a good burglar deterrent or maybe your brother needs a new girlfriend? Check out these blow up dinosaurs! There’s a dinosaur for everyone in the family! Which one is your favorite? Marie’s is, of course, the T-Rex!

 

Inflatable Dinosaurs

Hop on board the baby train!

ID-10060524

A Reader:

“I’m 40 and pregnant with my 4th kid. Only my husband and a few friends know. My third son is just now approaching 1 year and while pregnant with him, I had family and friends commenting on how old I was. Now that I’m expecting again, how do I tell family that will be less than thrilled about baby #4 (this includes my oldest son, stepmom and other family members)?”

Marie:

First my dear reader, congratulations on your pregnancy! Children are miracles and blessings regardless of the sacrifice that comes with them or opinions of those in their lives. Before we worry about what anyone else thinks, I’m curious how YOU feel about the bun in your oven. Are you excited? Scared? Disappointed or upset? Nervous? Hopeful? I ask because how you feel will affect how everyone else reacts to your news. If your underlying emotion is tinged with anxiety, anyone you share with will pick up on that emotion. If you are bursting with excitement (maybe this is a girl?!?) then it will be easier for them to get excited with you.

As for sharing this joyful news, don’t share it any earlier than you are comfortable. A lot can happen in a pregnancy and caution at over-sharing can sometimes be for the best. However, you don’t want to keep a secret for too long because then you’ll risk alienating those closest to you by not being honest with them.

If this is going to be your last babe, you may want to have some fun with sharing this information. Maybe do a ‘reveal’ party? Although these are typically for revealing the gender, maybe you have a party a bit earlier to celebrate the baby on the way? Or you reveal the gender and pregnancy at the same time to peripheral family and friends? Maybe you reveal your secret only to those closest to you on a special family outing?

Speaking of family, I would vote for sharing with your son and closest relatives before sharing with the peripheral relatives for two reasons: trust and trust. If you’ll be relying on anyone in your immediate family for support with the young-uns, you’ll want to make sure they’re on board the baby train with you sooner rather than later.

As for your oldest, being an oldest child myself, I can empathize with how he might feel. If he’s become a ‘mommy’s helper’ for you, I would strongly encourage you and your husband to discuss some alternatives to relying on your oldest. Although it is tempting to ask him for help, you might be putting more on his shoulders than should rest there. As the oldest he’s already keenly aware of responsibility in general and what specific responsibilities are required of him. Putting too much on his shoulders may leave him growing up to feel like he always has to be the responsible one. This isn’t necessarily bad for his future (he’s more likely to focus on his education, find a good job and drive himself to achieve more), but it could be bad for his self-image and just isn’t fair to him. He also could run the other way, away from responsibility! Playing caretaker can also leave him confused about his role. If he’s reinforcing family rules, baby-sitting and caring for his younger siblings, it will be easy for him to feel like a parent. But then when dad comes home and reminds him he’s not the dad, inside it will lead to confusion (“but… I was just acting like the dad…”).

What’s the antidote to the responsible older sibling syndrome? Making sure he has time for fun and to be ‘free’ of responsibility at least once a day or a few times a week. Part of sharing the news with your oldest should include some plan you and dad have already discussed that ensures he will still have time to be a kid. If you can ensure him that, I think he’ll be happy to jump on the baby train with you.

Although how you tell everyone is important, I think it’s less important than how you handle their reactions and the weeks and months to follow. You may need to be thick skinned for a few months. Once the baby comes, those baby hormones will probably bring everyone else around to jumping on the baby train.

Image provided by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Why I RAWR Evernote.

Evernote

I love technology. It’s only great when it works, but when it works, whew, that is some hot stuff. Computers can read your mind, see what you see and are learning to think like you think. Without delving into the depths of ethics and technology, I live the benefits of technology every day.

I took the Kolbe A test online and learned more about my modus operandi. It reaffirmed that I am a fact finder. I love information and always have. I grew up reading books to the point of obnoxious. I thank my Dad every day for getting a PC with Windows as early as he did. I watched Beyond 2000 (when it was before 2000) with awe.  I surf on the edge of technology and all that it can do for me. There are a lot of technologies and tools out there that I haven’t touched. So many that it starts a panic attack thinking about what I know I don’t know. (Sorry Twitter. Somehow 140 characters is too much or not enough.) Enough digressing. As I am learning to live in my strengths and not punish myself for perceived weaknesses, one tool I’ve come across that I wouldn’t want to live without is Evernote.

No, I didn’t write this post in Evernote but I love it none-the-less. I wasn’t the first to Evernote either. A client and friend, a fellow fact-finder, kept telling me about Evernote. She was using it and loved it. “You HAVE to try it.” “Ok. Ok.” I still didn’t. And again a few more times. Looking back, there is no day I recall deciding to try it. Once it was set up, there was no looking back.

So what is Evernote you might be asking. It is a digital notebook organizing system that syncs to all of your desired devices. It is cloud storage. It is Dropbox for your best nuggets. (Dropbox, ah, Dropbox- that’s a whole ‘nother post.) Basically Evernote is a place you can capture and store images, webpages, text or content, links and so much more. Evernote even works with keeping you organized for tax time with Shoeboxed. For the PC users, it works a bit like outlook, but instead of emails, you have notes. You can add links to other pages, tags and other information you want to keep for reference and store these various tidbits in notebooks.

Notebooks are a fabulous tool for organization as you can create some order out of a chaos of thousands of notes. I have notebooks for work projects, businesses (existing and planned!) and of course for my personal life, such as gift lists, recipes, inspirations and general categories like Technology!

The best part about Evernote is that once you enter the information into the software, it will sync your information with the Evernote website as well as every device with Evernote installed. How that looks in real life is like this: “Ooh, this recipe looks great!” while surfing the web late one night. I copy the picture, ingredients and directions into Evernote. I assign a title, copy over the URL to the webpage where I found the recipe and add some tags to make searching easier. Later when I’m at the store and need the ingredients list, there it is, nicely in my Recipes notebook.

So what does this mean for you? If you find yourself stumbling across a cool website or product or recipe that you just don’t want to forget, with Evernote you won’t have to! Happy Fact Finding!

Keep calm and Rawr

Any little girls in a rawr mood should check out this t-shirt from (gulp) Walmart. I’m not usually a big Walmart fan, but with this T, who can resist? Now if only they made a grown up size…

Girls' Rawr shirt from Walmart

Girls’ Rawr shirt from Walmart

Where’s the life button for De-friend?

 FreeDigitalPhotos.net

A Reader:
I need advice, how do you de-friend someone in life without hurting their feelings? Me and my neighbor became close when she moved in. Our kids would play together all the time etc., we have been friends for over 2 years BUT she tends to ask for favors a lot mostly taking her places, she complains about her husband A LOT. He is an ass but I am tired of hearing it if she isn’t gonna change the situation, and honestly after getting to really know her I don’t like the person she is won’t go into detail there.

Erin:

This is always such a hard situation, especially as women when many of us tend to carry this idea that we are obligated to care take even when it is burning us out. I think firstly you will have to decide what level of involvement you want her to have in your life. Do you want her totally out? Do you want your children to still play together and have minor contact with her that way?

Whatever you decide, you will have to be ready to draw some boundaries with her. Since your children are friends and you guys are neighbors, it seems like a gentle approach may be the best so as not to cause unnecessary tension. Maybe slowly reducing the amount of contact with her is a way to start. That said, I think you will need to be ready to answer questions when she asks if you are avoiding her.

Marie:

This is quite a pickle to be in because it will require a thoughtful response to properly extricate yourself from this situation. Most typical responses would either be a direct approach to stop the relationship all-together or a passive-aggressive approach to let it quietly die out. I’m usually a fan of being direct because there’s no games and no pussy-footing around, but you will have to tread lightly so as not to create more trouble and hurt feelings. Which route you pick will depend on your and her personalities. There’s also the option to try to change the dynamic of the relationship (all relationships are essentially contracts- an agreement between two parties for some sort of trade and benefit). However, I get the feeling from your question that modifying your relationship with her isn’t a goal- ending it is.

To passively and slowly stop the relationship, don’t reach out to her anymore. If she contacts you for a “small favor”, kindly tell her that you won’t be able to help. You don’t even need to give a reason, just say no. (It works for drugs, it can work for annoying neighbors.) If she pushes you for a reason or to help at another time, just kindly tell her that you’re really busy and won’t be able to help. After she calls for requests and is denied a few times, she’ll likely stop calling. You can still be polite and conversational if you run into her in the neighborhood, but just emphasize how busy you are. And maybe buy some good window shades.

Since she is your neighbor and not a stranger you’ll never see again- be careful if you choose the direct method to end the relationship. This will give you the cleanest break but must be handled with tact or feelings will get hurt. This should consist of sitting down with her- in-person to explain that you’re not really going to be available to help her much in the future. Be honest with her that hanging out with her is hard for you because she is clearly unhappy and yet unwilling to make changes and that is difficult for you to observe. Let her know (only if you’re willing!) that in the future if she’s made changes and needs help, that you would be there to support her, but that until she’s willing to make the hard choices, you have to make the hard choice to remove her from your life. Be clear that you’re not judging her, but rather that seeing her in pain or constantly upset and negative is too much of a burden for you to bear. Definitely also encourage her to get help from qualified professionals (a counselor or therapist) if she is willing to make changes in her life as she’ll benefit from the support of a professional.

Negative Nancys are hard people to get rid of. They’re really good at asking for help and being selfish and terrible at being present and aware of others and reciprocal. It’s good that you’ve recognized her pattern of behavior now as you’ll have the best shot at eliminating her negativity from your life by being vigilant and sticking to your decision.

Image provided by: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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