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Friday, September 23, 2011

Women With Baggage & 3 Ways to Deal with Them

In her song "Bag Lady" Erykah Badu warns an anonymous bag lady that she would miss her bus because she was carrying too much stuff. Back when I first heard the song, I thought she was lit'rally referring to a woman carrying a bag. Now when I listen to the tune, I think she is referring to a woman with too much emotional baggage. I heard the song a few days ago and it made me think about all the bag ladies.

By now we all have a little baggage. If someone tells you they don't have baggage run like hell in the other direction because they are LYING. Baggage comes in all forms and I'm not talking about the kind with the LV logo on it. People have baggage from their childhood, their teenage years and even their adult years. The types of baggage spans everything from deferred dreams to sh*tty realities. Then there is the ULTIMATE kind of baggage: daddy issues. Thats a topic for another day.

In the legal field, these people are called the "eggshell plaintiff." It means you accept a victim as they are. If you harm a Plaintiff who was already fragile before, you are liable for the foreseeable injuries your actions caused as well as the injuries that the plaintiff only experienced because of their fragility.

Once you realize she is carrying a bit of baggage you have 2 choices: 1) Deal with it; 2) Decide you don't want nan part of it and walk away. If you decide to deal with it ::hugs:: for you! If you decide to walk away, no love will be lost on my part (can't speak for her, she might stab you). If you realize your woman has baggage and you are not willing to deal with it, do not pass GO, do not collect $200. Cut all ties and let it go. It is better to walk away than to take on a relationship with a woman you can't see yourself with in the long run. She may hate your decision, but she will respect you for it.

For those of you brave enough to stick around, here are 5 things you can do to ease the blow:

1. Ask her about her baggage. Be smart about how you spend the time getting to know her AFTER she reveals her baggage. She trusts you enough to tell you her secrets so give her ample opportunities to tell you about it. Ask questions to let her know you're actually listening.  Don't spend time trying to make guesses about her, ask her. If she is not ready to talk about it, leave her ass alone. I do not suggest that you beg her to talk about it or make her feel bad. She may not be comfortable talking about it and that is ok for her, for now. It is not a good thing for you because you don't know what you're getting yourself into.

2. Be honest about your feelings. One of the worst thing you can do is pretend like knowing about her baggage doesn't affect you. When you met her everything was superficial. she was a sweet, kind hearted woman. She was beautiful. Its ok to admit it. She may have revealed something you weren't expecting. Its ok to be shocked. Its ok to be taken aback. Its ok to have reservations about going forward. Don't keep those feelings away from her.

3. Create an honesty circle. An honesty circle is an opportunity for both of you to say (potentially hurtful) things to each other. Its a time when you can be brutally honest about how you feel without regard for being PC or trying to soften the blow. Its not a place to be willfully hurtful but it allows for the honest exchange of emotions. Good honesty circle sessions start with truth statements like "When you did X, it made me feel like Y." Sounds lame as hell right?  I know. An honesty circle is important because it is where she can feel comfortable sharing her feelings with you without a fear of being judged.

What say you beautiful people? Did I miss any options for dealing with "Bag Ladies"?

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