By Keisha Stoute

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In life we all say and do things that we truly do not mean. People often make bogus plans with others knowing that it will never happen. Sometimes false promises are made just because it sounds good and that is what you think that others want to hear. Perception is the biggest deception and everyone has been guilty as charged!

For example, we all have told someone that they looked good when in fact we were laughing on the inside and hoping that they will look in the mirror and change their mind. Let us not forget eating nasty food and putting on a fake smile and saying that it was delicious. Really!  False hope has been given to friends who are in a doomed relationships but  instead of being honest you tell lies.

At times everyone is a performer and you do what you think that is expected and acceptable. No one wants to be the barer of bad news so things are said to keep the peace and to maintain face. As a performer you mislead and wrongly direct someone because you are trying to be nice but  what you are really doing is being deceitful. Giving people a distorted reality is fake, unfair and most importantly unnecessary! 

In reality people avoid the truth because they fear confrontation and want to be accepted by others. The problem with telling tales is that life has a way of coming back around and what you have done to others someone will do to you. Eventually things start adding up and you will come up short. Being honest is not popular but it is the best policy. 

Performers often know what to say and will continue to say things until they get caught. Busted! Men and women often twist the truth when dealing with each other and are scared of the consequences. As you get older experience teaches you that actions speak louder than words. When in doubt about something or someone consider their actions because the rest is just talk! Stop being a performer and be real with yourself and others. You can be honest and say displeasing things with tact and compassion. Give true meaning to your words and make them count! 



 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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Everyone desires to have a relationship, companionship, or a connection with someone. People date with the intent to find a suitable partner or mate but when you get involved with a relationship phony
you are surely duped of a having a happy ending. Relationship phonies are men and women who say and do all the right things until they get what they want. These individuals are authentic scam artist (liars) who play the role and their intention is to use and abuse others until the next opportunity comes along. 

They seek people who are vulnerable and who need support and encouragement.
Relationship phonies are charmers who require lots of attention because they are
selfish, insecure and unable of having a healthy relationship. In the beginning
they seem like the perfect person but looks are deceiving. You must be watchful
not to ignore the red flags because it sheds valuable light on their plan of
deception. The goal for relationship phonies is to pretend to be in a
relationship, reap all the benefits and then end it before feelings and emotions
get too involved. Tricksters in the flesh! Their goal is to come out on top by
being in control and knowing all aspects of the game plan. They are very
secretive and will keep you in suspense, when you think you have figured them
out you have all only just begun! In reality, they need you more than you need
them. 

These individuals are damaged and have a proven track record of broken, bogus, and dishonest relationships. Relationship phonies give false hope to those that they are involved with and often tell one sided stories in order to gain sympathy. Unfortunately, everyone has been a victim of relationship scams but experience makes you wiser and stronger! When people are hurt they hurt others and the cycle continues. In order to experience true love you must love yourself first. In-addition to loving you must also be honest, open and available. Cleaning out all the toxic waste in your life is a requirement not an option in order to have a healthy relationship. Creating false and empty relationships will prevent you from moving forward and makes you comfortable in dead end situations. Stop selling yourself short! If you have been a victim of a relationship hoax know your worth and look for someone better because you deserve it! Leave the phonies alone and let them live their shallow lifestyle. Do not waste any more of your time trying to decode a relationship phony because true happiness is in your future! Time is precious so make a decision to move forward to greater possibilities. Your journey starts
today!


 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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In life there are people who are watching you like a hawk. Everyone has an opinion but critical people judge you without cause and offer unsolicited advice.

These individuals are professional observers who study the psychology of their friends, family, coworkers etc. and are critical on you when you make a mistake. One false move and you are finished. Freeze hands in the air! It is funny when people are quick to give advice but cannot follow their own. Hello double standard! They point the finger at you and do not realize that several are pointed back at them. The old cliché says that people in glass houses should not throw stones. It is easier to see everyone else’s faults but when someone points out yours, you become defensive and the litany of excuses roll out. They are also hard to please and are never really happy.

Critical people often look at others under a microscope to see what they can find. A microscope provides an enhanced vision of things that the naked eye cannot see. They come up with phony assumptions based off of delusional and unfounded beliefs of others. These individuals go that extra mile to discover the dirt because they are bored, insecure nit-pickers. This personality type makes you feel like you are being prosecuted for a crime that you did not commit. The judge and jury have reached a verdict and you are guilty as charged! Critical people are hard on you because they are really hard on themselves.  They do not take their own advice and are often hypocrites. Busted! Majority of the time these individuals are not proud of where they are and feel the need to deflect the attention. The buck stops here!
Here are some useful tips… 

1.  Speak up and let them know how you feel.
Critical people must know that what they say is hurtful. Put them in their place. Express yourself in safe and professional manner. Use “I” statements to describe your feelings.

 2.  Know who you are dealing with. Do not expect people to change and to be somebody that they are not. Accept them for who they are. Is this a healthy situation to be in?

 3.  Distance yourself. Provide distance and reflect on the value of the relationship. Is it worth saving?

 4.   Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoe. The reason why people are critical of others is because they do not want to give people the benefit of the doubt. Critical people want to put others down in order raise themselves up. Try to think of others in a positive way. 

We all makes mistakes but what we should take from each situation is experience. Do not judge others in less you want people to judge you. Help each other out and
provide encouragement. Life has a way of coming back around. Break the cycle of
being critical!

 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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In life we all make friends but contrary to belief true friendship is hard to find. Many people call their exes, coworkers, work superiors, classmates, and business associates their friends when in fact they are not. Having something in common
  or history with someone does not constitute a friendship. When people
  deliberately set out to hurt you by doing spiteful things their true colors are shining bright. Those individuals are not your friend but your enemy! People who are jealous of you and your accomplishments can not be your friend. When you need someone to talk to your true friends are the ones who answer the call. Hello! Running someone down so that you can connect with is a waste of time.
Trying to transform someone who does not want to change is like beating a dead
horse, it is pointless. Here today and gone tomorrow individuals are not dependable and are often flaky and inconsistent. Move on!! Friendships are not
one sided where you are always giving and often come up empty handed or with
little return. True friendship does not impede on your personal growth and
should offer a healthy exchange and not yo-yo like behaviors. These same ideals
can also be applied when assessing your personal relationships. 

Friendship is kind, loving, forgiving, supportive, non-judgmental, patient, and
understanding. In order to have a healthy friendship you must have open
communication, mutual and attainable goals and objectives. True friends do not
tell you what they think you want to hear but what you need to grow! If you are
traveling down a one way street it’s time to back up and change your direction!
It is report card time and you need to evaluate where your so called friends
truly stand! Take the test and let the results speak for themselves.

 A= always    B= most of the time  C= sometimes    D=almost never    F=never

 1.     Is a person that I can trust
 2.    Is a person that I can talk to about relationships, family, work etc.
 3.    Gives fair, sound and honest advice
 4.    Displays healthy give and take and other appropriate behaviors
 5.    Is supportive of me in my endeavors
 6.    Meets my needs in this friendship or relationship
 7.    Is a person who respects me
 8.    I enjoy spending time with 
 9.    Is a person who will not deliberately hurt me or someone I love
 10.  Is a person who cares about me and my well being
 11.   Our relationship is healthy
 12.  I feel like I am being heard and my opinion is valued 
13.   Is a person who has my best interest at heart
 14.  Is a person that I see a positive future with 

What did your results reveal? Everyone needs improvement from time to time and talking about where you are and where you would like to be is a great start. When you find that you keep running into the same problems then you need to re-evaluate the relationship and make a decision. The longer you take to resolve the issue the harder it is to move forward. Always know your strengthens and weaknesses so that you can work towards change and come out on top. Knowledge is power!

 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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In today’s society everyone loves playing “dress-up”. It is fun putting on clothes, make-up, accessories and pretending to be somebody else. You may aspire to be a rich and famous actor, athlete, successful doctor, entrepreneur etc. Once the fun and games are over the costumes are takening  off but when you are an “imposter” you are always in disguise! Imposters are professional sales individuals who love to sell you scripted lies and bags of tricks. I smell bologna! They often embellish the true about themselves, accomplishments and possessions. Imposters will use friendly gatherings, office chit chat, birthday parties, family reunions and other opportunities as a platform to deceive the multitude. Lights, Camera, Action!

Keeping up with appearances and trying to maintain a particular image is the main objective. Imposters purport false images of themselves so that they can look good in the eyes of others. Appearance is everything, dress to impress. They live by the phrase “Fake it until you make it”. These individuals often rent, buy or lease luxury cars, homes etc. and will go to great lengths to proof that they have arrived. Running up debt, getting repossession notices, buying and returning already worn clothes and having credit cards declined at places including Wal-mart are typical behaviors of an imposter. They will always try to out shine others and want to be the best at everything. Imposters will lie about having perfect relationships, jobs, big salaries, large bank accounts, connections, career accomplishments, degrees etc. Some may even go as far as creating phony resumes and trying to pass someone else’s house as their own. They often exaggerate on everyday stories and experiences. Imposters come in the form of men and women who are truly insecure about their self-worth and often feel inadequate. They show up at work, school, church, and even in relationships. Competitiveness runs thick in their veins and they will not stop until everyone is a believer. 

In the end, every performance must come to an end. Bravo! Eventually these individuals will be exposed of their schemes and scams and the mask will be removed. The best way to silence an imposter is to feel confident and secure where ever you are in life. Looks can be deceiving! Remember that success is not defined by materialistic things but by how you feel about yourself.  Know your worth!


 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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Looks can be deceiving and WPIs are often in disguise. Workplace Investigators are individuals who have a PhD in information gathering, gossip and spreading foolishness! They make sure that they keep others well informed through multimedia outlets such as facebook and twitter as well as through; word of mouth, text messaging, emails, lunch breaks, closed door meetings, office trips, telephone calls etc. Talk about excellent marketing skills and abilities! Their information is not always accurate as it often  reflects their opinions of others. The qualifications of a WPI includes, being nosy, intrusive, and not afraid to cross boundaries. By any means necessary.

This personality type aligns themselves in positions to glean information by being at the right place at the right time. They also have spies to assist them in getting the dirt! Elevators, stairwells, break rooms and parking lots are excellent places for spies to lurk. Before you enter your car look for moving objects and giggling dumpster! It happens! Once confronted they often look surprised and insulted that you will accuse them of such childish behavior. Be prepared for tears, water works and other academy award winning drama! WPI's main goal is to "deny". They will also throw others under the bus before admitting to anything.

How can you avoid the trickery traps of a Workplace Investigator?

1. Stay clear of the WPI's and their spies.
Despite being cautious everyone will be a victim eventually so avoid the daggers for as long as you can!

2. Do not volunteer information. Saying little is good in this case.

3. Decline lunch invitations

Going to lunch with a WPI is the perfect opportunity for them to get in your business. Be gracious and decline the offer.

4. Do not hang out with WPIs outside of work

5. If you have to work with a WPI on a project you must take control of the meetings etc. Idle time leaves opportunity to destruct. Keep things moving.

6. Do not trust WPI's
They often appear to be cool and easy to talk too but your business will spread like wild fire!

7. They may try to black mail or black ball you.

When WPI get a hold of juicy information they tell everyone and sometimes powerful people who can promote you hear it and believe it. These individuals use what ever they have to get what they want.

Workplace Investigators can also be in the form of your boss and these same tips still apply. The less you tell the better! You may have a co-worker who offers you gossip and the best way to handle this situation is not to react. The main reason why WPI's engage in these behaviors is to get a reaction from others. If you react then they have acheived their goal! Ignore foolishness and stay focused.Once WPI's figure out that you are not interested and willing to participate then they will eventually move on to others.


 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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Fear has a way of taking over all of us in one way or another. It plants its ugly head and prevents us from moving forward and causes remediation and participation in unhealthy stagnet relationships. When given control “fear” will take over like a disease and will leave you feeling helpless, hopeless and afraid. Everyone has a desire to want to have a relationship but when past hurts and unresolved issues thwart your goals, you must do some soul searching and reality checking. If you are still in the same situation with the same person discussing the same issues then you have not made any progress. When this occurs people are allowing themselves to stay in a state of chaos and confusion. Going backwards and revisiting yo-yo like behaviors is a recipe for disaster. Yes, people can change but change only occurs when one sees the need. Past patterns are a clear indication of future behaviors. Overcoming fear is a journey not an overnight prescription! Once you have conquered one area, life
has a way of challenging you with more.

There are different kinds of fear that we all have encountered such as fear of failure, not being loved, abandonment, rejection, acceptance etc. In order to overcome your fears you must dig deep and search for the root of your problems. During this process you will realize that what you thought was the problem is only the surface. Your issues run deeper than you anticipated and you must allow yourself time to
process. Going from one relationship to another is a bad idea and as a result
you will be taking your baggage from one person to the next. Drop your bags and 
change your plans!

Counseling is an excellent option for helping you overcome your fears and to deal with those unresolved issues. Fear is a learned behavior, with guidance and work you will triumph. In-addition to seeking help you must reevaluate your friendships and relationships to determine its purpose and to see if they are aligned with your goals. Cleaning up your personal life is a requirement not an option. Give yourself time to heal and to reflect, embrace having your own personal space and time. Do not let fear stop you from moving forward and accomplishing your goals. Take
charge!



 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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As a result of our struggling economy many main stream restaurants are competing for our business. The average tab for two people without dessert used to be over $50  but now you can feast like a king for less than $30 per person. Olive Garden has a new promotion where you can get a three course meal for $12.95 per person. In this deal you get unlimited soup or salad and bread sticks, your choice from five main course dishes and even a dessert or specialty coffee. That is one way to fill your belly on a shoe string budget! Olive Garden has many new meals that will tickle your taste buds like the new Grilled Chicken Toscano or the Three Cheese Pomodoro Ravioli. If you are not in the mood for pasta but love seafood Red Lobster is a good option. Reb Lobster also offers a compelling promotional deal for a four course meal for $16.99 per person. The deal entails your choice of soup (the spicy tortilla soup is good), you choose from nine options for the main entree which is generous in portion and dessert (the apple crostada is tasty). Depending on your choice of drinks your tab can be less than $50 for two.

If you are in the mood for American food Chili's is another great option. They offer a 2 for $20 deal. You can share an appetizer and then choose from 12 sizzling main course entrees which include half rack baby back ribs, 6 oz steak and much more. Yum! With drinks added, your tab is stilll less than $40.

For lunch Applebee's has a pick n pair combo starting at $6.99, You can choose from a soup or salad and pasta and sandwhich.This deal is offered Monday through Friday until 4 pm. With several dining options to choose from you can find something for every budget. Bon appetit!!


 
 

By Keisha Stoute

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Now that the major holidays are over the holiday hook-ups are coming to an end. It is to no surprise that some men and women hook-up with exes, friends and flings so that they can have companionship for the holidays. Going to some events without a date may make some people feel uncomfortable. Having a facade is better than nothing as these individuals want to purport a particular image. Finding a snuggle buddy to keep you company during the cold winter months is easier than you think. People hook-up during these times because the holidays means extra expenses $$$ and they need financial assistance.Getting new tires, buying gifts for everyone, increased living expenses etc. are all possible reasons why somone may have hooked up with you. In some cases a holiday hook-up may come with benefits!

Things may appear to be moving forward but this train is coming to a stop. For some after New Years the fun and games have ended but others enjoy one last round as they will call it quits after Valentine's Day. Unfortanately men and women waste hundreds of dollars on gifts and dinners and it ends as fast as it started. It only takes a quick phone call, a trip down memory lane and a few dates for you to be a holiday hook-up. Many feel robbed of their precious time and feelings when things do not move forward. This occurs when people are not honest with each other and have hidden agendas. Beware of these situations so you are not duped! Depending on that persons needs some individuals may wait until after their birthday to give you your walking papers! One way to determine if you are just a hook-up is to see the situation in its true light, do not add or subtract to increase your chances. If your friends and family are suspicious and have warned you about this situation you probably have been tricked. In the end, time will tell the story.