Mary Loyer: Founder of Red Lipstick Inc.
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February 24, 2010
Last week, I spoke of how frustrating it can be when we, as women, find ourselves in one of those moments when we encounter a man we think is being “stupid.” I often become painfully aware that they don’t think like us, and therefore, what we think is the obvious way to do things is not obvious to them. It can be especially frustrating when we don’t have time to explain it in what we think is layman’s terms.
Does this mean that we are destined to be frustrated and not get what we want or need from men?
That’s a question I’ve been asking myself for many years. I’ve heard many other men and women ask questions like “Why do relationships have to be so hard?” or “Why can’t we just get along?” With so many differences between us, it can seem virtually impossible to achieve harmony without one person submitting to what the other person wants, ignoring their own needs, or just keeping quiet when they get upset. Some people even call that– being a “push-over.”
Some might think that to have harmony in a relationship, one person must be a “push-over,” and neglect what they need. In researching harmony, I’ve found a different way of looking at it that has made all the difference in my life!
The dictionary, describes harmony as: a pleasing combination of elements in a whole. In music, harmony is used to describe the process of playing or singing two or more different notes at the same time to form chords. So really, it’s not about being a “pushover,” and diminishing what you want. Rather, it’s about being numberswiki.com
completely different and combining those differences to create something amazing. Imagine being celebrated for your unique set of strengths at work, and being called upon to use those strengths for the gain of the team, similar to the way each instrument in an orchestra has a different strength of equal importance to help create the amazing sound of a symphony. The symphony just wouldn’t sound the same without the different sounds of the trumpet, or the piano. It’s also impossible for the trumpet to sound anything like the piano.
If your life is a symphony, imagine utilizing the gifts and strengths of the people around you to help you get what you need and create your amazing tune of happiness. The more I learn about men, the more aware I am that perhaps they were created to compliment the tune of our melody as women. I can see my frustration always comes when I don’t understand their strengths and how their tune fits into my symphony. Although, I’m used to my own instrument, and the way it sounds on its own– I’ve grown to appreciate when my boyfriend’s different tune can make my own a lot sweeter, especially when it saves me a lot of time, effort, and precious energy.
Studying harmony amongst men and women for the last few years has led me to create my Harmony Process. Using this process, I have found a “Confident Harmony” in my life, as it has helped me handle those frustrating “stupid” moments so that I still get to be my confident self, uncompromising in my values as a strong women, and getting what I need from the men in my life. If you want a taste of this “Confident Harmony,” stay tuned next week, as I outline 4 steps to master your own symphony.
February 17, 2010
Have you ever caught yourself saying to yourself, “If I were him, I would have done it the smarter way. Why did he do that so backwards?” In my research, it seems this can be a common thought in our minds when our husband, boyfriend, or male colleague does something we don’t agree with. We try to make sense of it in our mind, and when it doesn’t match up to what we would have done, it can be an easy conclusion for us to think he was just being “stupid.” I’ve been guilty of thinking this many times.
I wonder though, what if by the act of expecting men to do and think the way we do, we are really looking at them as “hairy women,” who should know all the right ways to do things like we do. Remember Tom Hanks portrayed a woman on the sitcom, Bosom Buddies? He could dress like a woman, but he couldn’t help thinking like a man which often got him into trouble. It sure made for great laughs, right! On the other side, men can often make the same mistake by perceiving women as softer men who should do things and think the way they do.
So the big question is: How do we change this perception, and stop our frustration when the men in our lives do things that we perceive as being “stupid?”
Well, perhaps we can start with the idea that men and women were designed differently for a reason. Maybe there are strengths or skills that one has that can benefit the other? When I came upon this realization several years ago, it gave me a huge relief. I suddenly didn’t feel the burden to have to do everything myself. The next trick seemed to be in learning how to engage my man to help me benefit from all the great skills and strengths bestowed to him as a “Man.” After all—now that I wasn’t seeing him as a hairy woman, I was aware that maybe he wasn’t going to be able to read my mind and know what I needed from him all the time.
Sometimes, it seems as simple as being aware that what we think is obvious to us, is NOT obvious to him. That doesn’t mean it’s easy to handle those moments of misunderstanding. It can be very frustrating, none the less. I often find myself reminding the men in my life about this when I don’t quickly understand something they think is obvious—like how plumbing works. My friend Nathali use to get so upset about the socks her husband, John always left on the floor. She said,” He obviously expects me to pick them up, because they’ve been on the floor for a week. He can obviously see them—he just refuses to pick them up.” When she finally brought it to his attention, he said, “What socks?”
I taught Nathali that men are really good at focusing on only one task at a time, and how it can have them tune out everything unrelated to their current task—even if it’s socks on the floor. She was very relieved to know that he wasn’t purposely trying to upset her. She later explained to him how happy it would make her, if he put his socks in the hamper, and helped her keep the floor clean. He agreed, and simply asked if she could give him a friendly reminder, as he doesn’t always notice them.
The next time you notice the men in your life doing something that you think might be “stupid,” because the “correct” way is obvious to you, perhaps you’ll remember that he’s not a hairy woman, who thinks the way you do. Try asking him why he did something with curiosity, rather than an attitude of disdain. You may find that he had a good reason, and it may give you room to ask for what you need differently next time. Stay tuned next week for details on my Harmony Process—four easy steps to help you get what you need with a lot less frustration.
February 10, 2010
Working with men and women, I’ve discovered that one of the biggest areas of misunderstanding is in the way we communicate. As you may have experienced first-hand with the men in your life, they tend to be very visual, and they use actions a lot more often than words to express how they feel or what’s on their mind. Your man might care for you so much that he decides to plan a nice romantic dinner for you, although he may not actually say “I love you.” In his mind, it’s obvious by his actions.
The men I’ve talk to about this mentioned that they judge other men by their actions, so it’s a natural thing to express themselves by “doing,” rather than “telling.” The women I’ve talked to have voiced much frustration, when their man neglects to tell them certain things, because he thinks its “obvious,” especially when it involves something important like picking up the relatives at the airport, or that he’ll be two hours late for their anniversary dinner.
It’s understandable that as women, we might be frustrated—since we communicate most often by using our words to express what’s on our mind, and how we feel about things. If our man is trying to show how much he cares through his actions, we may sometimes miss it entirely, because we may be expecting him to “tell” us how much he cares about us.
This misunderstanding seems even more apparent in our society today, where many of us women are independent, successful, and we can provide most of the material things we want for ourselves. When asked “What makes you happy?” One group of women recently mentioned things like: adoration, attention, appreciation, companionship, and love from men. The men I’ve talked to about this were shocked! As it turns out, when a man is evaluating whether a woman is the one he wants to spend his life with, he notices the lifestyle she is currently accustomed to, and he evaluates if he can provide that same lifestyle for her, as he wants to make sure she is taken care of.
You can imagine the misunderstanding that might occur when a woman exclaims that she doesn’t need the fancy car, and the big diamond ring, and yet her “actions” shows her man otherwise. If she is constantly looking at diamond rings, and talking about fancy cars, he receives a different message. This doesn’t mean as women, we must apologize or diminish our success in life! If you are dating, in a relationship, or married, perhaps you’ll simply consider that your man may notice your actions above anything you might say otherwise.
To avoid giving mixed messages, be sure to have your actions match your words. Being clear about what you need to be happy could mean telling your man that you want to be in a relationship where you “work together to create the lifestyle you both want, and that you are provided with the love, care, and companionship that you’ve always wanted.” Then by your actions of appreciation for what he does provide for you, you can send him the right message! Enjoy the action!
February 3, 2010
Being in the cosmetics industry for eleven years taught me a lot of secrets to looking beautiful. I think the biggest secret I learned was that if you feel beautiful, you look more beautiful. While a little mascara and blush certainly helped, sometimes it was the inner boost that really counted. In my own journey of realizing and noticing beauty around me, I discovered a few other things that have helped me actually feel beautiful and confident –even in the moments when I not feel’in it. What’s your greatest beauty tip? We would all love to know your secret!
Mary’s Beauty Tip #1 Create a Beauty Mantra: “I’m the Party”
Years ago, I was feeling self-conscious about going to a gathering with people I didn’t know. I thought of my younger sister who I always believed to be the life of the party. She is very outgoing, and always made friends easily. Inspired by her social ease, I suddenly started to think to myself, “I’m the Party!” I said it about ten times while in my car outside the restaurant where I was meeting this group of strangers. As I walked into restaurant I suddenly had thoughts of being “The Party.” Since I was the party, I felt as though it was now up to me to be open, inviting, and help the others open up and have fun. I found myself in a giving, beautiful spirit. That night I made great friends that I still hold dear today!
To create your own mantra, start by thinking of a woman you admire like your sister, your best-friend, a favorite celebrity, maybe, Oprah? Think of the quality she may embody that you admire the most. Perhaps she is open-minded, radiant, easy-going, or confident? Often that’s the quality we’d like to embody. Turn that quality into a mantra for you: Confidence is my middle name! I am self-expression! I am LOVE! When you wake up this week, try repeating that mantra several times as you wake up, or before you spend time with people and see how beautiful you feel!
Mary’s Beauty Tip #2 Create a Beauty Ritual: Reveal the Girlie!
After a full day of having direction, to do lists, and being in focus-mode, create a ritual to reveal your inner girlie that’s been waiting all day to simply feel. Find out what has you feel re-charged and rejuvenated. (Painting your nails, taking a bath, or lathering up with sweet-scented lotion) Something involving your powerful sense of smell or touch. This ritual must be done regularly to be a ritual: a ceremonial act or series of such acts. My girlie ritual is simply to slather on my favorite vanilla-orange scented lotion all over my body (Hugo Naturals from Whole Foods—Sooo yummy!). I touch my soft skin, and I feel like my girliness has just been unveiled. My man loves it too!
Mary’s Beauty Tip #3 Have a Beauty Quick-Fix: What’s your red lipstick?
When you need a quick-fix to help you smile and breath in the midst of your challenging day, create a beauty quick-fix–something you do that instantly has you feel happier, and beautiful. Think of your favorite perfume scent, lipstick, or maybe your favorite song. ( It could be something that reminds you of your last moment of beauty- a vacation, a hot date, or fun night out) Years ago, before a big meeting at work, I was feeling very stressed and tired from working the night before. I had forgotten my make-up bag, and all I had was red lipstick in my purse. I put it on, and when I looked in the mirror, I suddenly felt alive. The boldness of the red seemed to wake me up, and I couldn’t help but smile and feel confident and beautiful (It might have also been the memory of the fun I had the last time I wore red lipstick in Vegas). My meeting went very well and ever since then, I keep my red lipstick handy when I need a pick-me-up. Take it from me–Having that quick-fix handy can give a much needed lift to the spirit, so your beauty can abound.