Are You Gracious?

Downtown Soup Kitchen Hope Center- Photo from Department of Defense

What does it mean to be gracious? Like maturity, I can’t define it, but I know it when I see it. Here’s a story: I have a friend who worked in information technology at a small company. I worked in the office with the friend and noticed that many older employees would ask the friend to go to their homes to set up new digital tools and gadgets, like streaming services. My friend was very willing to help them. I said to my friend one day: “That’s so nice of you that you help so many people. How do you have time to do it?” He replied: “I don’t have the time to do all of this! But those people help me at work and I like them, so I don’t complain.”

I was shocked by his revelation. He was willing to go above and beyond to help people, and he never complained about it or mentioned it at work. I wondered, do I have the maturity or compassion to help people in this way and not expect something in return? The answer was definitely No. As I age and mature, I desire to become more gracious. Why? Graciousness allows a person to make a positive impact on the lives of others. Let’s define the term.

The blog How to be Gracious has a great definition for the term gracious:

The gracious person is warm, welcoming and always looking for the opportunity to elevate others instead of themselves. Because they are comfortable in their own skin, the gracious person does not constantly engage in self-aggrandizement; they do not feel the need to assert their superiority over others. Instead, they constantly search for opportunities to make those around them as comfortable as possible.

If you are gracious, then your aim should be to make the day of anyone you interact with more pleasant rather than less, even in the most imperceptible ways. No matter how bad a day a person is having, a person does not have the right to make other peoples’ days less pleasant because of it. Personal difficulties are just that – personal. They are not an excuse for being unpleasant with strangers, family and friends.

What this means that a gracious person does not brag around others to make themselves feel better. Instead, they think of ways to make others around them feel better. We’ve all met snobby people who enjoy putting others down or poking fun of others to make themselves feel better. Here’s another gem from How to be Gracious:

Sometimes people use manners and etiquette to make people around them look bad or seem unsophisticated. This is not gracious – it is rudeness and snobbery. When manners harden into formality or a way to elevate oneself at the expense of others, this is not gracious.

Have you been gracious recently? What did you do to help someone else?

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Idolizing Psychopathy

Beer lovers. Young cheerful couple drinking beer at the bar

I’m beginning to see a common thread between much of the language used in popular culture about relationships between men and women. There seems to be a great deal of game playing going on. For every tip about “game” written on Red Pill/manosphere forums, there might be double the amount of language made available for women in popular music, self-help books and other sources. One book stands out as the pinnacle dating bible for women: “The Rules: Time-tested Secrets for Capturing the Heart of Mr. Right,” by Ellen Fein and Sherrie Schneider,” was published more than 20 years ago. Full of manipulative dating tips, such as wait for him to call and pretend to be busy, the book continues to be read widely in spite of its very obvious flaws. Why is game playing so popular among dating gurus?

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It Depends

Women talking

My time away from Ladies Again has changed my views on everything

I apologize for my long absence from Ladies Again. This past year has been a whirlwind for me in a number of ways. In the past 12 months, I quit my job, started a new job training program, and traveled in Asia. I also began a self-healing journey, as corny and pretentious as that sounds. Much of my healing focused (or focuses?) on reducing my anxiety around relationships and dating. The creation of Ladies Again is a product of that anxiety, since the site was designed to be a repository of information about femininity and traditional relationships. Quick! I have to boost my femininity before I end up old and alone forever! I always prided myself as being an anti-feminist who hated today’s blase misandry, but the truth was I was deeply afraid of being used or manipulated by men.

It all started with the end of an unhealthy relationship, which forced me to recognize that I was repeating the same relationships over and over again. I signed up for therapy, which is when I confronted the fact that my father was not involved in my life, and that the fear of being a lonely single mother was guiding the decisions I made in my relationships. I also realized that I was preoccupied with relationships and love, and this is evident in the number of relationship-related articles published on Ladies Again. Dating gave me a lot of anxiety. I spent much of the past year working on that anxiety. Now, I see dating anxiety in others everywhere. I would bet that many popular dating columnists and pick-up artists have this kind of relationship anxiety and preoccupation with dating as well. MGTOW, for instance, may be a way of trying to manage dating anxiety by dropping out of the sex market altogether. After therapy, I realized an irony that was so intense that it smacked me in the face: I was so afraid of ending up alone that I was attracted to the men most likely to abandon me.

I had to admit the truth. I have always been honest and open in my friendships with other women, but I resorted to playing games with men. Without seeing positive relationship role models in my own home or family, I followed much of the foolish dating advice given in pop culture by armchair experts like pick-up artists, talk show hosts, and advice columnists, among others. Sometimes, there are quality articles from professional psychologists (like this one), but most of it is garbage. Play hard to get. Wait for three months to have sex. Return his calls late. Don’t talk about your ex. Never depend on a man. Make him pay for everything. Let him take the lead in all decisions. Much of this advice is outdated, illogical, and makes dating more complicated than it needs to be. At best, modern dating advice works well only for people looking for casual sex. At worse, dating advice teaches people to be dishonest. In the long run, you lose by following mainstream dating advice. Who wants to be in a relationship with a man or woman who does not answer their phone calls, doesn’t open up about their past, and allows the other person to dictate all relationship decisions? A person who is clearly not interested in establishing a healthy and open relationship.

My new dating mantra is “it depends.” It all just depends! The only thing you can do is go with your gut–if a person is giving you anxiety or making you feel insecure, it’s not a good fit. It is impossible to apply firm rules to a dating world that has been affected by the forces of industrialization, urbanism, feminism, misandry and secularism. Firm rules work only for individuals confined to their own religious or political communities, like Mormons for instance.

So, I stopped stressing out about relationships and dating. I decided instead to spend much of my free time with my friends and family. I learned to dance in the past year, something I never thought I would do. I finally had the time to volunteer and read fiction books. I also threw my dating rules out of the window. It doesn’t make sense to pretend to be something you’re not just to hook someone in. Finally, I stopped putting marriage and children on a pedestal. I am just starting to realize that a person’s contribution to the world does not have to be based on their ability to marry and have children. Snooki and Kanye West have children, and that doesn’t make them healthier than a random childless person. It’s probably for the best, for example, if sociopaths, addicts and narcissists decide to skip marriage and children altogether.

Ultimately, it all depends! Oh, how freeing it is to admit that truth. I will continue to write for Ladies Again, but the focus of my writing will now include details on my own self-healing journey. I will write about my efforts to be more open, honest and caring. Stay tuned!

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It’s Time You Started Volunteering

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How much do you volunteer each year? Would you say 10-20 days a week? If you do not volunteer regularly, consider becoming a volunteer and using your time to help others in need. I currently volunteer at a hospital so that you I can learn more about working in the medical field. There are thousands of way ways to volunteer: You could work in a hospital, build houses, pack meals or help a child learn to love reading. Why? First, it feels great to help other people. By volunteering your time, you are increasing your ability to care for other people, which will make you more feminine. After all, compassion is one of the hallmarks of femininity. In addition to the impact that volunteering has on your ability to empathize with others, volunteering also offers a number of unexpected benefits.

Thinking of Others

Volunteering will help you to think about the needs of other people in your community. Though you may be successful or live comfortably, many people in your very same community are facing serious challenges and need assistance. Perhaps, for example, you do not visit your local library that often, but that library makes a big difference for veterans trying to find jobs or local foster teens who need quiet spaces to do their homework. Volunteering helps to remind you that you are sometimes greater than you think: Your few hours of volunteer service may make the difference for a family struggling to feed their children or a homeless person trying to get back on his feet. You can also learn more about your community through volunteering.

Offers Perspective

Volunteering teaches you to be grateful for the opportunities you currently have. As a lady, you have to carry yourself with grace and humility, and one of the best ways to appreciate the life you have is to meet others who are in need of help. Volunteering gives you a perspective that you may not get at your job or hanging out with your friends.

Connecting with other Thoughtful People

Volunteering is a great way to expand your social network! Consider that by volunteering in a tutoring program or in an environmental cleanup project you are meeting others in your area who are also interested in the same activities. Maybe you might connect with environmentalists on a volunteer project that you would not have met otherwise. Many people have met friends and partners from volunteer projects.

Learning Opportunities

I always think that volunteering is one of the best ways to get hands-on experience in a new field or activity. Unlike formal internships, volunteering opportunities give you unfiltered and unstructured access to new career fields. By volunteering on a home building project, for example, you have the chance to learn directly what it is like to work as a construction worker, if that’s a career you are interested in. Similarly, a person thinking about becoming a nurse can learn about all facets of working in a medical setting by volunteering in a hospital.

Connection to Your Community

Local volunteer opportunities are great because they anchor you to your community, which makes you feel happier in the long run. Being a member of a larger community makes you happy.

How do you volunteer? Share the details using the hashtag #ladiesagain

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Clear Skin is Important: How to Get the Skin You Deserve

Basket of products

On Ladies Again, we write about better ways to take care of yourself because we realize that self-care is important to femininity. It is for this reason that we write about our own journeys with weight loss and finding makeup and self-care routines that work effectively. Below, I’m sharing my own personal journey through one aspect of self-care.

For years, I struggled with an obsession that I hid in secret. I would think about it every day, like when I showered, when I was at work, when I was in the library, when I watched television and when I read magazines. I would think about it especially when I noticed my reflection in mirrors and building windows. My obsession was my skin, which was plagued with large cystic acne.

For years, I coasted through high school and college with little to no acne. I had a few small forehead bumps occasionally, but I never had substantial pimples or breakouts on my face. My skin was so clear and smooth that I sometimes received compliments from others about the quality of my skin. All of this ended after I graduated from college and decided to stop taking hormonal birth control. Suddenly and without warning, I started getting large red blotches on my face and massive cystic pimples under the surface of my skin. Shortly after the pimples subsided, dark-colored and deep-pitted acne scars started to form on my face. My beautiful clear skin became rough, blotchy and pitted. I started to have serious anxiety about my skin. My friends and family started to notice the acne breakout happening on my face. Like it or not, your physical appearance is the first impression you make to the world, and I was cognizant of this fact more than ever before. I felt helpless and I was confused about what was going on with my skin, and I felt ashamed and embarrassed.

Makeup did not work to cover it up, and neither did over-the-counter acne facial washes and acne creams. Products that were supposed to help the acne ended up drying out my skin, which encouraged my skin to produce more oil. With the additional oil production, I ended up using more drying creams, and the cycle continued. I also spent a great deal of money on pricey dermatologists. One sinister (and highly-respected) dermatologist convinced me to take powerful antibiotics for months to keep the acne at bay. Doing so led me to have serious gastrointestinal issues as a result. Nothing worked.

Collectively, I spent hours researching acne treatments online and in libraries. I tried one quack acne method after another. I gave up peanut oil and I applied ice packs to my face every day. At one point, at my craziest point, I was sleeping every night with a few cold green teabags on my face. Crazy and desperate, right?

Image of Clear Skin Weekend bookOne day, by sheer luck, I stumbled upon a book that described the role diet plays in supporting overall health. The book, Clear Skin Weekend, specifically detailed the way that processed sugar in particular increases the production of hormones that create oil. Bacteria is attracted to excess oil, so skin infections (acne) happen when bacteria invade the oily pores. People with acne-prone skin have unique skin that is prone to trapping oil, which is why they must take additional steps to minimize the oil and subsequent harmful bacteria on their skin.

Clear Skin Weekend changed my life! The book made it is easy for me to understand the connection between diet and skin care, and gave me simple steps to take to improve my skin and overall health on a regular basis. I learned about all of the different ways that acne-prone skin is unique. Usually acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance paired with acne-prone skin. But sometimes, acne can be caused by a fungal infection or a reaction or allergy to a product.

The book also helped me to realize that sometimes conventional wisdom is wrong. For years, the medical profession has said that there is no link between diet and acne, but new research is showing that they are wrong. I now realize that the birth control impacted my hormones levels in a drastic way, which was altered when I stopped taking the birth control. Then, my hormone levels continued to spiral out of control when I began eating a diet high in refined sugars and low in fiber. Clear Skin Weekend gave me a list of steps to take to change my diet for the better and get my skin back to normal. Not only did my skin improve, but my overall health changed. I had more energy and I lost weight.

The book also discussed ways to improve the skin through select products. I learned that products, like skin exfoliants, that work for many people may be abrasive for individuals with acne-prone skin. Acne-prone skin is unique in that it needs to be exfoliated more often than other skin types to stay acne-free, but the methods and products used to exfoliate the skin must be gentle in nature. So, think gentle enzyme exfoliants, not abrasive sea salt exfoliants. The book also detailed hair and skin care products that are harmful to the skin.

If you struggle with acne, consider reading the ground-breaking guidebook Clear Skin Weekend. It’s worth the investment if it will change your overall physical health and improve your self-esteem.

What are your experiences with acne and skin care? Talk about your experiences reading Clear Skin Weekend using the hashtag #ladiesagain.

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Why You Need to Get a Plant Today

Image of plants

How do you show love and care to others on a regular basis? In what ways do you like to show your spouse that you care about them? How do you care for your family and friends? And if you have them, how do you show love to your children?

One of the hallmarks of being a lady is being empathetic to the needs of others. Feminine women know how to show others that they care about them, and that they are understanding and attune to the needs of others. The difference between feminine women and masculine women is in the effort made to think about how to care and support people other than themselves. They know how to listen carefully to loved ones to find ways that they can support them better. Perhaps that includes bringing soup to a friend feeling sick, baking muffins for a neighbor, or offering to drive a relative to a job interview. It might even include occasionally sending a friend a card or hand-written note to show them that you care. Feminine women are masters at recognizing ways to help others around them.

As I continue on my journey to to improve my sense of femininity, I am always looking for ways to improve myself every day. It sounds crazy, but one of the best ways to improve compassion for others is to start small and get a houseplant. I know, you’re probably thinking, how is a nonverbal, static houseplant going to help me improve my compassion for others? Plants are great way to train yourself to think about other entities on a regular basis for several reasons. First, having a plant improves your sensitivity to the needs of others. The only way to keep the plant thriving and healthy is to pay careful attention to its needs. Does your plant need new soil? Is the plant dry and limp? Does it need sunlight? As a plant owner, you will need to think carefully about what the plant needs to stay alive. Depending on the plant, some houseplants require more care than others―think orchids, not peace lilies―so you can actually train yourself to be more caring by purchasing very delicate plants.

Image of houseplants

Second, plants require regular and consistent care, and having one in your home reminds you that the world does not revolve around you all the time. Other people have needs too, and having a plant teaches you to think about things other than yourself and your needs. Much in the same way that plant owners must remind themselves to water and re-pot their plants, feminine women also might remind themselves to call a distance relative to check up on them, or to make plans to visit a long-distance friend.

If you are interested in learning how to improve your sense of femininity, start small by getting one plant, and build up to buying 10-12 plants for your home. Your home will look better as a result of your efforts. If you have enough space in your home, consider upping the ante and starting a small garden. At one point a few years ago, I had a small vegetable garden on my balcony that brought me so much joy! I could not wait to get home from work to check on my tomatoes and zucchinis. At the same time that I had my balcony garden, I spent a lot of time caring for my partner and friends, and I attribute some of that caring to my garden. If there was a barometer for care and kindness to others, my levels were off the chart that summer thanks to my garden!

How do you show love and care through plants? Take a photo of your plant and share it using the hashtag #ladiesagain.

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Spring Beginnings at Ladies Again

We’re now in the thick of the spring season, and new beginnings are already starting to form for us here at Ladies Again. The latest news is that we have a new writer, known mononymously as Camille, who explores beauty, social class, and female social dynamics. Camille currently moderates several subreddit discussion forums on Reddit that are active in the femininity-discussion space, such as Feminine Not Feminist and Red Pill Wives.

Snapshot of Feminine Not FeministWith Red Pill Wives, Camille says that she gets the opportunity to facilitate abstract and theoretical conversations about femininity. “My goal with that community is to encourage women to celebrate femininity and think a bit bigger, question their worldviews and assumptions,” said Camille. She started the Feminine Not Feminist (FNF) subreddit to give conservative beauty-lovers a space to breathe.

“[Feminine Not Feminist] started a couple of months ago because Reddit’s beauty communities are either really shallow or super leftist. Anytime a woman left a conservative comment she received downvotes and harassment….Several women from multiple subreddits reached out to me―complete strangers at the time―they saw me calling out other women for being hypocritical leftist bullies.

“The goal for FNF is to have a community of like-minded women discussing all things beauty related, obsessing over products, venting about frustrations, and of course having more in depth discussions where we don’t get punished for thinking differently!” she writes. Camille will soon launch a new blog, called, Aesthetic Distance, which will focus on beauty, class, and female social dynamics.

Conservatism and Grace BlogWe also have new updates from our contributor Candace Graves, who runs her blog Conservatism & Grace. She has spent the last few months keeping busy with a new job and a new focus on her health.

“Receiving chiropractic care, nutritional advice, vitamin injections, and supplement support has helped me to ‘optimize’ my health,” she writes. “As a young woman who hopes to be a future wife and mother, I think it is very important to take care of yourself while you are still healthy―before you get sick!

She has most recently been able to focus Conservatism & Grace more on her faith as a Christian.

“It’s honest and raw―simply documenting my struggles and victories in my daily walk with Christ,” she said.

Moving into spring and summer, she is excited to continue learning about how to thrive as a feminine woman. She plans to read the classic book “Fascinating Womanhood” by Helen Andelin.

Marry MoneyOne of our writers is switching careers and joining the technology field. For the past few months, longtime writer African Femininity attended coding bootcamps, where she learned to code. She landed a job as a software developer at a government contracting firm, and is excited to see what life as a coder will bring. African Femininity started a new project to build the website Marry Money Plan, where she educates people about benefits, risks and implications of social climbing through marriage. She recently celebrated her 33rd birthday, and is now interested in focusing on nurturing her closest relationships, building her financial legacy for her family and getting healthy.

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5 Tips for Discussing Politics with Grace

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Social media has slowly eviscerated the delicacy with which we used to handle subjects like politics and religion. These controversial conversations were once held in-person and only in appropriate situations, such as with close friends or with family members. But today we see everyone’s thoughts broadcasted on social media and personal blogs.

Some would argue that increased transparency is good because now we can openly discuss the most important issues of the day. But when you’re hiding behind a screen, you tend to communicate with more callousness than the decency that in-person discourse necessitates.

A sign of a mature, confident woman is that her value is not threatened by losing an argument. So how can we remain feminine while sharing our political views? Here are five tips:

  1. Use diplomacy. In other words, show kindness! Diplomacy requires emotional intelligence and empathy, because you need to try to understand where the other person is coming from. Know that every person comes to the table with their own set of presuppositions. Try to begin the conversation with warmth, understanding, and slowness to speak. This will disarm your ideological opponents and set a great tone for a meaningful exchange, because no matter how “right” you or or how much the facts are on your side, the message won’t get through if the person feels unheard.
  2. Find common ground. Piggybacking off of diplomacy, it’s also important to find common ground with your opponent. Even if your political opinions stand polar opposite, it’s likely you both believe that your ideas will lead to the betterment of mankind; you just believe the avenues to get to that betterment are different. Finding common ground helps to humanize one another, and really helps to keep things civil.
  3. Leave emotions out of it. Both men and women tend to show emotion when debating about controversial topics, but women’s minds in particular operate in a much more fluid manner as opposed to men’s minds, which are very compartmentalized. This is why women infamously bring up “side issues” when arguing with their men. Manipulating an emotional response is a logical fallacy and has no room in the debate arena. There are many ways to practice debating based on logic. Once you’ve become familiar with fallacies, you’ll be able to recognize them in your opponent’s arguments. After you point them out, room opens up for the actual ideas to stand or fall based on merit.
  4. Don’t swear. A lady should never use foul language (something I’m trying to de-program out of my own mind, as I have picked up the ugly habit over the past year.) Much like overuse of emotion, swearing can de-legitimize your argument. A wise man once said, “Don’t raise your voice; improve your argument.” An idea that you feel 100% confident in will not need to be defended with yelling or cursing. If your opponent starts doing this, it might be a sign that their idea cannot be defended on its merit.
  5. End the conversation on a warm note. While we all want to feel that we’ve “won” an argument, it’s a fact of life that sometimes we will lose! No matter the outcome, each participant should have the humility to end cordially and with openness to future discourse.

Strong ideas presented with diplomacy are a beautiful thing to witness! It’s never easy to find the perfect balance of truth and love, but it’s worth the effort if you truly believe that your worldview is superior and know that others would benefit from adopting those ideas. In an internet age, this is something we ALL can improve.

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Ladies are Always on Time

Woman Rushing

You’re meeting a friend for dinner, and you were supposed to be there at 2:00 p.m. Traffic is moving at a turtle’s pace. You rush to park and you run into the restaurant sweaty and flustered. It’s 2:47 p.m. and you’re late again. Sound familiar?

If you’re like me, you may have had similar struggles getting to places on time. I call it being “punctually-challenged.” Getting anywhere has always been a very serious struggle for me. I’ve been late to dinners, weddings, graduations, exams, and hair appointments. I have always known that I have had a problem with punctuality, but I did not seriously confront the issue until I missed a flight earlier this year, and I had to pay quite a bit of money to buy a last-minute replacement ticket. Not only did I have to pay for the extra ticket, but I missed an important meeting because of the flight delay.

Eventually, I had to admit the truth: Regardless of the exact reasons for my tardiness, my inability to show up on time was turning me into a person who was unreliable, rude and inconsiderate. These are all qualities that are neither feminine nor caring. Even though I may have had very legitimate reasons for being late from time to time, it was ultimately my fault I was late at the end of the day. I could have added more time to my schedule to prepare, and I chose not to do so.

Never Be Late book cover.
Never Be Late book cover.

All hope is not lost, because there are a number of ways to curtail frequent tardiness. To learn how to improve my timeliness skills, I sought out Diana DeLonzor’s book “Never Be Late Again: 7 Cures for the Punctuality Challenged.” In the book, DeLonzor describes a few of the root causes of lateness and procrastination, such as genetics, anxiety, attention deficit disorders and indulgent childhood experiences. Some people are thrill-seekers who need a sense of urgency to get things done, while others have a hard time saying “no” to meetings and tasks. DeLonzor argues that punctually-challenged people have time management issues for a variety of issues, such as a lack of discipline and goal-setting skills. Additionally, DeLonzor states that a large number of procrastinators have time perception issues, where they think that it takes less time than it actually does to complete work assignments.

The first step to curing tardiness issues is to take responsibility for your lateness. Decide that it is unacceptable to be late. When you decide to meet at a particular time, you are making a promise to your friends and employers to be responsible. Start to think of lateness as a “promise broken or as a loan unpaid.”

“Many people rationalize their lateness by attributing it to factors beyond their control or by minimizing the selfishness of the act,” DeLonzor writes in the book. “Yet in failing to acknowledge and take responsibility for our actions, we hamper efforts to improve.”

The next step of curbing your lateness is to change the way that you think about waiting time, such as when you are early or bored. I had an issue getting places early because I did not want to just sit around and wait for the other person to arrive. After all, bored time is wasted time, right? Wrong! Fill that time doing something that you like to do, such as reading a magazine. You can write in a journal when you have free time. Or just look out at the sunset. I now carry a small book with me everywhere so that I can always read in my extra down time. Always plan to get to your meeting early, rather than exactly on time. Aim to get places 10-30 minutes early, that way you have a buffer in case something goes wrong that causes a delay in your schedule.

Find a way to say “no!” to yourself by repeating a personal mantra. Procrastinators tend to pile on activities to fill their day, so they often convince themselves that they can get everything done smoothly, even when they cannot. DeLonzor explains:

“Create a mantra to curb your optimism. Instead of saying ‘If I hurry, I can …,’ slow down for a few minutes, take a deep breath and think about what you’re doing. Then repeat one of the following mantras: ‘Am I being realistic or optimistic?’ ‘Am I doing too much?’ ‘Is this something I really need to do now?'”

DeLonzor offers a number of exercises to help the punctually-challenged curtail their timeliness issues. Overall, it’s a great read for anyone who has experienced issues getting places on time.

What are your strategies for getting places on time? Share them in the comments below?

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Like Us? We’re on Twitter

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Ladies Again is two years old! We started the site two years ago to bring a voice to women who hold traditional views and reject misandry, and we’re still going strong. How are you staying up-to-date with our news and feature articles? Here’s how to get the latest from Ladies Again:

We’re creating articles now for the next year and would like feedback from you all. Which topics should we write about in 2017? Share ideas in the comments below.

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