Fun-Sized Advice

On more fun-sized advice

I found the city that vibrates at the frequency of my soul, but my partner doesn’t want to move there. What to do?
Make your choice and live with the consequences.

Even when I’m hurting, I never raise my voice or try to hurt my partner. Is this a standard I should expect from them too, or is everyone entitled to express their emotions?
People are entitled to experience their emotions. They are not entitled to express them, particularly when doing so is harmful. You should absolutely expect your partner to have the necessary emotion regulation skills to be able to effectively express their emotions without harming you. This is basic relationship health.

What do you think Thanksgiving is gonna look like this year?
Honestly, I can’t see beyond November 3rd.

I’m moving out to live with friends/flatmates in a month. My first proper moving out- dorms at university don’t count. Any tips?
Have house rules and a chore chart in place on day one. More important than the actual documents are that you all have a mutually agreed upon system for how responsibilities are shared and how conflicts are resolved.  

What’s the difference between self love and narcissism?
They have nothing in common. Narcissism isn’t thinking you’re a wonderful person. It’s thinking you’re the only person. Most narcissists are filled with self-loathing. Self love is a good thing, particularly when it’s balanced with love for others. 

Are you Esther Perel? And if not: what’s your opinion on her?
I am not Esther Perel. My opinion is that she is the real deal.

We’re a cis heterosexual (primarily) couple who have individually and collectively worked on our race, gender and caste politics. I currently work in the field of gender and sexual health advocacy. Why am I jealous of his past non binary lovers?
Yeah. Judging by your vocabulary, it sounds like all the work you’ve done has helped correct your shame-based thinking, which is great, but the problem is that your worldview is still governed by fear-based thinking. Jealousy is rooted in fear. Open-mindedness is not the antidote for fear. Open-heartedness is.

I am in the process of incorporating stoicism in my life. What other forms of living a better life can you suggest? I’m thankful for your recommendation of The Four Agreements. Also, missing your book recommendations. I hope you’re doing well. Thank you for everything!
Be careful with stoicism. It has a lot of good stuff to offer (pantheism, mindfulness, radical acceptance, etc.), but most people get it wrong, particularly those who wear it like a badge, and you will quickly find yourself in the company of assholes if you announce yourself as a stoic. I’m sure you’ve probably already got a dog-eared copy of Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, but if not, that’s the next book you need to read.

Hey, thanks for helping me navigate the world. I found your tumblr at 17 and now I’m 27 and this year was particularly rough (not just the usual way) and having your voice in my head allowed me to prioritize my integrity and let go of a lot of bullshit—I wish I could buy you a drink and tell you this story some time.
Keep up the good work. You got this.


19 thoughts on “On more fun-sized advice

  1. Sarah says:

    You really think narcissists are filled with self-loathing? A lot of them seem quite happy with themselves – from the outside at least.

    • Sunny says:

      I’ve had the displeasure of living and working with several narcissists. I suspect most of them are in denial about how fragile their egos are. (And they’re very obviously fragile, confident people don’t lash out at the mildest provocation.) The grandiosity is a facade they build for themselves as much as for other people. It’s got to be an exhausting and terrifying way to live.

    • whoami says:

      most effective thing to do to deal with a narcissist is to not interact with their grandiose claims. they shrivel and shrink because when they say “i’m the best!” really they’re saying “i’m the best, right?”. they overblow their importance one way or another as to ellicit a reaction in others or in themselves

  2. Chris says:

    I read Meditations with my oldest a couple years back. We enjoyed it, and summarized it as such: “No one will remember you even a day after you’re dead,” says the guy whose book we’re reading 2,000 years later, “and you need to shut up and be a man!”

    Point is, it’s good.

  3. Chris says:

    To OP whose partner lashes out: You treat your partner how you wish to be treated, and now it’s time to expect to be treated that way.

    Good luck.

  4. Veryon says:

    “Open-mindedness is not the antidote for fear. Open-heartedness is.”

    There’s a year of therapy for which I don’t need to pay. Thanks!

  5. Desiree says:

    I found you in my 20’s (thank you Molly Young), I’m now 38. I still remember past Coke advice as if from a professor or therapist. (Currently remembering your astute response regarding Azealia Banks.) I don’t agree with everything the way I used to but damn if all my devices aren’t filled with screen shots of your advice from over the years. Still screen shotting away today. Some of the best relationship advice I’ve ever read.

  6. KC says:

    oooooo that open-mindedness/open-heartedness distinction is what I needed to hear today. I feel like I know so many people (myself included) who get that wrong. Thanks for dropping some truth on us Coke.

  7. Boof says:

    All the frantic Esther Perel hate in that article and the comments section makes everyone come across as massively, pants-shittingly insecure. Not a good look on a high schooler, let alone an independent grown-ass adult that’s capable of bringing children into the world.

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