Posts tagged self-worth
Consent: The Breakdown
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This post starts a 3 part series on the topic of consent. In a couple of weeks we will explore what can make consent more challenging to understand and our third blog post on consent will talk about how to make sure you are giving and receiving proper consent.

The Basic Breakdown: What is Consent?

Consent is the “hot-topic” for today! You ready, Freddy? <- ( Boom. Asking for your consent. ;) ) It has become something you now often hear talked about on many different platforms, in schools and across media. We are definitely gaining a greater awareness of the amounts and frequencies of sexual assaults in and among celebrities, college students, high school students, and all in between. What we thought would/could be a simple and straight forward concept, actually has a lot of things that make it more complex. Including the “grey area/messy” situations we can find ourselves in.

 
You may be someone who…

            ...feels consent is a simple and straightforward concept, so why do we need to talk about it?!

            …was accused of something being non-consensual and don’t understand why because you may have thought it was totally consensual!

            …is so confused about what you actually need to do to have consent and are worried you may be missing something.

 

Whatever questions and perspectives you come with today, my hope is that we can clear some things up, and understand why it may not be as simple as just saying “no” if you don’t want to do something. 

The biggest change that has happened recently with consent has been the change in its common phrase. Once being “No means No”, consent has now changed to “Only ‘Yes!’ means yes, everything else means no.” Why? We will get into that shortly. But first, what is consent?


Let’s start with a basic breakdown of consent:

  • Enthusiastic! – both parties want to do this act and have communicated it in an affirmative way verbally to the other person. (‘Yes!’ ‘Yeah!’ ‘Let’s do it!’) When a person is excited to do something, majority of people are naturally enthusiastic about it.

  •  Mutual – both parties have separately decided to do this activity and then come together in that same decision.  

  • Voluntary – the person is freely making the decision without being pressured, manipulated, persuaded, guilt-tripped, threatened, blackmailed, or coerced. Person freely feels the ability to say “no” without any fear.  

  • Informed – They know the act they are consenting to.  

  • Clear-Minded – not under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A person legally cannot consent if they are drunk or high.  

  • Of Age – of legal consensual age. The age of consent in Canada is 16 years old.  

  • BEFORE all sexual acts – BEFORE any type of sexual contact (not just sex). Even if you are in a relationship you need consent every time.

E.M.V.I.C.O.B…EMVICOB…an acronym easy to remember (ha!)

 

So consent seems pretty straightforward, doesn’t it? Well as some of you may know from personal experiences or stories, it’s just not always that simple…

 In part 2 we will be addressing the questions around how and why consent can often become complicated.

 

To be continued…
Simple Not Simple: Why, When, and How Does Consent Become Complicated?

 

You Should Go and Love Yourself

It’s the month of love. 

There’s lots of focus on romance and relationships in February.  Some of us may be tired of that focus. Maybe because we enjoy being single or maybe because we are single but waiting for that special someone. It isn’t ideal to see a huge focus on things that you can’t relate to or that give reminders of your potential unhappiness.  Valentine’s Day is usually marketed towards couples and lovers but in the last several years it seems that many people have begun to address singles even more on Valentine’s Day too.  There are more and more blog posts focused on singleness on Valentine’s, but this blog post won’t be about singleness at Valentine’s… or couples things. This post is for everyone.

Regardless of where you find yourself on the romantic relationships front, there is one person that will always be in your life forever, who is worth learning to love and being kind to, through the highs and lows of life…. YOURSELF! There is no time like the present to make sure that you are respecting and valuing yourself so that you can invest with excellence in the world around you!

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So how can you start treating yourself like the special person you are? Here’s some ideas on how to start valuing YOUrself:

Don’t Compare Yourself

Social media has many benefits but it is a comparison trap. We are all unique human beings on a journey of life. When we look at social media we can forget that. Everyone puts their best foot forward on Instagram and Facebook. Often they only share the good moments, the exciting moments or the 700th selfie they took that they spent 10 minutes editing. Next time you’re scrolling through your feed remember to have some grace for yourself and where you are at in life; remember that everyone is unique and everyone has a different story. Celebrate that you are different, celebrate where you are in life and enjoy the little moments you get to experience!

Affirm Yourself

Positive self-talk is important. What are you telling yourself? Is it kind? Oftentimes we are really good at loving and encouraging other people but we would never dream of saying the types of things we say to ourselves to a friend that we care about. Positive self-talk doesn’t mean we don’t recognize the reality of who we are as imperfect human beings, it means we speak truthful encouragement to ourselves. Realistic encouragement can empower us by reminding our brains that we are valuable and that we have qualities and abilities to offer the world.

Find Community

You might think being in relationship with other people is a strange tip when you’re trying to value yourself. But it can be really helpful to find people who love you where you are at but also encourage and support your growth as an individual. Good friends will encourage you in your talents, abilities and strengths, which boosts your confidence. Good friends will also help you achieve your goals and spur you on to become an even better version of yourself. Good friends shouldn’t make this a super painful process for you. Though it may hurt a bit to be challenged, they should also love you and challenge you because they want the best for you. We are all human and part of valuing ourselves is recognizing our weaknesses, struggles and humanity. Being known well by a supportive community will help us grow and be confident in our uniqueness and who we are becoming.

Help Others

Here’s another one that may not immediately come to mind when we consider how to become better at respecting ourselves. It might seem backwards to think about someone else in order to value ourselves but this actually does work. By taking the focus off of ourselves we can actually feel more optimistic about ourselves. Why? It feels good to connect with other humans, help people and see others thrive. It gives us purpose and meaning to invest in other people and that can make us feel good about ourselves for how we care for others.

Set Boundaries

Valuing yourself includes recognizing that you are a special person that has needs as well. You have limits on your time and cannot give your time to everyone. Valuing yourself means taking care of yourself and resting too. Valuing yourself also means that you respect that not everyone can have your time, your body or your compassion. Setting boundaries reserves your attention, emotions and intimacy for those that you have decided to give to. If you give yourself to everyone then you will eventually deplete your energy, drain yourself of emotion and lack the ability to share yourself with those you actually do want to share these aspects of life with. Setting boundaries helps you to feel confident about your relationships and abilities. You will be able to give 100 percent to the people and activities in your life and will feel most fulfilled because you are not drained in doing so. You will also feel confident in yourself because you will be able to give to others with excellence. You may also discover that setting boundaries creates more two-way, give-and-take relationships in your life. These types of healthy relationships will be a benefit to viewing yourself positively too!

What do you do to value yourself? What kinds of things do you say to yourself or do to help you grow in self-respect?