We’ve all done it from time to time, sometimes more than a little often. Judging other people based on appearance alone can become second nature to most of us, even when we don’t mean it to. It can often come down to a thing we all have called unconscious bias, meaning our brains make snap judgements about people without us even noticing. What you might not know though, is that making snap judgements about other people based on their appearance is actually probably more down to how we feel about ourselves than anything else. That’s why we put together this list of 8 things you can do to stop judging others and feel better about yourself. 

Think you need to train away your unconscious bias? Click here

1) Recognise comparison 

We are pretty much always comparing ourselves to others. All day, every day. But especially when it comes to how we look. It’s the easiest way to compare right – without knowing anything about all the people you are sat near on the train, how they look is all the information you have on them to measure yourself against. The thing is, comparison is judgement, and it serves literally no other purpose but to make you feel bad or to put that negativity onto others. Stop it in its tracks next time you find yourself comparing by distracting yourself with something else to do, or humming your favourite song. Soon, you’ll break the habit. 

2) Practice giving others compliments

It’s definitely true that the more positivity you put into the universe, the more it comes back to you. So practice thinking nice things about other people. If you see someone walking down the street and you don’t like the way they look, stop your judgement in its tracks and think of a positive thing instead. Similarly, actually compliment friends and family – even tell a stranger something nice. The more you get used to being positive, the less likely you are to judge people. 

3) Practice giving yourself a compliment 

Just like we said above, the more you get used to being positive, the more you’ll just do it out of habit, and slowly stop judging. The thing is, you need to do this for you as well as everyone else. The kinder you are to yourself, the less likely you are to compare, and therefore the less likely you are to make judgements. 

So, for every compliment you give to someone else, give yourself one. It could be something like “I am clever and kind” “I am fun to be around” “I love my hair today” “my skin is looking great” or anything else that you need to hear. If you had someone in your life that said as many negative things to you as you probably say to yourself, you probably wouldn’t be keeping them around. So it’s time to get kinder. 

4) Clear out your social media

There’s a pretty simple rule to live by when it comes to social media. If you see something on your social media that makes you feel bad about your life, you appearance, your clothes or your body, unfollow them. Just like if you follow people and regularly judge them – whether they are people you used to know IRL or a celeb on IG, unfollow them too. If it doesn’t bring you joy, it’s not worth giving yourself the excuse to be negative or to compare yourself against them all the time. 

5) Or even take a break from it completely 

Even though we all love to scroll through IG, it definitely makes judging people part of our everyday lives, even when we are completely alone. Check out this list of ways you can take a break from social media. By putting a bit of a buffer between you and social media, you might find the amount of time you spend judging people drops pretty quickly, and you have plenty more time on your hands to do some stuff just for you. Win win. 

6) Take care of yourself 

It’s important that you take care of you. It can be easy to be super self critical, especially if you are trying to stop judging others. We are all our own worst enemies, and every time you find yourself making a snap judgement it can be pretty easy to beat yourself up about it. But, you are making real efforts to change, and that’s a big deal. Make sure you give yourself the space to breathe and the time you need to make these changes. 

7) Remember that not everyone’s the same and looking different is not a bad thing 

So it seems pretty obvious, but we judge people because they differ from us in some way. But the world would be a really stupidly boring place if we were all the same right? Humans are made to be different from each other, so people are meant to be fat, skinny, tall, short, of different races, ethnicities, genders and have different senses of style.

Have you been affected by bullying? You can talk to one of our trained Digital Mentors for confidential support and advice here.

It’s one of those crappy things that everyone has to go through at some point in life. Unless you are currently living a dream where you are going through the universe followed by the word ‘Yes’ everywhere you go, it’s pretty certain that at some point someone somewhere has told you ‘No’. Whether it’s a bad break up (#thankunext), a uni or college you wanted to go to, a job you wanted or a friend at school who is leaving you out – being rejected is a part of life that, more often than not, we suck at dealing with. But, never fear. We’ve come up with this list of some reasons why it isn’t the worst thing in the world, and how you can continue to crush it after a setback. 

1) Take a breath

When you first feel that rejection, it can feel like a punch in the stomach. Like when your best friend has decided they want to hang out with someone else and not you, or you get turned down for a date with your ultimate crush. It can feel really crap. 

Instead of reacting in anger or begging or doing something else you might regret later down the line, take a moment to gather your thoughts and calm yourself down. If you need to, this is a great time to practise some breathing exercises. After taking a bit of a breather, you might find it isn’t quite so bleak, and can start formulating a bit of a plan to get back on track. 

2) Talk to someone 

When your crush has rejected you or you’re going through a break-up, possibly the best way to start to work through the shit associated with it is to try to open up to someone in your life about it and get it all off your chest. Your pals are sure to give you all the support and love you need, and will be there to help you see that there are plenty more fish in the sea. 

Letting some other people in your life know what you are going through will mean they will be able to understand if you aren’t feeling or acting like your usual self and can point you in the right direction for when you are ready to accept it and move on. 

3) Get on the road to acceptance 

In some cases, there isn’t anything you can do to change someone’s mind to make the outcome more like something you want. Like, you can’t really get on the phone to a uni or a job and beg them to change their minds – it’s probably not gonna work. In cases like this, the only thing you can do is accept it. 

Accepting rejection can be really tough, and sometimes, we just never really get over it. A great way to get on that road though would be to take a moment, and then write down all the other paths you can take. Looking at all your other possible options and amazing pathways you can take from here will not only help you feel better, but may even be grateful for the option to take another route.   

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4) Learn from it 

No matter how bad it might feel right now, you can learn stuff from any rejection. For example, if you didn’t get a job you wanted, you can ask why. If you have found yourself at the end of a relationship, in a few months you might be able to look back on what went down and take something from that. If a friend has started to ignore you, there are lessons you can learn about maybe what you did to prompt that behaviour, or if you did nothing, there are lessons you can learn about what friendships might be bad for you. 

Basically, no matter how much you might wish it weren’t true, every day is a school day. 

5) Don’t let it control you 

It’s super important to remember that there is a line between learning from it and letting your experience control you and all the choices you make. So, you could be rejected by a job you really wanted to get to make some money in your spare time. You could learn from this experience by getting some feedback on why you didn’t get it and trying to improve or change that for the next time you go for a job. But if you decide you never want to pursue work in that industry and you will never go into that shop/café/restaurant/area of town ever again – that is letting this one experience control your life.  

It is completely natural after being rejected to feel like you need to take a break though – and this can be great for you. Whatever it was you have been rejected from, take a bit of time away from that part of your life and enjoy some time just for you. 

6) Know when to quit

Of course, every time you don’t get what you want out of something, it doesn’t mean you have to quit. Sometimes, carrying on with something after experiencing rejection can be good for you – like if you have a setback at school or uni and decide to push through and you might get the grades you set out for after all. 

Sometimes though, knowing when to call it a day in the face of rejection can be a good way to help you let go and move on. If you are finding that whatever is going wrong is really not working for you, take a step back and revaluate whether it is really worth carrying. If you think maybe it is not for you, have a think about all the other pathways that are open to you, and try to let it go. 

7) Remember: everything happens for a reason 

It might sound like a bit of a silly thing to say when you are feeling like total rubbish, but it is true. Everything happens for a reason. Not getting that job might land you a better one, not going into that uni or college might give you the greatest friends and experiences at a second choice option, falling out with a friend could show you who are really the best people in your life and enduring a break up might one day lead you to the best relationship you’ve ever had. 

Rejection can be totally crap in the moment, but in the long run, it isn’t so bad. 

Need help dealing with rejection? Speak to one of our trained Digital Mentors here.

It’s halfway through October already, and that means we are halfway through Fear Season. In case you didn’t know, we are all about conquering our fears this October, whatever they may be. 

Being scared of getting into a serious relationship can be pretty rough, especially when it seems like everyone in the world is in one. It’s like that classic angel and devil on the shoulder scenario – a little bit of you is super into a new relationship until something inside you slams the door shut, and often you don’t even know why. So whether it’s being exclusive or it’s the idea of saying ‘I Love You’ that send shivers down your spine and makes you feel like you’ve been on the waltzers at the fair for over an hour, we got you. 

1) If you aren’t ready for one, that’s ok

There has never been a rule book that says you have to be ready for a relationship on a certain day. There’s a pretty big difference between not being ready for a relationship and letting your relationship fears stop you from being happy. We know that knowing the difference is half the battle, so we have come up with a couple of things to think about below. 

2) Don’t feel like you HAVE to do or be ANYTHING

So what if everyone else is in a relationship? We all live our lives at different paces, and some people are ready to jump into relationships much earlier than others. Don’t compare your chapter 10 to someone else’s chapter 20 – you might not get to that chapter for years yet, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

3) Know you are NOT broken

It can be easy to feel like you are a broken toy when everyone else seems to find it so easy to slide into relationships and you are still trying not to hyperventilate at the idea of a fourth date. The most important thing to remember is that you are absolutely not broken, and are 100% right. Sometimes, you don’t want a relationship, sometimes you feel too much pressure, sometimes, you simply aren’t interested. It is all perfectly OK.

4) Think you might want something? Try dipping your toe in the water 

Think it might be fear of the unknown that’s got you running scared at the mere mention of a date? Just try it out! There is no one rule that says every single person you go on a date with is going to work out or that you even have to see them again. We aren’t saying go running around town with Tinder, ghosting everyone after one Five Guys, but meeting people is a great first step to figuring out what you want, which is the only way you’ll ever be able to build something that lasts.

5) Be honest with the person you are with 

Being on the same page is so important for a lot of things, but especially this one. At the end of the day, if something is starting with someone you like, hurting them should NEVER be on your agenda. Honesty is always the best policy here, and you owe it to them and to yourself to sit down and have a proper conversation with them about your fears and concerns. Get on the same page, and give them the chance to move on and find someone who wants the same thing as you. It doesn’t mean you are destined to be alone, it just means you guys want different things right now, and it will save you both a lot of pain in the long run. 

6) Check yourself…

So you’ve hit fifth date panic mode, and when you aren’t excessively sweating, you are planning a fake exit from the country? Well, this might be the sense of looming relationship status that’s driving you right now. Ask yourself

  • Is there a genuine reason why you are reacting like this? 
  • When you calm down, in your day to day, do you always feel like this? 

If not, maybe take a step back, breathe and try to think about the situation rationally before pressing send on the break up message. Try these exercises for calming yourself down and de-stressing to get you in the right headspace before you have a big chat. 

7) … But trust your gut

A big thing that most commitment-phobes will do when they are out in the dating game is, because they are second guessing every thought in their heads, stick to a relationship that was never right in the first place. Ask yourself:

  • Do you feel attracted to them? 
  • Do you miss them when they aren’t around? 
  • Do you want to tell all the random shit that happens to you during the day? 
  • Is it easy to be around them and do you want to drop their name in conversations that have nothing to do with them? 

If the answer no to all of these, maybe it isn’t the commitment-phobia talking, and just your brain actually doing you a solid and getting you to move on. 

Having relationship trouble? Reach out to the Ditch the Label Community here and we will listen to you.

Model, activist and overall good guy Max Hovey writes in one of our guest blogs about how to face up to and overcome your fears.

“The best way to get over your fears is to face them!” Ugh, really? When you’re scared of something, literally the LAST thing you want to do is that thing. But, as much as we all hate to hear that piece of advice, unfortunately it works.

For me, it was travel anxiety. The thought of going anywhere new, no matter how I’d get there, would make my heart go at 100 miles per hour and I would just feel sick. To be fair, I thought I’d literally never get over it, then I went on Celebs Go Dating (please, judge me) and everything started to change. For this I had no choice other than to travel, but it was all booked for me (so at least that one was one part that I didn’t have to deal with). This involved a train up to London, and then getting the underground to the venue. For the entire duration of this journey I was pretty much in panic mode but, once I was there, I was absolutely fine and felt like I’d accomplished something I was afraid of. And that was milestone number 1. 

The next step was that I booked and arranged to travel to Belgium on the Eurostar (by myself!). Surprisingly this was actually super easy. I planned it all, figured it all out, and also didn’t get lost. I was only there for 3 days but still this could have been really daunting. However, after my more and more frequent travelling by train, I’d become confident and so I wasn’t actually as nervous about this. In fact, a large part of the anxiety had passed and I was allowing myself to feel excited. Ticked off milestone number 2.

The final stage was then flying by myself, and making my own way to the airport by train. I know this all sounds very dramatic, but for me it was super daunting and I know many other people that worry about it. It’s easy to panic about being in the right place, at the right time, going in the right direction, having all of the right things and so on. It’s the same as any fear; you overthink! On the surface, flying seems scarier but you literally cannot go wrong – unless you go to the wrong airport, but I mean like how? You can’t get on the wrong plane, they literally do not let you so its actually really straightforward. And so again, I did it. I got the train from my hometown with all of my luggage to London, and then the train down to Heathrow, followed by the process of flying by myself. Milestone number 3? Crushed it.

What I’ve learned from this is that overcoming your fears takes time. It will not happen overnight and it will take more than one act of bravery. For me it has been gradual; well over a year. Now, I’m comfortable travelling up to London all of the time by myself, constantly going to places that I’ve never even heard of and just taking it my stride. I never thought I’d have the confidence to do so, but I do. And if ever in doubt, just ask someone! To this day I still feel the need to double check with people and that’s ok. 

So, if you want to get over your fear, then girl you’re gonna have to face it!

For more from Max, follow his Instagram @max_hovey.

Check out Max’s last article on being the last single friend in the group here.

A concert.

In this instalment of ‘Good Fellas’, we take a look at the story and work of musician Ben Coyle-Larner aka Loyle Carner.

Ben is a musician from South London whose music has been described as sensitive and eloquent as he raps openly about his life over mellow, jazzy beats. But, his openness and introspection goes further than his music.  

Ben’s a bit of a king when it comes to owning your story and being proud of who you are. His stage name, Loyle Carner, is a spoonerism of his real last name and a very cool nod to his dyslexia. He’s spoken openly about his ADHD before, referring to it as ‘the best and worst thing about him’. Cooking was something he found all encompassing and it helped to channel that energy into something productive. He now runs a cooking school for 14-16 year olds with ADHD to help them do the same. And he only went and named it ‘Chilli Con Carner’. Genius.

Coyle-Larner is also an ambassador for CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), working on confronting the issue of male suicide – the single biggest killer of men under 45. You don’t need us to tell you that men don’t talk about how they’re feeling enough. And Ben doesn’t need us to either – his second album ‘Not Waving But Drowning‘ confronts the idea that battling mental health isn’t always obvious. It can look like someone’s successful and having a fantastic time in life, but really we can have no idea what people are actually going through. 

It’s a nod to the thousands of men who need to talk but won’t search for it.

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Ben entered the music industry with an EP called ‘A Little Late’ which featured a track called ‘Cantona‘ – a tribute to his late step-father and his idol. He then released his first album, ‘Yesterdays Gone‘, and the front cover is the entirety of his family and friends (and his dog). One of the most touching tracks is ‘Sun of Jean’. Ben’s mum – a huge presence in a lot of his music – reads a poem she wrote about him over a piano melody played by his step-father. That personal touch is rife throughout all of his work.

His second album, ‘Not Waving But Drowning‘, starts and ends with two open letters. The first to his mum about moving out to live with his girlfriend, and the second a reply to Ben to say “I’ve gained a daughter, I’ve not lost a son”. ‘Krispy‘ is a song to his best friend Rebel Kleff – who he stopped talking to – asking to move on from their differences and get his best mate back. He leaves half the song as instrumental for Rebel Kleff to write a reply. The album features recordings of him talking to his friends and family. One where he tells a music colleague that his son is “lucky to have a good dad like you”. Music doesn’t see emotional intelligence and honesty like this very often. A guy who wants to talk openly about his life to millions of listeners and empower them. A guy who wants to tackle the stigma around masculinity. A guy who knows that there’s nothing weak about being honest.

Even despite being a trailblazer for openness and emotional maturity in men, he admits it’s still hard even for him. We can’t blame him; can you imagine writing your life down and releasing it for the world to hear? On ‘Krispy’, it’s clear that men still struggle to talk and explain what they mean to each other. He wanted to say all these things to his friend but didn’t feel like he could just do it. So, rather beautifully, he put it all into a song. It proves that men can tell each other how they feel. We’re all fallible because we’re all human. However you want to do it is perfectly valid and means just as much because you’ve done it. You’ve opened up. And that’s a pretty great start.

Changing the face of masculinity is a hard thing to do. Slowly but surely, and with the help of role models like Ben Coyle-Larner, that face is changing. Being sensitive and vulnerable is a fucking strong thing to do as a man, but it’s one that will help you and your friends around you. Help a mate out and start the conversation. You’ll never know who’s waving and who’s drowning if you don’t.

If you want to speak to someone, you can join our community here.

For more inspiration and daily motivation, follow our Instagram @ditchthelabel.

So, the big week is finally here and it’s time to ship most of your worldly possessions to a far-flung corner of the UK so you can start Fresher’s Week, or to your first uni house with all your best buds. Exciting right? Well, it might not be so great if you have anxiety. We’ve got some great tips on how to cope, so you can still enjoy every moment without feeling overwhelmed. 

1) Go at your own pace

… Especially if this is the start of your uni journey. It can be really easy to get swept up in the craziness of freshers week, and the pressures of making friends, knowing a new town and doing well when the real work starts. Instead of trying to do too much, make sure you do the first few few weeks at your own pace and on your own terms. If you want to take a break from the craziness, do that. If you want to take in the city on your own instead of joining a tour, do that. This is your experience, remember that. 

2) Take a moment to yourself when you need it 

So it’s the big night out with your new or returning pals, and you are feelin’ it. But then, when people start coming over before you all head out, you suddenly feel that familiar feeling of panic building. Don’t feel like you have to do anything you don’t necessarily want to. Forcing yourself out when you don’t feel good is a quick way to end the night on a low.

Instead, when you feel yourself starting to panic, go to your room, close the door and put on some chill music. Sit on your bed or chair and focus on breathing steadily and evenly for two minutes. That should hopefully have you feeling a little more like yourself. 

3) Schedule some time every week for you to do you 

Everyone can get caught up in the whirlwind of life from time to time, but a good way to keep a lid on anxiety is to make regular times throughout the week to check in with yourself. If you need to chill and watch a movie alone, do it. If reading makes you feel better, curl up with a good book. Whatever it is, it should make you feel relaxed, and give you the chance to put a little distance between yourself and the day. 

4) Keep in touch with those close to you 

We all do it. Head off into the world and quickly forget to stay in touch with all the people we love. If you throw a messages in the group chat, call your family or WhatsApp your best friend, it might help you feel a bit more grounded. The people in our lives before uni have known us for ages, so they will understand if you want to chat about what is making you feel so stressed. 

5) Find out about uni mental health services 

If you are worried about your anxiety and stress levels, find out about where your uni mental health services are. They should have loads of information, groups and other things that can help you out without having to be referred by the GP, and it could really help you keep on top of it. 

6) Find an ally 

Even if you only find one great person at uni to be your ally in your anxiety, it’s great to have someone around who can be supportive of you. For tips on making friends at uni, give this list a read

7) Stay on top of your diet 

Pot Noodles and balck coffee might be the staple of your life when you aren’t at home with a fridge full of delicious food bought by your parents. The thing is, a bad diet can have a lot to answer for. It can make it harder for you to cope with stress, can mess with your sleep, ruin your concentration and keep your mood low for days. Try making sure you are having three meals a day, and if at least some of that is made up of vegetables, you’re laughing.

8) Step out of your comfort zone once in a while 

It might seem a bit counter-intuitive to get out of your comfort zone if you are dealing with anxiety, but giving yourself the chance to see what you can do when you are at your best is a good motivator. You never know, you might find a new hobby that could make you happy, or meet some awesome new people that could help you through your anxiety. 

9) Get organised 

Tidy room, tidy mind, and all that. Keeping your spaces clean and clutter free can make them a really relaxing place to be, meaning that, when your day has been a bit much, you aren’t also overwhelmed by the volume of dirty laundry that covers your bedroom floor. Mark your plans in your phone so you don’t end up double booking yourself, and you can see when you have some busy times coming up and can prepare for them. 

10) Remember, you aren’t in this alone

Having anxiety can make you feel lonely, especially when you are at uni where everyone seems to be having the best time. It’s really important to remember that you are not alone in this, and that you can get through it. 

If you feel like you need support, you can speak to one of our trained mentors confidentially here.

Ditch the Label Ambassador, model, activist and writer, Jessica Megan shares her thoughts on why gender roles in relationships are complete rubbish, and 5 ways we can stop doing it.

Since the times of hunter and gatherer, humans have categorised one another. Pregnant people needed to be protected to decrease prospects of extinction, whilst the physically able must go out and hunt. But now we have iPhones. We have gummy bears. We have fluorescent yellow coats and pugs. Times have changed, and so have our roles in relationships. The problem is, there is a BIG, vomity, existential crisis hangover from when these roles actually mattered.

We are still expected to implement and uphold these boring and very restrictive notions about what it means to be a “woman” or a “man.” Aside from the hugely problematic fact that this manner of thinking does not take into account our non-binary, intersex and trans siblings, I repeat, IT IS VERY BORING AND VERY RESTRICTIVE. There isn’t much fun to be found in constantly being expected to play roles. 

Photo by @rebeccaspencer_photography

Women are often expected to nurture, empathise and fix. Not just this, but now women are earning their own dollar, and they’re using it to prove their financial independence. Problem is, we already get paid 79p to every £1 a man earns, on top of the emotional expenditure we are expected to provide. So now we are poorer and more emotionally drained thanks to the role we are trying to upkeep in our relationships. On top of this we are also expected to remain hairless, thin and somehow not have a spotty bum. 

Men have a whole other struggle. They are expected to be strong, brave, and determined at all times in relationships, perhaps never discussing how they really feel. “I feel like a waste of space in comparison to my girlfriend, who has tonnes of drive and determination.” Says O. “Rather than celebrating her achievements and ambitions like a good boyfriend should, I internalise her success and punch inwards. She notices and then feels like she has to dilute her success to make me feel better.”

The key in every relationship is communication. If you can’t be honest with your partner about your concerns and fears, this leads to an erosion of trust and can have a huge impact on the way which you approach future relationships. Of course, there will be bumps, trips and great big sheer drops along the way, but we are trying to be a little better behaved, right? 

Here are 5 key ways to stop gendering your relationship

1. Be honest. 

Honesty is not a well that that can dry up if you take too much from it. Emotional bonds are vital because it means honesty can travel between them. If you allow those bonds to decay, its harder for the words to get there. Bathe in it like a gorgeous bubble bath. Say what you’re feeling, say if you’re feeling jealous or sad. 

Be constructive with it. Be honest there and then and not later on when it’s built up like a big wall and now it’s too much. Say things like, “I feel safe with you and I want to say something that’s bothering me…” “talking about this makes me feel vulnerable, but it’s important to be honest…” Take their hand and look at them while you speak. Engage, be honest, and build something amazing.

2. Don’t use words that are gender stereotyped. 

Words like “crazy” for women and “pussies” for men are harmful and perpetuate dead stereotypes. Women are not “crazy” or “hysterical” when they are emotionally honest and men are not “pussies” for choosing not to comply with rigid emotional rules. When your partner is feeling sad, listen to them. Ask them if they need space and if they’d like to talk. Remind them that they are in a judgement free zone. Respect their needs. 

3. Don’t follow scripts

This one is not for our asexual friends, but we still see you! 
When you begin having sex, it can be easy to copy what you’ve seen online, in porn and in films. But with a partner you trust, you can fall outside these scripts and explore each other in a healthy, consensual way. There is a wealth of beautiful and fun ways to explore the body. Sex is a gorgeous, bouncy, sweaty thing that we get to do in relationships, so make the most of it! 

Your sex life has a huge effect on the person you are outside of the bedroom. Great sex can relieve loads of mental ailments and even if it doesn’t go as expected, it can still be turned into a hilarious naked escapade where you both end up with jam on your bums (this happened to me once). But bad sex (sex without proper consent, sex in the wrong headspace, sex when you’re not ready) can diminish your ability to know when you don’t want to have sex. If we cannot tell our closest when we are not comfortable, this will make it harder to create boundaries outside of the bedroom. 

4. I’m a woman, does this mean I shouldn’t clean or make dinner for my boyfriend?

It’s not a case of should or shouldn’t! These words suggest there is a set of rules to play by based on whats between your legs. Just do what you feel like doing. And don’t date people that don’t do their fair share or don’t bother making the effort. You are worth making the effort for. It is not your responsibility to raise your partner and clean up after them. 

5. Who wears the trousers?

As we unanimously agreed earlier, pigeonholing people into masculine and feminine roles is boring and tacky. And yet, same sex couples often find themselves the target of inane questions such as this. “When I’ve dated girly girls I find myself feeling more masculine, inclined to hold the door, pick up the check more, etc,” notes H. “I think gender roles are similar to sexuality,” said M. “It’s fluid and can change based on the person you are dating at the time.” Ask instead, “who wears the pleather catsuit in this relationship?” If neither then you must all go and purchase pleather catsuits immediately. Because everyone looks great in a pleather catsuit. 

There is a bit in comedian Daniel Sloss’s show ‘Jigsaw’ which went viral recently and caused over 7000 breakups, including divorces. It’s something I say to everyone. It’s something we should all consider. 

“If you only love yourself at 20%, that means someone can come along and love you at 30%. You’re like wow, that’s so much. It’s literally less than half. Whereas if you love yourself at 100%, a person that falls in love with you has to go above and beyond the call of duty to make you feel special.”

Above all, you must love yourself and know your worth. This is the best thing for a communicative healthy relationship with others. Put yourself at the forefront every time. 

For more from Jessica, check out her Instagram @jess_megan_

There are times in life when your best bud will do something and you’ll sit there and think “if anyone else did that, I’d be so annoyed right now”. That’s not to say your best friend doesn’t annoy you – that’s probably why they’re your best friend – but somehow they seem to get away with absolutely everything. So we’ve made a list of all the annoying things your best bud does… yet gets off scot-free. 

1) They’re Never on Time

It doesn’t matter what time you tell them, they’ll always be late. You can tell them you’ll be there in half an hour, two hours time, even give them three days to get ready and you know they’ll still be 5 minutes late just to get on your nerves. It’s almost impressive how good they are at it. 

2) They Know Everything

Easily the worst part of having a best mate is the fact they know everything you’ve ever done. Even the things you’ve forgotten about. And, for some reason, they only remember the embarrassing stuff. 

3) They Use It Against You

It doesn’t matter how much you trust them, you never know when they’ll next embarrass you with stories about that time you farted out loud in class in year 5.

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4) They Trip You Over

It’s classic banter to trip up your buddy or make them walk into things or push them into bushes. And your best mate knows this. And does it to you. Regularly.

5) They Come Round and Eat Your Food

Like when they come over to yours and eat three packets of crisps. Do they not have crisps at home? Animals.

6) Then They Never Leave

Oh that’s it, by the way. Once they’ve come round they’re staying. And they’ll always stay that extra bit longer than you want just to annoy you. Just hope your parents don’t ask if they’re staying for dinner.

7) They Know That One Thing That Annoys You

They know exactly what to do to push your buttons. That exact one thing. Like making loud eating sounds because they know it really, really gets on your nerves.

8) And They Know When to Do it

They’re very timely with their annoying behaviour. They’ll message you late at night when they know you’ll be asleep just so they can wake you up again. It’s clever really.

9) And They Don’t Stop Doing It

Worst of all, it’s relentless. You’ll be sure it’s gotten old and they’ll have stopped doing it by now. But just when you expect it least, they’ll do it again. The commitment to being annoying is almost admirable. Almost…

10) They’ll Always Be Your Best Friend

The most annoying thing they do is being your best mate. Forever. You’re stuck with them. You joke about getting rid of them, but really it’s great that you’ll always be best buds over long distances, time apart and even if you only see each other once a year. No matter what happens, no matter how much they embarrass the hell out of you; you wouldn’t change them for the world. 

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So, your best bud is experiencing their first heartbreak? It might seem like there is literally nothing you can do to help them out of the emotional pit they’ve probably fallen into over the last few days or weeks, but trust us, there is lots you can do to help them get back to their old selves. Give these 9 tips on helping a friend through a break up a whirl, and see if you can get them to crack a smile. Worried about a pal? Get some confidential support from the Ditch the Label Community here. 

1) Let them feel what they need to feel 

After a breakup, your pal might be pretty emotional. It can be tempting to try to drag them out of it straight away, but they need to feel it and work through these feelings at their own pace. We know you mean well by jumping straight in with an all-singing all-dancing broken heart cure, but give them the space to breathe and adjust to newly single life and they will come around to it much faster. 

2) Don’t go on about it all the time 

So, letting someone feel what they need to is one thing, asking them about it all the time is another. If they want to talk, that’s cool, but try chatting about other things as well to take their mind off it, if only for ten minutes at a time. 

3) Get them out of the house 

Get some fresh air and go for a walk somewhere where they won’t run into the ex. Explore the countryside near where you live, head down to the beach, or just go around the shops for an hour or two. Fresh air and exercise are a wonderful thing for a broken heart, and are known to boost serotonin and basically make you feel a lot better about life. 

4) Be there if they need you 

It might be that talking about your feelings isn’t really your thing, but dealing with them is so much easier when you talk about it. If they decide to strike up a conversation about how they are feeling, listen. We’ve got loads of tips on what do when your mate wants to chat, which you can find here

5) Maybe steer away from the clichés

Giant box of chocolates? Break-up movies? Barricading yourselves in a room with the Playstation and zero personal hygiene? Try thinking outside the box and break away from the old break-up traditions peddled in rom-coms. 

Why not try to convince them to go to the cinema rather watch movies in PJs, a trip to an old school arcade rather than playing Playstation, or out for lunch instead of junk food in bed? All will get them out of the house and help take their mind off it. It’s a lot better than reminding them of what they are going through simply because they are doing all the same stuff that Elle Woods does in Legally Blonde, or Peter in Forgetting Sarah Marshall

6) Get the whole squad together 

So they might be your best bud in the group, or maybe you’ve just been through it and know how hard it is. But, don’t feel like you have to handle the whole situation alone. Get the squad together for a few big days out, or tag team with your group so that you get a bit of time for yourself and your life as well. It’s not all on you to help them get over the ex. 

7) Don’t rush them 

Sometimes, we can feel better for a bit and bump into the ex, or come across their jumper in the laundry, and we can go back to square one. This is so normal, and if your pal suddenly gets a setback and goes from going out all the time to back in their PJs, don’t get mad at them for it. Just remind them how far they have already come and that they can get back to that place again in no time, and that you will be there to help them out when they need it. 

8) Be the guardian or their phone/social media

We have all been there. Post break-up and thinking it’s a great idea to send a message to the ex, telling them you miss them, or how great your life is without them in it. Trust us, this is likely to end in some serious regret. So, if they ask you to be the guardian of all messages for a few weeks to stop them doing this through the worst bit, then do it. They probably really trust you to do this, so take it seriously. 

9) When they are ready to move on, be the best wing person you can be 

You’ve got them through the worst of it. Now for the fun part. Be the best wing person you can be for your newly single buddy, and go out and have some fun. Meet new people, get excited about new relationships together, and get back to enjoying your friendship. You guys are probably as close as The Rock and Kevin Hart by now, and it’s time you both got back out there.

Need some help with a bad breakup? Speak to one of our trained mentors here

You got that feeling in your stomach where you kinda feel like you could throw up? Maybe they’ve been stuck in your head for longer than Old Town Road? Well, it sounds like you got a crush. When you fancy someone, it can be totally overwhelming to know what to do. How do you talk to them? What do you say? How do you not scare them off? All these questions, we got the answers. 

1) Don’t sit 56 weeks back in their Instagram 

Hey, if you aren’t hanging out in their past, you definitely can’t accidentally like something. Plus going up to them and reciting every holiday and pet they’ve ever had in the past five years is probably only going to freak them out. Keep your cool, and do you. 

2) Have fun with it

So, it might seem a little overwhelming at this point, and when you can’t get someone out of your head it can be easy to forget to just be you. Despite this, it’s a really exciting time when you like someone or when something is just starting out, so remember to have fun. Chat to close friends about it, and then drop the subject and just have a good time like always. Letting your crush take over your life is a quick way to annoy your mates, and probably have this information work its way straight to the ears of the person you fancy. 

3) Try not to let on to too many people 

It might be tempting to shout from the rooftops that you are feeling super into this person and if you want to do that, then nothing should stop you. The only thing to remember is that information travels fast, and can very easily get somewhere you don’t want it to. Save yourself the stress and keep it under wraps until you feel really certain. 

4) Get some intelligence from mutual friends

If you aren’t sure you are ready to talk to them but still need to know their current relationships statue, go to a trusted friend that you share, or someone you think might know. Casually drop it into conversation rather than making the whole interaction about that and they won’t suspect a thing. This way, if they are dating someone, you know before you do anything else. 

5) Talk to them

Spending time with them. Sounds simple, we know. But it really is the best way to get some face time with them. You can see if your personalities gel, find out things you have in common and see if you share a sense of humour. It’s a sure-fire way to see if you two would actually work out IRL, and you can usually pick up on signals from them if they like you too. Get a little flirty and see what happens. Don’t be nervous, you got this. 

6) Be yourself 

The most important thing to remember is that when you like someone, you should be you and nothing else. Whilst it might seem like a good idea to say you have definitely watched all the Lord of the Rings movies, enjoy musicals or play an instrument because they do, it will come back to bite you when actually have to do these things. Besides, if they don’t love you at your Civil War Captain America, then they don’t deserve you at your Endgame Captain America.

And if it doesn’t work out for you… 

7) Respect their decision 

So, it sucks that they don’t feel the same way. Of course, it sucks. But it’s important to respect that this is how it’s turned out and move on. We know that every rom-com, romantic novel and soap opera in the world would make you think that pursuing them endlessly would make it work, but it only comes off creepy. Need help moving on? Check out this list of things you can do to get over someone.

8) Remember, it’s just this time

We aren’t gonna say there are plenty more fish in the sea. But just because it didn’t work out this time does not mean it won’t work out next time you meet someone you quite like. We absolutely promise that one day, someone will come along who likes you too, and it will all work out exactly as you hoped. 

Need some advice? Speak to one of our trained mentors in confidence here