Why I am worried about Angelina Jolie, Part I

I like Angelina Jolie for one big reason: She donates her time and energy to a worthy cause, the United Nations. (I hate it when celebrities start their own charities just so they can waste tons of money in start-up costs. When you sign up with UNICEF or the United Nations,you are taking a huge machine of good and making it go further, faster.)

However, I am worried about Angelina for two reasons:
1. She may be  “giving it away ” for her boyfriend Brad.
2. She doesn’t have women friends.


Angelina is scary skinny. I am concerned she is keeping herself skeletal thin for her honey bunny, Brad Pitt.  Since she has been dating Brad, she is just so emaciated!

My suspicion about Brad Pitt  is that he loves his girls very close to the bone. Remember his long time affair with the skinny minny Juliette Lewis? Gwyneth Paltrow? Thandie Newton?  Heroin, anyone?

When Jennifer Anniston was married to Brad, she was perpetually on a severe diet, and all she ever talked about was food…”Brad and I love when we can go out and get nachos … We love to do these banana shakes,” I would see her say in interviews.

Everybody knows that when you restrict your calorie count to crazy low levels, all you can think about is food. It is a survival/starvation thing. I suspect poor Angelina is working hard at not eating to please her man.

Girlfriend Aside: (I once had a girlfriend whose husband told her he wanted her to be super skinny, “so I can feel like when we are making love, I could possibly just break you.” EEEK!!)


Often times, GAG girls go to extremes to make their partners happy.

Stay tuned for the No Girlfriend Problem.


Healthy Helping Versus Enabling

Spotted on my Saturday walk.

Spotted on my Saturday walk.

Do you love to help others? Good.

Do you sometimes help others in a way that is hurtful to you or them? Not so good.

What is enabling?

Enabling is when your help for someone results in their not feeling the consequences of their decision making. You rescue them from feeling stuck, getting in trouble or even from them not knowing what to do.

There are extreme examples of enabling/rescuing like:

  • Bankrolling your 27 year old adult unemployed child who smokes pot 8 hours a day and lives in your basement.
  • Calling in sick for an alcoholic boyfriend who has passed out (again).
  • “Helping” your boyfriend buy a new Camaro when he can’t keep a job.

And not so extreme

  • Covering for a “friend” at work who messed up and forgot to finish their work project (for the 100th time!).
  • “Helping” your son with his homework by, kinda’ doing it yourself.
  • “Helping” your spouse clean the kitchen because it is quicker if you just do it, even though he has agreed to start sharing housework.
  • Looking the other way when an employee you like, or a babysitter, is lame in the job performance area (“She has so much going on, poor thing…”)

Give Away Girls  BEWARE:

There is no need to go all ball busting on people to get them to shape up or ship out.  I mean, it is still okay to help grandma with her groceries when she is crossing the street.  GAG girls LOVE to be helpful. (We need that in our world.)

However, alot of times they end up doing more than their share, sacrifice too much for others, and end up resenting themselves into a tiny, angry corner. Or worse, they relish the sacrifice and martyrdom secretly for some self-esteem fulfillment. (DANGER!) That doesn’t help them or the people that should be doing the stuff they are supposed to do anyway. How are they going to learn?

Make your best decisions now in your relationships. It will do yourself good as well as benefit those you love and care about.

What’s Your Body Language Saying?

I don’t know about you but I was taught to use good manners and polite body language and I am glad.  You won’t see me sitting hunched over with my legs spread apart and elbows on my knees during a conversation with dinner guests. For a man, that displays interest and is totally acceptable. The point here is: What messages do we women convey with our politeness?

The Azalea Trail Maid: Pretty and Poised
Growing up in the South, one of the most honored and revered positions as a high school teen was to be an Azalea Trail Maidhttp://www.mobileazaleatrail.com/ If obtained, this got you the opportunity to dress in pastel hoop skirts at major events, hold a parasol and bonnet.

As an Azalea Trail Maid, you get to stand there prettily, wave with your wrist only and smile. At the tryouts, you were asked questions about body language and polite behavior. My friend Tanya said one of the trick questions, was “how do you sit on a corner stool?” The correct answer: You sit with legs close together, knee to knee, pressing tightly. Everyone who thought it was an ankle cross, got it wrong.

In other words …
Women are socialized to politely take up less room and be more passive with our body language, even our voice.  We are socialized to convey weakness, passivity, and, according to experts, this conveys less competence. Question is: Does all of this get us less respect? What’s a girl to do?

Feel more powerful: Watch Amy Cuddy’s video.

3 steps to up your presence
1) Practice more assertive body language: shoulders back, uncrossing arms, walking more assertively. Take up a bit more space when sitting.

2) Use a stronger voice when making requests.

3) Simulate the body language of someone you admire. When needing a boost of confidence, practice that body language. (I once had a client that would practice her Wonder Woman arm cross in the bathroom before she stood up to her boss — it really worked!)

No drastic changes necessary. Good self-care could include just being more conscious of the message you send to others and yourself.

Notes From Couple’s Therapy: No Such Thing as Mind Reading

People who excessively caretake others rarely ask for what they need. They are typically overly responsible, hard-working and loving. Once in a while, they manage to squeeze in tending to their own needs after everyone else’s needs are met — rare but sorely needed.

Trouble in the making
When detrimental caretakers (Give Away Girls) put their needs away, it’s natural for them to feel a loss.  Their needs don’t just go away though. They’re temporarily stuffed into a chest of drawers that begins to overfill. Eventually, somebody has to give the overstuffed drawers some attention. When a detrimental caretaker finally is ready for someone else to “help,” she longs for her loved one to take charge and take care.

Meet Give Away Girl Samantha
Samantha works all day, comes home and gets the house picked up, helps kids with homework, and makes dinner. She does it all. When her husband gets home, he might help with the dishes but then picks up a newspaper, kicks his feet up in the recliner and takes a break. Remember, Samantha is exhausted. She secretly expects her husband to notice her need and when he doesn’t, she makes up a story in her head that he just doesn’t care.

Samantha feels angry. She soothes her kindling emotions by drinking a glass of wine and detaches from her husband … doesn’t look at him, gives the evil eye, doesn’t ask him about his day and wonders if she ever really knew him at all. After a few more glasses of wine, she lets it all hang out. The fight is a big one, and it all starts over again a couple days later.

Your needs: the importance of being clear and direct
One of the biggest problems here is that Samantha doesn’t ask for what she needs. She is neither clear nor direct with her husband (until she’s just pissed and ready to unload her anguish on him).

Give Away Girls sacrifice themselves daily. They don’t know they’re doing it. Interestingly, they really want and need their partner to know what they need, how they need it and when they need it. Usually, in couples therapy, we discover that these tendencies have more to do with what they didn’t get as children than anything else. Nonetheless, this wanting, expecting or hoping your partner will “just know” happens a lot in intimate relationships, and it can be very destructive.

The takeaway: As hard as it may be, speak up. When you are specific about what you need, a good man will respond. He’ll be there. He’ll help. You just have to let him know what, how and when. There’s no such thing as mind reading.