Last week, I was invited to host an Ask Me Anything session on AMAfeed.
It was so fun! You guys got to ask me anything you wanted about all the things we talk about here on Uninspired. That means we covered dating and love, food and DIY, some money stuff, and lots of mental health stuff. Over 100 people showed up to the session, and dozens of people asked questions. I was so impressed by how thoughtful you were, and I can’t wait to host another Ask Me Anything in the future!
Since it was my first time, things didn’t go 100% smoothly. I was flustered because I was live, I didn’t know you could answer questions ahead of time, etc. So, this post is going to do a few things. First, I’m going to explain how you should host an Ask Me Anything, so you can do one yourself. It’s a great way to gain some exposure and show off your expertise! Then, I’m going to answer all the questions that I didn’t get to answer in my session.
If you missed the session, comments are now locked but you can still see all the questions here.
What is Ask Me Anything?
Ask Me Anything is a “crowdsourced interview,” as they call it. It means that people ask other people to host a session answering questions about whatever the host is an expert in. Anyone can host a session, even if you haven’t been personally invited.
Make an account on AMAfeed.com and hit “Create AMA” in the top right corner. Then, it’ll prompt you to choose a channel. The channel is the category your Ask Me Anything belongs in. I put mine in the Blogging AMA because I was talking about my blog, but it may have also fallen into the health, dating, love or uni channels. That’s up to you! Then, you have to know the date and time you plan to be online to answer your questions and potential follow-ups. Make sure you leave enough time! An hour and a half was NOT enough for me to answer all the questions I got.
Next, you’ll be prompted to create your headline.
This is where you tell people who you are, and why they should ask you anything! My headline was “I’m a twenty-something marriage and family therapy intern who blogs about helping YOU become the best adult possible. We talk about mental health, dating, personal finance, food, and DIY. Ask Me Anything!” It was a little long, but it accurately described what I could help people with! Then, after your headline, you can describe yourself in more detail. You’ll be asked to add “proof,” meaning proof that you are who you say you are. This is most usually a photo of you, holding something relevant to your Ask Me Anything.
Once you create your AMA, they’ll do a little promotion for you on their own social media. But you should do your own, too! Schedule your AMA a few days in advance so you have time for social media promotion.
Preparing For Your AMA:
You’ll get an email from Ask Me Anything every time someone leaves you a comment, and you can answer them any time, even before you’re live. This will help you keep your workload light while you’re live, so you can focus on having conversations with people who ask you followups. Building bonds is the biggest part of building a business like a blog, so being able to have those conversations is huge!
That’s where I messed up with this Ask Me Anything, because I didn’t realize you could answer questions in advance. Next time I host one, I’ll be sure to keep this in mind so I can have more full conversations with you guys!
So, what kinds of questions did people ask me?
They ran the gamut from cryptocurrency to verbal abuse. It was seriously so cool. I got to exercise all my skills, and you guys got some really valuable information to help go through your twenties more smoothly. However, like I said, there were some questions I didn’t get to answer because I gave myself such a small window for doing so. Again, if you want to see all the questions that did get answered, click here. But right now, I’m going to answer all the ones I didn’t get to last Thursday.
1. “How do you deal with an insecure, verbally abusive spouse?”
This is a really, really, important question but unfortunately also a very difficult one to answer. It’s almost a good thing I missed this during the Ask Me Anything, because my answer would have had to be rushed, and now I can answer to the best of my ability.
The human in me wants to tell this verbal abuse victim to just get the heck out of this unhealthy relationship, but therapists don’t give advice like that. As I said in another question, what if the woman tries to leave as per my advice, (I’m assuming the victim is a woman and the abuser is the man, which may be wrong) and she gets caught by her abuser and he goes wild and hurts her? The client is the expert on his or her own life, so first, together, the therapist and client have to figure out what this cleint needs and wants from therapy. “Dealing with” an insecure, verbally abusive spouse can mean lots of things. Does she want help safely leaving him? Or she might want me to change him or fix him. Does she just want the relationship to change?
So first, I would urge her to think about why she is in this relationship.
What does she gain from being with this person who seems to beat her down emotionally? Depending on my theoretical orientation, which I haven’t formally chosen yet since I’m still a student, I might have her think about her family of origin. Did she see this type of behavior between her parents and assume that’s what a relationship was? Did her upbringing somehow teach her that she wasn’t worthy of a partner who treated her kindly? Is she caught between something that her culture says is right and what she feels is right?
Once questions like this have been answered (and appropriately dealt with since they can bring up some tough stuff), she might have a better idea of what kind of work she wants to do. If she decides to leave, that’s fine. We can work on a safety plan, bring her support system into session to bring them up to speed and ask them for whatever she may need, etc. If she decides to stay, the real work begins.
As a couples counselor, my job is to repair the relationship, not either of the people.
So, marriage therapy wouldn’t “deal with” the abusive spouse. I would urge both parties to change how they relate to each other, even the one who’s been abused. If that sounds crazy, and that person can’t let go of the abuse and forgive, they may not be ready for couples counseling. In that case, they need to either end the relationship, or do some more exploration. Or, the woman could urge her partner to go to individual counseling if she wants him to deal with his issues on his own. However, this might not work because if the abuser isn’t motivated to change, he won’t participate fully, and she won’t get the results she wants. Couples therapy is sometimes more effective because it can be motivating for the one with the more problematic behavior to see that the other partner is also willing to make changes.
If they do feel ready to make changes in their relationship, the therapist can help them with lots of trust exercises, communication exercises, and more. I hope this helps, and best of luck to you or the couple you had in mind!
2. “What insights can you share to everyone about mental health issues and how to deal with people having them?”
That’s a super broad question! It’s highly, highly dependent on which mental illness you’re talking about, as well as who the person is beyond the disorder.
An insight I don’t think a lot of people have is that most mental illness is on a spectrum. So, a person with a mental disorder is, for the most part, just a regular person who is further on one particular spectrum than most people. For example: being further long on the scale for attention-seeking behavior becomes Histrionic Personality Disorder at a certain point. So, you’re still dealing with a whole person with a lot of other traits aside from their disorder. That means that everyone is going to react differently to their mental health issues. Someone who is diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder but who is also a Type A personality is going to respond very differently to the disorder than someone who would already take any excuse to stay home, ya know?
Point is: if you love someone with a mental health issue, you really should ask them what they need from you. There isn’t one specific answer for everyone.
I hope tha answers your question, and thanks for joining my Ask Me Anything!
3. “What are your thoughts on online dating? Would you recommend this? How about speed dating and blind dates?”
Ahh, if you spend any time at Uninspired, you know I have strong feelings about online dating!
I used to love using free online dating apps like Tinder and Pleny of Fish. I thought it was a great self-esteem boost to open my phone and see like, ten guys who thought I was pretty. But soon, I started to notice I actually wasn’t feeling that great about myself, and it was because the guys on these dating sites weren’t really trying to get to know me. They didn’t want to date me. Free dating apps aren’t really dating apps, they’re hookup apps.
I’m sure paid sites like Match.com or Zoosk are different. When you’re paying for a site, you want results. You want to find love. You’re not gonna fuck around like you do when you don’t have any stake in it. But, most users are on the mainstream apps because they’re free. And on those sites, there is an astounding lack of humanity. You can read my full opinion on that here.
4. “You do have a lot to offer to your readers and now as an adult, what are the things that disappoints you and how about the things that surprises you?”
Thanks so much! And that’s an awesome question. I think we can all agree that there’s one big thing that both surprises and disappoints the majority of brand new adults, and that is how damn expensive life is. Not only that, but it’s shocking and disappointing how hard it is to get money when literally everyone needs it to survive.
Honestly, that’s why I started writing Uninspired, which has led me to hosting his Ask Me Anything in the first place 🙂 I know a lot of people are disappointed or surprised at what adult life turned out to be like, and sometimes that can make you feel pretty….
Sorry. So, I write about a lot of things that I think might help young adults get through that disappointment, or react well when they’re surprised about some stupid adulting crap. The biggest thing for that is mental health, because if you take good care of yourself, you’re already on the road to handling shitty things better. Then, we handle the shitty things better. I can make you laugh about shitty dating situations, teach you how to make more money, or how to save more money, or how to cook better.
5. “It’s a pretty cool blog site. Why Uninspired? What keeps you inspired to do all these blogs?”
Thanks so much! I called the blog Uninspired because the idea to start it came from me feeling pretty uninspired about adult life. I was in this cycle of just working and going to school, then going to sleep and doing it all over again. It was so monotonous, and it didn’t feel like it would never end. I knew I couldn’t be the only person out there who felt a little uninspired when it came to where my life seemed to be going, so I decided to immerse myself in all the things that made me feel inspired again. You can see the full story on my Start Here page.
What keeps me inspired to do all these things and keep blogging is the fact that I genuinely love everything that I do. I’m on the go from 8am to 10pm every weekday, and it’s stressful, but my heart is full and my mind is challenged, which makes me happy. As long as I make time for self-care, I’ll be okay 🙂 Hopefully, you have things in your life that help you feel the same way. Thanks for joining my Ask Me Anything, and sorry my answer was late!
6. “You seem to be all over the place (in a good way) back in college, how did you get to manage doing all those things?”
I think this was the answer to one of my other questions over at the official Ask Me Anything, but it has become relevant once again: PLANNERS PLANNERS PLANNERS!
Seriously, I put literally everything in my planner. At this point, with all I use it for, it’s really like a bullet journal. I keep track of when I’m going to do homework assignments, when I’m going to eat, what my priorities for the week are. I plan how much money I’m going to save that month, how many blog posts I’ll be writing, and goals for the week and month. Honestly, I even keep track of what my paychecks should be just in case there’s a discrepancy. (I also have a blog planner that’s totally separate.)
7. “How often do you cook? Did you also learn or studied cooking? And what is your favorite recipe?”
Lemme tell ya a little about the reputation cooking has in my family. My dad’s side of the family is all Italian. My dad will talk all day and all night about my grandmother’s cooking, or his aunt’s cooking, and how they were so amazing because they didn’t measure their ingredients. They didn’t use recipes. They cooked aaaaaall day on Sunday and the house smelled sooooo good when he woke up in the morning. But then he married my mom, who hates cooking. So, I grew up somewhere in between “you should learn to cook like an Italian grandma” and “don’t let the patriarchy keep ya down, order takeout.” And I like takeout, so…
Nobody ever gave me any training in cooking. And I hate cooking for when I’m hungry. I mostly cook for fun, and I’ve learned to cook in my spare time using Pinterest recipes when I’m in the mood. Which is highly impractical, but makes a lot of sense based on how I was raised. Cooking is a hobby for me, not a necessity.
Here’s a link to my favorite recipe right now, for stuffed spaghetti squash. It’s really awesome because it’s super heathy but also hearty and delicious.
8. “What is your typical day like? Do you follow a routine?”
Oooohhh I love talking about my schedule. I think routine is super important. I don’t think you should do the same thing every single day, but knowing what to expect (generally) is super healthy. While each of my weekdays aren’t the same as each other, all my Mondays are the same. All my Tuesdays are the same. Etc.
On Monday, all I do is internship from 11am to 7PM. That’s nice because it gives me the chance to sleep in the first day after the weekend! It’s a great way to ease into the week, although it’s a long day full of intense therapy sessions.
Tuesday and Wednesday are very similar. I have internship at 11 again, but I usually get up around 8 so I have time to blog. After internship, I go straight to class, any maybe grab some food on the way. Then, I’m in class until around 10PM. Those are super long days, but incredibly rewarding because I get to see clients and also learn how to help them more effectively. And see my classmates, who are awesome 🙂
Thursday and Friday are my money-making days. I substitute teach from 8-3, and then I tutor in the late afternoons. Tutoring is a great side hustle because it’s cash and really impressive hourly rates! Maybe I’ll write a post about that sometime.
So, those are all the questions I didn’t get to answer during my Ask Me Anything session!
If you have more, please don’t hesitate to ask me followups. Or, you can ask your own questions in the comments! I seriously love hearing from you guys, so don’t be shy!