Tammi Pickle: “Life and relationships are not always easy”

Get out in the community and put yourself out there in different ways. Charity events, things friends may invite you to, plan a get together with friends or family, or weekly dinner out with a close friend you haven’t seen in a while. Do things out of your norm that you enjoy. Ihad the pleasure […]

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Get out in the community and put yourself out there in different ways. Charity events, things friends may invite you to, plan a get together with friends or family, or weekly dinner out with a close friend you haven’t seen in a while. Do things out of your norm that you enjoy.

Ihad the pleasure to interview Tammi Pickle. Tammi is VP/ Partner of Elite Connections is a family-owned matchmaking agency that helps busy professionals meet quality introductions for the past 26 years. Tammi meets and matches all her clients personally while giving advice, feedback and coaches her clients throughout the dating process. She is passionate about her family, helping her clients and giving back to her community.

Thank you so much for joining us Tammi! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

Mymom, Sherri Murphy, started this business 26 years ago. She joined a matchmaker a year prior, met her husband and started her business a year later. I grew up in the business and have been working full time in the last 18 years as a dating coach and matchmaker. I really fell in love with what I do when I started meeting my clients and making them successful matches. It was so rewarding and provided me with such positivity. I have always wanted to work with and help people and I am now able to do that for my clients every single day.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

We are in the process of writing a book. It is a fun, new and exciting way to share all our years of relationship experience with the world. We are hoping to help people by giving advice on dating, what to do, what not to do and how to develop healthy relationships. We get feedback on all our client’s dates and we can relay and help them improve in many ways. I feel this advice can be helpful for anyone to learn from other people’s mistakes. It can help them grow and be a better dater to help them eventually find the one.

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self-acceptance?

Life and relationships are not always easy. We all want acceptance and love from everyone around us, like friends, family and our partners. Getting rejected, not feeling respected in a relationship, or looking to be in a relationship can be detrimental to our self-esteem. In one relationship I had many years ago, I was cheated on and it crushed me at the time. I thought I wasn’t good enough and I blamed myself. Looking back, it made me stronger and taught me what I didn’t want in a relationship. We grow from our mistakes and our lows in life. Try to not let a relationship define you, be happy internally and know your worth. Everyone deserves to be with someone that makes them a better person, happy and fulfilled. No relationship is perfect, free from arguments and disagreements, but it is all about working together through problems and getting through them stronger. Unconditional love is the strongest bond we hold. I know marriage or partnership isn’t always unconditional. Things and people change, but we should always be kind and loving no matter what. A bond between a child and a parent is unbreakable and that’s the way a marriage or partnership should be as well. Treat people the way you want to be treated is a big one in my book.

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

If you’re not happy about your appearance, do something about it. We are all our own worst critics and we need to focus on the good things about ourselves. I used to hate my skinny ankles and knobby knees. I have grown to love my legs as an adult and I now embrace them. Having a positive outlook on yourself; externally and internally, will give you more confidence on the inside and out. Confidence is one of the most important traits that men and women look for in a partner. The more confident you feel about yourself, the more you will exude confidence. Dress for your body by always wearing something that is flattering and that you feel confident and sexy in. Always leave the house looking and feeling your absolute best. Makeup, hair, and dress to impress. Don’t save that outfit for something special, wear it today. If you look and feel great, your confidence will be heightened, and people will be more attracted to you.

Don’t complain about your weight, do something about it. No time for the gym; I know me neither. Start eating healthier (cut out half your carb intake, eat more vegetables and healthy options). Exercise, take a jog around your neighborhood, take the stairs, park in the back of the parking lot at Target, take your dog on a walk, take a hike, etc. I have no time to go to the gym and I’m not a gym person, so I started a 100 crunch and 40 push up a day challenge at home. I challenge you to do the same. You can do it at home and it only takes 10 minutes a day. Dedicate some time to yourself and you will see changes in your appearance. Nothing will change by complaining about it, you need to be proactive and make it happen. There is nothing more I dislike than hearing someone complain and be negative and doing nothing to change. We have this one short life and we all need to make the best of it. A positive attitude is a good place to start. No one wants to be around Debbie/Dan Downer. It’s not an attractive attribute to have or to be around so let’s all strive to be the best, most positive, confident person we can be every minute of every day.

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

Loving yourself and being internally content and happy is everything. You cannot be happy or make someone else happy if you are not happy with yourself. This includes all your relationships: work, family, friends and romantic relationships. It is so important for you to be 100% happy and mentally healthy to be the best possible you that you can be. Do you think that finding a partner will make you happy? No, it will not. You must be happy with your whole life first. You need to be happy with yourself personally, mentally and physically. Desperation is a complete and total turn off. People smell desperation to be with someone and it’s not a way you want to be perceived. You should never need to be with someone to fulfill you. You should be content within your life and a relationship would be just an added bonus. I had a client that I had to relay feedback to because on the first date she was talking about how badly she wanted to be married and have a child. You should be proactive in wanting to find the one but not come off as if you need someone to make your dreams come true. I always advise my clients to meet someone, get to know them as a friend and take it slow. Chemistry will come if it’s meant to and it can’t be forced.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

People might stay in mediocre relationships because they are scared to move on and they don’t think there is anyone else out there for them. They may not have the best self-confidence and don’t realize there maybe someone else out there that will treat them with the respect and love they deserve. We are creatures of habit; it may not be the best relationship but it’s what someone is used to. It is hard to leave, break up a family and/or hurt someone. We only have this one life and we all deserve to be happy. You can try counseling, try to work out issues and if you cannot, then it’s okay to move on. It will be better for everyone. Living in an unhappy relationship is not healthy for anyone. You are strong enough to be alone and be happy with yourself. You don’t need to be with someone that doesn’t make you a better person or happy. You need to be happy and content and you will be if you do what is right for you.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

We are not perfect so we need to work on things to be the best person we can be. If someone keeps telling you that you are angry, controlling, argumentative, short-tempered, judgmental, then look internally and try to make a change. No one wants to take the blame or think they are doing anything wrong. We all have improvements that can be made. Look internally and realize what changes you can make to turn yourself into the best person you can be. For example, I need to work on my organization, not keeping everything and being tidier. My excuse is always, “I don’t have enough time.” Nothing will change if I don’t make the time to pick up, tidy up and start organizing. I need a plan, make a day out of it and get to work or I can hire someone to help me get started and push me to change things.

So many don’t really know how to be alone or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

Being alone and content is a great place to be. Jumping into one relationship after another but none of them end up working out may tell you something. Focus on yourself, your happiness and loving yourself. Being alone and happy is a way to know you are truly mentally healthy. You shouldn’t need someone to be happy, being with someone should just be the cherry on top of an otherwise wonderful life. Don’t be afraid of being with yourself and focusing on your life, passions, and happiness. The rest will fall into place the way it is meant to be. I know someone that jumps from one relationship to the next because that is her safe place, but she’s not truly getting into a relationship because it is the right one. It’s just someone in the meantime until it doesn’t work out and that is not a healthy place to be. Don’t just let anyone into your life. A revolving door of undesirable relationships that will not last is not healthy. You need to be careful and cautious with yourself and save your love for the right one; not just anyone.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

Truly loving yourself is what we all strive for. We all need to be happy, content and love ourselves to portray that love, kindness, and compassion on to others around us. We all have that negative, unhappy friend. Everything that comes out of their mouth is negative. Don’t you know how draining it is to be around them? Don’t be that person. Strive to change your attitude; if you want to, you can. Be the best possible person you can be inside and out.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

Believe in yourself and know your worth that you are an amazing person and deserve happiness. Heal from your past trauma and look into counseling if need to get past something. Forgive yourself for mistakes as we are all human who has made mistakes. It’s important to learn and grow from them but don’t let them bring you down.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

1. Be happy with yourself internally, mind and body, get exercise, take a walk, a hike, be out in nature where you can exercise and appreciate the world around you. Don’t keep yourself cooped up in the office all day and in your house all night. Get out there and enjoy life.

2. Be happy with yourself and your life. If you are not happy with your job, then make a change. You’re not happy in your relationship, make a change. Not happy with someone close to you, talk to them and help improve your relationship because nothing will change unless you make it happen. Make yourself happy in all areas of your life.

3. Do something different for yourself like make new friends, join a team, take up a new hobby you’ve been thinking about. Join a tennis club, gym, golf course, sports league, or take up sailing. Take lessons in something you’ve been wanting to learn like dance, sports, etc.

4. Get out in the community and put yourself out there in different ways. Charity events, things friends may invite you to, plan a get together with friends or family, or weekly dinner out with a close friend you haven’t seen in a while. Do things out of your norm that you enjoy.

5. Make friends at work, your kids’ school, etc. Be outgoing, friendly and try to make new relationships while out and about in your daily routine. If you don’t have a big social circle, then start working on that. Ask that friend at work that you like, to go out for a drink after work on a Friday. It won’t hurt to put yourself out there, make new friends and get outside of your normal bubble.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

I enjoy reading and listening to other expert opinions on relationships and growth, especially experts on leadership and how to be a better you. Self-motivating and practicing what I preach. I work on myself daily and try to be the best person in work and my relationships.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

Give back to the less fortunate. I am honored to be part of an organization for the last 20 years that helps homeless youth in LA. It’s called Party with a Purpose and we raise money to help Safe Place for Youth in LA. I am trying to give back and teach my children that they are not all about us. By giving back and helping others, we are making a difference in the world around us.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by?
Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

Live life to the fullest. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Be present and passionate about everything you do. Find your happiness. If you hate your job, then do something different. If you’re unhappy in your relationship, then make a change. You are in charge of your life and you are the only one that can make yourself happy. Don’t wait another day, be happy right now. I try every day to live life to the fullest, enjoy my children, play sports with them and be present in their lives. I strive to be the best Mom I can be. I work hard every day making people successful relationships and I will continue to spread love and joy to the world, one match at a time.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

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