How it took living in Brazil with my African-American housemate to understand the privilege of my skin colour

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Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I never really thought about myself as white. Well I knew I was white there is no question about it physically but what I mean is with whiteness being part of my identity. I grew up with everyone being white, so my whiteness was so normalised that I didn’t even see it as part of who I was.

Even when I went backpacking through Asia and South America, I still didn’t feel my whiteness. I…

The physical signs you may see when your body tells you you’re in a relationship with the wrong person.

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Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

I read once that we are all just glorified plants. When we are in a happy and healthy environment, we thrive, but when we are not, our bodies start to show signs quite quickly. It feels when we are mentally suffering in a relationship and shows us in different ways. It is easier to ignore and push back the anxious thoughts that come into our minds than our body showing us physically that something is not right.

When I was with someone who has NPD (narcissism) my body was telling me that things were not ok even though I was…

We can never truly calculate a net gain in happiness.

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Photo by Adrià Tormo on Unsplash

Throughout our lives, we are directly and indirectly projected with the message that if we make a significant/challenging change in our lives that we will become better in some way.

We are lead to believe that the sacrifices and hardship endured when taking the road less traveled will mean that our lives will improve.

We think that this persecution of self and loss of things of value in our lives such as friends/partners/time/money will all be worth it.

But is it?

Can we calculate a net gain in happiness?

How can we…

The absurd correlation we make between aesthetics and personal well-being

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Photo by AllGo - An App For Plus Size People on Unsplash

I find the disconnect between what people see and how we feel very curious. These past few months all I’ve heard from people is about how great and happy I look. The zeitgeist phrase of “glow up’’ has been used numerous times to describe my physical appearance. Whilst I’m not complaining. It makes me feel great for all of .5 seconds because I actually feel pretty miserable.

Yet society doesn’t see it that way. When we see a smiling size 6 woman in a photo, we think to ourselves“Look at how happy and thin she is,” and “She can’t be…

Because of COVID, some friendships will never be the same again.

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Photo by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash

COVID affected many of us in different ways; people have lost loved ones, homes, and jobs, moved cities, and changed their lifestyles. Together we have felt the losses and pain of others alongside our own. We were initially encouraged to check in on our friends and loved ones, get together on ZOOM calls, and feel connected even though we were physically apart. The underlying message we were subliminally hearing was ‘we are in this together’.

COVID pushed many people to act and behave in ways that were utterly different from their daily lives, and in turn, this affected their relationships…

What to do when you have a partner to maintain your friendships.

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Photo by Simon Maage on Unsplash

Being single can be hard, really hard and what doesn’t make it any easier is when your coupled friends stop understanding your single status. They seem to just magically forget that they haven’t always been in a relationship and come out with eye-rolling comments such as “the less you look, the more likely you will find it” and “I just couldn’t imagine what it would be like to be single now” yeah thanks for that…

If you are in a couple cocoon, you may not realise that you…

The truth is most of what we project in regard to beauty isn’t what we really believe.

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How many times have you told your friends that they still look great when they have gained weight?

Or, when they are complaining about a specific part of their body, let’s say very thin lips or big ears have you said:

“Oh but that’s what I love about you, it's part of your personality”

“If someone doesn’t accept that, they don’t accept you”


“You honestly can’t even notice it”

Now think — did you mean what you said? I mean really? Or do you think that its what you should say to sound supportive? …

How to avoid this pitfall and improve your relationships.

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Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

“Expectation is the root of all heartache” is a phrase not to be taken lightly. Often we feel like this saying in terms of romance applies more to the beginning of a relationship when we are unsure of how things will evolve.

But not setting expectations, especially with your partner’s time is something that should be considered throughout the relationship and to be very much kept in mind when you move in together.

I was flown to the UK by the British Government to be a key witness in a court case.

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Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

Predators can take many shapes and forms. Rarely we think of someone that sleeps under the same roof as you. Someone you feel at ease with so that you don’t lock your bedroom door at night. A person who cooks you dinner and shares culture about their home country with you: this, unfortunately, was my big mistake.

It was a glorious London summer. The kind that makes you fall in love with the city again after many long grey months. I had just moved into a new house share out in East London. My childhood friend Lucy made plans to…

How to recognise the codependent traits and resolve them internally.

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Photo by Sylas Boesten on Unsplash

I didn’t know how intense the highs and the lows would be when the person you’re in love with is bipolar. The problem wasn’t his manic depression, but I had created codependent behaviours based on his mental health.

It would be easy to blame everything that was wrong in the relationship on his behaviour. I now realise the relationship suffered because of how I tried to manage his moods constantly, sacrificing myself, and in the long term, us.

Since then, I have made a conscious effort to identify these past codependent behaviours as my own red flags. …

Nikola Grace Radley

Freelance writer. You can find me reading under a palm tree in Rio de Janeiro. E-mail:

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