relationships http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/7620/all en-US 8 Dumb Little Things Holding You Back From a Healthy Relationship http://www.wisebread.com/8-dumb-little-things-holding-you-back-from-a-healthy-relationship <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/8-dumb-little-things-holding-you-back-from-a-healthy-relationship" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-relationship-problems-179233001-small.jpg" alt="couple relationship problems" title="couple relationship problems" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A good relationship is hard to find.</p> <p>Ask any single person who would love to be in a committed, strong relationship, and they'll tell you. Between their own mistakes and hang ups and those of the people they try to date, sometimes it seems like a miracle that anything could ever work out. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work?ref=seealso">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work</a>)</p> <p>If you want to increase your chances of said miracle, though, make sure you're not engaging in any of these dumb little things that may be holding you back from a healthy relationship.</p> <h2>1. Deferring to Their Opinion</h2> <p>It's nice to let your partner choose where you're going or what you're doing. Some of the time. The problem with deferring all the time, though, is that it shows that you're insecure. And when you are insecure all the time, your partner can feel like they need to fix that for you.</p> <p>It isn't your partner's job to fix you. And asking them to do this, even if you do it indirectly, won't promote a healthy relationship. If your partner takes you up on this and tries to always reassure you, the relationship can become codependent. If they don't, you can end up angry and resentful towards them because they won't give you what you think you need.</p> <h2>2. Dressing Up to See Them</h2> <p>Sure, you want to impress the person you want to be with (or want to stay with). It's natural that you would want to look your best. However, when your partner never sees you in your normal clothes, it's like you're hiding part of who you are. And if you're hiding here, there's a good chance you're hiding other things, too.</p> <p><a href="http://www.ted.com/conversations/19704/how_honest_should_we_be_in_rel.html">Relationships need truth to survive</a>. Even when that truth is hard, when you're afraid that your significant other won't want to know something about you &mdash; whether that's your sexual history or the fact that you have a whole collection of sweatpants &mdash; it's better to express them than to keep quiet. Hiding may seem like a small thing, but it can make or break a relationship.</p> <h2>3. Saying Negative Things About Singleness</h2> <p>Even if you're in a relationship, it's worth your time to examine your attitudes about singleness. If you think negatively about single people or about being single, it probably means that you think a person's meaning comes from his or her romantic relationships. This puts a lot of stress on your relationship, because you want your partner to make your life meaningful.</p> <p>When you expect someone else to give your life meaning, you're asking a lot of them. In fact, you're asking something from them that they can never give you. Because meaning is something that wells up from inside you and that only you can determine whether or not you have, asking another person to give you that is asking them to climb inside your head. Starting a relationship by expecting the impossible will never lead to health.</p> <h2>4. Wondering If You Should Break Up After Every Fight</h2> <p>Most people don't realize that relationships are hard. But conflict should be expected, not a surprise. If you are so surprised that you want to break up, it probably means that you're expecting the relationship to be easy.</p> <p>When we have an expectation, especially one we haven't talked about or, sometimes, even made conscious, we tend to do whatever we can to make sure things fall into place the way we want them to. This can mean manipulating people, ignoring our feelings, and more. Or, it can mean ending a good relationship once it's no longer perfect.</p> <h2>5. Reminding Someone of What They Did Wrong Last Week</h2> <p>When someone hurts you, it's natural to remember that and to feel wary about interacting with that person in the future. If you keep bringing up your partner's past wrongs, though, it indicates that you're holding a grudge and it often makes the relationship unhealthy.</p> <p>If you can't get over something that someone did to you, whether it was big or small, you probably shouldn't be with them. Otherwise, you will <a href="http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/adult-health/in-depth/forgiveness/art-20047692">end up angry at them and distrustful</a> of everything they do, and you could even end up stalking them or putting them under surveillance, which is clearly unhealthy.</p> <h2>6. Rolling Your Eyes</h2> <p>When you roll your eyes, you indicate that you're annoyed in the most dismissive, rude way possible. Sure, it's one little action, and if you do it when your partner can't see you, it won't even bother them. Whether they see you or not, though, an eye roll is indicative of a certain kind of attitude, and it's not one that makes for a healthy relationship.</p> <h2>7. Saying &quot;Yes&quot; When You Mean &quot;No&quot;</h2> <p>If you want to make someone happy, you do whatever they want to do, right? Right? Wrong. Doing whatever someone asks of you all the time means that they control the relationship and you don't. This uneven balance of power can be unhealthy and even destructive, especially if the powerful person decides to take advantage of things.</p> <p>Saying &quot;No&quot; might make you feel like you're disappointing your partner, but sometimes you have to do that. Setting boundaries is key in healthy relationships, so that people know what they can and cannot expect from you and what you are and are not willing to give.</p> <h2>8. Making Sure Things Are &quot;Even&quot;</h2> <p>It's great that you want things to be fair, but always looking out for that is usually just another way to keep score, which is dangerous for your relationship.</p> <p>The problem with keeping score, with always knowing whether you owe or are owed, is that it becomes difficult to talk about any particular issue at hand. Every time you disagree with your partner, you'll bring up the past, which means that now you're talking about all of those issues as well as the one right in front of you. This can degenerate into you trying to justify your version of the scorecard while your partner does the same with theirs, which means the issue at hand is never dealt with and is only added to the score, for next time.</p> <p><em>What changes have you made to make your relationships healthier? What is one small change that seems to make all the difference?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dumb-little-things-holding-you-back-from-a-healthy-relationship">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting">Happily Ever After: How to Stay Married for 29 Years (and Counting)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/want-to-be-more-attractive-work-these-5-magic-words-and-phrases-into-your-vocabulary">Want to Be More Attractive? Work These 5 Magic Words (and Phrases) Into Your Vocabulary</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-everyday-words-that-are-making-you-look-stupid">5 Everyday Words That Are Making You Look Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development communication confidence relationships Thu, 04 Dec 2014 13:00:05 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1263678 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-arguing-167168170-small.jpg" alt="friends arguing" title="friends arguing" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>&quot;Don't ever burn bridges,&quot; is a piece of advice most of us have heard &mdash; more than once. Whether it's talking about your career or your personal life, the advice is sound. Should you burn a bridge, the ramifications can be serious. The Internet connects people all over the world, and one burned relationship can close hundreds of potential doors for you. And in your personal life, be it a relative or a friend, life is just too short to cut someone off forever. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work?ref=seealso">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work</a>)</p> <p>However, we all make mistakes. I, myself, have burned a few bridges. One, in particular, I napalmed; I never thought I'd need it again, and wanted to make sure that avenue was gone. Boy, was I wrong. It took months of work to repair that bridge. In fact, it was completely rebuilt. If you have done likewise, don't despair. You can repair a burned bridge. Here are 10 ways to get started.</p> <h2>1. Don't Let This Fester</h2> <p>The bridge may still be smoldering, or it could have burned up a long time ago. Either way, you can't let it stay this way one second longer. If you have just burned a bridge, make moves to repair it immediately and jump to the third point on this list. If it's been a while, even years, then you'll have to ease into it. But this has to happen sooner rather than later. The longer you leave it, the harder it is to repair.</p> <h2>2. Take Small Steps</h2> <p>The first way to start the healing process is to take small steps; very small steps. You cannot barge back into their life and expect them to be responsive. After all, you may have been mulling this over for months, but they have almost certainly moved past you. So, take the smallest steps back in their direction. If you unfriended each other on Facebook, start there. If it's a work relationship, try LinkedIn. If you see each other around, be friendly, even if they're cold. You don't have to make any grand gestures yet; you are simply preparing the groundwork.</p> <h2>3. Make the First Move</h2> <p>Once you've made some subtle steps, you have to be the one to reach across the aisle and start the healing. You can't expect the other person to make any kind of move towards you by dropping a few hints, or smiling in their general direction. You burned the bridge, even if their behavior led you to light the match. So put your pride to the side and reach out.</p> <h2>4. Be Sincere</h2> <p>When you do make your move, you have to be 100% committed to repairing the burned bridge. And that starts with sincerity. If you want something from the other person (for example, a job at his or her company) your half-hearted attempts at making up will be blatantly transparent. You do not want to come across as someone who is simply stomaching the process in order to get something valuable. If you cannot be sincere, this is not the right time. If you don't know how to be sincere because the wound is still open, this is definitely not the right time.</p> <h2>5. Admit You Were Wrong</h2> <p>&quot;But I wasn't in the wrong, it was that idiot's fault!&quot; Yes, of course, you may be feeling that way inside. But for whatever reason, you are trying to repair the bridge. The other person doesn't need to lift a finger because they have less to gain than you. So you may have to prepare a little humble pie for yourself, and eat it with a smile. By admitting you were wrong, you are giving the other person some closure in the matter, and are also elevating them. They have some power. They feel like they have the higher ground. From that position, it is much easier to reach out to reconcile.</p> <h2>6. Listen &mdash; Really Listen</h2> <p>If you are lucky enough to start a dialog (these initial attempts can often lead to being blanked), then you have the chance to find out their side of the story. This is the time to open yourself up to a paradigm shift. What were they going through at the time the rift happened? Did you misunderstand something that they did? Was the original dispute something small that got out of hand? Did you overreact to something? As you listen, repeat what you hear back to that person. One of the most important parts of conflict resolution is knowing that you are being heard, and understood.</p> <h2>7. Say &quot;Sorry&quot; (and Mean It)</h2> <p>When it comes to repairing a bridge, sorry can go a very long way. It's a small word, but it's one of the hardest for people to say (if you have kids, you'll know how difficult it can be to pry it out of them). It's one thing to admit you were wrong, but you have to back it up with an apology. The other person will appreciate it, even if they have a hard time hearing it at first. &quot;I'm so sorry I ever let this get out of hand&quot; can work wonders. It puts the responsibility on your shoulders, and that often makes the other person feel like they should take some of the blame too. &quot;No, no, it was my fault to.&quot; Hey, look at that, there's some kind of resolution taking shape.</p> <h2>8. Ask for Forgiveness</h2> <p>This is another opportunity for you to eat crow, and put the other person in a position of power. There is no shame in asking someone to forgive your former transgressions. You can be stubborn, and say point blank that you did nothing wrong, but that won't get you where you need to go. It can be as simple as &quot;can you ever forgive me for my actions?&quot;</p> <h2>9. Lay Down Guidelines</h2> <p>There can be no repeat of what happened before. The best way to avoid this is to simply lay down a few rules for the way ahead. &quot;We will no longer talk about x, y and z&quot; or &quot;please talk to me the second you see a concern&quot; is a simple way to establish some boundaries. Have regular check ups, and make sure everything is going along smoothly. Small problems can escalate into big ones, and before you know it that bridge is starting to smolder again.</p> <h2>10. Do Not Take This for Granted</h2> <p>This is now a new and fragile relationship, even though you may have known each other for many years. You cannot fall back into the same routine that resulted in a burned bridge. Don't go back into old habits. You may have joked about certain things that were okay back then, but will be off-limits now (especially if it's related to the incident that caused the rift). At work, you may have treated this person as a friend, even though they may have been your a superior. You need to respect those barriers now. Be friendly, open, accessible, and if it's in a work environment, be professional.</p> <p><em>Have you ever burned a bridge &mdash; and managed to repair it later? Please tell us about it in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/paul-michael">Paul Michael</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort">6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fixing-mistakes-7-steps-for-any-situation">Fixing Mistakes: 7 Steps for Any Situation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/21-decisions-youll-never-regret-making">21 Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret Making</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development forgiveness friendship relationships rifts Wed, 29 Oct 2014 11:00:04 +0000 Paul Michael 1245697 at http://www.wisebread.com 11 Ways to Get Over Rejection http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-over-rejection <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/11-ways-to-get-over-rejection" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy-rejected-relationship-177307922-small.jpg" alt="boy rejected" title="boy rejected" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Rejection sucks.</p> <p>That, my friends, is a cold, hard fact. No matter what realm of life you've lost out on &mdash; work, school, relationships, home &mdash; not being chosen is hard.</p> <p>It's easy to let a rejection or two make you feel like, just maybe, there's something wrong with you. Maybe it really is you and not them. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank?ref=seealso">Mend a Broken Heart Without Breaking the Bank</a>)</p> <p>While getting past a rejection and finding your spirit and energy again can be a difficult process, taking your time to examine the situation and learn from it is one of the best ways to grow. This gives you the opportunity to make some changes to your behavior for next time, and to become more secure in who you are, so that rejection doesn't rock you as hard next time.</p> <h2>Understanding Rejection</h2> <p>Before you can start to get over your rejection, it helps to understand why being rejected sucks so much.</p> <h3>Fear of Rejection Is Hard-Wired</h3> <p>Being an essential and valued part of a group used to be even more important than it is now. Think about it: In ancient societies, it would have been nearly impossible to find food and water and defend yourself all on your own. If your social group left you behind, you would be almost sure to die. Thus, <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/thriving101/201012/rejection-losers-guide">the human brain is wired to fear being alone</a>.</p> <p>While not getting a job or a date don't have life-and-death significance now, our brains don't know that, and so we end up feeling desperate and lost when we are rejected.</p> <h3>Rejection Leads to Insecurity</h3> <p>Because rejection once meant that our very existence became much less secure, our brains began to associate the experience of being rejected with feeling insecure. Security came from being part of the group, and death &mdash; the ultimate insecurity &mdash; came from being separated from them.</p> <p>Since being part of a group is so important to us, <a href="http://www.professional-counselling.com/dealing-with-rejection.html#.VCLvAC5dUlh">we tend to feel worthless when we experience rejection</a>. We feel like there's no way we can possibly survive, and so we begin to think our very existence does not mean much.</p> <h2>Getting Over It</h2> <p>Now that we have a basic understanding of why rejection hurts so much, it's time to start overcoming it.</p> <h3>1. Take Care of Yourself</h3> <p>When you're feeling worthless, it's easy to let self-care go out the window. What's the point, when you feel like you're going to die no matter what you do? But caring for yourself shows that you value who you are, even if other people don't. Start by caring for your body: eat well, sleep enough, and exercise on a regular schedule.</p> <h3>2. Choose Reality</h3> <p>While you may feel like you're going to die, you're not actually going to die. This rejection is one person's opinion of you at one particular moment in time. The person who rejected you might not even know you very well. Choose to believe what is real. This rejection is not an authoritative opinion on who you are or what you are worth. And choose this again and again, whenever you begin to dwell on the rejection.</p> <h3>3. Know That the Pain Will End</h3> <p>Rejection tends to feel like it's never going to end. You may feel like you will hurt forever, until you die or it kills you. The truth, though, is that you will not die. At some point, the pain will end. You will feel better. You will feel like life is worth living again. Just being able to tell yourself that truth can make the difference between getting stuck in your rejection and getting over it.</p> <h3>4. Let Yourself Grieve</h3> <p>When you get rejected, you'll have big feelings. These may feel scary or threatening, or be so unpleasant that you just want to forget all about them. However, you won't get past your rejection if you don't let yourself feel your feelings. You may go through the stages of grief. You may spend a lot of time feeling angry or depressed. Whatever you're feeling, spend some time with these feelings. Give them time to wash over and through you.</p> <h3>5. Share Your Feelings</h3> <p>Spend some time sharing your feelings with people you trust. This can help lessen your feelings of rejection, because you will remember that you are not entirely alone. One person may not have chosen you, but that doesn't mean that there isn't anyone who wants you around. Sharing your feelings can also help you process them and leave them behind, because other people can offer you insights and opinions that you might not have come to on your own.</p> <h3>6. Stop Obsessing</h3> <p>Post-rejection, it's easy to let yourself replay your interactions with the rejector over and over again. You might be looking for something you did wrong, or replaying a place in the conversation where you're pretty sure you made a misstep. Either way, replaying the scene over and over and over again is going to keep you tied to that moment, rather than allowing you to let it go and move on.</p> <h3>7. Counter Critical Thoughts</h3> <p>Most people blame themselves when they get rejected. &quot;If only I wasn't so&hellip; &quot; they think, over and over and over again. One way to get out of these self-critical thoughts is to counter them. For instance, after being rejected for a job, someone might think, &quot;If only I had taken that internship last summer instead of traveling.&quot; You can counter that thought with, &quot;No, I wouldn't have been happy at that internship, and I learned more traveling than I've ever learned working anywhere.&quot; This can help you become more objective about the rejection, realizing that it likely wasn't all your fault.</p> <h3>8. Avoid Getting Stuck</h3> <p>There's a balance between feeling your feelings and processing them and getting stuck in them. If you feel your grief turning into bitterness or an anger or depression that doesn't seem to lift, do whatever you need to do to get out of those feelings. Some people may simply need to choose to risk again. Others may need to talk to a counselor or take medication. All of these are legitimate ways to deal with a rejection that won't go away.</p> <h3>9. Learn the Lesson</h3> <p>There is a lesson in every rejection, and finding it can help you leave the rejection behind and move forward again. You may find your lesson in talking about your rejection, or in journaling about it, or even in thinking about what you would do if you found yourself in the same situation again. The lesson may be something that you want to do differently next time, but it can also be something like accepting that not everyone values the same things you do.</p> <h3>10. Consider Some Changes</h3> <p>Even if you did nothing wrong in the situation where your rejection happened, you may decide to make changes in how you handle similar situations in the future. For instance, you may choose to practice your interview before you go to one next time, or to not participate in online dating.</p> <h3>11. Get Back Out There</h3> <p>In the end, the only way to truly move beyond your rejection is to get back in the game. Apply for another job, meet a new friend, or ask someone else out on a date. You don't have to do this immediately, but it should be on your radar from the beginning. If you're nervous or finding it particularly hard to do this, think about small victories that might help you get your confidence back. You might try a mock interview with someone you know who does hiring, so you can get feedback, or you might take a friend on a date, to get comfortable with that whole scene again.</p> <p><em>When have you been rejected? What helped you get over it? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-get-over-rejection">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-stop-being-afraid-and-live-your-dreams">How to Stop Being Afraid and Live Your Dreams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-tips-on-what-to-do-before-moving-in-together">5 Tips on What to Do Before Moving in Together</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort">6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-really-easy-ways-to-unclog-drains">10 Really Easy Ways to Unclog Drains</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-wonderful-uses-for-witch-hazel">15 Wonderful Uses for Witch Hazel</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips break-ups denied failure rejection relationships Fri, 17 Oct 2014 11:00:07 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1236762 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Things Most People Screw Up When Meeting the Parents http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-most-people-screw-up-when-meeting-the-parents <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-things-most-people-screw-up-when-meeting-the-parents" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/boy-meeting-parent-77860976-small.jpg" alt="boy meeting parent" title="boy meeting parent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>The dread. Everyone at some point must meet their partner's parents. How can you avoid looking like Ben Stiller in <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002K06NB8/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=B002K06NB8&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=QUJGRKBFGKYCJUL6">Meet the Parents</a>? Learn from these 15 things most people screw up. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-to-have-fun-at-your-in-laws?ref=seealso">11 Ways to Have Fun at Your In-Laws</a>)</p> <h2>1. The Pre-Meet Discussion</h2> <p>Always, <em>always</em> discuss the parents with your significant other before meeting them. Learn the sore spots. What do they like? What do they detest? Are there familial relationships not to ask about (divorces, sibling issues)? Going in blind will be just the first of a whole evening of screw-ups.</p> <h2>2. The Arrival</h2> <p>Arriving late to anything involving his or her parents is a great way to show them that you do not value their time. Avoid appearing like an inconsiderate narcissist or someone who doesn't have their life together and get there five minutes early.</p> <h2>3. The Smartphone</h2> <p>Unless the parents are Facebook-obsessed phone hogs themselves, stay off your phone in front of them and do not bring your phone to the dinner table. It appears immature and disrespectful of those who want to engage with you in person.</p> <h2>4. The Conversation</h2> <p>Don't wait for your partner to strike up conversation! If you did your homework before the meeting, you'll know what to bring up. Ask questions about movies, books, TV shows, and sports teams they may like so you appear as interested in them as they are you.</p> <h2>5. The Anxiety Management</h2> <p>Let's face it: when you're anxious, you radiate it and it affects those around you. Remember that meeting your partner's parents is a good milestone in the relationship. Just be yourself and go with the flow. Don't let fear take over.</p> <h2>6. The Wardrobe</h2> <p>This one sounds easy, but it requires some thought. Where are you going: dinner party, boating, seeing a play? If it's a long trip, make sure you have the right outfit for each occasion. Always err on the conservative side: button down shirts, work dresses, sweaters, and sharp jackets. Shoes say a lot about a person, so make sure you have attractive but functional shoes.</p> <h2>7. The TMI</h2> <p>On a first meeting, there is no reason to bring up personal topics such as childhood trauma, religious beliefs, medical history, political views, relationship history, or anything else only close friends should know. You can slowly divulge personal details as you get to know your partner's parents over time, when it feels right.</p> <h2>8. The Listening</h2> <p>Your memory's got to be a steel trap when talking to the parents. Don't gloss over details when speaking over dinner, because you never know when that information will be handy. Never, ever cut off a parent when they are talking, either.</p> <h2>9. The Speaking</h2> <p>Sometimes, it's just not your turn to talk. Say your partner gets into a fight with their parents in front of you. Do not take over the argument in an attempt to defend your partner, nor should you do the same for the parents. Be light and try to change the subject, but if you can't, just let it pass. Your partner has to be able to negotiate his or her own adult relationship with the parents.</p> <h2>10. The PDA Boundary</h2> <p>A kiss on the cheek is fine. A full open-mouthed bonanza in the same room as the parents? That will only make them uncomfortable. Your partner will likely feel awkward afterward, too. Who wants that?</p> <h2>11. The Check</h2> <p>It's sweet to bring a gift, offer coffee, or pay for movie tickets, but when parents host, they tend to be the ones to pay. Make sure you are not overstepping your bounds in offering to pay for too much.</p> <h2>12. The House Rules</h2> <p>Every house has rules, and if you are staying with your girlfriend or boyfriend's parents, there are likely to be a few. Do your homework. Make sure you put the towels where they go. If they have a stringent &quot;no-sex in the house&quot; rule, do yourself a favor and follow it. They will know if you don't, and it will be awful.</p> <h2>13. The Interrogation</h2> <p>There will be an interrogation, always. Trust that your partner will interject with good words for you. If your partner's parents say something hurtful, like unintentionally belittling your career, keep a smile on your face and answer questions truthfully and without defensive tactics.</p> <h2>14. The Humility</h2> <p>Hopefully your partner has told his or her parents everything about you and how great you are, so you don't have to feel like you're proving yourself to a panel of judges. Try your best to be honest and not to exaggerate your accomplishments. Definitely do not brag about your salary or other material factoids &mdash; it will make you appear superficial.</p> <h2>15. The Relationship That Matters</h2> <p>This one's key. If you and your partner are having a disagreement or communication issues, try to sort them out before visiting the parents. Small moments of tension can leave a lasting impression. Definitely schedule in some alone time so you can speak honestly without the parents present.</p> <p><em>Did you make any of these &mdash; or other &mdash; missteps when you met the parents? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/amanda-meadows">Amanda Meadows</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-most-people-screw-up-when-meeting-the-parents">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">How to Be Happy and Married: 24 Tips from a 24-Year-Old Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-cheap-ways-to-lower-your-blood-sugar">13 Natural and Easy Ways to Lower Your Blood Sugar</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-life-hacks-you-should-master-by-age-30">10 Life Hacks You Should Master by Age 30</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/51-uses-for-coca-cola-the-ultimate-list">51 Uses for Coca-Cola – the Ultimate List</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks family first impressions in-laws relationships Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Amanda Meadows 1228112 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: The Money and Relationships Edition http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-money-and-relationships-edition <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-the-money-and-relationships-edition" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-saving-money-466037151-small.jpg" alt="couple saving money" title="couple saving money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some of the best articles from around the web on money and relationships!</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/How-Save-Money-Newlywed-35069153">Eight Biggest Money Mistakes Newlyweds Make</a> &mdash; If you are a newlywed, don't make the mistake of harboring financial secrets. [PopSugar Smart Living]</p> <p><a href="http://twocents.lifehacker.com/how-can-i-be-frugal-when-my-significant-other-isn-t-1597707214">How Can I Be Frugal When My Significant Other Isn't?</a> &mdash; When your significant other isn't as frugal as you are, it is important to try to compromise and get creative on frugal entertainment options you can both enjoy. [Two Cents]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.readyforzero.com/get-your-finances-in-order-as-a-couple/">How to Get Your Finances in Order as a Couple</a> &mdash; Planning your budget as a couple and discussing financial priorities are a couple things you should do with your partner to ensure financial success. [Ready for Zero Blog]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.creditkarma.com/personal-finance/5-red-flag-money-questions-from-your-significant-other/">5 Red Flag Money Questions From Your Significant Other</a> &mdash; It might be a red flag if your significant other asks if your parents pay any of your bills. [Credit Karma]</p> <p><a href="http://blog.phroogal.com/relationships-money-can-work/#.VAnuRbyaTBo">Relationships &amp; Money: How Can They Work?</a> &mdash; Couples need to respect each other's financial decisions, otherwise it's tough to make a relationship work. [Phroogal Blog]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.makelovenotdebt.com/2013/03/how-to-avoid-fighting-about-your-finances.php">How to Avoid Fighting About Your Finances</a> &mdash; Avoid fighting about your finances by keeping things in perspective and keeping the lines of communication open. [Make Love, Not Debt]</p> <p><a href="http://momoneymohouses.com/love-is-not-all-you-need-money-talk-before-marriage/">Love Is Not All You Need &mdash; Money Talks Before Marriage Talks</a> &mdash; Before you start thinking about marriage, talk to your partner about financial goals and money issues. [MoMoneyMoHoues]</p> <p><a href="http://thegoodthebadandthemoney.blogspot.com/2014/06/should-you-share-your-income-in-your.html">Should You Share Your Income in Your Online Dating Profile?</a> &mdash; Money isn't always attractive, so you might want to leave it off your online dating profile. [The Good, the Bad, and the Money]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/3-common-conflicts-in-marriage-and-how-to-squash-em">3 Common Conflicts in Marriage and How to Squash 'Em</a> &mdash; Squash money problems in your marriage by taking time to meet with your partner weekly about money issues. [Parenting Squad]</p> <p><a href="http://valerierind.com/dont-co-sign-a-lease-with-your-lover/">Don't Co-Sign a Lease With Your Lover</a> &mdash; There is a chance that if you co-sign a lease with a significant other, it could come back to bite you in the butt if you break up and they stop paying their half of the bills. [Gold Diggers and Deadbeat Dads]</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-the-money-and-relationships-edition">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder-5-ways-to-spend-less-and-love-more">Frugality Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: 5 Ways to Spend Less and Love More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/chinese-money-habits-how-my-culture-influences-my-attitudes-toward-money">Chinese Money Habits - How My Culture Influences My Attitudes Toward Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-money-truths-the-rich-live-by-and-you-should-too">5 Money Truths the Rich Live By (and You Should Too)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ow-do-you-deal-with-family-members-who-are-bad-at-managing-money">How Do You Deal With Family Members Who Are Bad At Managing Money?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance best money tips money relationships Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:00:05 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 1205246 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-talking-453277273-small.jpg" alt="friends talking" title="friends talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Friendship is one of the best and purest pleasures of life. There's nothing quite like having a good friend who walks beside you through the thick and thin, who knows you inside and out, and who helps make your life richer and more meaningful.</p> <p>But&hellip; that takes a lot of work. When you're run down, exhausted, sick, or otherwise unable to put the energy and effort into your friendships in the ways you want to or the ways you've done before, it's easy to start to wonder if your friends will all run away. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-free-ways-to-have-a-great-time-with-friends?ref=seealso">50 Fun, Free Ways to Have a Great Time With Friends</a>)</p> <p>While a true friend won't leave you when you're in distress, even if you have absolutely nothing to give to them or the relationship, it can ease your anxiety to know that there are some easy, effortless things you can do that make you a better friend. These can make both you and your friend feel better about your relationship, even when things are hard.</p> <h2>1. Be Yourself</h2> <p>It's easy to feel like your friends want you to be a certain person or act a certain way. However, real friends just want you to be you. And, honestly, what could be easier? To be a good friend, stop worrying. Stop worrying about how you're coming across, about what they might be thinking, and about whether they might rather be with someone else.</p> <p>Instead, give them the gift of you. Stop making the whole thing harder than it is. Offer yourself, and you may find that your friends are freed to do the same, which makes any relationship stronger.</p> <h2>2. Ask Them How They Feel</h2> <p>We have all heard about how empathy is important and how it makes relationships stronger, and most of us have experienced it with some friend, at some time. However, empathy often takes so much energy! Fortunately, <a href="http://www.oprah.com/relationships/How-to-Improve-Your-Relationships-and-Be-a-Better-Friend">it's easy to show empathy</a> even when you're not feeling it or you don't know how to start.</p> <p>When a friend is sharing something that they're struggling with, ask them how they feel about it. After they've shared how they're feeling, tell them, &quot;That sounds like a rough place to be,&quot; or, &quot;It sounds like this is difficult for you.&quot; This helps them feel heard, with little effort on your part.</p> <p>While you shouldn't fake empathy when you really don't value it, these phrases can help you seem empathic even when you're tired, stressed, or otherwise too drained. It takes almost no effort to say these phrases, and you can decide later if you really have the energy to listen well, or if your friend just needs permission to vent.</p> <h2>3. Stop Giving Advice</h2> <p>We want to help our friends, and we feel like we should. However, we will help more by simply listening, which frees us from the burden of figuring out all of their problems.</p> <p>Giving advice can feel good in a friendship, but it takes quite a bit of energy to think up solutions for their problems that might actually work. And, in fact, this is not your job. Most people are perfectly capable of managing their own lives, when they're given the chance to do so. When you stop giving advice, you won't expend as much energy owning their problems, and they will find that they have the power and ability to solve things on their own.</p> <p>Quitting advice can also save your friendships from becoming unbalanced. If you give all the advice and they always receive it, it's hard to have a real friendship. You become a counselor, and they may feel like they don't have much to offer you. When you quit giving advice, you not only save your energy but you might salvage a relationship, too.</p> <h2>4. Tell Them You Enjoy Their Presence</h2> <p>When you're tired, it's easy to act and feel down in general, and your friends may not know that this has nothing to do with them. Reassure them by telling them that you enjoy them, that your life is better because they are there, or that their friendship makes a hard time better.</p> <p>Doing this will make you a better friend even when you're not tired, and it never takes much effort. Friendship can be confusing and difficult to navigate even in the best of times, and it's always better to tell people exactly where they stand, especially when doing so will help them relax in your presence.</p> <h2>5. Smile</h2> <p><a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cutting-edge-leadership/201206/there-s-magic-in-your-smile">Smiling is contagious</a>. When you see someone smile, your brain wants to do the same in return. So you smile. And when you smile, all sorts of good things happen in your body and your brain. You release endorphins, which make you feel better, and you look more attractive to others.</p> <p>Guess what? When your friends smile, they experience the same effects. Thus, offering your friend a smile (which their body almost forces them to return), does them a huge favor and probably makes them feel better about their relationship with you, even if they aren't sure why.</p> <h2>6. Say &quot;Please&quot; And &quot;Thank You&quot;</h2> <p>It's perfectly acceptable to ask your friends for help. In fact, it might even be <a href="http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/think-confident-be-confident/200909/dont-be-afraid-ask-help">good for you</a>. When you do ask for help, though, be sure to use &quot;please&quot; and &quot;thank you.&quot;</p> <p>These words are more than just polite niceties. When used with a genuine tone of voice, they <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/science-shows-that-saying-thanks-can-improve-your-health-and-happiness">show your friends that they are important to you</a>. &quot;Please&quot; shows that you value your friend and his or her resources &mdash; time, energy, money, etc. &mdash; that you are asking for, and that you understand they will have to give of themselves to meet your request.</p> <p>&quot;Thank you&quot; indicates similar things. Saying these words means that you accept the gift your friend has just given you, whatever it is, and that you appreciate it and are grateful, both for the gift and for them.</p> <p><em>How do you show your friends you care when you're worn out? Have you ever had a friend do something that was effortless for them but meant a lot to you?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge">10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-tricks-to-become-instantly-more-likeable">6 Easy Tricks to Become Instantly More Likeable</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> General Tips Personal Development friends friendship relationships Wed, 17 Sep 2014 15:00:08 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1211248 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/best-friends-cafe-178720038-small.jpg" alt="best friends cafe" title="best friends cafe" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Sometimes true friendships seem to be born out of a mysterious, intangible energy that pulls two people together. Keeping friendships strong and thriving is a far less mysterious affair, though. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work?ref=seealso">6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work</a>)</p> <p>Part art, part science, and part common sense, being a better friend takes a lot of effort, and maybe the kicking of a bad habit or two. Or a dozen. So here are 12 things you need to stop doing now in order to be a better friend.</p> <h2>1. Shopping for Better Social Offers</h2> <p>Psst&hellip; you're not fooling anyone when you're consistently non-committal about plans. Your friends probably know you're holding out for a better offer. We get it &mdash; your time is a rare and valuable commodity. But as tempting as &quot;social shopping&quot; might be from time-to-time, consider the long-term effects it can have on the relationships your hold most dear. <em>Commit</em>, participate, and stop wondering what's behind curtain number three.</p> <h2>2. Going AWOL When You're Dating</h2> <p>Are you the type of friend that disappears the moment a romantic relationship gets serious? Or worse, do you reconnect with old friends once it's time to pick up the pieces after a breakup? If so, it may be time to reevaluate how you balance the relationships in your life. Solid friendships are built on consistency and mutual respect; don't go MIA the moment you fall head over heels.</p> <h2>3. Texting, Tweeting, Calling, Clicking, Snapping, and Chatting</h2> <p>It's difficult to listen when we're surrounded by mobile devices that are never silenced or sidelined. Make face time (and by <em>face time</em>, I mean face-to-face time, not the Apple product), electronics-free. You'll <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-little-ways-to-become-more-present-and-love-your-life-more">become more fully present</a>, your friends will thank you for it, and you'll begin to appreciate the unplugged moments of life.</p> <h2>4. Being Late</h2> <p>Sometimes it's unavoidable. But if you're terminally tardy, you're implying that your friends' time isn't as valuable as yours. Honor the people you care about by <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-always-be-on-time">learning how to be punctual.</a></p> <h2>5. Listening Just to Respond</h2> <p>The art of conversation is built on active listening, but many people cut their listening time short in order to formulate a reply. Instead of worrying about how you're going to respond (if a response is even necessary), listen to learn. What is your friend really saying? And just as importantly, what's <em>not</em> being said?</p> <h2>6. Avoiding the Truth</h2> <p>John Lennon said it best: &quot;Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it'll always get you the right ones.&quot; Good friends are kind to each other, but rigorously honest about the things that matter. Work to make your closest friendships &quot;no BS zones&quot; where you can be open about the ups and downs of life, love, career, and money. It'll help create a refuge where each of you can give and receive honest feedback.</p> <h2>7. Forgetting Important Dates</h2> <p>Birthdays, anniversaries, significant events at work &mdash; remembering these details shows that you're listening and that you're tuned into another person's world. Acknowledging the major and minor moments of our friends' lives promotes trust, connection, and appreciation.</p> <h2>8. Imposing Time Limits</h2> <p>Aren't we all on the clock too much as it is? I don't know about you, but the last thing I need is a friend who can't put down his mental stopwatch. Sure, sometimes it's just fine to sneak a quick cup of coffee in between meetings, but a chronic I've-got-to-run attitude is doesn't allow room for friendships to meander, grow, and deepen.</p> <h2>9. Over-Planning Everything</h2> <p>Doesn't it seem like the best moments in life are the unplanned ones? As much as a good plan can benefit a Friday night or a weekend getaway, it's important to know when to scrap the schedule and just wing it.</p> <h2>10. Being Predictable</h2> <p>Sometimes small gestures of kindness, surprising moments, and a spontaneous spirit can breathe new life into a friendship between two people who know each other frontward and backward. Keep your friendships fresh by showing appreciation and nurturing a bit of the unexpected. Running low on inspiration, explore new and inexpensive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-fun-free-ways-to-have-a-great-time-with-friends">ways to have fun with friends</a>.</p> <h2>11. Holding Grudges</h2> <p>Every relationship has its highs and lows. But friendships are investments that two people make in each other; don't let hurt feelings or an argument wipe out what you've built.</p> <h2>12. Dodging the Truly Terrible Times</h2> <p>It's inevitable &mdash; when two people are friends for a long enough period of time, they'll witness life-altering events in each other's lives. The death of a parent, a messy divorce, or loss of a job are just a few examples of moments when good friendships are forged by fire and become something far more profound. Don't dodge the down times because you don't know the right thing to do or say. Realize the comfort your shared history can provide and rise to the occasion.</p> <p>In the end, friendships are formed by common interests and complementary senses of humor, but they're maintained and deepened by the shared events &mdash; the comedies and tragedies that shift and shape our lives. Friendships should help us achieve more, worry less, laugh louder, and handle the challenges of life with a little more support. With that in mind, learning to be a better is nearly a sacred pursuit. Put your whole heart into it.</p> <p><em>Do you have a best friend? How did he or she earn that coveted title in your life?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kentin-waits">Kentin Waits</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-be-a-better-friend-without-any-effort">6 Ways to Be a Better Friend Without Any Effort</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-repair-a-burned-bridge">10 Ways to Repair a Burned Bridge</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting">Happily Ever After: How to Stay Married for 29 Years (and Counting)</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">Make Friends and Be Happy: Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Personal Development friends friendship loyalty relationships Thu, 04 Sep 2014 11:00:03 +0000 Kentin Waits 1203541 at http://www.wisebread.com 6 Time-Tested Ways to Make a Relationship Work http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-happy-179140387-small.jpg" alt="happy couple" title="happy couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="164" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you're like me, you're 100% human, complete with quirks, talents, shortcomings, and a generous portion of dysfunction. We are all, to put it gracefully, &quot;works in progress.&quot;</p> <p>This is why relationships can be so difficult. We're taking two dysfunctional people and mashing them together. In a relationship, you're not just dealing with your own personal issues. You're dealing with two people's worth of dysfunction! (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-first-thing-you-need-to-work-on-if-you-want-a-better-relationship?ref=seealso">The First Thing You Need to Work on If You Want a Better Relationship</a>)</p> <p>But don't get too depressed. When approached correctly, a relationship can be the most fulfilling thing in your life.</p> <h2>1. Don't Take. Give!</h2> <p>If you go into a relationship for what you can get out of it, you aren't a partner; you're a leech. If two people enter a relationship looking out for themselves, that relationship is doomed to fail.</p> <p>Regardless of your philosophy on life and love, the simple truth is that relationships don't work unless both partners come in looking to give. When two people decide to devote their lives completely to each other, the relationship is positioned for success.</p> <p>When I know my wife is giving of herself wholeheartedly to me, rather than expecting me to perform for her, it allows me to give myself wholeheartedly to her, and vice versa.</p> <h2>2. Celebrate What They Do Instead of Complaining About What They Don't</h2> <p>We all want to be valued and appreciated. At the same time, we are all lacking in many ways. If you get married in your twenties and live to be 85, over 70% of your life, and thus, your self-development, will occur after you get married.</p> <p>Don't focus on what's lacking. Celebrate who your partner is and the good things he/she does. See the best in your partner. Have you ever had someone believe in you? It really makes you want to be the best you can be. Have you ever had someone despise you or look down on you? It hurts and frustrates, and it does anything but inspire you to be better. The more honored and valued your partner feels, the more he/she will want to work on the weak areas.</p> <h2>3. Value Your Own Needs</h2> <p>This mutual exchange naturally does not work if it's one-sided. If I sacrifice myself for my wife, and she never returns the favor, then my needs go unmet, and ultimately, I shrivel and die emotionally. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage?ref=seealso">Happy and Married: 24 Tips From 24 Years of Marriage</a>)</p> <p>As a human being, you have needs, and your needs are just as valuable as anyone else's. Inevitably, there will be points in the relationship where one partner begins to take without giving. If the other partner reciprocates by withholding love, the relationship will implode.</p> <p>This goes back to our first point. If it's not about me in the first place, I don't quit loving my wife the moment she stops sacrificing for me or meeting my needs. Over the long haul, no one-sided relationship can last, but in the short term, it often simply comes down to a lack of communication.</p> <h2>4. Don't Expect Your Partner to Be a Mind Reader</h2> <p>In my experience, the single biggest reason relationships fail is poor communication. The more we get to know someone, the more we assume, and assumptions in the absence of communication will kill your relationship.</p> <p>If I notice my wife has stopped helping out around the house, I have two options:</p> <ol> <li>Assume she just doesn't care and begin resenting her.</li> <li>Communicate what I'm feeling to her and let her respond.</li> </ol> <p>Choosing to communicate is the first step, but how you communicate is just as important. If I walk up to my wife and say, &quot;You never help around the house anymore. Why are you being so selfish?&quot; her response will probably be defensive. An argument will ensue, in which she'll bring up something I've been doing wrong, and then we'll both be angry and defensive. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today?ref=seealso">25 Ways to Communicate Better Today</a>)</p> <p>If, however, I give her the benefit of the doubt, and simply say, &quot;Hey sweetheart, it seems to me like I've been having to do most of the work around the house lately, and it's making me feel sort of used and unappreciated.&quot; Now I'm giving her the opportunity to value me and restore our connection, rather than instigating a fight.</p> <h2>5. Build and Re-Establish Trust</h2> <p>Obviously, the above doesn't happen without some level of trust. I'm trusting that my wife actually values me in the first place. If trust hasn't been established, it's impossible to grow in intimacy.</p> <p>At the start of a relationship, a certain level of trust must be given. As you get to know your partner's heart, you must choose to extend trust based on that understanding. The partner must then affirm your trust by following through on commitments. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/change-your-life-by-learning-how-to-admit-youre-wrong?ref=seealso">Learn How to Admit You're Wrong</a>)</p> <p>Over the course of any relationship, breaches in trust will be made. How you respond determines the effect those breaches have on your relationship. If both parties are committed to growing together, forgiveness and re-established trust can actually build the relationship stronger than it was before.</p> <h2>6. Be Vulnerable</h2> <p>The goal of any romantic relationship is intimacy. You want to be with someone who knows you completely and loves you consistently as you are. As you build trust with your partner, you must also increase your level of vulnerability.</p> <p>This is one of the hardest things for people to do, and it's a common reason relationships fail. If you've been hurt in the past, it can be difficult to open yourself up for heartache yet again.</p> <p>Ultimately, your partner can never fully love you if he or she doesn't fully know you. I can't value my wife if she doesn't show me what she needs. I can try as much as I want, but until the window into her soul is opened up, my attempts will be in vain.</p> <p>Your trust level absolutely must rise equally with your level of vulnerability, but without that second piece, any relationship is just a facade and WILL eventually fail.</p> <h2>It's Simple</h2> <p>The tenets of a strong relationship are really quite simple. People make it complex by riding their emotions instead of choosing their destiny, but ultimately, it's as simple as a choice. If you choose your partner &mdash; if you choose to give of yourself, value your own needs, communicate well, establish trust, and be vulnerable &mdash; every single day, you really can't fail.</p> <p><em>What are your time-tested truths of relationships? Please share in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jacob-mcmillen">Jacob McMillen</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-time-tested-ways-to-make-a-relationship-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-questions-couples-should-ask-in-the-money-talk">5 Questions Couples Should Ask in the Money Talk</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">How to Be Happy and Married: 24 Tips from a 24-Year-Old Marriage</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fixing-mistakes-7-steps-for-any-situation">Fixing Mistakes: 7 Steps for Any Situation</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/could-a-divorce-improve-your-finances">Could a Divorce Improve Your Finances?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development commitment marriage relationships sharing trust Fri, 13 Jun 2014 19:00:46 +0000 Jacob McMillen 1142624 at http://www.wisebread.com Happily Ever After: How to Stay Married for 29 Years (and Counting) http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/couple-2812319-small.jpg" alt="couple" title="couple" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="133" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>At the end of this month, my husband and I will celebrate our 29th wedding anniversary. Yes, 29 years. Holy bananas! How time flies!</p> <p>Now, given the current divorce rate, 29 years is a pretty impressive milestone, but what makes it even more noteworthy is that we're not the perfect couple &mdash; not by a long shot. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-happy-and-married-24-tips-from-a-24-year-old-marriage">How to Be Happy and Married: 24 Tips from a 24-Year-Old Marriage</a>)</p> <p>Truth be told, he drives me crazy on most days, and judging from the pulsing vein in his forehead and his standing prescription to Xanax, I'd say he feels much the same way about me. And yet, here we are, totally content (for the most part) and excited about what the next 29 years will bring.</p> <p>So, how did we do it?</p> <h2>Walk Your Own Path</h2> <p>My man is a big guy with a dominating personality. It's one of the things I love about him, but it's also a stark contrast to my more &quot;accommodating&quot; nature.</p> <p>Consequently, I spent the first year of our marriage doing my best to keep him happy and avoid any arguments because, well, that's just what I do.</p> <p>Until that is, my mother told me it was &quot;okay&quot; to disagree. &quot;You're married now,&quot; she said, &quot;but that doesn't mean you disappear. It doesn't mean you stop being you.&quot;</p> <p>Of all the advice my mother has ever given me, that is by far the best.</p> <p>All too often, we look to someone else to make us happy, believing that we have to trade our own sense of fulfillment for being in a relationship. We put our dreams on hold and take a big detour off our chosen path, expecting the relationship itself to be enough to sustain us.</p> <p>And then, we're disappointed when it isn't.</p> <p>The thing is, your partner never actually agreed to take responsibility for your happiness, or the lack thereof. They're not supposed to take charge of your journey &mdash; they're just supposed to be there to share it with you.</p> <p>Fortunately, the fix is simple &mdash; don't disappear.</p> <p>Both of you have to be your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-can-be-as-happy-as-a-dane">totally authentic and amazing selves</a>.</p> <h2>Love the One You're With</h2> <p>While we're on the subject of authenticity, let's also talk about the importance of acceptance.</p> <p>Many a relationship has ended due to &quot;irreconcilable differences,&quot; and yet many of those differences are often some of the same traits and tendencies we possessed from day one. Granted, we do a decent job of hiding at least some of these traits at the beginning because we're on our best behavior and looking to impress.</p> <p>It's only after we've got a commitment that we begin to let our guard down, and that's when the disillusionment typically begins.</p> <p>Our entertainment adds to that illusion by showing us relationships that are steeped in an unrealistic amount of drama and excitement. We've been bombarded by worlds where true love is akin to magic, where the passion is overwhelming, where the participants always look beautiful, and where the lovers must overcome tremendous odds to win the freedom to finally be together. They'll succeed of course, because True Love always wins out.</p> <p>Even though we know those worlds are fictional, we can't help but be moved by their passion and desire; we want that. And it influences our perception of what a relationship should be.</p> <p>So, it's no wonder that we <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/endurance-frugality-staying-the-course-and-being-a-winner">become disenchanted by the day-to-day grind</a> of a real relationship. There are bills to pay, dishes to wash, carpets to vacuum, and toilets to scrub.</p> <p>Your partner is consistently showing you who they really are (and vice versa), so stop being so surprised when those traits and tendencies continue into the relationship.</p> <p>We have a bad habit of seeing people the way we want to see them rather than as what they're showing us. We see the diamond in the rough, full of promise and potential. They just need a good dose of our own special love and guidance to bring it all out.</p> <p>And then we feel betrayed when they don't live up to our expectations.</p> <p>You don't have to love everything about your partner, but you do have to love them for who they are right now &mdash; quirks, eccentricities, and all. If you can do that, you're already on the road to a long and happy relationship.</p> <h2>Learn What Matters and What Doesn't</h2> <p>If my husband and I were to take a compatibility quiz, I can almost guarantee that we'd fail.</p> <p>I love books; he prefers to wait for the movie. He sees life from a very organized, black and white perspective; while I'm a more creative, many shades of gray type of girl.</p> <p>He's atheist; I'm pagan. He likes meat; I like tofu and sprouts. I wanted five kids when we got married; he was &quot;iffy&quot; about maybe having one. And the list goes on and on.</p> <p>We are, for all intents and purposes, opposites of one another. We've obviously had to make some concessions and compromises along the way.</p> <p>But what we realized is that very few issues required an all or nothing approach. We come together on the things that matter: we love our kids, we love each other, and we both believe that there's always room to grow and change.</p> <p>And that's been enough of a foundation to make these last 29 years work. Yes, it's been quite a roller-coaster ride, but then who doesn't love the roller coaster?</p> <p>Maybe that's a tip worth noting as well.</p> <h2>Learn to Roll With It</h2> <p>I have friends who, as soon as a new relationship looks like it might become serious, insist on having lengthy conversations about everything from the number of children they'll have to the amount of money they'll make, and they're willing to call it quits if the answers they get don't match up with their own.</p> <p>But having such a rigid blueprint for the future leaves nothing to chance, and if there's one constant in this universe, it's that anything and everything could change from one minute to the next.</p> <p>Our different personalities and perspectives might mean we have to work a little harder to find common ground, but it also makes that common ground much more exciting and enjoyable. It also almost guarantees that we'll never have to worry about getting stuck in a rut or becoming bored, two things that almost always lead to those irreconcilable differences.</p> <h2>Fight Right</h2> <p>During my stint in the corporate world, I noticed that the guys in the office were able to battle it out in a meeting and then go to lunch as if the altercation had never even happened. That's not to say that all men are masters of this skill or that they aren't capable of being mean and petty and vengeful when they want to be &mdash; they definitely are. But I saw this &quot;fight-and-forget-it&quot; mentality happen with enough consistency, that it prompted me to think about how I approached conflict in my own relationships.</p> <p>Here's what I've learned.</p> <p>First and foremost, it's okay to fight. In fact, it's absolutely expected if you want the relationship to last and the closer you are to someone, the more likely you are to disagree along the way.</p> <p>You and your beloved are two unique individuals, sharing space, and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it">making joint decisions that will have a lasting impact</a> on both of your lives. Of course you're going to disagree, and sometimes, that disagreement will become heated. But with a few ground rules, your relationship can survive and even grow from the experience.</p> <p><strong>Ground Rule #1: Don't Take It Personally</strong></p> <p>Many disagreements are just that &mdash; a disagreement, as in &quot;I think this while you think that.&quot; It doesn't mean your perspective isn't equally as valid &mdash; just that your partner doesn't share it. And sometimes that one little insight is the difference between a &quot;discussion&quot; and a knock-down, drag-out, you're-sleeping-on-the-couch fight.</p> <p><strong>Ground Rule #2: Stay on Point and Be Very Clear on What You're Fighting About</strong></p> <p>It's easy to bring up past infractions when it supports your position, but then don't be surprised when your partner becomes defensive. Ditto if you use the words &quot;always&quot; or &quot;never&quot; in your argument. Because now it's not just one issue you don't agree on &mdash; it's his or her character that's in question. And when one of you is defensive, you're no longer having a productive argument.</p> <p><strong>Ground Rule #3: Learn How to Walk Away</strong></p> <p>Fights are supposed to help you get things out in the open and (hopefully) shed some light on how to move forward. When things get too heated, our emotions kick in and we have a tendency to resort to some pretty nasty tactics. That's when you both should walk away. Go cool off, and come back when you're able to be more rational and reasonable. Your fights will be much more constructive.</p> <h2>Learn How to Forgive</h2> <p>You've probably heard the old adage &quot;don't go to bed angry,&quot; and to that, I say &quot;get real.&quot; If we fight in the morning and have all day to cool off, then we might be fine by the time we head off to bed.</p> <p>But if the fight takes place in the evening or if he just really pushes my buttons, then I won't pretend I'm not mad just because we're going to bed, and neither does he. But what we will do is set aside our anger and let the other know we love them, even if we don't like them very much at the moment.</p> <p>Which is enough to allow both of us to end the day. Sometimes, we're fine by the next morning, sometimes we're not, but we both know we'll eventually get back to where we need to be.</p> <p>That's how we're able to say what we need to say when we're having a fight&nbsp;&mdash; we know we're going to make up. No grudges, no paybacks, no penalties of any kind. It makes it easier to fight and it makes it a lot easier to make up.</p> <p>So that's what's helped make the first 29 years of my marriage a pretty solid success. I hope it brings you the peace and happiness that it's brought me.</p> <p><em>How long have you been with the one you're with? What makes it work?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/kate-luther">Kate Luther</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/happily-ever-after-how-to-stay-married-for-29-years-and-counting">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-9"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-dumb-little-things-holding-you-back-from-a-healthy-relationship">8 Dumb Little Things Holding You Back From a Healthy Relationship</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-preserve-your-relationships-when-circumstances-change">How to Preserve Your Relationships When Circumstances Change</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-say-no-to-friends-and-family">5 Ways to Say &quot;No&quot; to Friends and Family</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Personal Development communication love marriages relationships Thu, 25 Jul 2013 09:48:31 +0000 Kate Luther 980804 at http://www.wisebread.com Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping "What Do You Do?" http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/talk-1104436-small.jpg" alt="conversation" title="conversation" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>A few years ago I sat down to dinner with a new acquaintance while I was <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2011/09/northern-swedish-delicacies-including-surstromming/" target="_blank">visiting Sweden</a>. But the conversation was unlike any other first encounter I'd ever had, and it has changed the nature of &quot;cocktail chat&quot; for me ever since. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-ways-to-be-the-life-of-every-party" target="_blank">7 Ways to Be the Life of Every Party</a>)</p> <p>I'm not sure what inspired me. Maybe I subliminally knew she was a kindred spirit, or maybe I sensed she was dreading the standard roll call of questions people ask when getting to know each other...starting almost inevitably with:</p> <p><em>So, what do you do?</em></p> <p>I <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/you-are-what-you-do-16-ways-to-improve-your-body-language" target="_blank">read her pursed lips</a> and took a chance. As she unfolded her napkin and prepared her &quot;elevator speech&quot; describing what she does for a living, I instead opened the conversation with a question that stopped her in her tracks:</p> <p><em>What excites you?</em></p> <p>She blinked and looked at me for a while. With each passing moment, I increasingly feared something was lost in translation or I had trodden on culturally sensitive ground.</p> <p>Then her face relaxed and she smiled widely. &quot;Nobody has asked me that before!&quot; she said as she then considered how to answer it.</p> <h2>Career and Identity</h2> <p>In an ideal world, we love what we do for a living &mdash; and it creates part of our identity. We spend a large portion of our waking lives working at our careers, so it should stand to reason. This is why an easy opening question often surrounds career.</p> <p>But for many people, careers represent little more than conduits to income, and their true identity and passion comes from their activities outside of work.</p> <p>So why not open the conversation with a question that allows somebody to talk about something exciting; something that makes them bubble over with enthusiasm &mdash; and which can ultimately lead to new frontiers of conversation?</p> <h2>The Spicy Question</h2> <p>You may wish to choose a different question than &quot;what excites you&quot; (which in some scenarios could even be construed as suggestive).</p> <p>But choose a spicy question or two to have in your coffers for your next meet-and-greet situation; it will surely lead to an interesting exchange. Keep your question open-ended &mdash; it's important not to pry. Instead, focus on something that can be answered in many different ways.</p> <p>Some ideas:</p> <ul> <li><em>What's the most important thing to you in life?</em></li> <li><em>If you had all the money in the world, what is the first thing you would do?</em></li> <li><em>What has been your greatest adventure in life so far?</em></li> <li><em>What have you always wanted to do but haven't had a chance to yet?</em></li> <li><em>If you could wave a magic wand and do or change anything, what would it be?</em></li> <li><em>Where in the world have you always wanted to visit?</em></li> <li><em>What's the number one item on your </em><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/reverse-bucket-list-look-back-before-looking-forward" target="_blank"><em>bucket list</em></a><em>?</em></li> <li><em>What are you happiest about right now?</em></li> </ul> <p>The point of a spicy question isn't to shock your conversation partner (although often it will surprise them since it's not a &quot;standard&quot; opening question). The idea is to encourage somebody to reveal a passion, dream, experience, or story that they're excited to talk about &mdash; which in turn, leads to deeper connections, or at the very least, a conversation you'll both remember.</p> <p>Once you've asked your question, listen to the answer. According to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-be-charming" target="_blank">networking principles</a>, what your conversation partner says will lead you to the next question, as long as you're attentive and open-minded.</p> <p><em>What's your best &quot;spicy question&quot;?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-10"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/seven-ways-to-be-the-life-of-every-party">Seven Ways to be the Life of Every Party</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-fun-and-cheap-things-to-do-during-the-weekday">8 Fun and Cheap Things to Do During the Weekday</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/single-parent-try-these-10-tricks-for-entertaining-kids-on-a-budget">Single Parent? Try These 10 Tricks for Entertaining Kids on a Budget</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/massive-list-of-things-to-do-while-watching-tv">Massive List of Things to Do While Watching TV</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Life Hacks Entertainment Lifestyle conversation networking tips relationships Tue, 14 May 2013 10:24:31 +0000 Nora Dunn 974034 at http://www.wisebread.com Mend a Broken Heart Without Breaking the Bank http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/3223954930_fe3bdee187_o.jpg" alt="Woman looks forlornly out of a cabin door." title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>When a relationship ends, many of us have a tendency to run straight to the nearest shopping mall for some retail therapy. Or maybe you&rsquo;re the type who eats your feelings. Or maybe you travel to distract yourself or go out every night to the local bar. Whatever your coping strategy, a breakup often equals an empty wallet. But it doesn&rsquo;t have to. The next time your heart is broken, try one or more of these strategies to treat your broken heart without going broke. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-ways-to-have-a-better-day">4 Ways to Have a Better Day</a>)</p> <h3>1. Delete Your Ex From All Social Media</h3> <p>The first step on this journey might sound stupid, but it&rsquo;s important. Despite how you feel once the break up is over (whether it was amicable or otherwise), delete him or her from all social media. If you feel comfortable, you could go as far as asking them to please make themselves private, so you don't obsessively seek out their whereabouts. Doing so might send you into an online shopping spree or worse, drinking alone that expensive bottle of wine your friend gave you for Christmas. Save it for a special occasion, not when your ex is on the beach with another person.</p> <h3>2. Reconnect With Old Friends</h3> <p>Romantic relationships take time, and most of that time is taken out of our friendships. Now that you have more time on your hands, contact your friends, meet up with them for a walk through the park, or invite them over to watch a movie. This is the time to reconnect and find value in those you surround yourself with; they&rsquo;re your friends, and they should be there for you. Just a tip, though &mdash; don&rsquo;t wallow.</p> <h3>3. Reconnect With Your Community</h3> <p>Check out your local community paper and see what might be happening down the street. There are sure to be street fairs, outside events, neighborhood association parties, and the like which would be a perfect way for you to meet new neighbors and become a vital part of your community.</p> <h3>4. Volunteer</h3> <p>On the heels of reconnecting with your community, volunteering is a great way to make a difference (and make you feel better &mdash; no pure altruism here). You&rsquo;ll get a sense of pride out of helping to build a house, providing food to the homeless, or simply reading to children. There a lot of options, so once you reconnect with your community, see where you can be helpful.</p> <h3>5. Immerse Yourself in Work or Focus on Your Career Path</h3> <p>I&rsquo;m not a licensed psychologist, so don&rsquo;t take this as &ldquo;real&rdquo; advice, because I have a feeling most licensed psychologists might think this is a bad thing. But I am a firm believer in immersing yourself in your work when you are down. It&rsquo;s a good distraction, and it can prove fruitful (ie, earn you a raise). And if you&rsquo;re not happy where you are (because usually when one thing is bad, everything seems bad), focus on your career path. Refocus your happiness on your future, not on that person from your past.</p> <h3>6. Learn Something New</h3> <p>Take this time to grow your mind. I&rsquo;ve mentioned a few ways to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-free-ways-to-learn-something-new" target="_blank">learn something new for free</a> in the past, but there are plenty of other options, including <a href="https://www.khanacademy.org/" target="_blank">Khan Academy</a>. Pick something and go learn &mdash; it&rsquo;ll distract you and you&rsquo;ll be smarter as a result. Win-win.</p> <h3>7. Get Active</h3> <p>One of the best stress relievers in the world is <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/fitness-for-people-who-hate-exercise">exercise</a>. Start running or join a local gym. I know, frugal broken heart mending is the goal here, but trust me &mdash; this is far more frugal than binge eating, and you&rsquo;ll feel much better afterward. If you can, find a gym that offers a variety of classes (especially yoga) and has a sauna. You&rsquo;ll be relaxed, and you&rsquo;ll be fit for your next relationship.</p> <h3>8. Dive Into a Project or Hobby</h3> <p>After you learn something new, start a project or hobby. If there is a wall that needs to be painted, paint it. If there's a chair that needs to be reupholstered, reupholster it. Along the same lines, learn to knit, sew, or play golf. There are plenty of things to pick up that can serve as a long-term diversion (and ultimately make you more interesting).</p> <h3>9. Adopt a Pet</h3> <p>If you can&rsquo;t fill the void with anything else, consider <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-much-does-it-cost-to-keep-a-cat">getting a pet</a>. Doesn't have to be a big one &mdash; you can start small with a fish and work your way up to a larger pet. Don't jump into this arrangement lightly of course, but loneliness can definitely be solved via fluffy animals or fish bowls. Check out the local animal shelter &mdash; you can simultaneously save a life and move on with yours.</p> <h3>10. Seek Out Therapy</h3> <p>OK, I&rsquo;m going slightly off the frugal script here, but if you are really, really hurting and can&rsquo;t cope, you should absolutely consider therapy from a licensed professional. Seek out your HR department at your job and see if there are free counseling sessions available to employees, or contact your local government and see if there are any counseling sessions in your area or group sessions. If all else fails, this is the one thing to spend money on &mdash; therapy can get you back to yourself again, and really that&rsquo;s the whole point.</p> <p><em>How do you mend a broken heart without ripping a hole through your wallet?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jennifer-holder">Jennifer Holder</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mend-a-broken-heart-without-breaking-the-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-11"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it">Why Couples Fight Over Money and What to Do About It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/im-financially-free-now-what">I&#039;m Financially Free. Now What?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/frugality-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder-5-ways-to-spend-less-and-love-more">Frugality Makes the Heart Grow Fonder: 5 Ways to Spend Less and Love More</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-love-not-money-sort-of">Make Love, Not Money (Sort Of)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle breakup feel better relationships Thu, 03 Jan 2013 11:24:30 +0000 Jennifer Holder 961667 at http://www.wisebread.com Best Money Tips: Go on Cheap Dates Without Being Cheap http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-go-on-cheap-dates-without-being-cheap <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/best-money-tips-go-on-cheap-dates-without-being-cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/296704397_fd47f2f6a9_z-1.jpg" alt="Go On Cheap Dates Without Being Cheap" title="Go On Cheap Dates Without Being Cheap" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Welcome to Wise Bread's <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/best-money-tips">Best Money Tips</a> Roundup! Today we found some stellar articles on going on cheap dates without being cheap, making a game plan for college, and whether or not you can be organic and frugal.</p> <h2>Top 5 Articles</h2> <p><a href="http://www.onesmartdollar.com/how-to-go-on-cheap-dates-without-being-cheap/">How to Go On Cheap Dates Without Being Cheap</a> &mdash; One good cheap date idea is to go to the dollar theater. [One Smart Dollar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.freemoneyfinance.com/2012/09/a-game-plan-for-making-the-most-of-college.html">A Game Plan for Making the Most of College</a> &mdash; When starting off college, be sure to start with the end in mind. [Free Money Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://www.stretcher.com/stories/07/07sep24e.cfm#.UGSNQEp9nCA">Organic and Frugal?</a> &mdash; Joining an organic food co-op can help you buy organic food while being frugal. [The Dollar Stretcher]</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Best-Times-Do-Work-Tasks-25173166">The Best Times To Do These 4 Work-Related Tasks</a> &mdash; Sending emails at 6am gives them a higher chance of being read. [SavvySugar]</p> <p><a href="http://www.thousandaire.com/3-reasons-buying-a-home-is-more-expensive-than-you-think/">3 Reasons Buying a Home is More Expensive Than You Think</a> &mdash; Did you know that if you sell your home using a realtor, they take a 6% cut of your sale? [Thousandaire]</p> <h2>Other Essential Reading</h2> <p><a href="http://www.girlsjustwannahavefunds.com/monthly-paycheck-budget">Reader Mail: 6 Tips For Setting Up A Kickass Monthly Budget + Smashing Debt!</a> &mdash; Want to set up an awesome monthly budget? Review your paychecks for unnecessary deductions. [Girls Just Wanna Have Funds]</p> <p><a href="http://www.20sfinances.com/2012/09/26/how-your-starting-salary-affects-your-career-earnings/">How Your Starting Salary Affects Your Career Earnings</a> &mdash; It is important to negotiate your salary from the getgo so that you get bigger raises as time goes on. [20s Finance]</p> <p><a href="http://yesiamcheap.com/2012/09/6-strategies-for-saving-money-mortgage/">6 Strategies For Saving Money On Your Mortgage</a> &mdash; To save money on your mortage, pay it bi-weekly. [Yes I Am Cheap]<a href="http://onecentatatime.com/10-ways-to-catch-your-partner-hiding-money/"><br /> </a></p> <p><a href="http://onecentatatime.com/10-ways-to-catch-your-partner-hiding-money/">10 Ways to Catch Your Partner Hiding Money from you</a> &mdash; If you don't know what your partner's salary is, chances are your partner is hiding money from you. [One Cent at a Time]</p> <p><a href="http://parentingsquad.com/defiant-children-how-parents-can-survive-sibling-fights">Defiant Children: How Parents Can Survive Sibling Fights</a> &mdash; Do your kids fight? Survive sibling fights by teaching your kids to create boundaries. [Parenting Squad]</p> <h2>News &amp; Events</h2> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/news/2012/09/money-crashers-tweetchat-mcchat-0">Money Crashers Tweetchat (#MCChat)</a> &mdash; Don't miss Money Crashers weekly tweetchat at 1pm PST! They will be giving away prizes!</p> <p>Be sure to check out our <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-100-most-popular-personal-finance-blogs/calendar">News &amp; Events Calendar</a> to see all the awesome upcoming events in the personal finance world!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ashley-jacobs">Ashley Jacobs</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-money-tips-go-on-cheap-dates-without-being-cheap">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-12"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/spice-up-the-conversation-by-skipping-what-do-you-do">Spice Up the Conversation by Skipping &quot;What Do You Do?&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-ways-to-tell-the-difference-between-being-frugal-and-being-cheap">12 Ways to Tell the Difference Between Being Frugal and Being Cheap</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/wisdom-from-my-favorite-frugal-tv-character-julius-rock">Wisdom from My Favorite Frugal TV Character - Julius Rock</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-couples-fight-over-money-and-what-to-do-about-it">Why Couples Fight Over Money and What to Do About It</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-the-rich-stay-rich-a-lesson-in-lateral-thinking">How the rich stay rich; a lesson in lateral thinking</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle best money tips cheap dates Dating relationships Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:00:43 +0000 Ashley Jacobs 954767 at http://www.wisebread.com Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2536566160_e42123090e_z.jpg" alt="man and strawberry" title="man and strawberry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Wake up. Shower in a rush. Brush your teeth. Rush out the door. Worry that you're going to be late. Sit down at your desk, and take a deep breath as you get ready for your work day.</p> <p>Does that sound like some type of secret recipe for a disastrous day? Or like a typical morning?</p> <p>Typically, our mood or attitude for the day is set in the first hours of the day. In fact, if you can learn to do some important activities every morning, it will make a tremendous difference not just in how your morning goes, but your entire day.</p> <p>You'll be more productive, and you'll be more pleasant to be around. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a>)</p> <h3>1. Lay in Bed for at Least Five Minutes After You Wake Up</h3> <p>If you are a person who prays, this is a great time to pray. If you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/time-to-get-down-with-your-inner-zen">meditate</a>, then this is a great time to meditate. By having a minimum of five minutes of downtime, you remind yourself that time is not so valuable that you cannot invest in your own health. Remember, it's important to do this before checking email, Twitter, Facebook, or any other updates. By checking in, you're inviting some responsibility to negatively impact your first waking moments of the day.</p> <h3>2. Exercise</h3> <p><a href="http://www.menshealth.com/jumpstartyourday/perfect-morning-workout.php"> Morning exercise</a> should be an activity that you enjoy and something that gets your heart pumping.&nbsp;</p> <h3>3. Leave Home Five Minutes Earlier Than Necessary</h3> <p>On the highway each morning, there are two types of commuters. The first are the racecar-style drivers who weave in and out of traffic. They brake often and accelerate quickly. They hit the steering wheel when anyone costs them an extra two seconds on their commute. Then there's the driver who's got time to spare. He might arrive at work five minutes later than his speedway co-worker, but he also arrives in a better mood. Give yourself some margin for the morning commute.</p> <h3>4. Tell Your Family You Love Them</h3> <p>Give hugs and kisses all around. In our lives, we often forget to connect with the people who are most important. We think it would be a tragedy to be five minutes late to a meeting with a complete stranger, but not having even a moment to connect with family in the morning seems like a sensible trade off.</p> <h3>5. Eat at Least a Piece of Fruit, and Sit Down at the Table for a Bit</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-quick-homemade-breakfasts"> Eating something healthy</a> gives you a positive outlook on the day. And by taking some extra time to sit down, you'll relax and have time to read the paper, talk with your family, enjoy a joke, and sip a cup of tea or coffee. Just sit &mdash; the world won't end.</p> <p>As you can tell, the focus here is to slow down. Sure, that might require <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-wake-up-fast-and-attack-the-day">getting up a few minutes earlier</a>, but if you could completely rewrite your day by just getting up earlier, wouldn't you? By creating a little bit of extra margin every morning, you can turn super stressful delays into mild inconveniences that won't put you in a sour mood for the rest of the day.</p> <p><em>What activities do you do in the morning that make a big difference on how the day turns out?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/craig-ford">Craig Ford</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-13"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-easy-ways-to-have-energy-after-work">7 Easy Ways to Have Energy After Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-benefits-of-being-a-morning-person">9 Benefits of Being a Morning Person</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-ways-to-improve-your-decision-making-skills">10 Ways to Improve Your Decision-Making Skills</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Development Productivity breakfast commuting exercise morning routine relationships Fri, 03 Aug 2012 09:48:42 +0000 Craig Ford 947011 at http://www.wisebread.com 15 Alternatives to Nagging http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/15-alternatives-to-nagging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/dad helping son.jpg" alt="father helping child" title="father helping child" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If everyone did what they are supposed to do, then there would be no need for prompts, reminders, nudges, or nagging. But we all have different priorities, workloads, and understandings of what we think is a normal timeline from request to deadline. If you find yourself constantly giving someone else an extra push to get things done, consider these alternatives. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">25 Ways to Communicate Better Today</a>)</p> <h3>1. Give a Lesson</h3> <p>Children, teenagers, and even adults may not have the capabilities to complete a project, chore, or particularly technical task. But instead of asking for help or telling you what needs explaining, they remain silent and don't take action. Some may be unable to pinpoint and articulate what type of instruction or information could be useful. Others may be hesitant to admit lack of knowledge.</p> <p>Providing a hands-on lesson is one way to enable your child, teen, or grown-up friend to do something new, important, and urgent. You can also offer general instruction, encouraging questions and experimentation, and give advice as needed.</p> <h3>2. Choose One Thing</h3> <p>If the person who should handle your requests has a zillion to-do items, then she may feel overwhelmed and be unable to respond quickly.</p> <p>Realize that asking for everything you need to be done within a short period of time usually is not a reasonable option. Consider all of your requests as well as those from others, including teachers, coaches, friends, and bosses.</p> <p>Determine which task is most important and time-sensitive. Then, establish and communicate your priority. Don&rsquo;t ask for anything else until this one thing is finished.</p> <h3>3. Focus on the Goal, Not the Method</h3> <p>Your colleague wants the same things you do, but hasn&rsquo;t taken the steps you think are needed to accomplish your shared goal. The reason for her inaction may be your insistence that certain tasks are required to achieve a desired outcome, although alternate methods could work just as well.</p> <p>Talk about ways to get what you both want, including techniques that may be easier and more convenient for your co-worker. Stay focused on the goal, but be willing to negotiate the means to achieving results.</p> <h3>4. Break It Down</h3> <p>You think a friend has the capability to do whatever you've requested, but the agreed-upon project remains undone. Your request may be complex, requiring significant planning, resource gathering, and hours of executing multiple tasks, not a simple one-step item.</p> <p>If just one or two of these tasks require special expertise or brawn, break down the project. Ask for help with steps that you can not handle yourself.</p> <h3>5. Hire Someone</h3> <p>You may think that someone has a particular skill or piece of equipment along with willingness to help with your project, but her lack of progress means that something is wrong. Consider that she may feel ill-equipped to handle your request. Hire a professional who can fulfill your needs according to your timeline and quality requirements.</p> <h3>6. Get Resources Needed</h3> <p>Many people are eager to undertake a new challenge. Later, they realize how difficult it is to accomplish something outside of their regular routines. Roadblocks may be lack of gear, knowledge, or time. To move things forward, help them get whatever resources are needed.</p> <h3>7. Be Patient</h3> <p>Even though a certain person has not yet finished an assignment, you may not need to keep asking in order to get her attention. Just because she responds slowly doesn't mean that your request is not on her radar.</p> <p>The challenges in this scenario include:</p> <ol> <li>Understanding that silence is not the same as inaction</li> <li><span style="font-family:Arial">Discerning whether the person needs more time or whether she is stalling</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:Arial">Determining and giving enough of a lead time to get things accomplished</span></li> <li><span style="font-family:Arial">Knowing when to ask for an update and when to pursue another course of action</span></li> </ol> <p>If you develop a professional or personal relationship with someone who does not need multiple requests, be patient and respect her timing.</p> <h3>8. Do It Together</h3> <p>Rather than asking a co-worker, friend, or fellow volunteer to complete a project in isolation, work together. Consider using this approach:</p> <ul> <li>Set aside a specific date, time, and place to start and finish the project<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Identify and remove any obstacles to successful completion before your get-together<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Bring snacks and drinks<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>While you work, learn what motivates, inspires, encourages, discourages, frustrates, and inspires her<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Deal with concerns and answer questions as you work through the project<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Celebrate after the project is complete</li> </ul> <h3>9. Do the Legwork</h3> <p>You may need someone to make a decision, complete a form, approve a payment, or take an action that you are not authorized to do. Instead of nagging them to do multiple tasks leading up to the critical one, handle the behind-the-scenes duties.</p> <p>For example, you might present all the relevant information needed to make a purchase decision, enter information that you have already, or confirm that an invoice is accurate. Explain the background research and ask for the single action needed to complete the process.</p> <h3>10. Let Consequences Happen</h3> <p>If you are a parent, you nag your child (or the child feels as if you are nagging) because you can clearly see the consequences of the child&rsquo;s inertia whereas your child doesn&rsquo;t seem to understand what could happen as the result of her negligence.</p> <p>A great way for a child to learn about consequences is to experience them firsthand. However, drawbacks to this approach include:</p> <ol> <li>The long-term nature of consequences prevent your child from experiencing negative impact within a reasonable time frame<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Other people hold you accountable for your child&rsquo;s actions, so you experience consequences, not your child<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The consequences seem, well, inconsequential to her despite being monumental to you</li> </ol> <p>Still, sometimes the best thing to do instead of nagging is to let your child experience the consequences of her actions. For example, if she doesn&rsquo;t remember to do her homework or she does the homework but doesn&rsquo;t turn it in, then let her get the bad grade or explain to her teacher why she is turning in things late. Many children quickly figure out a way to get things done without parental prodding when they are held accountable.</p> <h3>11. Show Appreciation Rather Than Annoyance</h3> <p>Sometimes a person doesn't do a certain thing because she feels that no matter what she does, you won&rsquo;t be satisfied. Worse, she may think that you&rsquo;ll demand more if she complies with your wishes.</p> <p>Tell her you appreciate what she has have done in the past. Name specific actions that you noticed. Don't manipulate her to get what you want but express genuine gratitude for her efforts, talents, and successes.</p> <p>If she feels appreciated and not pressured (and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-straightforward-ways-to-say-no">you readily accept &quot;no&quot; in reply to your requests</a>), her positive responses are likely to reflect true interest in and commitment to your projects, needs, etc. and not just a way to quiet you for a while.</p> <h3>12. Let It Go</h3> <p>Sometimes, you realize that whatever is critical to you just isn&rsquo;t important to the other person. Let go of your quest to get someone else to take action.</p> <h3>13. Be Cheery</h3> <p>The negative aspect of nagging often stifles <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">motivation</a> and cooperation. Infuse your request with humor and cheer so that others really want to respond positively.</p> <h3>14. Do It Yourself</h3> <p>If the person who has claimed responsibility for a task simply isn&rsquo;t getting it done, then it's possible that this person is a perfectionist about certain things. Rather than compromise on quality and thoroughness, she delays the project until there is plenty of time to tackle the assignment. The problem arises when days and weeks pass, and no progress has been made.</p> <p>In these situations, rather than feeling let down, do it yourself. Your techniques may deviate from the perfection envisioned by your co-worker, friend, etc. but are preferable to leaving the task undone.</p> <h3>15. Work With People Who Don&rsquo;t Require Nagging</h3> <p>There are people who do what they are supposed to without being nagged. They schedule their time and prioritize their to-do lists in a way that allows them to get important things done.</p> <p>If you work with responsible and responsive people, plus you have mutually agreed-upon goals and approaches to getting things done, then nagging is unnecessary.</p> <p>There may be rare occasions in which you need to ask such a person to complete a task or remember to meet a specific deadline. In these cases, though, the other person takes your prompt as a <a href="http://www.openforum.com/idea-hub/topics/lifestyle/article/the-art-of-the-reminder">positive reminder</a> of a commitment, apologizes for not dealing with the problem, quickly takes care of the issue, and appreciates your nudge.</p> <p><em>You may be responsible for getting your friends, family members, children, coworkers, employees, and even bosses to complete certain tasks. Do you have special techniques for getting things done?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-alternatives-to-nagging">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-14"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-to-stay-motivated-on-the-job">6 Ways to Stay Motivated on the Job</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/friends-and-goals-dont-let-a-blue-falcon-bring-you-down">Friends and Goals: Don&#039;t Let a Blue Falcon Bring You Down</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-self-improvement-apps-to-make-you-smarter-stronger-and-happier">10 Self-Improvement Apps to Make You Smarter, Stronger, and Happier</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-get-motivated-today">25 Ways to Get Motivated Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/have-a-great-day-every-day-5-things-to-do-in-the-morning">Have a Great Day, Every Day: 5 Things to Do in the Morning</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career and Income Family Productivity motivation nagging relationships Wed, 11 Apr 2012 09:48:23 +0000 Julie Rains 916308 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Tips for Balancing Love and Money http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-balancing-love-and-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-tips-for-balancing-love-and-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/4983321294_fd4fe79275_z.jpg" alt="couple with cats" title="couple with cats" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>It's a sad but common tune: <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Maxed-Out-Debt-Threatens-Divide-Couple-1873165">debt threatens to divide or break up an otherwise strong couple</a> that hadn't set up any financial ground rules. Love and money don't always go hand in hand, which means it's crucial to consider the long term repercussions of sharing your life and bank account with another person. There's no magical credit card or anti-debt potion, but here are some tips for keeping the communication lines open, the piggy bank full, and both of you crazy in love.</p> <p><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/How-Divide-Expenses-Couple-21473777">RELATED: 4 Ways to Divide and Conquer Expenses as a Couple</a></p> <h3>Discuss and Share Your Financial Goals</h3> <p>Before you get married or move in together you should tackle the tough questions, so both of you know what to expect and aren't shocked years down the road. If things are really serious, make sure to discuss your savings tactics and goals, debt, plans for providing for children and retirement plans. If you're not picking out dresses yet, discuss monthly and yearly expenses like housing, bills, and lifestyle and entertainment expenses.</p> <p>Most SavvySugar readers say they <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1724058" rel="nofollow">wouldn't get a joint checking account with their boyfriend</a>, but they might get one to pay for bills. Discuss the idea with your significant other.</p> <h3>Make a Joint Spending Plan</h3> <p>Make a spending plan together. Combining money means you need to communicate about how it is put to use. I recommend using a money management site like <a href="http://www.mint.com/" rel="nofollow">Mint.com</a>, which will categorize your expenses and give you both a realistic picture of which areas could be targeted to trim costs.</p> <p>Check out my <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1886766" rel="nofollow">guide to managing money as a couple</a> for additional suggestions.</p> <h3>Find a Comfortable Balance</h3> <p>If one of you earns significantly more, talk about it instead of skirting around the difference. Figure out a fair way to cover expenses like meals and rent that works for both of you. Many of the couples I know opt for a sort of sliding scale payment plan, where you pay what you can afford instead of splitting evenly or placing the financial burden on one partner.</p> <h3>Save Room for Your Love</h3> <p>When you've gotten a handle on affording your everyday, expected expenses, begin to build up your savings in a high-interest savings account. Start putting some money toward an emergency fund and fit your monthly savings goals into your overall budget plan to avoid the excuse of not being able to afford to save.</p> <p>Check out my <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1886766" rel="nofollow">guide to managing money as a couple</a> for additional suggestions.</p> <h3>Be Honest About Spending</h3> <p>Be upfront about your shopping and spending habits. You shouldn't have to hide your purchases, but establish some ground rules and be honest. If you go shopping every payday and hate that your significant other makes fun of you for it, tell him. You shouldn't criticize little purchases your partner makes either, as long as they aren't adversely affecting your money. Savings is a marathon, not a sprint. There should be some wiggle room.</p> <h3>Manage Money as a Couple</h3> <p>If you are married or deeply committed, open another account just for your fixed, non-negotiable expenses, and immediately transfer the money when you're paid. Set it up so the transfer happens automatically, and neither of you will be tempted to spend that money on other things.</p> <p>Check out my <a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/1886766" rel="nofollow">guide to managing money as a couple</a> for additional suggestions.</p> <h3>Being Broke Ain't a Joke</h3> <p>If you run into a financial crisis and regularly share expenses with your partner, tell them immediately. If you are co-dependent, it's important your partner knows what to expect and how to support you. Together you can create a plan of action, whether it means one of you taking on additional expenses, cutting back on luxuries, or making a larger life change like downsizing to a smaller place or getting an additional job.</p> <h3>Discuss Credit Fears and History</h3> <p>Many women worry about their boyfriend's credit and how it might affect their credit if and when they tie the knot. In a nutshell, nothing happens to your credit when you get married. Your credit history is yours to keep, but it's important that you continue using the cards you already have in your name so that your credit history stays active. Your names will never appear on a credit report together &mdash; reports are generated for individuals only. However, if you and your husband open any joint accounts together, those will appear on both of your credit reports.</p> <p>While there is no such thing as &quot;our credit score,&quot; your husband's credit could affect you (but not your credit score) because both of your scores are considered when you apply for joint accounts or a mortgage loan. You might be faced with higher interest rates on these joint finances than if you applied for them on your own.</p> <h3>Trim Expenses Together</h3> <p>While being in a couple may mean you have a larger spending budget, challenge one another to trim unnecessary expenses together. Make major home or luxury purchases or travel decisions together and set an achievable goal, like a romantic weekend getaway, dream vacation or buying a home, as an incentive savings goal.</p> <h3>Maintain Your Independence</h3> <p>You may love your partner more than anyone on this earth, but you should always put yourself first. I suggest you maintain your savings as if you were single and insure you have a rainy day stash. You don't have to be secretive about your savings: Let your partner know you would like to maintain your own savings and explain why.</p> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-blog-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> When it comes to money in relationships, love alone isn&#039;t enough to build a life together — it also takes communication and honesty. </div> </div> </div> <div class="field field-type-text field-field-guestpost-blurb"> <div class="field-label">Guest Post Blurb:&nbsp;</div> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <p style="text-align:center;"><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com" style="border:none;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/savvysugar-300-small.jpg" alt="" /></a></p> <p><em>This is a guest contribution from our friends at </em><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/"><em>SavvySugar</em></a><em>. Check out more useful articles from this partner:</em></p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Common-Money-Issues-Relationships-6188126">5 Money&nbsp;Issues Every&nbsp;Couple Should Prepare For</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Can-We-Live-One-Income-5759308">How to Determine If You&nbsp;Can Live on&nbsp;One Income</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.savvysugar.com/Newlywed-Tax-Tips-14634721">Tax Stuff Every Newlywed Should Know</a></li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/popsugar-smart-living">POPSUGAR Smart Living</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tips-for-balancing-love-and-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-15"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/heres-how-delaying-marriage-or-kids-saves-you-money">Here&#039;s How Delaying Marriage or Kids Saves You Money</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/from-0-to-18-frugal-tips-for-every-year-of-your-child-s-life">From 0 to 18: Frugal Tips for Every Year of Your Child’s Life</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/19-frugal-ways-to-entertain-teenagers">19 Frugal Ways to Entertain Teenagers</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-ive-been-trying-to-say">What I&#039;ve been trying to say</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Family Dating marriage and finances relationships sharing Thu, 15 Mar 2012 10:36:12 +0000 POPSUGAR Smart Living 911526 at http://www.wisebread.com