friendship http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/8148/all en-US 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-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/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/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-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/21-decisions-youll-never-regret-making">21 Decisions You&#039;ll Never Regret Making</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-relationship-rules-you-should-be-breaking">10 Relationship Rules You Should Be Breaking</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 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-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/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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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 6 Easy Tricks to Become Instantly More Likeable http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-tricks-to-become-instantly-more-likeable <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-easy-tricks-to-become-instantly-more-likeable" 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-476271047-small.jpg" alt="friends talking" title="friends talking" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Some people attract new friends and opportunities like a magnet. It's in their DNA. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-things-you-need-to-stop-doing-today-to-be-a-better-friend?ref=seealso">12 Things You Need to Stop Doing Today to Be a Better Friend</a>)</p> <p>But likability can also be learned by about 90% of people, according to Rohit Bhargava, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1118137531/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1118137531&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=726ZQUCKEFE5SK6H">Likeonomics</a>. The benefits are astounding: better relationships, stronger networks, more career success. That's because people want to be in the company of likable people. And they want to help them out.</p> <p>And we want to help <em>you</em> out, so read on for six simple tricks to grow your appeal and charisma.</p> <h2>1. Raise Your Eyebrows and Turn the Corners of Your Lips Up</h2> <p>People who seem honest and trustworthy are well-liked and <a href="http://www.gla.ac.uk/news/headline_329494_en.html">it all boils down to the shape and features of the face</a>. People with square jaws, broad chins, high cheekbones, full lips, and brown eyes tend to be perceived as genuine and therefore more likeable.</p> <p>&quot;Whether we like it or not, previous well-documented research has shown that people tend to perceive certain personality characteristics or traits in individuals based on the structure of their face,&quot; said Daniel Gill of the Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology at the University of Glasgow. &quot;This means some people can be judged to be untrustworthy or domineering simply by how they look &mdash; a square jaw and large brow conveying dominance, for example. It can have implications for things like mate selection and job opportunities.&quot;</p> <p>But if anatomy isn't in your favor, there's a simple facial expression you can employ to boost your appearance of trustworthiness: <a href="http://www.princeton.edu/main/news/multimedia/player.xml?videopath=/main/news/archive/S21/78/78M51/index.xml&amp;auto_play=true&amp;section=mm-featured">raise your eyebrows and curl your lips into a slight smile</a>. Researchers say people who activate this expression on their face are more likely to win the affections of people they encounter.</p> <h2>2. Smile Only When It's Genuine</h2> <p>Research shows that <a href="http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/10117928/People-can-sense-a-smile-before-it-appears-on-the-face.html">a spontaneous smile engages certain muscles around the eyes</a> that aren't triggered when a person flashes a courtesy smile. That means a genuine smile has greater social currency than a forced one because other people can actually detect whether it's authentic or fake.</p> <h2>3. If You're a Woman, Wear Makeup</h2> <p>Harvard researchers found that <a href="http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0025656">women who wear makeup are perceived to be more confident, competent, and attractive</a>. In a word: likeable. Sarah Vickery, a Procter and Gamble scientist who helped author the study, explained to the New York Times that cosmetics &quot;can significantly change how people see you, how smart people think you are on first impression, or how <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/13/fashion/makeup-makes-women-appear-more-competent-study.html?_r=0">warm and approachable</a>, and that look is completely within a woman's control, when there are so many things you cannot control.&quot; All it takes is a coat of blush, lip gloss, and a whisk of mascara.</p> <h2>4. Make Good Eye Contact</h2> <p>One of the most effective ways to connect with another person is to look them in the eyes. It's a major cue that you're present, listening, genuinely interested, and honest in your own remarks. <a href="http://www.researchgate.net/publication/18067545_Embarrassment_facework_and_eye_contact_testing_a_theory_of_embarrassment">Failure to look another person in the eyes</a>, on the other hand, is an indicator of untrustworthiness, embarrassment, and an overall lack of confidence. These are qualities you'll want to steer clear from on your journey to becoming more charismatic.</p> <h2>5. Don't Sit With Your Arms and Legs Crossed</h2> <p>People who take on relaxed resting poses that occupy a great amount of space are generally perceived as powerful, which is an attribute other people tend to be attracted to since the human brain equates power to competence. Not only that, but research shows that people who take on expansive, open poses aren't just perceived as being more powerful &mdash; <a href="http://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/9547823/13-027.pdf?sequence=1">they actually begin to feel more powerful, too</a>. So stand tall, stretch your shoulders back, and resist the urge to pull your arms in tight against your torso. You are important, so don't be afraid to take up space.</p> <h2>6. Help Others &mdash; No Strings Attached</h2> <p>Adding value to other people's lives is really quite simple. And it can go a long way to help you organically grow your network of acquaintances and friends. So connect friends with friends who can help one another achieve a common goal. Lend out the lawnmower. Pick up an acquaintance from the airport. The key is this: <a href="http://sanderssays.typepad.com/sanders_says/2014/01/lovecat14.html">Don't expect or ask for anything in return</a>. The favors and help you dole out will come back to you down the road when you need them.</p> <p><em>How do you make yourself more likeable? Please share in comments &mdash; we'll like you if you do!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/brittany-lyte">Brittany Lyte</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-easy-tricks-to-become-instantly-more-likeable">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/6-easy-ways-to-be-more-likable">6 Easy Ways to Be More Likable</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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-feel-better-fast">25 Ways to Feel Better Fast</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> General Tips Personal Development charisma charm friendship likeable Fri, 12 Sep 2014 15:00:08 +0000 Brittany Lyte 1209021 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-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/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/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/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-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 Things You Can Do to Help an Unemployed Friend Find a Job http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/friends-5318794-small.jpg" alt="friends" title="friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>While the nation's economy is improving from the depths of despair we experienced in 2008 &ndash; 2009, finding a job is still a challenge for a large number of people. Currently, I have a few friends who are looking for new jobs, some unemployed, some underemployed, and others who want to trade in their current jobs for new ones. These recent experiences have prompted me to consider how I can be the best resource and friend possible during their searches. Here's what I've been up to. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-money?ref=seealso">Should You Talk to Friends About Money?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Offer Up Your Contacts</h2> <p>A few of my friends are interested in transitioning in both directions between for-profit and non-profit organizations. I've worked on both sides of the aisle throughout my career, and I've found a great deal of satisfaction and some difficulties in both. Whenever a friend tells me he or she needs a new job, whether by circumstance or choice, the first thing I do is offer to connect them with people I know who can be helpful to them in their search, especially if they are looking to change industries. I spend a lot of time and effort cultivating my network, and it's a tremendous gift to connect like-minded people who can help one another along their career paths. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs?ref=seealso">Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land a Job</a>)</p> <h2>2. Ask Them What They Really Want to Do</h2> <p>Before I make those connections I mentioned above, I ask each of my friends what they really want to do with their careers going forward. These future plans can simply be the next step on their path or a long-term goal. To be most helpful to them on their journeys, I need to know where they want to go. As Lewis Carroll so brilliantly and insightfully wrote in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, &quot;If you don't know where you're going, any road'll take you there.&quot; We need to have some kind of destination in mind before we set out on a new road.</p> <h2>3. Review the Resume</h2> <p>Just as a map can show us where we've been and the way ahead, a resume succinctly explains our work history and our future ambitions. I always keep mine up-to-date as I add new experiences, although you may find that many of your friends don't have this practice. People are sometimes reluctant to ask for help on their resumes because they are afraid to toot their own horns. Offer your eagle eyes and help a friend brush up a resume so that they shine like the bright stars that they are. Be honest and supportive, encouraging friends to focus on the skills they acquired in each professional experience as well as their achievements and results. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/12-words-you-need-to-delete-from-your-resume-right-now?ref=seealso">12 Words to Delete From Your Resume</a>)</p> <h2>4. Suggest Groups to Find New Connections</h2> <p>Some people don't realize just how many resources they have in their job search. Many alumni organizations, even if we've graduated a while ago, offer fantastic services to connect to other alums and discover job listings. Professional organizations, LinkedIn groups, and Meetups are other rich pools of opportunities to connect with and learn from others who share our interests and goals.</p> <h2>5. Remind Them to Set Goals and Review Them Regularly</h2> <p>The job search can feel like a grind, especially when it's not going as well as we'd like it to go. We easily lose our way and forget all that we're doing to help ourselves.</p> <p>I encourage my job searching friends to keep track of every person they speak to, every resume and cover letter they submit, and every company that piques their interest. Note the dates and content of the conversation or job listing, and create next steps for each. It's helpful to encourage friends on the hunt for a job to set daily, weekly, and monthly goals and then track their progress. One of the most disorienting parts of the job search is that it feels so overwhelming and often lacks structure. With a plan in hand, we can stay motivated and persistent, two attributes we need to lock down a new job. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-ways-to-maintain-motivation-when-the-going-gets-tough?ref=seealso">9 Ways to Maintain Motivation</a>)</p> <h2>6. Give Them a Break</h2> <p>Looking for a new job is a stressful experience. Friends need our support in their search, and they also need ways to take their minds off of it every once in a while. Have them over for dinner at your place, catch a movie together, or take a walk or run through the park. The job search is a full-time job in and of itself, and just as we need a break from work to be at our best on the job, we also need a break from the job search so that we put our best foot forward with potential new employers. Sometimes our friends will want to vent about the process, and sometimes they'll want to talk about something completely unrelated. Give them that space and an empathic ear.</p> <p>They say it takes a village to raise a child. It also takes a village to grow a career, and it takes several villages to get through a job search. When a friend is looking for a new role, that's a time when we can really step up and show our care and concern. It's sure to be appreciated and reciprocated.</p> <p><em>How have you helped friends find new jobs? Let us know in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-things-you-can-do-to-help-an-unemployed-friend-find-a-job">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/master-these-15-interview-questions">Master These 15 Interview Questions</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/your-31-hidden-networks-that-can-help-you-land-jobs">Your 31 Hidden Networks That Can Help You Land Jobs</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/15-bad-networking-habits-that-will-kill-your-job-prospects">15 Bad Networking Habits That Will Kill Your Job Prospects</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/using-times-new-roman-on-your-r-sum-is-like-wearing-sweatpants-to-an-interview">Using Times New Roman on Your Résumé Is Like Wearing Sweatpants to an Interview</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 General Tips Job Hunting friendship job search networking Thu, 27 Mar 2014 09:36:18 +0000 Christa Avampato 1133027 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/2617661214_ef5f9cef3c_o.jpg" alt="A group of friends" title="A group of friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="178" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Want to meet new people? The easiest and most important element is to just be &ldquo;out there.&rdquo; Be active and be open! Don&rsquo;t be picky, and be willing to hang out with everyone. A good rule to follow is to say &ldquo;yes&rdquo; to every invite (well, except the sketchy ones).</p> <p>Need some more specific ideas? Try these 10 ways to help meet new people. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You</a>)</p> <h3>1. Walk Your Dog (or Someone Else&rsquo;s Dog)</h3> <p>People love dogs, and they are a great conversation starter. Have a puppy? That&rsquo;s even better!</p> <h3>2. Hang Out With Your Kids (or Babysit Someone Else&rsquo;s Kid)</h3> <p>Like dogs and puppies, kids are great conversation starters. Join a parent group to meet other people who are in the same phase of life as you.</p> <h3>3. Get Tattoos (or Hang Out With Someone Who Has a Lot of Them)</h3> <p>My husband has a lot of tattoos on his arms and legs, so when he wears lots of tank tops and shorts during the summer, he gets asked about his tattoos pretty much non-stop. After puppies and kids, tattoos are one of the best conversation starters. Everyone wants to know what the tattoos are all about, what they mean, who did them, etc. Since I&rsquo;m hanging out with my husband when people are asking him about his tattoos, I get to meet a ton of people too.</p> <h3>4. Be the Photographer</h3> <p>Volunteer to be the photographer at an event. Having a camera in your hand helps to keep nervous fidgeting to a minimum, plus it gives you something to do and an obvious reason to talk to people. Asking &ldquo;can I take your picture?&rdquo; is a great way to start talking to someone. Give the person your business card, and tell them they can contact you to see the images from the event so you have a reason to connect after the event.</p> <h3>5. Put a Bowl of Candy at Your Desk</h3> <p>Have a job in a brand-new city, or have you moved to a new position within the same company? Whether you&rsquo;ve been at a company for a long or short amount of time, placing a bowl of candy out at your desk is a great way to meet new people. To meet even more people, set out chocolate. Most people will feel weird to just take candy and run, so they&rsquo;ll make small talk, and you&rsquo;ll get to connect with people you might not normally have met. Moral of the story &mdash; chocolate is people bait.</p> <h3>6. Have a Stand-Out Look</h3> <p>Do you own bright red sunglasses, a huge scarf, or quirky shoes? Do you have a huge beard, curly mustache, or glistening bald head? Do you wear hot pink lipstick? Anything that makes you stand out from the bunch will be a great conversation starter and will help to make you memorable.</p> <h3>7. Host a Potluck</h3> <p>Have your friends bring not only something to eat or drink, but a new person too.</p> <h3>8. Talk to the Person Who Is Alone</h3> <p>This one gets you major karma points and maybe a new friend in the process. Maybe the person standing by themselves feels even more awkward than you, and maybe they would like a new friend too. Everyone appreciates it when someone else strikes up the conversation first.</p> <h3>9. Get on the Bus</h3> <p>Commiserate about your mutual disdain for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-reasons-to-take-the-bus">public transportation</a>, or ask them about the book they&rsquo;re reading or where they are headed. You&rsquo;re stuck in a small amount of space for at least a few blocks, so pass the time with some small talk and maybe make a new friend in the process.</p> <h3>10. Through Social Media</h3> <p>While social media is called &ldquo;social media,&rdquo; how many people have you actually met through this medium? It just might be time to start making the most of all those online hours. Strike up conversations with people on <a href="http://facebook.com">Facebook</a>, <a href="http://twitter.com">Twitter</a>, <a href="http://instagram.com/">Instagram</a>, and <a href="http://flickr.com">Flickr</a>. Utilize sites like <a href="http://www.meetup.com/">Meetup</a> and make use of apps like <a href="https://foursquare.com/">FourSquare</a> and <a href="http://highlig.ht/">Highlight</a> to meet people nearby.</p> <p>So now that you know where to meet all these new people, how do you become a good friend to keep these new people around? Remember these things:</p> <ul> <li>Smile, and don&rsquo;t cross your arms in front of yourself. These two things will make you look approachable and friendly.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Laugh easily, and let your guard down enough to be silly. People who take themselves too seriously can be a drag. Don&rsquo;t be a drag.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>If someone acts like they like you, they probably do! Initiate hang-outs by saying, &ldquo;Hey, if you ever want to get together let me know. Here&rsquo;s my number.&rdquo;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Don&rsquo;t bring up controversial topics right away. Or go for it, and you just might become friends because you both hate the same things &mdash; it&rsquo;s possible!<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Be thoughtful. Remember what people say and refer back to it. People like knowing they were listened to, and this brings us to the next tip on the list...&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Really listen to people and ask them about themselves. Talk more about the other person than about yourself. This is a tried-and-true technique! Ask open-ended questions; ones that require more than a &ldquo;yes&rdquo; or &ldquo;no&rdquo; answer. But don&rsquo;t be a pest. If the other person is giving you the &ldquo;I don&rsquo;t want to talk to you&rdquo; vibe, then don&rsquo;t be a Pushy Sue just because you want a new friend.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Have the goal of making people feel better about themselves after they talk to you than they did before. Be careful to not be a suck-up or brown-noser, though, because that would be obvious and weird. There is a fine line, so be aware of it.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Read &quot;How to Win Friends and Influence People&quot; by Dale Carnegie. This is a solid and classic book that is completely stuffed with great tips on how to make and keep friends.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p><em>How do you make friends, and where do you meet new people?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/anna-newell-jones">Anna Newell Jones</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">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/25-new-things-to-do-today">25 New Things to Do Today</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/50-ways-to-have-free-outdoor-fun">50+ Ways to Have Free Outdoor Fun</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/invest-your-time-in-these-13-things-while-youre-in-your-20s">Invest Your Time in These 13 Things While You&#039;re in Your 20s</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/free-and-cheap-things-to-do-in-champaign-urbana">Free and cheap things to do in Champaign-Urbana</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/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Personal Development friendship moving things to do Fri, 28 Sep 2012 10:36:43 +0000 Anna Newell Jones 954697 at http://www.wisebread.com 20 Free Ways to Show You Care http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/111041246_6113f20e22_z_0.jpg" alt="hug" title="hug" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I would be lying if I said I didn&rsquo;t like a shiny, expensive gift from my husband every now and then (because I do; I really, really do), but at the end of the day I can live without those things. There&rsquo;s sentiment and good intention &mdash; and even love &mdash; behind the price tag of those gifts, but the gesture somehow doesn&rsquo;t seem as genuine as when it comes straight from the heart and doesn&rsquo;t cost a dime.</p> <p>My husband and I exchange gifts around the holidays and on special occasions, but it&rsquo;s the other days of the year that matter more &mdash; when we&rsquo;re not obligated to head to the mall to show how much we love each other in the form of material possessions. Surprisingly, it&rsquo;s more meaningful (and more fun) to concentrate on the everyday, even mundane small things that show how much we care for one another without reaching into our wallets. Here are a few of my favorites. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-say-thanks">25 Ways to Say Thanks</a>)</p> <h3>1. Cook a Favorite Meal</h3> <p>My husband isn&rsquo;t fussy with his food, so it&rsquo;s easy for me to whip up one of his favorite meals when I want to show him that he&rsquo;s on my mind and that what he wants matters to me. Luckily, some of his fave dinners are some of mine too, so it&rsquo;s never a bad compromise.</p> <h3>2. Run a Bath</h3> <p>After a long day of work, when you know your significant other could use a break, run a bath, fill it with bubbles, and invite your honey to soak his or her cares away.</p> <h3>3. Clean the House</h3> <p>If one of you takes on the brunt of the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-clean-your-house-in-one-day">house-cleaning</a> responsibilities, it&rsquo;s a nice surprise for the other person to take initiative every now and then to let the primary cleaner know that his or her work is acknowledged and appreciated.</p> <h3>4. Wash the Car</h3> <p>Surprise your sweetie with a clean car the next time you want to show how much your care. Wash and wax the exterior and clean the interior for a full-blown vehicular makeover.</p> <h3>5. Give a Hug</h3> <p>My husband is big on hugs. Me, not so much. Because I&rsquo;m not big on hugs, however, my husband knows that I&rsquo;m in serious love mode when I reach out to squeeze him unexpectedly.</p> <h3>6. Make a Romantic Playlist</h3> <p>You can make a mix CD I suppose, but does anyone listen to those anymore? Whatever you use to create the mix, choose songs that your partner enjoys mixed in with a few romantic songs that you share.</p> <h3>7. Make a Card</h3> <p>I once made my mom a card for Mother&rsquo;s Day, and it was probably the single-most cherished card she ever received from me. She still has it tucked away somewhere. It may not look at sleek as a Hallmark, but there&rsquo;s something about a handmade card that embodies the genuine affection you have for its recipient.</p> <h3>8. Send a Sexy Text</h3> <p>It takes less than 10 seconds to send a text that says something sexy or sweet to let the person on the other end know that they&rsquo;re on your mind.</p> <h3>9. Post a Sweet Nothing on Facebook</h3> <p>Let all your friends on Facebook know just how much you care about someone by posting a few nice words about that person. Make sure you tag that person in the post so you can be sure they see it.</p> <h3>10. Hold Their Hand</h3> <p>It can be a bit scary for my husband and I to hold hands in public &mdash; you never know what could happen &mdash; so when he grabs my hand while we&rsquo;re out somewhere, there&rsquo;s an immediate feeling of warmth that washes over me&hellip;despite what anyone else may think.</p> <h3>11. Plan a Date</h3> <p>Most dates aren&rsquo;t cheap, but you can definitely plan a fun, free date if you employ a little creativity. One of my favorites when it&rsquo;s warm out is to pack a picnic and head to a free outdoor movie screening nearby. When it&rsquo;s cold out, grab the sleds and a thermos of hot chocolate on a snow day and spend an afternoon sliding, gliding, and laughing all the way.</p> <h3>12. Frame a Picture</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheap-ways-to-display-your-art">No need to buy a new frame</a>. Just remove an old photo from an existing frame and pop in a new one of you and the person for whom the framed photo is intended.</p> <h3>13. Ask About Their Day</h3> <p>This is one of the simplest ways to show you care, yet we often overlook it. Take a few minutes to show you care about someone by asking about their day and actually listening to what they have to say.</p> <h3>14. Dedicate a Song on the Radio</h3> <p>An oldie, but a goodie &mdash; call the radio station your honey listens to and dedicate a song to him or her. It&rsquo;s always a cool, unexpected surprise when you hear your name on the radio.</p> <h3>15. Say &quot;I Love You&quot;</h3> <p>These three powerful words never go out of style. Say them to someone you care about today.</p> <h3>16. Give a Massage</h3> <p>I love a good massage, but they can be hard work, which is why I really appreciate it when my husband does this. It makes me feel like he really cares when he&rsquo;s totally immersed in making me feel good.</p> <h3>17. Run an Errand</h3> <p>Give your partner a break by running an errand or two on their list so they can have more time to relax.</p> <h3>18. Prepare Lunch for Work</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-quick-cheap-lunch-ideas">Pack a lunch</a> for your partner for him or her to take to the office. Be sure to put in a quick love note for them to find later. Those are always good for a smile.</p> <h3>19. Make Love Coupons</h3> <p>You can make love coupons naughty or nice, but either way they let the recipient know that you care about making sure they feel appreciated.&nbsp;</p> <h3>20. Give a Compliment</h3> <p>Giving a compliment hardly takes any time at all &mdash; so why do many of us fail to do this on a regular basis? Put an end to that today. Go home and give your sweetie a compliment on something (anything!), whether it&rsquo;s the tasty dinner he or she prepared, a fresh haircut, new clothes, or a pat on the back for an accomplishment at work.</p> <p><em>Have other ideas on free ways to show someone you care? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/20-free-ways-to-show-you-care">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/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</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-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</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/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-money">Should You Talk to Friends About 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/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</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-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward">25 Frugal Ways to &quot;Pay It Forward&quot;</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle cheer up free gifts friendship Tue, 25 Sep 2012 10:24:40 +0000 Mikey Rox 954698 at http://www.wisebread.com 25 Frugal Ways to "Pay It Forward" http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/5735443325_6526e4f08b_z.jpg" alt="donations" title="donations" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We&rsquo;ve all seen the movie where little Haley Joel Osment starts a movement that compels others to commit random acts of kindness. And after we watched &ldquo;Pay It Forward,&rdquo; we were all like, &quot;I totally want to do that&quot; &mdash; except we never did.</p> <p>Now&rsquo;s your chance. Here are 25 small, inexpensive ways you can do something nice for someone you know &mdash; or a stranger, even. The only caveat is that the recipient of your good deed should pass it on. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gratitude-and-frugality">Gratitude and Frugality</a>)</p> <h3>1. Pay for Somebody&rsquo;s Coffee</h3> <p>What a nice treat it would be if you ordered your coffee and the barista told you it was already paid for. To brighten someone else&rsquo;s day this way, leave $5 with the barista and tell him or her to use that cash to pay for the next person&rsquo;s joe. If there&rsquo;s any change left over, they can put it in their tip jar. Two smiles, one stone.</p> <h3>2. Hold the Door Open</h3> <p>It seems simple, but I see so many people in such a rush that they neglect to hold the door open for another person. It only takes a few seconds, and the guy or girl on the other side will definitely appreciate it.</p> <h3>3. Donate Goods to Charity</h3> <p>Whether you're donating your closet clutter to the Goodwill or handing over warm coats and blankets during a drive, your surplus may be someone else&rsquo;s saving grace.</p> <h3>4. Give Your Favorite Restaurant a Positive Online Review</h3> <p>So many people focus on the negative when leaving a review, so why not go to Yelp and sing the praises of your favorite place to eat? It&rsquo;ll be good for business, and it&rsquo;ll give the owner of the establishment a surge or happiness, however fleeting it may be.</p> <h3>5. Donate Blood</h3> <p>Your donated blood could mean the difference between life and death for someone who needs it.</p> <h3>6. Volunteer at a Nursing Home</h3> <p>There are many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/volunteer-to-travel-11-opportunities-for-free-or-very-cheap-travel">ways to volunteer</a>, but I&rsquo;ve always liked the idea of spending some time with the elderly. Many residents of nursing homes have been abandoned by their families, so your presence can cheer them up. You don&rsquo;t have to do much, either. Chatting, watching TV, and playing games are all acceptable activities to help ease the loneliness of living in a nursing home.</p> <h3>7. Welcome New Neighbors With a Housewarming Gift</h3> <p>We used to see this all the time on TV, but do people really do this anymore? Resurrect an old tradition when a new family moves into your hood by bringing them a basket of baked goods or a small herb garden. You&rsquo;ll start out on the right foot with your neighbors and perhaps gain a new friend in the process.</p> <h3>8. Let Someone Check Out Before You at the Supermarket</h3> <p>I have let someone who only has a few items in front of me at the grocery store, and others have let me go before them too. Unless you&rsquo;re in a serious rush, there&rsquo;s no harm in letting someone get out of the store before you if their purchase will be quick.</p> <h3>9. Send a Friend an Unexpected Gift</h3> <p>As part of my job I&rsquo;m often sent CDs, DVDs, and books to review, and when I&rsquo;m finished with them I pop them in the mail and send them to the friend who I think will be most interested in that particular item. You may not have access to this kind of media all the time, so think of other small things a friend might like to get in the mail and send them their way.</p> <h3>10. Bring in Breakfast for the Office</h3> <p>When I worked in an office, I loved when a coworker brought in donuts or homemade muffins for breakfast. Sometimes it&rsquo;s nice to have a sweet treat first thing in the morning.</p> <h3>11. Offer Your Parking Space in a Crowded Lot</h3> <p>We&rsquo;ve all been in this situation, especially around the holidays. You will totally make someone&rsquo;s day if you actively help them get the parking spot you&rsquo;re about to vacate. Just signal to a nearby driver that you&rsquo;re about to leave as you&rsquo;re walking to your car so they can swoop in for the win.</p> <h3>12. Make a Care Package for a Member of the Military</h3> <p>They&rsquo;re risking their lives on a daily basis to keep America safe. The least we can do is pick up a few essentials and mementos from home to make their tour more bearable.</p> <h3>13. Provide Roadside Assistance to Someone in Need</h3> <p>My dad has stopped on several occasions to help a stranded motorist on the side of the road. If you&rsquo;re particularly good with car problems or know how to change a flat in a flash, lend a hand to someone who&rsquo;s currently not having a great day.</p> <h3>14. Give Someone Who&rsquo;s Short on Change That Extra Dime</h3> <p>Have you ever been behind someone at the checkout counter who&rsquo;s 5 or 10 cents short? If you&rsquo;ve got the extra change in your pocket, hand it over to help your fellow consumer.</p> <h3>15. Offer Someone Your Seat</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re in a situation where there are more people than seats &mdash; I deal with this everyday on the subway &mdash; give up yours so someone else can relax for a bit.</p> <h3>16. Give a Homeless Person Your Leftovers</h3> <p>When you leave a restaurant with your doggie bag and you&rsquo;re approached by a homeless person, give them your food so they don&rsquo;t have to go hungry another night.&nbsp;</p> <h3>17. When Someone Drops Something, Pick It Up</h3> <p>Don&rsquo;t just stare at it. Lean over and get it for them if it&rsquo;s close to you.</p> <h3>18. Pick Up Litter in Your Neighborhood or a Park</h3> <p>If you see trash in your local park, pick it up and put it where it belongs. We all need to pitch in to keep our neighborhoods beautiful.</p> <h3>19. Teach Someone a Skill That You&rsquo;ve Mastered</h3> <p>I have a good friend who was kind enough to offer my husband guitar lessons for free, a gesture that is totally appreciated and not soon forgotten. If you have a teachable skill, impart your wisdom on someone in your life to make them a more well-rounded person.</p> <h3>20. Offer to Take a Picture for Tourists</h3> <p>When you&rsquo;re on vacation and you see a couple trying to take a picture of themselves, offer to take the picture for them. Nobody wants a photo of smushed faces and huge foreheads.</p> <h3>21. Bring Your Friend&rsquo;s Pet a Treat</h3> <p>We often think about the people in our lives, but what about the pets in our lives? If your good friend has a pet, pick up a treat for it. The pet &mdash; and your friend &mdash; will like you even more.</p> <h3>22. Pay the Toll Fare for the Person Behind You</h3> <p>Just like buying that <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-reasons-to-drink-coffee">cup of coffee</a> for a stranger, paying someone&rsquo;s toll fare will put them in a better mood. Hopefully a mood good enough to pay it forward.</p> <h3>23. Add Change to an Expired Meter</h3> <p>If you see an expired meter near your parking spot, add a little extra change to help that person avoid a costly ticket.&nbsp;</p> <h3>24. Give Your Neighbor Produce From Your Garden</h3> <p>If you have a garden that&rsquo;s produce <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/gadzukes-10-ways-to-use-up-your-zucchini-bounty">more fruits, veggies, and herbs than you can eat</a>, share them with your neighbor so they don&rsquo;t go to waste.</p> <h3>25. Leave Unused Coupons on the Item at the Grocery Store</h3> <p>If I have a coupon for a food item that I don&rsquo;t want and the coupon is about to expire, I leave it on or near the item for which it&rsquo;s intended. It&rsquo;s a nice money-saving surprise for someone else to find.</p> <p><em>There are lots more small ways you can pay it forward. I'd love to hear your ideas. Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-frugal-ways-to-pay-it-forward">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/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</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-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</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/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-money">Should You Talk to Friends About 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/10-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</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/interview-with-love-drop-co-founder-j-money">Interview With Love Drop Co-Founder J. Money</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle friendship Giving Back giving gifts Mon, 13 Aug 2012 10:36:42 +0000 Mikey Rox 948754 at http://www.wisebread.com Make Friends and Be Happy: Why Cultivating Relationships Is Good for You http://www.wisebread.com/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/982355_99732576.jpg" alt="Good friends" title="Good friends" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>We all have that &quot;one person&quot; that we can call anytime &mdash; day or night &mdash; for just about any reason. I'm lucky enough to have several &mdash; friends and family who are just as willing to listen to my woes as they are to share in my triumphs.</p> <p>These are the people who know to just gasp and nod when you need to vent, they pretend that they're interested in all the stories about your children, and they tell you how wonderful you are when you're feeling down. A few will even offer to help you move, an act that in itself makes these relationships worth cherishing.</p> <p>But the willingness to transport boxes isn't the only reason you should work harder to build a social circle. In fact, there's several good reasons for cultivating relationships, all of which help make your life infinitely better. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-lend-to-friends-and-family">Should You Lend to Friends and Family?</a>)</p> <h2>1. Support</h2> <p>When we first moved out to the country, we immediately embraced our new lifestyle by buying horses. In the process, we made several new friends with equine interests and as a result, discovered all sorts of wonderful riding trails we never knew existed. But it wasn't until one of our horses got sick that I realized just how strong that circle of friends had become.</p> <p>Within minutes, we had five different neighbors standing in our pasture, taking turns walking the horse to keep him from going down. One of the neighbors called a veterinarian friend who promptly showed up with a concoction that would give the horse a fighting chance...no charge.</p> <p>And then they all stayed, until the wee hours of the morning, refusing to leave until they knew the horse would be okay.</p> <p>Having a strong support network is like having a safety net to catch you when you fall off the high wire. Good friends will support you when you try something new, and they'll help you pick up the pieces when your venture doesn't work out. They let you rant when you need to and pull you back on track when you've lost your way. They'll loan you money, drive you home, and bring you chicken soup when you're sick...and they'll have your back no matter what, even if it means standing in your pasture all night to tend to a sick horse.</p> <h2>2. Health</h2> <p>I mentioned chicken soup earlier, but the health benefits of good friends actually goes much deeper than that &mdash; having good friends can actually help you ward off disease before it ever strikes.</p> <p>Research shows that people with a happy social life tend to be less stressed than their non-social counterparts &mdash; a nice side benefit of having someone to talk to when life isn't going your way. Friends also have the ability to impact our mood and boost our self-esteem, two important factors that affect our perspective on life and the world around us.</p> <p>As a result, strong relationships actually help us stay healthier and live longer, a perk I'm sure we'd all like to take advantage of.</p> <h2>3. Personal Advancement</h2> <p>My husband has a natural social charm that allows him to connect with just about anyone, anywhere, anytime, and because of this, we've enjoyed a continuous stream of free stuff, cheap stuff, and amazing opportunities we wouldn't of had otherwise. In addition to our horse friends I mentioned earlier, for example, he also has friends that work on air conditioning units and friends who work on cars. Once or twice a year, we have a friend who sends over enough fresh beef to fill a freezer, another friend that sends chicken, and yet another friend who supplies us with pork.</p> <p>If we need a trailer, there's about three friends we can borrow from, and if we need work done on our house, well, there's about three more friends that can help us there.</p> <p>We've enjoyed weekends at a private retreat at no charge, and we have access to boats and jet skis whenever we want to use them.</p> <p>In short, our circle of friends has enriched our lives in every way imaginable. Not that we purposely seek out these social connections with that strategy in mind, and I'm certainly not advocating that you make friends based on what those friends can offer. All of these relationships have an unspoken tit for tat, so rest assured that we do for them just as they do for us.</p> <p>But there's a reason that people say &quot;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-simple-networking-tricks">it's all in who you know</a>.&quot; And the more people you know, the more enrichment you'll enjoy.</p> <h2>4. Accountability</h2> <p>Just as friends are willing to listen when we rant, they're also willing to say when enough's enough. And sometimes, that's exactly what we need.</p> <p>Having someone who's not afraid to tell you the truth will help you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-be-a-better-person-today">become a better person</a>. It keeps us honest and helps us avoid the trap of self-pity. Yes, it's nice to have someone who will sing your praises no matter what, but it's also useful to have a friend who doesn't pull any punches.</p> <p>Those are the friends that drag you out of bed when you're feeling sorry for yourself; they hold you to your promises and call you on your bull instead of just letting it slide. They tell you when you've messed up, when you're being ridiculous, and when you're headed in the wrong direction.</p> <p>And because they're willing to call like it is, you'll always have an honest opinion about the person you're becoming and the life you're creating.</p> <p>Now, making and keeping these friends isn't always easy, and I'll be the first to admit that I'm not always as diligent as I should be. But if there's one thing I've learned from my relationships, its that each has its own rhythm.</p> <p>Some friendships require daily connections, while others work just as well with less frequency. I have a friend who lives in Chicago, for example, and we talk on the phone once a month. But when we have that phone call, it's like we haven't missed a day...that sisterly bond is still just as strong, and the affection we share for each other hasn't waned a bit. And I know without a doubt that I'll never be truly alone.</p> <p>And that, I believe, is the real benefit of friendship.</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/make-friends-and-be-happy-why-cultivating-relationships-is-good-for-you">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/10-basic-manners-you-must-teach-your-kids">10 Basic Manners You Must Teach Your Kids</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-jobs-proven-to-make-you-live-longer">5 Jobs Proven to Make You Live Longer</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/if-youre-doing-this-on-your-first-date-youre-not-getting-a-second">If You&#039;re Doing This on Your First Date, You&#039;re Not Getting a Second</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-to-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid">How to Express Condolences Without Saying Something Stupid</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family Personal Development friendship support well-being Thu, 01 Mar 2012 11:24:26 +0000 Kate Luther 909640 at http://www.wisebread.com Should You Talk to Friends About Money? http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-money" 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.jpg" alt="Friends talking in a restaurant" title="Friends talking in a restaurant" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>I have a friend (a loose term for this guy) who, whenever I see him, only talks about money. Everything has a price tag with this dude, and it&rsquo;s incredibly annoying. Upon meeting my husband for the first time &mdash; who was my boyfriend back then and a lieutenant in the Navy &mdash; this &ldquo;friend&rdquo; had the audacity to ask, straight out, how much he made a year. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-lend-to-friends-and-family">Should You Lend to Friends and&nbsp;Family?</a>)</p> <p>If it were any of my other friends &mdash; who have manners &mdash; I probably wouldn&rsquo;t have batted an eye (I&rsquo;m sure a lot of people are curious about how much members of the military make), but when I heard it came from this guy, I was offended. Everything has a price tag with him (&ldquo;My truck cost $_________&rdquo;; &ldquo;I paid $____ for this shirt&rdquo;), and it eventually drove me away from being his friend.</p> <p>My close friends who are reading this right now know exactly who I&rsquo;m talking about, and that&rsquo;s unfortunate (albeit telling), because he does the same thing to them.</p> <p>In general, my friends and I don&rsquo;t talk about money together &mdash; at least not the money we make. We all have different jobs and varying salaries, for sure, and I have never once divulged to any of them how much I make, nor have they to me.</p> <p>And that&rsquo;s mainly for one reason &mdash; I don&rsquo;t care.</p> <p>To be my friend &mdash; and for me to be theirs &mdash; doesn&rsquo;t depend on how much money we earn a year.</p> <p>I will be honest that money (or the lack thereof) can cause rifts between friends. Sometimes one party can&rsquo;t afford what the other is doing &mdash; and when that happens enough, new relationships are established with those who are on a level playing field and existing relationships fall by the wayside. Still, in my opinion, loyalty is first and foremost. I have poor friends, and I have rich friends &mdash; but for me, it&rsquo;s all about the person and how we click.</p> <p>While I refuse to discuss base salaries with friends, though, I don&rsquo;t think that discussing money all together is off the table. It just has to be done the right way.</p> <p>For instance, saving. All my friends know that I&rsquo;m frugal. Personally, I think I&rsquo;m a generous guy, but I also don&rsquo;t like to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-dreams-you-wont-achieve-unless-you-live-below-your-means">spend money that I don&rsquo;t have to spend</a>. I&rsquo;m not embarrassed about using a coupon when we&rsquo;re out to dinner, taking advantage of a Foursquare special, or doing anything else that keeps more money in my pocket.</p> <p>Some may call that cheap, but there&rsquo;s a difference. And that&rsquo;s where the generosity comes in. When my friends need something, I&rsquo;m there; I&rsquo;m their biggest supporter &mdash; because that&rsquo;s what friendship is about. It&rsquo;s never about the money &mdash; and it never will be (unless, of course, you have a friend who takes advantage, and there have been those) &mdash; but we all know that our friendship with one another is priceless.</p> <p>Yes, priceless.</p> <p>You can put a price tag on a lot of things &mdash; like that guy I know; he&rsquo;s not worth anything to me. But you can&rsquo;t put a price tag on true friends.</p> <p>Whoever says that money matters is both correct and incorrect. It matters to me because I have to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-cant-you-ever-make-on-time-payments">pay my bills</a>. But my money shouldn&rsquo;t matter to you, because I don&rsquo;t have to pay your bills &mdash; and vice versa.</p> <p>We&rsquo;re all grown, responsible adults who strive to make it. Some of us will make it big, while others will continue to struggle to survive. Neither of those circumstances (or wherever I fall on that spectrum) will ever dictate my loyalty to true friends.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">The question of this piece remains, however &mdash; should you talk to friends about money?</p> <p class="MsoNormal">In my opinion, no. In the grand scheme of things, money means nothing.</p> <p class="MsoNormal">It&rsquo;s only the good company you&rsquo;ve kept that will mean ANYTHING when your life is said and done.&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal"><i style="mso-bidi-font-style:normal">What&rsquo;s your opinion on this heated topic? Let me know in the comments below.</i></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-talk-to-friends-about-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-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/11-simple-rules-of-excellent-houseguest-etiquette">11 Simple Rules of Excellent Houseguest Etiquette</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/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent)</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-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</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/if-youre-doing-this-on-your-first-date-youre-not-getting-a-second">If You&#039;re Doing This on Your First Date, You&#039;re Not Getting a Second</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-fun-practically-free-ways-to-make-new-friends">10 Fun, Practically Free Ways to Make New Friends</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle etiquette friendship talking Thu, 23 Feb 2012 11:24:12 +0000 Mikey Rox 903366 at http://www.wisebread.com The Benefits of Having a Roommate (Besides Saving on Rent) http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/roommates.jpg" alt="Roommates" title="Roommates" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="138" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Since leaving home 12 years ago, when I was 18, I&rsquo;ve always lived with someone else.</p> <p>Most people my age have, in fact. Either they&rsquo;re cohabitating with a lover, or they want to cut down on expenses by sharing space with others. And who doesn&rsquo;t? We all want to save wherever we can.</p> <p>For me, I enjoyed the rent savings that comes with sharing a house or apartment, but also I prefer to have someone around so I&rsquo;m not lonely (and because I&rsquo;m afraid of the dark &mdash; I feel better knowing someone else is there; go ahead and make fun of me in the comments below).</p> <p>But besides those few reasons just mentioned, there are several other benefits to having a roommate. Take a look at what I&rsquo;ve come up with, and tell me if you agree. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/when-you-should-and-shouldnt-rent">When&nbsp;You Should and Shouldn't Rent</a>)</p> <h3>1. To Share the Cost of Household Essentials</h3> <p>If you&rsquo;re living with other people, it&rsquo;s everyone&rsquo;s responsibility to clean the house and share the cost of the cleaning supplies. If that&rsquo;s not happening, it can create an awkward living situation. True story &mdash; I once lived with a closet crackhead who contributed zilch to the house, barely paid his rent, and invited friends over and let them tear into food that I had just purchased. You want to avoid confrontations with roommates at all costs to keep the peace, and pitching in equally in terms of household duties and supplies is critical.</p> <h3>2. For Carpooling</h3> <p>I doubt you and your roommate work together, but if you do, you&rsquo;ve hit the jackpot on saving on gas and allowing your car to last longer by not using it as often. Even if you don&rsquo;t work together, however, you can still carpool to other places, such as the grocery store or the mall if you both need or want to go at the same time. When I lived with roommates, I would always let them know when I was going someplace that they might be interested in. I was happy to give them a lift &mdash; plus, I had company. One of them (not the crackhead) would return the favor whenever he was going someplace that he thought I might need to go.</p> <h3>3. To Split Entertainment Fees</h3> <p>It&rsquo;s common for roommates to split utilities and cable, but there are other items that can be shared as well. For instance, a Netflix account. If you live in the same house, there&rsquo;s no reason to have more than one Netflix account. You&rsquo;ll have to work out a way to make it work for all parties involved. The one-DVD-at-a-time plan probably isn&rsquo;t a good idea &mdash; nobody will ever agree on a movie &mdash; but the three-DVDs-at-a-time plan could work for two or more roommates, and everyone saves more money than if they had their own separate subscriptions. Same goes for magazines. If you both like a particular magazine, why not go in half on the subscription?</p> <h3>4. To Sit Your Pet</h3> <p>Anybody with a pet knows that dog-sitting and boarding expenses can take a large chunk of change out of your pocket at the most inopportune time &mdash; you could use that extra money while you&rsquo;re on vacation. If you have a roommate, he or she will likely be more than happy to take care of your pet while you&rsquo;re away. Politely ask them if it&rsquo;s possible, and offer to show your appreciation by taking them out to dinner, which, unless they&rsquo;re a glutton, will cost much less than you&rsquo;d pay for professional pet services. If you want to save even more money, suggest repaying them by doing something around the house, like <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-baking-soda-took-my-bathroom-from-%E2%80%9Cyuck%E2%80%9D-to-yes">cleaning the bathroom</a> or another activity that your roommate might normally do.</p> <h3>5. To Become Order-In Buddies</h3> <p>Unless you plan to eat the whole pizza by yourself, you should ask your roommate to share the food and the cost with you. By doing this, nothing will go to waste, and you&rsquo;ll both be satisfied for less. This works for any kind of order-in that has a minimum delivery threshold, really. If the item you want is $7, but there&rsquo;s a $10 minimum, you&rsquo;ll probably end up purchasing an additional item you don&rsquo;t want to meet the minimum. Before you do that, though, ask the roommate if there&rsquo;s anything he or she would like. It&rsquo;ll save you a few bucks.</p> <h3>6. To Deter Would-Be Intruders</h3> <p>Some roommates have different schedules &mdash; and that can be a good thing. If someone is always home, there&rsquo;s less of a chance of an intruder getting away with your stuff. I once lived with roommates, and we had a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cant-afford-a-home-alarm-system-you-probably-already-have-one">break-in</a> in the middle of the day. No one was home at the time, but if they were, they could have stopped him. However, if I were the unfortunate one to have been home at the time, I would&rsquo;ve hidden under the bed like a coward. Note to you &mdash; don&rsquo;t ever live with me.</p> <h3>7. To Unlock the Door When You&rsquo;ve Lost Your Keys</h3> <p>This has happened to me on several occasions, and I was thankful that my roommate was home when I called so he could unlock the door for me. Better than sitting on the stoop forever, or even worse, calling a locksmith.</p> <h3>8. To Have Your Back When You&rsquo;ve Had Too Much</h3> <p>When I lived in Baltimore, I had a roommate who I would go out on the town with. And on occasion, I would have too much, but he always got me home safely. I did the same for him; we had each other&rsquo;s backs. Even if you&rsquo;re not going out together, it&rsquo;s still great to have someone in the house to make sure you haven&rsquo;t overdone it when you stumble home, and if you have, to make the right decision regarding your well-being.</p> <p><em>What are some other benefits to having a roommate? Let me know in the comments below.</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/mikey-rox">Mikey Rox</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-benefits-of-having-a-roommate-besides-saving-on-rent">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/20-tips-for-getting-your-security-deposit-back">20 Tips for Getting Your Security Deposit Back</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/self-employed-heres-how-to-get-your-apartment-application-approved">Self-Employed? Here&#039;s How to Get Your Apartment Application Approved</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-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid</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/mcmansion-to-mccottage-why-smaller-houses-are-smarter">McMansion to McCottage: Why Smaller Houses Are Smarter</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Real Estate and Housing friendship renting roommates sharing Fri, 17 Feb 2012 11:24:17 +0000 Mikey Rox 898339 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Express Condolences Without Saying Something Stupid http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/hug.jpg" alt="People hugging" title="People hugging" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Until recently, I felt awkward and unprepared when someone I knew experienced the death of a family member. My reactions were typically neither swift nor smooth. Stockpiled sympathy cards were rarely accessible when needed. Visitations and memorial services often conflicted with my schedule. Plus, I was never sure whether my presence would be comforting or annoying.</p> <p>I just didn't have much firsthand experience with these types of things.&nbsp;Still, I tried to do the best I could, observing other friends&rsquo; actions and hoping that whatever steps I took were welcomed and encouraging, not intrusive or depressing. After receiving condolences when my mom died a year or so ago, I became better equipped to handle this task. The types of messages that I received were varied, making me realize that there is not one right way but many ways to express sympathy. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/25-ways-to-communicate-better-today">25 Ways to&nbsp;Communicate Better Today</a>)</p> <p>Here are ways of expressing condolences that have worked for me.</p> <h3>Post a Message on Facebook</h3> <p>Use Facebook only if the news has been shared publicly, preferably on your friend's wall. Realize that your job is to express sympathy, not announce the death or discuss details surrounding the death or the family&rsquo;s reaction to the world.&nbsp;</p> <p>Note that some FB announcements are straightforward, like &ldquo;My grandmother died yesterday.&rdquo; But others are subtle, such as &ldquo;I will always remember my dad from this picture.&rdquo; Confirm the death by reading other wall posts or checking your local newspaper. Then offer a kind response in the same tone as your friend's announcement.</p> <h3>Send a Card</h3> <p>Buy and send a card, or write a note that expresses your sympathy. Say that you are sorry to hear about the death and, if you know you can follow through, add offers of help or support. And, while it is usually fine to share your experiences that may be similar to the one your friend is dealing with, don&rsquo;t assume that you know exactly how she feels or what she is thinking right now.</p> <p>The great thing about sending a card is that the recipient can reread these and feel your sympathy again at a later time. Sure, she can pull up your email from her archive, but the physical aspect of a card or note (and the extra effort you took to sign your name, address an envelope, and buy a stamp) is comforting.</p> <h3>Send an Email</h3> <p>The advantage of email is that you can respond quickly and reach those who may be traveling to be with their families and/or arranging for services. So, if you correspond with a friend or acquaintance via email on a regular basis, then this method is fine. Just say that you are sorry to hear about the death and wanted to make sure that you were able to get in touch sooner, rather than later.</p> <h3>Leave a Message on Legacy.com or an Online Guestbook<o:p></o:p></h3> <p>Express sympathy<b> </b>and share a memory of a positive experience with the deceased. Don&rsquo;t reference the circumstances of the death; that is, avoid saying that you were &ldquo;shocked&rdquo; and instead state that you were &ldquo;saddened&rdquo; by the news.</p> <h3>Call</h3> <p>Most people do not call because they are concerned that the family is usually overwhelmed immediately following the death. Close friends may call to express sympathy and offer assistance with arrangements, meals, etc.</p> <h3>Visit Your Friend at Home</h3> <p>Paying a visit is a kind, memorable way of expressing condolences but should be reserved for those with whom you are close and have known for a while. The days immediately following a death can be busy and difficult, so pick your time carefully, calling ahead or scheduling a time via email.</p> <p>If you feel conflicted about a visit, stay away or bring food as an excuse for a short visit. Tell your friend (or her family member who answers the door) that you are sorry about the death and can't stay long but you wanted to bring something that could be helpful in the next few days. Grieving families are not picky, but many may be inundated with food in a short period of time. To be extra helpful, consider these food-giving tactics: 1) bring a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-awesome-easy-to-freeze-meals">frozen entree</a> with reheating instructions that can be used immediately or later in the week, 2) give a gift card to a favorite restaurant or deli that will make choosing the next meal easy, or 3) give non-perishable items that can be stored easily, such as a basket of fresh fruit or healthy snacks.</p> <h3>Go to the Visitation or Funeral</h3> <p>If you want to express your condolences (and don&rsquo;t know the deceased very well), then attend the visitation or wake. These are typically dress-up affairs and black is still appropriate. Most will have receiving lines that allow you to talk with your friend and meet the family. Introduce yourself, explain how you knew the deceased, and express your sympathy. Depending on the length of the line, share a story about the deceased that the family members may have never heard.</p> <p>If you knew the deceased or are particularly close to the friend, attend the funeral in addition to the visitation (though sometimes these are combined). Your goal is to be present and show your support as there will be little time to speak with your friend during the funeral; remember to sign the guest register for a remembrance later.</p> <h3>Say Something When You See the Person</h3> <p>This technique can be problematic because you may not be able to predict how soon you will see the person and whether you will be able to speak privately to her when you do. Still, face-to-face contact is a great way to express sympathy to someone, whether she is a long-time friend or a recent acquaintance. Most people will appreciate your acknowledgement, especially if the death is fairly recent (less than a month or so ago). If more time has passed, then consider saying something like, &ldquo;Hey, I should have said something before but I wanted you to know that I was sorry to hear about your grandmother.&rdquo;</p> <p>What will probably happen next is usually one of two things:</p> <ol> <li>She thanks you and then moves to another topic. She may not be ready to talk about the death, doesn&rsquo;t feel like sharing her thoughts or feelings with you, or is focused on another subject.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>She shares details about the situation, the cause of death, or some circumstances leading up to the death.&nbsp;This talk may last about 5 or 10 minutes but is therapeutic and can help her reframe the past and the inevitable in a more positive light. Now I find myself seeking out those who have recently lost a loved one and have had bonding conversations that I never thought possible before.</li> </ol> <p>You may have heard this warning before but I will mention that it is a good idea NOT to say&nbsp;&ldquo;it was for the best,&rdquo; &ldquo;I&rsquo;m glad your grandmother is no longer suffering,&rdquo; or something like that. Your friend might say those things, but you should not.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Send Flowers</h3> <p>Flowers are a great way to express condolences and are appropriate for those with whom you have a longstanding relationship. Consider sending flowers in a vase rather than a traditional stand so that they will be appropriate for any type of service. &nbsp;</p> <h3>Make a Gift in the Person&rsquo;s Name</h3> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/giving-to-charity-is-great-but-how-do-you-pick-one">Make a donation to a charity</a> designated by the family, rather than send flowers. The charity should let your friend (or her family) know that a gift has been made by you in the deceased&rsquo;s name. Because there can be several weeks between the death and the notification of the gift, you may also want to express sympathy in other ways to show support of your friend in the meantime.</p> <p>You don't have to do all of these things to express condolences. Most people choose one.</p> <p><em>What ways have you found appropriate to express condolences? Share them in the comments.&nbsp;</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/how-to-express-condolences-without-saying-something-stupid">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/how-to-deal-with-a-rude-neighbor">How to Deal With a Rude Neighbor</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-win-an-argument">How to Win an Argument</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/a-frugal-renewal-retying-the-knot-without-untying-your-budget">A Frugal Renewal: Retying The Knot Without Untying Your Budget</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/when-should-you-say-no-to-those-who-want-to-borrow-money-from-you">When Should You Say No to Those Who Want to Borrow Money from You?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Family General Tips communication difficult times friendship Mon, 23 Jan 2012 10:48:11 +0000 Julie Rains 269226 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Ways Being Nice at Work Can Payoff http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000008042110Small2.jpg" alt="Happy coworkers" title="Happy coworkers" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Several years ago, the Harvard Business Review published an essay about jerks at work that the author eventually turned into a book called <em>The No A**hole Rule</em>. I&rsquo;ve never read the book, but it talks about how to avoid being a jerk at work and how to deal with people who are acting like jerks.</p> <p>Treating co-workers poorly isn&rsquo;t the best career move. But we&rsquo;ve all had bad days (or weeks), and sometimes the stress of the job can get to us. If you find yourself hating a co-worker or wanting to yell over the cube wall in frustration, just keep in mind these five ways that being nice at work can payoff. (See also: <a href="http://getcurrency.com/life-style/the-dos-and-donts-of-handling-a-co-worker-you-hate">The Dos and Don'ts of Handling a Coworker You Hate</a> via Currency)</p> <h3>1. It Helps Score Good Projects</h3> <p>No matter what industry you work in, there are always certain projects that are more desirable than others. Sometimes these types of projects require specialized skills that only certain people have. However, in some instances, multiple people are qualified to handle that type of work, and how your boss assigns projects can be subjective. If you&rsquo;re easy to work with and get along with a variety of personalities, then your boss may be more likely to pick you since you may help the project go more smoothly.</p> <h3>2. It Helps Extend Your Reputation</h3> <p>If you have a history of working well with other people, then you may be assigned projects that require extensive integration and interaction within your organization or with outside clients. Although coordinating schedules and getting people to agree and work together can frustrating, it can also pay off. A major benefit of being in this role is that you build relationships and networks all around your organization and externally as well.</p> <p>For example, in a former job one of our big clients was a major online brokerage, and we worked extensively with one lady in their organization. She was great to work with, so when the brokerage made some big changes and she lost her job, we hired her to work for us.</p> <h3>3. It Earns Future Referrals</h3> <p>If you find yourself unexpectedly out of work, it&rsquo;s much easier to get a quick reference from a former co-worker if they have fond memories of working with you. Or if it's a pre-meditated job change, you can fish out some of the goodwill while you&rsquo;re still there.</p> <p>Before I left an old job, I sent out an &ldquo;exit survey&rdquo; of my own, asking co-workers for feedback on my time working with them. I asked for things I could improve on as well as areas where they thought I did a great job. Their answers were great material for a resume and referrals.</p> <h3>4. It Opens Networking Options</h3> <p>Nice people get invited to happy hours; grouchy people don&rsquo;t. Some of the best <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/networking-basics-for-regular-people">networking</a> opportunities you&rsquo;ll have are outside of work. Whether it&rsquo;s catching a baseball game, meeting for dinner, or going to a co-worker&rsquo;s holiday party, your chances of getting an invitation to mingle are much higher if you&rsquo;re nice to the people you work with.</p> <h3>5. It Makes Your Job Easier</h3> <p>Being nice to other people can make your job easier. How many times have you been told something will take three days, but when you call your buddy in that department they're able to slip it through in an afternoon? Building social capital by being nice can help get you around the chain of command and policies and procedures.</p> <p>One key to being seen as a nice person is to be a good listener. Don&rsquo;t spend the whole meeting, phone call, or work break talking about yourself. In general, people like to talk about themselves, their needs, and the situations they&rsquo;re in. Let them talk. People often feel better after they&rsquo;ve said their piece and gotten confirmation that you&rsquo;ve heard what they&rsquo;ve had to say. Not only will they feel better, but the things you learn while letting them talk can turn out to be valuable pieces of information down the road.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ben-edwards">Ben Edwards</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-being-nice-at-work-can-payoff">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/boost-your-career-how-to-be-happier-and-more-likeable-at-work">Boost Your Career: How to Be Happier and More Likeable at 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/how-to-answer-23-of-the-most-common-interview-questions">How to Answer 23 of the Most Common Interview Questions</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/using-times-new-roman-on-your-r-sum-is-like-wearing-sweatpants-to-an-interview">Using Times New Roman on Your Résumé Is Like Wearing Sweatpants to an Interview</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/6-easy-ways-to-improve-your-online-reputation">6 Easy Ways to Improve Your Online Reputation</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/you-re-fired-20-signs-that-a-pink-slip-is-coming">You’re Fired! 20 Signs That a Pink Slip is Coming</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Career Building co-workers friendship work relationships Thu, 01 Sep 2011 09:48:12 +0000 Ben Edwards 686098 at http://www.wisebread.com 5 Bridesmaid Dress Ideas From a Bridesmaid http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/bridesmaids.jpg" alt="Bridesmaids" title="Bridesmaids" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="136" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Oh, the bridesmaid dress. That much-maligned, expensive bit of fabric that, depending on the style chosen, can make a group of women look like ravishing goddesses or bloated Disney princess rejects.</p> <p>I have felt very honored every time I've been asked to be part of a bridal party. The weddings I have participated in have been for people who I love dearly. But when it comes time to buy The Bridesmaid Dress, I &mdash; a woman who will rarely spend over $50 on a dress that I get to choose the fit and color of myself &mdash; grit my teeth a bit. Yes, I'm happy to buy the dress to make this day special for my friend. But spending $150 (or much, much more) on one piece of clothing makes me...well. Here's a way to describe how I feel about the cost of bridesmaid dresses &mdash; the first time I ever found a grey hair on my head, it was during a bridesmaid dress fitting. Take from that what you will.</p> <p>Now, I certainly hope any former or future brides who picked or will pick me for their bridal parties won't feel like I'm laying down a guilt trip. I feel lucky to have participated in your weddings, and you've all been good, sane brides. And I should also issue a disclaimer &mdash; I have not been a bride, nor do I have any plans to be one soon. I know the wedding day is not about the bridesmaids. That said, here are a few humble dress suggestions from a woman who's had to wear her share. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/alternative-wedding-ideas-for-big-savings">Alternative Wedding Ideas for Big Savings</a>)</p> <h3>1. Give Options</h3> <p>I happily just plunked down $215 for a bridesmaid dress. Why happily? Because the bride in question found a line of dresses that gave all of her maids options for different tops and skirts. The resulting dresses manage to flatter each of our body types while still looking like one cohesive style. Even better? We got to choose from a small selection of bride-approved colors as well.</p> <h3>2. Consider a Non-Bridesmaid Dress</h3> <p>I love this <a href="http://www.glamour.com/weddings/2011/01/45-pretty-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-all-under-150">bridesmaid dress slideshow</a> from Glamour. Not only are all of the dresses are under $150, but several of them are inexpensive-yet-elegant options from easy-to-access shops like Express, Dillards, and even Wet Seal.</p> <h3>3. If You're Going to Say It's Something We Can Wear Again, Mean It</h3> <p>I have heard this refrain every time I have been a bridesmaid, and I have appreciated it. But what the bride would have occasion to wear again is not necessarily what her maids would wear. I'm not trying to tear down your image of a perfect wedding, brides. Just ponder that, OK?</p> <h3>4. Think About the Cost</h3> <p>I know, you're reading Wise Bread; this should be obvious. But your bridesmaids might also be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/classy-weddings-on-the-cheap">shelling out funds</a> for cross-country airfare, hotel stays, and (hopefully) a sweet bachelorette party as well. Take all of that into consideration.</p> <h3>5. Remember the Reception</h3> <p>Yeah, we'll all look lovely in our slinky, floor-length gowns when you say &quot;I do.&quot; But please, please do not expect us to dance the &quot;Electric Slide&quot; in those. I am clumsy. I will fall, and I will take your aunt with me.</p> <p><em>Do you have any other bridesmaid dress tips? Share them in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/meg-favreau">Meg Favreau</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-bridesmaid-dress-ideas-from-a-bridesmaid">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/who-pays-for-the-bridesmaid-dresses-when">Who Pays For the Bridesmaid Dresses When . . . ?</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-acquire-cheap-formal-wear">10 Ways to Acquire Cheap Formal Wear</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/where-to-buy-discounted-designer-clothing-online">Where to Buy Discounted Designer Clothing Online</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/8-essential-pieces-for-your-capsule-wardrobe">8 Essential Pieces for Your Capsule Wardrobe</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-thoughtful-and-frugal-personalized-gift-ideas">25 Thoughtful and Frugal Personalized Gift Ideas</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Lifestyle Shopping Style affordable weddings dresses friendship Mon, 23 May 2011 09:48:12 +0000 Meg Favreau 546683 at http://www.wisebread.com Can you talk to your friends about debt? http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/mall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="188" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Can you talk to your friends about your debt? Can you talk to your friends about <strong>their </strong>debt?</p> <p>I've never really had friends who liked to talk about money. That's what boyfriends are for. And I never want to pry into the finances of people who I care about, especially when it's very clear that my input is not welcome.</p> <p>But a few weeks ago, a friend who is deeply, deeply in debt decided that she would offer me some money tips. I'm talking about a friend who doesn't have money to repair her car if it breaks down. This friend suggested that I was making a mistake by waiting to have children. My protests about the need to be financially secure (nevermind having a suitable partner) before reproducing fell on deaf ears - her financial advice was to get everything you want when you are young and pay for the consequences later. I longed to rip open her credit card statements and beat her about the head with them, but alas, didn't think that would go over well. I let the subject drop, afraid that she would think I was being judgmental, and frankly, really sick of the whole topic.</p> <p>I was wondering if other people had similar issues - talking about money is really considered crass here in the United States, so we often don't talk about money on a personal level (unless we're bloggers, I guess - gluttons for public punishment). But among the people that we are closest to, we might remain incredibly ignorant about their financial situation. I don't know, for instance, if my shopaholic friend is deeply in credit card debt or simply paid so well that she can buy whatever she wants.</p> <p>When I lived abroad, I noticed less reluctance to discuss things like salary and housing costs. It's ironic, if you think about it, that the country most associated with being obsessed with money is the country with the fewest friendly discussions about it.</p> <p>Now, I normally loathe Salon.com's advice columnist, Cary Tennis. I find him self-absorbed, rambling, and free of any ability to dispense actual &quot;advice&quot;. However, <a href="http://www.salon.com/mwt/col/tenn/2007/11/12/money/">today's column struck a chord with me</a>. In it, the frustrated half of a nearly-30 couple expresses the desire to counsel or intervene in the fiscally irresponsible behavior observed in another couple that they are friendly with.</p> <p>For once, Tennis doesn't discuss his past debt or irresponsible spending or whatever it is that he's eating at the moment, but rather delves right into the problem. His advice? Speak to the younger copuple, but do it separately so they don't feel ambushed.</p> <p>A range of readers' letters poured in, and advice ranged from &quot;Friend never discuss money&quot; to &quot;Show them by EXAMPLE, dummy&quot;.</p> <p>I particularly liked the letter from reader Aparecida:</p> <p>&quot;No one responds positively to the Concerned Look and the Carefully Measured Tone. It's just annoying - especially if the well-meaning friend is right.</p> <p>&quot;<em>Instead, make a point of getting together with your friends in situations that don't demand conspicuous consumption or the use of expensive toys. Suggest doing things that you genuinely enjoy, such as free concerts or day hikes. Don't get ridiculous and do things you wouldn't normally do. (&quot;Say, let's all go to the diner and order cups of hot water. Then we can add catsup and make tomato soup!&quot;) But you might find that it's natural to say something like, &quot;Oh, we started doing these Sunday picnics when we were paying down our credit card debt and swore off restaurants. Now we just enjoy it.&quot; If your friends are that young, they may be looking around for models of what a happy life together looks like - especially if they picked up bad money habits from their own parents.</em>&quot;</p> <p>What do you guys think? Have you ever had to stage a fiscal intervention to prevent a friend or family member from financial ruin? Would you recommend that anyone else do the same?</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/can-you-talk-to-your-friends-about-debt">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/secret-attraction">‘Secret’ Attraction</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-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</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/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</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/how-one-inspiring-saver-found-true-love-shook-off-debt-denial-and-paid-off-123000">How One Inspiring Saver Found True Love, Shook Off Debt Denial, and Paid Off $123,000</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-strategies-to-wipe-out-your-credit-card-balance">5 Strategies To Wipe Out Your Credit Card Balance</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Debt Management Lifestyle advice debt friendship money student loans Tue, 13 Nov 2007 02:21:24 +0000 Andrea Karim 1384 at http://www.wisebread.com