advice – I Heart Intelligence.com https://iheartintelligence.com Sun, 24 May 2020 14:29:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.1 https://iheartintelligence.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/cropped-IHI-square-32x32.png advice – I Heart Intelligence.com https://iheartintelligence.com 32 32 20 things I still can’t figure out in my 20s https://iheartintelligence.com/20-things-i-still-cant-figure-out-in-my-20s/ Wed, 04 Dec 2019 08:41:26 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=57627 The post 20 things I still can’t figure out in my 20s appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

20 things I still can't figure out in my 20s

You know that feeling when you are looking for an adult to handle the situation, and realize you are the adult? How about when you’re little, and you think that 20-year-olds are mature people and have it all figured out? Yeah, that’s not completely true. Here are 20 things I still don’t know in my […]

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The post 20 things I still can’t figure out in my 20s appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

20 things I still can't figure out in my 20s

You know that feeling when you are looking for an adult to handle the situation, and realize you are the adult? How about when you’re little, and you think that 20-year-olds are mature people and have it all figured out? Yeah, that’s not completely true.

Here are 20 things I still don’t know in my 20s, even though I’m supposed to be an adult now.

1. I don’t know how to let go of what people think of me.

It’s really hard not to be bothered by what others think of me. We all need the approval of others at some point. Especially in this age, where most of the people value appearance over personality. Hopefully, in the next few years, I will fully master the art of not giving a damn about others’ opinion.

2. I have no idea what love actually is.

Yes, I have been in love, or at least I thought I was. However, as a twenty-something person, I can’t be sure that what I’ve experienced was indeed love at its fullest. Perhaps, to understand completely such a complex and captivating feeling, you need some more time and experience.

3. I don’t know what to do with my life professionally.

No one in their 20s knows what they want from life. I make no exception. Do I want to be a writer, a designer, a famous rock star… Who knows? Definitely not me. The one thing that calms my anxiety when I start thinking about my future in a professional way is that I’m still young, and I have plenty of time ahead of me. Unfortunately, that thought won’t be accurate forever.

4. Why can’t I do everything?

It’s really hard for me to accept that I can’t do everything. I can’t see all the places I want, I can’t do all the things I want to, I can’t afford to do it all anyway. This is the stage of growing up when I realize life is not so magical as it was when I was little.

5. How the hell do I pay my taxes?

There should be a life class in school, where they teach us how to handle taxes, manage our budgets, and deal with grumpy landlords. Plus, how are we supposed to look for jobs, when no one explained to us the process and the requirements of employment? Sure, I can check some YouTube tutorials, but hearing this stuff from an experienced person would be way more helpful.

6. I have no idea how to budget money.

Honestly, I’m really bad with budgeting. Like, I’ll spend half my salary in the first week of the month and then eat instant noodles every other day, to save money for my rent. And every time I tell myself: “This month it will be different.” Yeah, right. It’s always the same. If only there were a magic formula I could follow to learn how to manage my money well…

7. I won’t accomplish everything in my 20s. And that’s okay.

For some reason, we, the twenty-something-year-olds think that life ends after reaching 30. We push ourselves to go to college, university, start the job of our dreams, buy a house, create a loving family, travel the world. This is too much for only one decade, and I do need to understand that.

8. I don’t know where I want to live.

Settling down is indeed something in my plans before reaching 30, but where? Having the opportunity to choose where you want to live is amazing, but at the same time, it’s awfully overwhelming. Should I stay where my parents are? Should I go somewhere completely new and excitingly unknown? No idea.

9. Do I want to buy a house?

Sure, I want to eventually settle down and have a family of my own, but is now the right time? As I mentioned, I have no idea where I want to live. Today I might want to stay in a small house in my hometown. Tomorrow I might decide I want to go on a year-long trip around Europe. Hopefully, this indecisiveness will fade away with time.

10. I don’t know how to accept change.

I do know that change is inevitable, but it happens too damn fast. Sometimes I wish life just stays the same because honestly, change can be pretty scary. I understand that without change there’s no improvement, but some of these changes are just too much.

11. I have no idea how to forgive myself for all the mistakes I’ve done.

Everyone has a past, and we have all made some serious mistakes in our lives. I am aware of that. It’s just that people over 30 seem to have it all figured out. Perhaps I need a few more life lessons until I learn how to forgive myself and move on.

12. How do I take my own advice?

Usually, in my friends’ group, I am the person others come to, whenever they need a good piece of advice. Meanwhile, my life is a complete mess. I guess I don’t believe myself enough to follow my advice. It’s always easier said than done, isn’t it?

13. Nothing lasts forever.

How are you in peace with the though nothing lasts forever? Because I have no idea how to accept it. So, you’re telling me, that my puppy will grow old and pass away? That my beautiful face will soon be full of wrinkles? That at some point I won’t be able to pull an all-nighter and feel okay the next day? It’s all too much to take right now.

14. I don’t know how to start going after I want.

How does one get brave enough to start going after their goals? Perhaps I have no idea where to begin, mainly because I’m still not completely sure what I want from life. Or because starting this journey will lead to fundamental changes, and as I mentioned before, I am kind of afraid of changes.

15. I can’t understand why people stay in unhappy relationships.

How can you insist on staying in an unhealthy relationship, especially when you’re in your 20s? I mean, you’re still young, and you still have time to find someone who will genuinely love and respect you. All the time I see people my age who stay in toxic relationships, just because they’re afraid of letting go, and it breaks my heart.

16. I don’t know how to let go of lost friendships.

It’s just so damn hard to let go of people who you really care about. Unfortunately, in my 20s, I lost a few friends, and I still struggle to find the strength to let go of those friendships. Yes, I know we all move on to our own paths, but wouldn’t it be nice to know you have friends who will always be a part of your life?

17. How to find the perfect balance between ‘yes’ and ‘no’?

If you are like me, then you struggle to say ‘yes’ to adventures and ‘no’ to someone who needs help. I really feel the need of finding a balance between those simple yet crucial answers. Or maybe the confidence to respond however it suits me, rather than always trying to please everyone else but me.

18. I don’t know how to take proper care of my skin.

Fortunately, my skin is not problematic, but I know I still need to take care of it. However, I have no idea how to do it. Sometimes I even forget to take off my makeup before bed, which I know is completely damaging my pores. Yet, somehow, my skin is still behaving well, but I know I need to take proper care of it.

19. Why people are so damn mean to each other?

Another thing I can’t understand is why people are so mean, and constantly try to drag each other down. Perhaps their lives are not complete, and they feel good when they see somebody suffer, who knows. I feel like we often forget how to be empathetic and why it is so important. After all, we are all aiming towards some form of happiness, and in my opinion, no joy comes from such a negative place.

20. I don’t know how to learn to love myself.

Everyone says “Love yourself first”, but no one says how to do it. And sometimes, loving yourself can be the hardest thing ever. Do you think there is a final destination with this self-loving, or we continuously have to work on it?

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9 Easy Ways To Spot A Liar https://iheartintelligence.com/easy-ways-spot-liar/ Tue, 27 Dec 2016 07:56:56 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=24348 The post 9 Easy Ways To Spot A Liar appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

9 Easy Ways To Spot A Liar

How do you know when someone tells you a lie? This is not always an easy task to accomplish. Many people make lying a way of life for themselves. As an honest person, you wouldn’t even think about lying. You still need to know if someone else is, though. Here are 9 easy ways to […]

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9 Easy Ways To Spot A Liar

How do you know when someone tells you a lie? This is not always an easy task to accomplish. Many people make lying a way of life for themselves. As an honest person, you wouldn’t even think about lying. You still need to know if someone else is, though.

Here are 9 easy ways to spot a liar. Once you can spot it, you can call it out.

The next time you suspect someone lies to you, here’s how to tell. Watch how they act, and check it against this list.

THEY CAN NEVER REMEMBER THEIR STORY

If it seems really far out there, it probably is. If they can’t remember the small details, or they change it’s a red flag. Many try to confuse you or make you look like the crazy one. Remember that someone who isn’t lying doesn’t change the story or forget what they told you.

EYE CONTACT IS IMPOSSIBLE

If someone is telling you something, but always looking away – beware. Lack of eye contact usually means lack of integrity. If someone can’t look you square in the eye, they can’t do that with themselves either. Usually the lack of eye contact equates to an energy of untruthfulness, and the liar is afraid you’ll find them out.

FIDGETING IS PART OF THEIR GAME

If someone fidgets and looks squirmy – it’s because their mind is. Someone’s body language is a huge indicator of their inner state. Usually if someone is fidgeting around while talking, you aren’t getting the whole story. Uncomfortable thoughts equal uncomfortable demeanor. Makes sense right?

NERVOUS ENERGY FILLS THEIR SPACE

Sometimes you may get weird vibes, and not know why. Trust your instincts. If they seem to emanate an energy of anxiety and nervousness, they may be afraid of being found out. Liars tend to be extremely on edge about their fake image being torn down.

THEY WON’T STOP ADDING TO THE STORY

Some liars even need to add more lies to their original lies. This tendency may cause them to keep talking, to change the lie in your mind. The liar may add another small detail, that was left out before. Be careful and ask them to reflect back to you what they just said. Notice any inconsistencies.

THEY SEEM ENGAGED IN AN INNER BATTLE

If the potential liar is sitting introspectively and looking troubled – look out! If the liar has a conscience, they will feel unresolved about the lies they told. Lying can make a person feel like they really messed up. Let the mistake be on them, because it is.

THEY BACK OFF

Backing away physically, is a sign of inner fear. The liar fears confrontation and feels conflicted about their lies. They will almost surely not get too close to you, because they fear your reaction to their lies.

THEIR STORY DOESN’T SOUND RIGHT

If you happen to know something for a fact that opposes their story, that’s a red flag. Some people who compulsively lie may possibly be in too deep with themselves. These people may not even be in touch with reality and think everyone believes them. If several weird stories come from them, you can take it to the bank that they’re full of manure.

YOU’VE CAUGHT THEM IN A LIE BEFORE

“Past performance is the best indicator of future performance,” said television personality Dr. Phil. If you have caught someone in a lie before, what makes you think they won’t do it again?

Some people are hard to believe at any time, so consider the source.

By Derrick Ivey

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3 Parenting Truths You Haven’t Heard Yet https://iheartintelligence.com/parenting-truths/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 14:07:04 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=19943 The post 3 Parenting Truths You Haven’t Heard Yet appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

3 Parenting Truths You Haven't Heard Yet

There are thousands of parenting books out there, each one thicker than the last. Ironically, most parents I know do not have the time to read them. We’re all too busy actually parenting, and most of them contain the same brand of kind but ultimately impractical advice anyway. For this reason, the best parenting wisdom […]

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3 Parenting Truths You Haven't Heard Yet

3 Parenting Truths You Haven't Heard Yet

There are thousands of parenting books out there, each one thicker than the last.

Ironically, most parents I know do not have the time to read them. We’re all too busy actually parenting, and most of them contain the same brand of kind but ultimately impractical advice anyway. For this reason, the best parenting wisdom is often missed as it sits on the shelf.

Luckily for you, I’ve compiled some highlights from the most accessible and authentically written parenting book I have come across. Nurture Shock, by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman, is built on freeing parenting truths that often go unacknowledged. For example: Embrace being an imperfect parent. You don’t know everything – and that’s okay, because nobody does. Breathe, and allow yourself to be your best. Let that be good enough.

Here are some other favorite insights from the book:

Don’t be afraid to discuss race with your children.

Affluent white parents, in particular, seldom educate their children on the complicated issues surrounding racial relations. This may come from classic white guilt. It may come from the fact that, as non-minorities, we often feel unqualified to talk about race. We may be afraid of our child saying something racially charged in public. However, discussing race with your children is not only wise, but absolutely necessary. Many people believe that very young children do not notice race. This is simply untrue – in fact, it is in a toddler’s nature to notice appearance and gravitate towards children who look like themselves. A child who does not understand race will make up their own mind about why others look different and what that means. Many parents think they are exempt from conversations about race if their child attends an ethnically diverse school. This is not only inaccurate, but dangerous. An environment with a great amount of diversity can actually intensify the inclination to segregate if the children tend to make friends only with other children of the same race.

Have conversations with your children about racial relations, even when it feels uncomfortable. Explain what discrimination is, and give them examples of people who have fought against it and striven to overcome it. Tell them about Rosa Parks and Jackie Robinson. These stories are easy for children to understand and relate to. Experiments have proven that learning about these historical figures can have a positive effect on your child’s inclination to be accepting of other races. Buy your child dolls of all ethnicities – not just the white ones. If your child herself is not white, this is especially important. Science has proven that children who play with dolls that look like them have better self-esteem than those whose dolls are of another race. Most importantly, do not pretend that race simply does not exist. Your child can see racial differences, and it is your job to help her understand them.

Let’s talk about lying.

There is nothing that makes my eyes roll back into my head like a mother who claims her child never lies. Unless your child has Asperger’s Syndrome, this is not true. If your child is speaking in full sentences, she has probably lied to you today – and probably more than once. A typical four-year-old lies once every two hours, and this rate doubles by the time they turn six. Although most parents believe themselves to be experts at determining whether or not their child is lying, scientific research does not back that up. In fact, studies have proven parents to perform only slightly better than a coin toss – and no better than a stranger – when asked to tell if their own child is lying.

Although steep penalties for lying may seem like the obvious answer, this strategy seems to have the opposite effect. Children who are harshly punished for telling a lie simply become better liars. They see adults telling white lies every day, and understand that the truth is not always the kindest option. A child who lies is not evil. Most likely, they are lying in an attempt to make the adults around them happy. Discuss with your child the damage that lies can do, and let them make educated choices. The idea of a child with unimpeachable honesty may seem charming. However, it is unrealistic, and can be very uncomfortable when they meet someone with fat ankles or an offensive body odor.

Hold back on the excessive praise.

Of course you think your child is exceptional, and of course you want her to have all the confidence in the world. Excessive praise, however, can actually have an adverse effect of your child’s self-image and ambition. Children as young as seven have been shown to be skeptical of excessive praise. They know their picture isn’t museum worthy. Now they know you’re a liar too, and will take any future congratulations with a grain of salt. Excessive praise is not, as many people think, damaging for its ability to over-inflate your child’s ego. It is damaging because your child will cease to believe it.

You should certainly not stop praising your child altogether. However, you should absolutely save your compliments for when they are truly earned. Be sincere. Emphasize the effort your child put into her project, rather than the end results. Encourage your child to take on challenging tasks. Teach her that working hard in pursuit of a difficult goal is admirable, regardless of the end result. Discuss mistakes as a learning tool. Teach your children that their brain is a muscle, and it needs to be exercised and stretched in order to grow. Challenge yourself to teach these philosophies by example.

Raising children is hard. However, you can make it easier by parenting with humor, self-acceptance, and realism.

Be the best person that you can be, and hope that your children follow suit. As James Baldwin once said, “Children have never been very good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.”

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How To Deal With Top 3 Parenting Challenges https://iheartintelligence.com/parenting-challenges/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 07:20:02 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=18252 The post How To Deal With Top 3 Parenting Challenges appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

How To Deal With Top 3 Parenting Challenges

No matter what approach we take in raising our children, they are bound to act out at some point in a way that we consider to be unacceptable. All parents know the feeling – your head fills with confusion, your heart fills with shame, and you wonder just where you went wrong that led to […]

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How To Deal With Top 3 Parenting Challenges

How To Deal With Top 3 Parenting Challenges

No matter what approach we take in raising our children, they are bound to act out at some point in a way that we consider to be unacceptable. All parents know the feeling – your head fills with confusion, your heart fills with shame, and you wonder just where you went wrong that led to your child’s decision to hit her sister, talk back to his teacher, or throw a kicking and screaming fit over a cookie at the store. Thankfully, you are not alone. Rebecca Eanes, the founder of Positive-Parents.org, asked over nine thousand mothers and fathers which behaviors their children exhibited that truly made them lose their cool, and the results were refreshingly familiar. Here is my favorite advice (compiled from her website, as well as Love and Logic, other experts, and personal experience) on three of the big ones: aggression, tantrums, and back talk.
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Aggression

There are very few things worse than watching your child hurt someone else – so how do we deal when it happens?

-Do not meet violence with violence. Traditional discipline dictates that a child who hits should be hit or spanked himself. However, this only shows the child that hitting out of anger and frustration is okay. Furthermore, it will keep the child in that reactive fight-or-flight state, during which she cannot effectively examine her behavior in a reasoned way and learn how to do better next time.

-Listen and empathize. Let the child tell you why he kicked his friend, and tell him that you understand why he felt frustrated and hurt. Calmly explain that kicking is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Then, discuss non-violent ways that these feelings can be handled in the future.
6 Scientifically Proven Parenting Tips for Raising Successful Children

-Set firm limits that you are willing to enforce. Be clear about the consequences for aggressive behavior, and make sure that you follow through every time. For example, do not tell your daughter that if she kicks her brother under the table she will lose her dessert, and then cave in and give her a scoop of ice cream after her attitude turns around. Similarly, don’t tell your son that you won’t take him to the pool anymore if he hits, knowing full well you’ve already paid for six weeks of swim lessons. This teaches them that your rules are just empty threats, and encourages them to manipulate their way out of facing the consequences of bad behavior.

Tantrums

Ah, the tantrum – enemy of grocery lists everywhere. Sadly I have yet to come across a magical fix, but I have learned the following:

– Contrary to popular belief, most children will not throw a tantrum in an effort to manipulate their parents. Rather, a temper tantrum is how a child deals with overwhelming emotions that are too difficult for him to understand or express.  It is only when you give in to your child every time she throws a tantrum that she can learn to use this behavior as a means of control.
Why Every Child Should Talk Back to Their Parents

-Understand that tantrums are involuntary and inevitable. A child’s prefrontal cortex is not yet fully developed. This is the part of the brain that regulates emotion and social behavior. Unfortunately, this means that tantrum prevention is futile – and effective tantrum management varies widely from child to child, since tantrums are as wildly diverse as the children throwing them.

-The most commonly recommended techniques for managing a tantrum are to completely disengage by ignoring it and walking away, or to actively empathize with the child, trying to calm him down and work through his feelings. For my child, I find that either of these approaches will work well as long as I distract him with something else. However, he is a one and a half year old with little kid problems, like a stacking ring that falls off his head or a purse he is not allowed to open – so he is much easier to redirect than an older child might be. As I explained above, every child is different – find a method that works with yours, and don’t beat yourself up when the tantrums continue to happen despite your best efforts. It’s in their nature.
Research Shows that Problem Children make Better Adults

Back Talk

My child is not much of a talker yet, but he can already sass with the best of them. When I tell him no, he will often listen (hooray!), and then look at me and make an angry, aggressive noise with a pout. We are really just hoping for him to listen and obey at this age, so we let his back pre-talk slide. While his attempts at back talk are harmless and a little bit cute now, they will become less so as he grows older – so I found some advice to ready myself for this battle.

-Differentiate between problematic back talk and a valid complaint. Teach your child to voice her disagreement and address conflicts with authority in a respectful manner, so she does not feel that talking back with an attitude of disrespect is her only option when she wants to be heard. When she does have a problem with you, listen respectfully. Do not chalk it up to back talk and shut it down just to avoid conflict and assert your authority.

-Construct clear boundaries. Explain to your child that he may tell you why he thinks a rule is unfair using a calm tone, respectful language, and a willingness to understand that although you will listen, he may still not get his way. Give your child a firm understanding of what kinds of speech and behavior will end the conversation. Respectfully disengage when these ground rules are broken, using a phrase like “I am not open to arguing about this issue when you use unkind language”.

-Reassure your child that even people who love one another very much disagree often, and that no one makes perfect decisions one hundred percent of the time. Tell him you are trying your best to do what is right for him because you love him very much.

Every child is different, and each one will require a unique style of parenting in order to grow into a happy, healthy, and productive member of society. Do what feels right to you, and don’t beat yourself up when you get it wrong. We all do – and all we can really give our children is our best.

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Improve Your Relationship by Asking Your Partner These Questions https://iheartintelligence.com/improve-relationship/ Wed, 06 Jul 2016 09:42:05 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=19368 The post Improve Your Relationship by Asking Your Partner These Questions appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Improve Your Relationship by Asking Your Partner These Questions

How do we, as human beings, get close to one another? It’s no secret that asking your partner though-provoking questions, and learning more about them, can create a deeper intimacy. However, the question remains: what can we ask that will provide real insight? Psychologist Arthur Aron and his colleagues set out to determine just that. […]

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Improve Your Relationship by Asking Your Partner These Questions

Improve Your Relationship by Asking Your Partner These Questions

How do we, as human beings, get close to one another?

It’s no secret that asking your partner though-provoking questions, and learning more about them, can create a deeper intimacy.

However, the question remains: what can we ask that will provide real insight? Psychologist Arthur Aron and his colleagues set out to determine just that.

Their very detailed, thoroughly conducted, and widely tested experiment confirms that asking your partner a specific set of thirty-six questions, and sharing your answers with one another, can cause you to develop a startling level of intimacy in a very short time.

“One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers,” said the study’s authors, “is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.”

Their very detailed, thoroughly conducted, and widely tested experiment confirms that asking your partner a specific set of thirty-six questions, and sharing your answers with one another, can cause you to develop a startling level of intimacy in a very short time. “One key pattern associated with the development of a close relationship among peers,” said the study’s authors, “is sustained, escalating, reciprocal, personal self-disclosure.”

The questions are divided into three sets of twelve. Although none of the questions are at all superficial, the first set are the least intimidating. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? These are questions you have likely been asked before, and sharing the answers will feel comfortable and fun. The second set delves a little bit deeper. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? This is where things really start to get intimate. The real truth bombs, however, get dropped in section three. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”

How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s? This is where things really start to get intimate. The real truth bombs, however, get dropped in section three. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share …”

You can find the full list of thirty-six questions here. I highly recommend going over them with your partner, your children, or even your best friend.

However, a full arsenal of thirty-six questions can be a little bit intimidating for a new relationship or a first date, and few of us have the intensity to demand so many answers so early on.

For this reason, I have compiled the ten questions I find to be the most probing and enjoyable to answer – three from each of the latter sections, and four from the first – to serve as an abbreviated version of this experiment.

Here are my top ten questions you should ask a new partner to create intimacy:

1. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?

2. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?

3. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?

4. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?

5. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

6. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?

7. What do you value most in a friendship?

8. Share an embarrassing moment in your life.

9. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling …”

10. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

A little intense? Sure. Effective? Absolutely. Mandy Len Catron, of the New York Times, tested this theory with the full set of thirty-six questions. Did she fall in love? Actually, yes – and she’s not the only one. At least one couple partnered through the initial experiment – who were previously strangers – were married only six months later. It sounds crazy, sure – but doesn’t love itself involve more than a little bit of insanity? Try these questions on your next date.  Abbreviate to three or four if ten seems like too many, or try the full set of thirty-six if you’re feeling bold. What have you got to lose?

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3 Steps to Form a New Habit https://iheartintelligence.com/form-new-habit/ Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:20:16 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=18046 The post 3 Steps to Form a New Habit appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

3 Steps to Form a New Habit

Despite how hard won some personal habits feel, it can be surprisingly easy to acquire new ones. First, let’s define “habit” as a behavior pattern established by frequent repetition that shows up regularly and, often, involuntarily.  We all have them, the mindless glance at a smartphone when it alerts, or turning on TV right after supper, habits […]

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The post 3 Steps to Form a New Habit appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

3 Steps to Form a New Habit

3 Steps to Form a New Habit

Despite how hard won some personal habits feel, it can be surprisingly easy to acquire new ones.

First, let’s define “habit” as a behavior pattern established by frequent repetition that shows up regularly and, often, involuntarily.  We all have them, the mindless glance at a smartphone when it alerts, or turning on TV right after supper, habits we’d like to change.

So, let’s dissect a habit. There are components:  1-a “cue”, or trigger that tells your brain to go into autopilot and engage the behavior; 2- a “routine” which is the behavior itself; and 3 – the “reward”,  the reason you’re motivated and how your brain encodes the behavior. Let’s call that the “cookie”. There’s a cookie in every habit that will trigger the brain to crave it.  For grins, here’s a fun graphic.

And to be clear, we’re not talking pathology. If a habit you’d like to change includes drug, alcohol, sex, gambling, or myriad other addictions, you’re wise to seek professional help. That also goes for stalking your ex, shoplifting, and, well, you get the gist. Let’s look at new habits to improve your life.

Despite the fact that new habits take time to form and imprint, these three steps will work to effect the change you desire now.

Just for Today

Every journey begins with a single step. Commit to short term goals. For example, to build exercise into your life, “just for today” walk or jog for 15 minutes before breakfast. This process keeps expectations manageable, and if a day is missed, it’s easier to get back on track. This also habituates small successes.

Piggyback an existing habit

When you practice a new behavior right after an existing habit you strengthen it by virtue of association.  Commit to jog or walk immediately after you meditate, or, brush your teeth. Tug on your running shoes mindful of the ease of your new habit.

Celebrate Yourself

Self-talk is powerful. We truly do become what we think about, how we see ourselves, and what we tell ourselves. So congratulate yourself, aloud or silently, “Atta girl!” “Way to go!” “Look at you!”  We’re far more likely to create repetition, form new habits, when we validate our joy and success.

This simple process makes no room for judgement or harsh self-criticism or daunting goals. Rather, it’s anchored in reality. Today is the only “place” or experience that’s real. Yesterday’s history, tomorrow’s a mystery, but today is brand new. Today offers limitless possibilities. Why not choose one small new way to live it well?

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8 True Traits of a Strong Mom https://iheartintelligence.com/strong-mom/ Thu, 23 Jun 2016 09:08:35 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=19052 The post 8 True Traits of a Strong Mom appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

8 True Traits of a Strong Mom

We’re not talking “Tiger Mom” here, where intense focus is directed at excellence in child performance. Rather, what signs indicate maternal prowess that is, simply put, strong? Buy an “Intelligence is sexy” t-shirt! I confess to bias.  I think  more often than not, “strong Mom” or “strong woman” is, well,  redundant. Still, I’m curious to […]

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8 True Traits of a Strong Mom

8 True Traits of a Strong Mom

We’re not talking “Tiger Mom” here, where intense focus is directed at excellence in child performance. Rather, what signs indicate maternal prowess that is, simply put, strong?
Buy an “Intelligence is sexy” t-shirt!

I confess to bias.  I think  more often than not, “strong Mom” or “strong woman” is, well,  redundant. Still, I’m curious to discover common behaviors that inform parenting-rich with core values. Some maternal influence that cultivates character. So let’s call them  instead, “ mindful Moms”,  present,  far from perfect,  compelled by Mama Love.

1. Mindful Moms have confidence in themselves,

and naturally encourage the unique individual within each child. They resist the urge to mold them to their own expectations or desires. They instill the critical value of honesty.

2 Strongpathy is taught through daily practice of kind and humanistic acts.

 Present Moms understand we are all interconnected and instill the value of compassion.
4 Phrases to Empower Your Child

3. Connection to community cultivates values of altruism, and enhanced individual health.

 A mindful  Mom prioritizes family gatherings, neighborhood events and broader social activities.  

4. Respect is underscored when a mindful Mom insists on healthy personal boundaries.

 She is not intrusive, impulsively driven by her own agenda. She requires her children to communicate needs and respect the needs of others. “The Golden Rule” is a common reference.

5. When life hands out lemons, engaged Moms make lemonade.

Adversity is transcended with optimism, acceptance and gratitude.

6. Secure Moms teach critical thinking.

They practice non-interference and advocate the need to see situations from all sides before creating conclusions. Emotional intelligence and diplomacy enhance their children’s development.

7. Self esteem results from conscious Moms who assign chores.

They equate personal responsibility with self worth. Freedom of choice and true independence is a consequence of personal discipline.
5 Behaviors Strong Women Don’t Tolerate

8. Finally, alert Moms stress the value of education through the power of literacy.

 They role model the joy of learning, the limitless “something new” to try, practice, explore.  Their children benefit from appreciation for diversity and innate joie de vie.  

At the end of the day, isn’t that what we really want? We want our children to be happy, to live happy, gratifying lives, and to aspire to leave the world a smidge better place…for their children…and their children…..and so on.

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Why are Most Men Scared Of Smart Women https://iheartintelligence.com/smart-women/ Thu, 16 Jun 2016 08:05:42 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=18672 The post Why are Most Men Scared Of Smart Women appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

Why are Most Men Scared Of Smart Women

Well, a recent study validates what many of us experience. Men are often seriously threatened by intelligent women. Though the study only included 105 men, researchers determined an interesting dynamic.  When the men were posed with hypothetical scenarios, they expressed an attraction for smart women.  However, when told they would meet in person, they shifted those […]

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Why are Most Men Scared Of Smart Women

Why are Most Men Scared Of Smart Women

Well, a recent study validates what many of us experience. Men are often seriously threatened by intelligent women. Though the study only included 105 men, researchers determined an interesting dynamic.  When the men were posed with hypothetical scenarios, they expressed an attraction for smart women.  However, when told they would meet in person, they shifted those opinions, finding their partners physically and emotionally unattractive. They even distanced their chairs!  The scientists tentatively concluded that men feel a threat to their masculinity.

So ladies, if you’re thinking “tell me something I don’t know,”  you’ve had more than your share of  “come hither…no…keep away” dates. Our romantic discrimination occurs if we’re smart, of course, but also if we’re tall (over 5’10” to be exact), financially independent, self-assured, capable and/or assertive.  Ah, and  if we’re beautiful, which is to say, if we’re ourselves. What’s a girl to do?  Well, at the very least, know the signs.

He’s intimidated if he looks away, (stealing a glance when he thinks you won’t see), turns away or grows quiet. And, there were many flirtations, but his behavior changes in person. Ultimately, he won’t follow through, won’t return emails, and is likely to vanish from the radar.  You want closure. You want to wrap it up and put a bow on it. Well, take that pretty little bow and put it on your own pretty head. It’s enough to understand and simply let go. There’s no problem to solve and here’s why.

Psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo suggests that men who are intimidated, instead, learn to appreciate a woman’s strengths and stop comparing themselves to her. She further suggests that men realize the issue is with their own self-esteem, not the fact a woman is smart, tall, beautiful, self-assured, and so on. 

Basically, we aren’t here to fix each other. The challenge is compassion. Adjourn from the situation and all expectations. Move forward in your own inimitable grace, and wish him well. Whether the failed date is because his masculinity feels threatened or he fears eventual rejection, let’s not get bogged down by analysis paralysis.  It’s a big ocean. This is the fish you throw back. Why? Because true substance within each of our hearts is marked by acceptance, openness, curiosity, respect, kindness and a loving, generous spirit.

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3 Reasons to Laugh Through Your Next Fight https://iheartintelligence.com/laugh-fight/ Tue, 14 Jun 2016 08:25:42 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=18621 The post 3 Reasons to Laugh Through Your Next Fight appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

3 Reasons to Laugh Through Your Next Fight

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” Audrey Hepburn was on to something. Laughter is an extraordinarily powerful force in our lives. It refreshes us physically and mentally, while […]

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The post 3 Reasons to Laugh Through Your Next Fight appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

3 Reasons to Laugh Through Your Next Fight

3 Reasons to Laugh Through Your Next Fight

“I love people who make me laugh. I honestly think it’s the thing I like most, to laugh. It cures a multitude of ills. It’s probably the most important thing in a person.” Audrey Hepburn was on to something. Laughter is an extraordinarily powerful force in our lives. It refreshes us physically and mentally, while brightening our mood and engaging us with our inner child. Did you know, however, that laughter can also improve our relationships? Laughter connects us with one another in an intimate way, and can be used to build a strong connection and to help that bond to last through even the roughest of patches.

Did you know, however, that laughter can also improve our relationships? Laughter connects us with one another in an intimate way, and can be used to build a strong connection and to help that bond to last through even the roughest of patches.

Here are three reasons you should use laughter to resolve your next conflict:

Laughter Gives You a Shared Joke

This, and the rest of the advice outlined here, will only work if you are both in on the joke. Using snide or sarcastic humor with the intent of undermining your partner will only push you farther apart and damage the relationship. Similarly, a joke that your partner does not understand or appreciate will only make them feel more out of sync with you. A sincerely shared and mutually enjoyed moment of humor, however, can become a running inside joke in your relationship.

For example, one couple we know, when running late, declares “sorry, we hit a bear,” and then dissolves into giggles. Although nobody else gets their joke, which has to do with a silly excuse he made up when he was late meeting her parents for the first time, these two think this line is just the height of comedy. The fact that nobody else even gets it is actually kind of great – it puts them into their own little intimate and joyful world and gives them a moment just to themselves. This kind of humor will strengthen your bond, and may one day become a treasured memory.

Laughter Ends the Power Struggle.

Laughing with someone can diffuse tension, allow you to reconnect, and give you a moment unfocused on your argument in which to regain perspective. This can help you to re-frame your disagreement as the silly spat that it is, rather than a heated and important battle for superiority and dominance. This will strengthen your bond and allow you both to loosen the grip on your stance. You will end the giggle session more strongly connected, less entrenched in your point of view, and ready to solve the fight from a new angle – after all, laughter is known to increase your capacity for creative problem solving.

Humor Can Help You Express Difficult Emotions

George Bernard Shaw once said “If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they’ll kill you.” Some of us have trouble being vulnerable, and using laughter can help to explain a tricky feeling to your significant other. There is a delicate line between using humor to access an emotion and using humor to hide it, so be careful that you are doing the former and not the latter. Using a joke to hide an emotion will undermine your feelings and disconnect you from your partner. Using it to make an emotion more easily communicated, however, can diffuse the tension and endear you to your significant other. For example, consider a woman who is jealous of the attention her husband is getting from an attractive co-worker. “Oh, yeah, I’m so jealous,” with an eye roll, would not help to resolve the situation.

It would shut down the conversation and turn the tone to a contentious one. “I just worry about other women eyeing those rock-hard abs,” however, addresses the topic in a less intimidating and more playful way.

“Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning do to do afterward.” Kurt Vonnegut understood the power as laughter as it relates to the emotions we fear most in a fight. The next time you find yourself on the verge of tears when arguing with your partner, take a cue from Vonnegut and make your significant other giggle instead. It will save the moment, and possibly even your relationship.

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How to Become Whole Again After a Break-Up https://iheartintelligence.com/after-break-up/ Thu, 09 Jun 2016 13:06:11 +0000 https://iheartintelligence.com/?p=18627 The post How to Become Whole Again After a Break-Up appeared first on I Heart Intelligence.com.

How to Become Whole Again After a Break-Up

They call it a break-up for a reason – it can shatter you into a million pieces. Even though it may not feel like it, though, life does go on, and it will get better. Give yourself time. When you do choose to re-enter the world of the living, you will want to do so […]

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How to Become Whole Again After a Break-Up

How to Become Whole Again After a Break-Up

They call it a break-up for a reason – it can shatter you into a million pieces. Even though it may not feel like it, though, life does go on, and it will get better. Give yourself time. When you do choose to re-enter the world of the living, you will want to do so with your whole self.
Buy an “Intelligence is sexy” t-shirt!

Here is my best advice for putting yourself back together when heartbreak happens:

Don’t apologize for your emotions – to yourself or to anyone else.
Learn to recognize the love around you – from your friends and family, from nature, and from the universe.

Read as much as you can. Chick lit, adventure novels, instruction manuals – anything goes.
Wander and explore – your world, your soul, your neighborhood – anywhere you are or want to be.
Learn to cook something new. Don’t share it – keep it all for yourself.
These 8 Expectations Are Damaging Your Relationship

Cry at any time, in any place, for any reason.
Spend time outside. Go for a hike through the mountains or just sit on your front porch and watch the world go by.
Learn to play an instrument. Write a song about pain and love and who you are. Give yourself a midnight concert by candlelight.

Say “no” without feeling guilty.
Say “yes” without feeling guilty.
Do something kind for a friend.

Adopt a dog.
Go for a walk in the rain. Come home soaked and sink into a hot bubble bath. Light candles and play soft music.
Say whatever you want to – whatever feels right and needs to be said.

Redecorate your home. Make it a sanctuary.
Make good tea. Drink it with scones and a good book.
Design and discover the best version of yourself.

Say “I love you” – when you are ready and when you feel it. Say it to yourself, your mother, your cat, your best friend – anyone who will want to hear it.
Travel. Choose somewhere exiting that you’ve never been to before, and immerse yourself in the culture. Let it refresh you and renew your sense of adventure.
Belong to yourself. Love yourself. Depend on yourself.
Just exist.

Take all of this advice, or do none of it (except the last one. Do that.) Be who you want to be and do what you want to do. When you are healed and whole, you will thank yourself.

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