See that girl with the laurel leaves in her hair? That's me, on graduation day, getting ready to walk across the stage and receive my Classical Diploma from Phillips Exeter Academy.
(Okay -- FINE. They're not laurel leaves. They're the kind of leaves that grow on the side of Langdell Hall, because no one told me you had to ORDER your crown before graduation. I mean... it's not like I had to order my diploma!)
My Classical Diploma means that I took four years of Latin and a year of ancient Greek. It means I know things. Like why it's so ridiculous that half my friends spell ridiculous with an -e.
Kids these days -- amirite?
No, but actually. For real. Kids these days are more sensitive and fragile than kids of the past. Even according to the president of an elite university that I spoke with recently, “Today’s college students are not like you.”
Unless the Next Words Out of Your Mouth Are Going to be, "Can I Help ___?" Do NOT Tell Me I "Look Tired"
When I wrote For the Love of God, STOP Asking People If They're Okay, I never really thought anyone would care. I love psycholinguistics (I just finished James Pennebaker's The Secret Life of Pronouns, and it was SOOO good!), and I'm all about empowerment... but people hardly seem riveted when I talk about either topic.
But somehow, STOP Asking People If They're Okay tends to be one of my most popular posts every month. Given this, I've got another one to add to the list:
STOP TELLING PEOPLE THEY LOOK TIRED.
Privilege is real. When I first graduated from college, I was definitely not in a position to "start my own thing." I had few savings, I lived in an expensive area, and I needed a job that would pay me now. I couldn't afford to "start something" that would probably fail, and definitely not be profitable for at least few months.
So I took a job at a startup. It was a daily deal site, like Groupon. And, like Groupon, it spent a lot on advertising. My daily ad spend was $13,000 -- and I didn't even know enough to know that was absurd.
By the time that company ran out of runway, I had enough savings that I finally was in a position to "start my own thing" -- and it's been awesome!
Some of the Most Interesting, Thought-Provoking (Though Slightly Controversial) Topics for a Speech or Assembly in 2017.
So you've been asked to give a speech, talk, or assembly. And you want it to be memorable. You want your audience to think -- to feel something. To question their entire worldview, perhaps.
Now you just need a topic.
Skip the boring cliches. No one wants to hear you talk about abortion, the death penalty, gun rights, or minimum wage. These are huge and broad topics, and you're not an expert. You'll put your audience straight to sleep.
"I'm socially awkward."
"I have, like, zero social skills."
"I don't want to go to the party because I never know what to do at parties."
We've all heard -- or even uttered -- such phrases. Maybe when you hear it, you feel sympathetic. But when I hear it, I feel slightly annoyed. "Socially awkward" is a choice. Saying you have "bad social skills," to me, sounds like saying, "I'm bad at basketball," when you haven't played since middle school.
In the last week, I've heard three different people claim that comparing yourself to others is somehow bad -- one even did it in a comment on my recent post, 3 Scientifically Proven Ways to STOP Caring What Others Think About You and Live a Happier Life.
But here's the thing. Comparing yourself to others, done correctly, is probably the best way to learn, improve, and build up your own confidence. Here's why:
If You’re Not a Psychologist, “Positive Reinforcement” Probably Means the OPPOSITE of What You Think It Does
“You’re a very positive person.”
“He has a lot of negative traits.”
“You have to weigh the positive and the negative aspects.”
In English, we use the words “positive” and “negative” all the time. Colloquially, these words often mean “good” and “bad.” But in psychology, that’s not what they mean.
Let me start by saying: I lied. Kind of. Psychology research shows that Unless You're a Psychopath, You Are OBSESSED With What Others Think of You. Because the ability to cooperate and form large societies is one of the biggest evolutionary advantages ever, we are hardwired to care tremendously when people think bad things about us.
BUT! We can absolutely decrease how sensitive to and aware of others' opinions we feel. Here are three scientifically proven ways to liberate yourself, and just be you.
I see this meme on Facebook sometimes. Part of me loves it, because I love talking about ideas. Even if I have no intention of actually designing my own board game or launching an American Mail Order Brides website to help women escape a trump presidency... it's still fun to talk about execution and logistics.
Still, part of me hates this meme. As a psychologist, I understand that gossip is a powerful evolutionary tool that basically enabled our entire existence.
About the Author
Eva is a content specialist with a passion for play, travel... and a little bit of girl power. Read more >
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