I went for a long walk on the beach with my dear friend Alex* recently, and during a conversation about relationships -- inspiration struck! (Inspiration always strikes when I go to the beach!)
Alex wanted to contribute to The Happy Talent... but anonymously. So without further ado, here is The Happy Talent's first guest post of 2017!
Want me to lose your audience's attention immediately? Then drop the u-bomb.
"Let's unpack this."
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.
"Required, ongoing, cultural competency training for all Academy employees" is dangerous and unethical.
I am a proud member of the Exeter alumni community -- see also: What it's Like to Go to Phillips Exeter Academy, the "Best High School in the Country". Exeter made me a thinker. It made me a listener. It made me unafraid to share my opinions. The Harkness Method of teaching, in which every class is a debate, a dialectic, or a discussion, was a foundational part of who I am now.
And now, due to an ill-informed Change.org petition, the future of that is at risk.
This week, I bared my soul in the semifinals of Mars Studios' songwriting contest... and I lost. But I had a wonderful time competing, and I got some helpful feedback from the judges.
And, due to the lyrics of one of my songs, I was reminded of the most hilarious review anyone's ever written on Amazon.
"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.
“The Thai culture is very polite.”
I read and heard this from several sources before embarking upon my Southeast Asia trip. It didn’t take long to see why. Between the head bowing, the wais, and the clear order of heirarchy in every restaurant and hotel you visit, it’s hard to miss the culture’s politeness.
A good thinker is someone who thinks flexibly. Not only do they back up their opinions with information and data – but they are also willing to adjust and reexamine their opinion when new information becomes available.
That’s why I had an open mind when Ruth Whippman, author of America the Anxious: How Our Pursuit of Happiness is Creating a Nation of Nervous Wrecks, published Actually, Let’s Not Be Mindful in the New York Times this week.
But after reading her article carefully, I’m still pretty convinced that mindfulness is the best thing ever.
This is a blog about playfulness, social skills and self-expression. I've mocked the idea of "expressing yourself" by wearing certain clothes, instead of creating or doing. Meanwhile, I'd been writing songs for over a year, without ever really sharing them with anyone...
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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