Let's take a break from talking about playfulness and leisure skill development for a second to discuss something serious.
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.
"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:
Someone on Quora recently asked, Why do guys stare at me when I wear a sheer top? There's a reasonable possibility that it was a troll, given the question details ("guys have no right to go crazy over my sheer tops and beautiful pink bras")... But it's still an interesting topic that I think is worth discussing.
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 discovered Christina Hoff Sommers, the "Factual Feminist," totally by accident when I started reading her amazing book, One Nation Under Therapy: How the Helping Culture is Eroding Self-Reliance.
In it, she debunked many myths about the benefits of the "self-esteem movement," PTSD, and psychotherapy. After finishing the last page and saying, "Wow," I wondered, What else is Dr. Sommers working on?
That's how I found out that she's a feminist and gender scholar at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), and she has a weekly podcast, The Factual Feminist, which I sometimes agree with, and sometimes disagree with. (She doesn't always do a good job of backing up her arguments with evidence.)
A recently-divorced, 59-year-old man recently asked, "I'm so lonely -- what should I do?"
While it sucks that he is now single and alone... the good news is that roughly 50% of marriages end in divorce these days, so there are plenty of beautiful, single women out there. Meeting them in real life can be hard -- but here's something most 50-somethings don't know:
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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