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He wants sex all the time. She is never in the mood. He wants to have sex to feel close. She needs to feel emotionally close to want to have sex. He wants physical gratification. She wants to cuddle and feel loved.
These are just a few stereotypes that can be used to describe heterosexual relationships. And while these statements may ring true for some couples, far too often we fall back on cliches which highlight the pervasive belief that men are sex-crazed while women could take or leave sex.
But are we really so different?
Maybe not. Increasingly, sex researchers are concluding that men and women’s sexual desires may be more alike than we previously thought. In fact, it seems that not only are many of the stereotypes I described above just plain wrong, but holding onto them actually can get in the way of good sex and true authentic connection with our romantic partners.
While there are plenty of ways that men and women’s desires are more similar than different, there are three myths that have a particularly negative impact on our intimate relationships:
Myth 1: Men Have Higher Sex Drives Than Women
Many people, if asked who they believe has more sexual desire – men or women – would likely respond men. And that’s because the notion that men are more interested in sex than women is something we learn in our teenage years throughout our adult lives. Plus, we don’t only learn that men have more desire than women, we learn that men should have more desire than women. In fact, many of us assume that if the man in a heterosexual relationship has lower interest in sex than his female partner (or the woman has more interest in sex than her male partner) something is wrong. With him. With her. With their sex life – and maybe even their relationship.
But study after study is finding that women want to have sex as much as men do – and that many women want to have more sex than their male partner. Studies on desire discrepancy in couples (a clinical term for when one partner wants more sex than their partner) have consistently found about a 50/50 split in terms of men and women reporting higher levels of sexual desire. In other words, women are equally likely to have the higher sexual drive in a heterosexual relationship. And most recently a UK study found that as many as 59% of heterosexual women reported having higher desire than their male partner. So the thought that men want more sex than women is simply not supported by sex research.
Myth 2: Feeling Desired is Only Important to Women
Wanting to feel wanted is a huge component of women’s sexual desire. Most women tend to like when their partner tells them they look good, or flirts with them, or makes the first move. It makes us feel wanted and, as long as the desiring is coming from someone we are interested in (or love) it tends to feel great. But a lot of women don’t necessarily pause to think about whether that’s something their male partner would like in return.
However, in my own research I interviewed men about what turns them on, and one of the most common things that men described as a facilitator of their interest in having sex was feeling desired by their female partner. How do men feel desired, exactly? Men described the positive impact of receiving compliments (about their appearance or personality), having his female partner initiate sex and her showing excitement and presence during sex, all of which made him feel sexually wanted. Yet despite wanting to feel desired, most men I interviewed said that their female partner either did not know this was important to them, or simply did not do those things to make him feel wanted.
Myth 3: Women are Touchy-Feely – Men Just Want Sex
The third big thing that many of us assume differentiates the genders is the notion that women like to cuddle and embrace nonsexual intimacy while men just want the physical gratification from sex. But the thing is, both men and women want intimacy that goes far beyond “getting off” during sex.
In my research, I interviewed men about their sexual desire and men often referred to the importance of feeling connected to their partner through many avenues that had nothing to do with sex. Specifically, men described the importance of intimate communication, spending quality time with their partner, watching movies and going on walks, just to name a few. And it wasn’t uncommon for men to say that they wanted these experiences over and above having sex. Yet despite this many men still feel that the assumption that they want sex first and foremost continues to dominate.
So these stereotypes are wrong. Why are they so bad? And what can I do about them?
The reason these gender stereotypes get in the way of good sex is because it pigeon holes both men and women into certain roles that may not be accurate of their true sexual experiences. For example, women who have more desire than their partners may feel they need to “tone it down” or may get upset with their male partner for not wanting to have sex when they do. The other side of the coin is that men are short changed as being sex-crazed and may feel the need to feign desire to meet those expectations. And not being true to ourselves is a sure sign of decreased authenticity and connection to our sexual partner, in and out of the bedroom.
The good news is that increased awareness of the changing norms about men and women’s sexual desire is the first step to changing your sexual interactions with your partner. If you notice that you or your partner may be holding onto any of the gendered stereotypes I described above – ask yourself whether you can make space in your relationship to question and gently challenge those norms.
For example, if you’re a man with a lower desire than your female partner consider whether your lack of interest is just normal human variation instead of spending endless hours trying to determine a root cause of the “problem.” If you’re a woman with a male partner who always initiates sex or compliments you, consider whether you could try initiating flirting here and there to make him feel good too. And regardless of your gender, enjoy and embrace cuddling knowing your partner most likely enjoys it too (and sometimes prefers it to sex!)
The post Understanding Your Partner’s Desire Can Lead To A Healthier Sex Experience appeared first on Lifehack.
There is no such thing as a perfect family. Every family has issues, but we can have healthy family relationships if we know how to best communicate. When dealing with tough family issues, it is always better to have a softer, kinder approach than one that is abrasive. Family members will be alienated when they are broached with a topic of concern and the approach is harsh.
Destruction within family relationships is typically done with words, so family members must be careful with what is said and also how it is said to fellow family members.
When dealing with touchy family subjects it is always better to think about the long term relationship. If someone approaches a family member with harshness, bitterness, meanness, or anger, the other party will retreat, and there will more than likely be damage to the relationship. However, if family members use a softer approach that is done in love, then the long term relationship will be improved rather than hindered. If families want healthy dynamics, then when discussions on difficult topics within family happen, words need to be chosen carefully, and the approach even more cautiously, because what is said and how it is said can have long lasting effects on family relationships.
Even small issues can have devastating results on the family if the issue is not appropriately negotiated and communicated.
For example, imagine if you have to move in with your spouse’s parents for a short term because your spouse had a job change. Your in-laws typed up a list of house rules and responsibilities that you feel is far too strict and unrealistic to implement especially since you have three young children. You want to contribute to the household duties and follow their rules, but also realize you have lots of other responsibilities on your plate, especially with care of your children. You want to broach the subject, but not sure what to say or how to say it. If you were to tell them that they were being completely ridiculous, unrealistic and unreasonable, they would most likely not react well to your statement. Depending on how severe your tone of voice and your choice of words, they could very well ask you to leave and go to a hotel.
Something as small as the topic of household chores can divide a family, because we are more sensitive to emotions, feelings, and thoughts of family members. We tend to take things more personally when it comes from family. When a subject is broached severely, the reaction is likely to be severe as well. There are ways to approach a tough subject like this in a manner that will not create family dissension. I will outline those steps below, so you have a practical example of how to negotiate a tough subject with family. Below are also some tips on how to navigate negotiations with your family.
It’s Okay to Have Different Opinions in a Family
A person may be hurt, angry, and have feeling that they need to confront a family member about a topic. The question they need to ask themselves is “what would be the upside in broaching this family member about this topic” and “is it really your business”. If their motivation is something related to their personal life and they don’t play any role in the subject at hand, such as how a family member parents their children or how they treat their spouse, then they need to stay out of it.
All family members have different ways of doing things whether it is raising kids, cooking, spousal relationships, religion, etc. Just because people were raised in the same home doesn’t mean that they are similar at all. Family members can be as different as night and day. That’s okay. The world is interesting because of variety. Families sometimes have the hardest time accepting differences because they are in fact family, especially those who are blood related. They think for some reason that because they are family, they need to do things the same or think the same. However, this is not the case.
Everyone is different and has different ways of doing life, even if they are blood related. For example, Just because a sister goes with her husband and children to stay with their parents every Christmas doesn’t mean that another sibling automatically has to do the same. If they set out for their family to create a different tradition of celebrating Christmas morning at home with their own children, then these decisions should be embraced and respected.
Families must allow fellow family members to have different traditions and practices. There is no need for a confrontation or discussion about these things, as all are adults and choosing their own path, traditions, and ways of doing life. Differences are not only allowed in families, but should be recognized and respected by fellow family members.
There are far too many families being divided because they are in each other’s business and they don’t need to be. For example, an adult sibling may think that her sister feeds her own children incredibly poorly. They get junk food throughout the day and they eat nothing organic. Whereas the other sibling only eats organic food and all junk food is banned from their home. What would the upside of this sibling having the conversation with their sister about her habits in feeding her children? What is the likelihood of her actually changing the way she feeds her children? That would require a huge commitment on her part, so for her to implement real change and want to change it would more than likely take more than just another sibling’s opinion on the subject. There is not an upside if it is felt that they would not make any changes. Just making her aware that people know that she is feeding her children poorly is not going to create change. Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to feeding children.
Again, allowing for differences in the way family members parent their children, live life, and value different facets of life is all part of mature and healthy family relationships. Not only should family members be allowed to live their life how they want, their decisions should be respected. Confronting family members for their life choices that have no affect on other family members is unnecessary and typically creates damage to family relationships.
Think of Their Perspective Before You Even Broach the Subject
Putting oneself in another person’s shoes is essential to understanding them. People who are only looking at a situation from their own personal perspective and not taking into consideration the other person’s perspective, are subsequently likely to broach the family member in a highly biased manner.
Allowing for an openness and vulnerability in examining the situation from the other person’s perspective can be very enlightening. Family members must give their fellow family members the respect and love they deserve by trying to view life through their eyes and their situation. If they fail to do this and are thinking from only their own perspective, they are likely to damage the relationship with insensitive or inappropriate conversations.
Use Kindness and Softness in Your Approach
Soft is always better when it comes to talking about difficult things. Harshness puts people off and shuts them down. People will open up only if they feel safe and comfortable sharing with the other person. If they feel they are going to be blamed, judged, criticized, or treated unkindly, they will not be open to the discussion.
Kindness is not only tone of voice and the words chosen, but it also involves a conscious decision to leave any judgements out of the conversation. Judging the person will only make them defensive and therefore the person who broached the subject becomes the enemy. This is not what any family member would do intentionally if their desire is to have good family relationships.
Family members must speak in a way that they would want to be spoken to, which is with kindness and love, not judgement or harshness, in order to maintain healthy relationships within the family.
Avoid Harshness When Negotiating with Family
Blaming and Finger Pointing in the Form of “You” Statements
Blaming usually comes in the form of “you” statements. Cut that word out of your vocabulary when you are discussing something important or of a sensitive nature with family. When you feel the need to say “you”, change the context and thoughts by altering them to “I feel” statements. For example, if your sister wants to set a holiday gift exchange price to a minimum of $50 and your instinct is to say “you always expect everyone to spend way more than we can afford, we aren’t all as wealthy as you”. That “you” statement is pretty harsh and is likely to insight an argument.
Instead, change the thought and message into an “I feel” statement. This statement should not put any blame on the other party, but helps them to see your side of things. For example, a better statement would be “I feel uncomfortable with the $50 amount, as it is too much for our family at this time, since we have a strict holiday budget”. You could then follow it up by suggesting a different amount or asking if there is some room for negotiating the amount or doing a price range.
Be solution oriented, but don’t start with blaming or the entire conversation will blow up. You can get what you want with either scenario, but one is more damaging to the relationship. When you blame others and finger point you are alienating those you are pointing your finger at to blame. Therefore, relationships break down when you chose the route of blame. Take the high road and use “I feel” statements to help them understand your perspective compassionately.
Family members will often criticize because they see something wrong and they want to help fix the problem by pointing out what is wrong. Their intention of helping is good. However, the method is problematic because the recipient of criticism doesn’t see it as help. Instead, they see criticism as someone telling them what is wrong with them or what they are doing wrong. It doesn’t help them but makes them upset toward the person who is delivering the criticism. Criticism should be avoided altogether when negotiating with family.
Nobody wants to hear unsolicited advice. If they didn’t ask you for your opinion or advice, then don’t give it. Psychology Today explains that advice can come across as trying to control the person, or impinging on their freedom, as well as these other problematic motivations:
They suggest that the advice, justifiably or not, comes across to us as one-upmanship, or assertion of dominance, or criticism, or distrust, or failure to consider our own unique goals and priorities.
Find out more about how unsolicited advice can seriously hurt a relationship: This Is How You Worsen the Relationship Without Noticing
Ultimatums are a form of bullying. It is a way of twisting someone’s arm to do something by making the consequence so painful they have no other choice, than to comply. The real problem is that the other party didn’t make the choice on their own. They were forced or bullied into agreement by an ultimatums on the table.
Ultimatums are not fair and they only harm relationships in the long run because the party on the receiving side of the ultimatum is likely to feel they were forced into something.
Gossiping to Others About the Issue
Do not go to friends or other family members if you have an issue with someone in your family. You need to go directly to the person with whom you have an issue. Don’t gossip about the person behind their back. They may find out eventually that you were talking about them behind their back and they will feel betrayed.
Skip the gossip and go directly to the family member to discuss the subject at hand. Don’t involve others who have nothing to do with the situation.
If your end goal of the conversation is to “be right” or “to win”, your attitude is all wrong. This kind of attitude is not one that is conducive to healthy family relationships. You need to be more concerned about reaching a mutually agreed upon solution, which typically involves compromise. If you are all about being right, compromise won’t come to your mind.
Be flexible, humble, and allow yourself the vulnerability to be wrong. It happens to all of us. We can’t be right all the time. More often then not, a compromise can be reached if both parties are flexible and no one side is insistent on “being right” at the end.
Steps to Negotiate with Family and Maintain Healthy Relationships
1. Decide what to discuss beforehand and how to phrase things in the kindest, most compassionate manner.
This is also the time to ask yourself the following questions:
- What is the upside of discussing this topic?
- Is it any of my business?
If you feel that discussing the topic can lead to resolution and improvement in the relationship, plan to discuss the topic. If the topic has nothing to do with you, such as how your sibling raises their children or what color they want to paint their kitchen, then stay out of it.
Once you have decided the subject needs to be discussed, list the key points you want to go over with this person. Write down phrases for each of these key points that present the topic in a kind, compassionate, open, and understanding manner. For example, with the story at the beginning of the article you were told to imagine yourself moving in with your in-laws. They set unrealistic expectations for yourself and your children while living at their home. Here is a good way to approach this topic and some notes you could possibly jot down before talking to them:
- “I feel overwhelmed with all that is going on in our lives with the move, dealing with three children and how they are adusting to the move, so I was hoping we could discuss the expections you gave us”.
- “I feel compelled to help with the household duties, but I also feel I need to balance this with my responsibility to my children and husband”.
- “I would like to go over the list with you, so we can decide together which of these household duties take higher priority over others, so I can help where it is needed most.”
These “I feel” and solution oriented statements will give a good starting point for a discussion, that don’t place blame on anyone. Instead they are phrased to help the in-laws see your side of things. They are also phrased in a way that show a compromise is in mind already.
2. Ask for a good time and location to have the discussion.
Ask the person for a time and place to sit down to have a discussion. Be sure to include everyone involved in the issue. Don’t leave someone out if they are pertinent to the problem or solution. Make sure it is a location where you won’t have distractions. When you meet, put all electronics aside so you can focus on the discussion.
3. Talk, but listen more.
We all tend to talk too much. Say what needs to be said, but no more. Keep to the points that you outlined beforehand. Then listen to the other party. Before you respond, process the information and take some time to think before responding. Often in family negotiations people respond too quickly, especially as things get heated and the result is a heightened level of negative emotions.
Keep calm, talk slow, and think before speaking. Listen to the other party and let them know you want to hear their side and understand what they have to say. Use active listening methods to convey to the other party that you are understanding them. You do this by paraphrasing back to them the important points they have spoken. Here are some great tips for active listening if you want some additional insight on this topic: How to Master Active Listening
4. Stay focused on the subject.
Families have issues. A lot of them. Don’t allow other issues to interfere with the current negotiation. Stay focused with the issue at hand. Don’t go off on tangents or bring up other past issues. If the words you speak don’t help with the solution, don’t say them. If the other party goes off on a tangent, help kindly direct hem back to the current topic.
5. Seek to understand their side of things.
Compassion is key to reaching a resolution. Put yourself in their shoes and try to understand their perspective. When they speak, listen with compassion and an open heart. This is easier to do if emotions are not getting high and things’ not getting heated. It is important to help be a part of the calm. Let the other party know you are there to discuss things because you care for them and they are family. It is not about “winning” or “being right”.
6. Walk away if things get too heated.
When people start yelling, the issue will not be appropriately discussed and a solution will not be found. If things get too heated and people begin to yell, it is time to step back or walk away. Try again when everyone is calm and willing to talk in normal tones. Here are some good tips on dealing with someone who is yelling at you: The Best Way to React When Someone is Shouting at You in Anger
7. Find a compromise that appeases both sides.
Research from Harvard examined family negotiations and found the following:
A typical strength of family negotiations is that family members generally prefer to reach mutually acceptable outcomes in their negotiations.
Good families who love one another want to reach solutions when there is conflict. The goal is to find a solution that is acceptable for all parties involved. This is why discussion is needed to find out what is acceptable to each party, so a middle ground can be found.
No family is perfect and there’s no need to have a perfect family in which everyone has to agree with each other all the time. It’s okay to have different opinions and ways to approach things within a family. It’s about mutual respect and recognition with each other’s thoughts. If you find yourself in a situation where negotiation is needed with your family, try the steps I suggested and figure out what’s best for everyone together with your family members.
Featured photo credit: Unsplash Minjoo Son via unsplash.com
|||^||Psychology Today: Unsolicited Advice: I Hate It, You Hate It; so Do Your Kids|
|||^||Harvard: Five Steps to Better Family Negotiations|
The post How to Negotiate With Your Family Without Hurting the Relationship at All appeared first on Lifehack.
Whether your life is motoring along beautifully or you feel like you’re hitting one pot hole after another with constant grief and hardship, there are things you can do to have a better life. One of the things I think we’re seeing more and more is moving away from a desire for material riches, and a desire for freedom (emotional and physical.) And instead of seeking things, we are seeking feelings. We want to get away from pain and hurt, guilt and sadness, and want to experience more fulfilment, love and happiness.
Even I read that paragraph and thought “Mandie when did you become a flowers in the hair kind of girl?” However, the fact is we do seem to be craving different things to what I’ve seen people come to me for coaching for in the past. And one of the most important things we are learning from this shift is that, no matter how fun or fear packed your life, no matter how much you hate and loathe or enjoy and love your life right now, there are things you can do to make it better. Right now, at this very moment. Not with more money, a bigger house, a newer car, or a smaller or larger body, not with your boss’s job or a house on a beach; today, at this very minute you could create a better life.
I speak from experience here. In the first half of 2017, I attended three funerals of people far too young. Three members of my family had serious health scares. My hard drive blew up, so did our boiler. (On the coldest week of the year!) It felt like the electric goods around the house were conspiring against us, both of our cars were hit while we weren’t even in them within in two weeks. And my beautiful Springer Spaniel fell ill suddenly and I had to have him put down when my Husband was on the other side of the world. And that is just some of the stuff that happened in the first half of this year. It was hard to not feel victimized, and like there was some evil deity reigning down a torrent of hell on the Holgate family. And having suffered from severe depression that nearly killed me 13 years ago, I will be honest and say I feared for my mental health.
Despite the feeling of “is this really all happening to us?” that aimed to raise it’s ugly head, I managed to stay happy. It become the Holgate mantra that the harder times got, the happier we felt. How is that possible and why does it matter?
You see no matter what happens on the outside, we can choose what we think and feel on the inside and when we appreciate the power of this self awareness we can dramatically change not just our day, but our futures too.
Now it gets interesting, right?
Have you ever heard the saying “Who got out of bed on the wrong side?” That person moves through their day feeling miserable, frustrated and struggles to hold compelling conversations or get the results they want to. Did it start with these bad results? No of course not, it started with the thought that created the actions that delivered the results.
Being able to be self aware is a powerful way to power up your happiness, actions and success. It enables you to be in touch with who you truly are.
My own experience taught me that I have a very blessed life (despite the three auto immune diseases and losing my dear pet.) It reinforced for me that I’m on the right path, going for the right goals for the right reasons. Many people find that despite achieving success in the traditional ways, they still lack happiness and it is highly likely it could come down to not being self aware of what matters to you.
5 Powerful Steps to Build Self Awareness
Here I share my 5 top tips to self awareness and how this power could help you achieve more personally, professionally and emotionally.
1. Drop the Victim Act
This has been so powerful for so many that I’ve worked with (including myself). Have you noticed how around some people, you are confident and capable; and around others you feel like a child? Or maybe you lose your power? Be aware of how you feel around different people. It is not your job to change people, it is your responsibility to change the way you perceive people and handle them. This is an internal exercise. Maybe you were bullied at school and you still question if people are your friends, and this impacts on your choice of activities and level of trust. Maybe you had an over critical parent or teacher and still find yourself berating things that you do. Become aware of these beliefs that you may have stored for decades. You don’t have to challenge them if that feels too big a step. Just notice them at this stage.
2. Respect, Accept and Appreciate Who You Are
I remember up until only about seven years ago that someone I love dearly would say “You are so over sensitive Mandie!” and for years I saw that as a negative. I actually learned that I was not respecting who Mandie was. How can you achieve the things in life that make you happy, including just pure love for you that leads to internal genuine happiness if you don’t respect who you are? It may sound like a girlie fluffy subject, however by not respecting yourself and understanding your own emotional intelligence, you can seriously damage your chances of achieving. I learned for instance that what I’d seen as oversensitivity was in fact one of the reasons that I find coaching so easy and powerful—I can truly connect on a level that most people miss.
3. Learn What You Truly Value
If you learn to respect, accept and appreciate who you are, you can still find that you have emotional negative attachment to elements of who you are. By learning to hear and listen to your values, you can become more self aware and go for things that really matter to you.
In my book Fight the fear – how to beat your negative mindset and win in life, I recommend the values exercise. It enables you to explore on a subconscious level to learn what really matters to you. This is great for when you fear that you are concentrating on the wrong things in life—often being impacted on by the outside world, rather than hearing and knowing your own values.
4. Reframe Your Negative Thoughts
So after you’ve learned to accept who you are, you can still find that negativity is impacting on your ability to become self aware. If you have feelings of low value and self worth, it’s hard to want to listen to more of your thoughts. Re-framing your thoughts can help.
Listen carefully to your negative thoughts, beliefs and feelings. Don’t try and change them, just acknowledge them. What comes next? Is it a physical thing, an emotion or a belief? By following the flow of this, you can create a negative spiral of what happens to you when you are not self aware. The awesome thing is I’ve used this process with so many clients to shift them fast into a positive spiral. Here is an example of how many of us struggle to accept compliments.
5. Ditch the Shallow Self Development
With a growing appreciation around the world that our minds impact on our success, alas there are some that are exploring this subject on a very superficial level. While any level is better than nothing, you need to do your homework if you really want to be self aware. Expecting results by osmosis or by reading motivational posters is not enough. Aristotle, Einstein and so many others have indeed said powerful things about our minds and our ability to achieve true happiness, creativity and success. However remember that at their core they were people of action too.
By always assessing your self awareness, you can learn to not just respect who you are but to trust this true version of you. And that could be incredibly powerful on so many levels.
The post Self Awareness Is Underrated: Why the Conscious Mind Leads to Happiness appeared first on Lifehack.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could always tell whether someone is who they say they are or if they’re just faking it? Usually our instincts help us differentiate between authentic and untrustworthy people, but sometimes we misjudge. First impressions are critical, but they are only a brief snapshot of a person’s character.
We are too easy to be fooled
When I met our (now ex) colleague, Adrian, he seemed like a great fit for Lifehack. He blew us away in his interview. Imagine the ideal first impression, and that is exactly what he gave us.
Adrian showed up in a tailored navy blue suit. He was tall, dark, and handsome. He was well-spoken, with an accent not unlike Benedict Cumberbatch. He possessed a confidence free of condescension, and an eagerness to be part of our team. He was polite during the interview, and it was clear that he had done his homework about our company. It should come as no surprise that we offered him a job.
In Adrian’s first few months, his work performance was top-notch. He had a way of listening that made his coworkers feel that they were truly heard. He was a complete gentleman around the ladies, but he was also a real guy’s guy.
It seemed like a match made in heaven, only at first
Oh how wrong we were about Adrian. The turning point in how we felt about him came when we put him in charge of a project.
Until this point, everyone had agreed with him about his ideas, but in a planning meeting for his project, someone disagreed with a point that he made. I can still picture the switch flipping in Adrian’s mind. A vein stood out on his forehead, his face turned red, and a harsh tone we had never heard him use escaped his lips. He became defensive almost immediately.
We have an unspoken rule about keeping our criticism constructive, and the point that our coworker made was valid. Instead of seeing this as an opportunity for growth, Adrian viewed it as a personal attack. Not only did he refuse to take advice from anyone, but he argued with those of us who tried to problem-solve around the issue. Needless to say, we all left that meeting feeling shocked and harassed.
So it turns out we are all bullies
We hoped that it was a fluke. Perhaps Adrian had a bad day. There was no way that the well-mannered man who had walked into that interview could have verbally eviscerated all of us like that.
Unfortunately, the outburst wasn’t a fluke. It was the thin carapace of the ideal employee cracking to reveal the monster lurking beneath. He began talking about us behind our backs. He ranted about how we should not have given him such feedback. We discovered that Adrian couldn’t handle negative feedback, nor did he value the other members of his team. Adrian was an arrogant jerk.
Thank goodness he spared our supervisor the trouble of firing him. When his probation ended, he resigned on the grounds that we, his colleagues, bullied him.
How do we misjudge people?
Getting the first impression correct, whether it is for an interview or a first date. Is the difference between a door opening or slamming in your face. It’s the difference between getting the job, the opportunity, or the significant other.
I think it’s common for us to pull out all the stops when we want to impress someone. We dress up, change the way we speak, and avoid our weaknesses. We try to show people what they want to see.
One of my friends dated someone who created a false impression about himself to fool others. He was an attractive and successful man with a nice home and good taste. If you met him, you’d probably think he was a classy fellow. That’s what my friend thought until she got to know him. She soon learned that the reason for his crisp appearance was extreme vanity. He cared for no one but himself.
I can certainly remember working hard to give a good impression at an interview for a teaching job. I was honest about my capabilities and training, but I wore my only suit. I measured my tone carefully. I did everything that I could to show that I would be a great teacher. I did get the job, but I didn’t wear a suit every day. There is a certain amount of self-fashioning that everyone does in a job interview.
When does working to create a great first impression cross the line?
I’m not going to tell you not to put your best foot forward in an interview or on that first date, but I can say that it is possible to invent a character completely unlike yourself if you aren’t careful. That character could wind up making you miserable by landing you the job that wasn’t a good fit for you or putting you in a relationship with someone who isn’t a good match.
The ideal first impression is best possible version of your true self, but it is still you. People get into trouble when they stop being themselves altogether.
How do we avoid inauthentic people?
Nobody wants to be duped into committing to a disagreeable person. We need to be able to like someone based on their true nature. Knowing who a person really is isn’t a big deal if you don’t have to develop a close relationship. When you have to spend most of your time collaborating and problem-solving, knowing who is on your team is essential.
When someone goes through their day to day in-character, it can work for a while, but eventually they will reveal their true colors. In Adrian’s case, it took us months to uncover who he actually was underneath all that charm. When it comes to beginning a new friendship, romantic relationship, or employment, we often commit based on information from our first impression. Sometimes our first impression is not the truest reflection of a person, though.
Identities can be summarized in a pattern of three concentric rings, as shown in the image above.
The outer ring:
Our outer ring is the way that we want the world to see us. This is the image that we keep in our heads about how we should look, think, and act. As we head into a first date, a networking event, or a job interview, we hope to project an image that we think will make us successful.
This can lead to us putting pressure on ourselves to conform. We rehearse our answers and work to make sure that we give the world something that it wants.
Beyond thinking about what we want the world to see, we actively fashion a reality based on what we want to show people. We carefully craft our answers when asked our opinions. We care what people think of us, and most of us work to show people the idealized versions of ourselves.
The yogis of Instagram are the perfect example. You’ll always see them executing a difficult posture perfectly, but you’re not going to see them struggling in class. In professional settings, we refrain from using certain language, and we address our colleagues in a more formal manner than we might use when we are with our friends. That is a filtered version of reality.
At the core of our being, our innermost circle, we are our true selves. This version of you is the one that you show to the people you trust the most. With our nearest and dearest, we can give our honest opinions and express our real beliefs.
Being our true selves requires us to be vulnerable, which may be why we are so guarded about our true nature. We can also become defensive if we are criticized in this state. If someone critiques us in our truest form, they are finding fault with who we actually are instead of a constructed version of ourselves.
For example, you may be your most authentic self around your family members or your partner. Accepting criticism at work can seem second-nature, but if your partner offers you some unsolicited feedback, you might chose to argue.
Time can be a factor in how well you know a person, but you can also meet a person and feel like you’ve known them forever. Truly knowing somebody isn’t about how long you have been acquainted with them. It’s about how far into these circles you can reach, and how much the person is willing to let their guard down so that you can do that.
If you want to learn someone’s true personality, you need to get as close to the core as possible
Building a bond based on authenticity instead of artifice can happen in a relatively short span of time. Close relationships and friendships tend to form more quickly when people face a common threat or overcome an obstacle together.
Going through a life-altering event together isn’t the only way to get to know someone. You can also observe how they interact with others or by present them with challenges.
People can’t live “in character” indefinitely
Notice unconscious habits that the person might have put in place to hide their true nature. We can often tell a lot about a person by the way that they speak about others. Individuals prone to gossip may be offering you a glimpse of poor character.
The manner in which a person talks about their ex can give you some insight into their character. Pay particular attention to how they handle people different from themselves and how they react in disagreements.
“The true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.”
You can learn about someone by seeing how they respond when they are tested
If Adrian had been challenged earlier, we would have known about his character flaws much sooner. We generally try to please people. We can mistake our willingness to cater to others for a good relationship.
The way that a person responds in disagreements tells you more about them than watching them in their comfort zone. Ideally, we want the people around us to be able to listen to others and communicate. They should be able to express their ideas and opinions and collaborate with others to find common ground.
Challenging a person’s core self can feel uncomfortable, but it reveals things that you need to know about them if you want to have a meaningful relationship with them.
Ask questions that require them to dive deeply into themselves and see what types of answers they give. If you don’t want to ask a private question, you could try asking them an ethical question. “How do you feel about diversity?” and “Is it ever okay to tell a lie?” can expose biases and principles.
In a conversation with a potential romantic interest, you could inquire about past relationships. Many people don’t want to spend time dwelling on an ex, but their reaction may indicate how they handle disappointments.
The types of things a prospective employee tells you about a former employer can help you understand whether they would be a good fit for your organization. What they chose to discuss and the way that they talk about their old boss can reveal their values.
We have to cut through the illusion
If we want to have meaningful relationships with others, it is imperative to be able to see a person’s core nature. Avoiding commitments to disingenuous people gives you more room to identify those personalities that do mesh well with you or your organization.
Getting to a person’s true self can take some practice, but it is a vital skill for unlocking your future happiness and success. There may be missteps along the way, but you will become a better judge of character with time. One way or another, they can’t keep up the illusion forever.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” -Maya Angelou
|||^||Forbes: How Important Is Your First Impression Really?|
|||^||Psychology Today: How To Become Your True Self|
|||^||Monster: How To Interview To Uncover A Candidate’s Ethical Standards|
The post How To Know A Person’s True Personality When We Are So Good At Disguise Nowadays appeared first on Lifehack.
Make your writing more exciting by putting a little creativity into it.
Sometimes we get so caught up in the money, we overlook the most important thing in life.
Your resume will probably look pretty quaint in five years. It’s not your fault. It’s just that your job and the responsibilities you hold now and have held in the past are rapidly becoming obsolete. Blame the machines.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, in the forms of software systems and computer-driven robotics is already taking on many American jobs, and will ultimately come after many more. In fact, the accounting and consulting firm PwC estimates that the machines will replace some 38 percent of U.S. jobs by 2030.
Another scary fact is, two years ago Google DeepMind developed an algorithm that allows machines to “learn” just as quickly as humans. AlphaGo is an AI computer program that plays the Chinese board game Go well enough to beat a professional player. Your job might be targeted soon if it isn’t already. But you can keep your career out of the cross-hairs.
Save Your Job Through “The Elon Musk Model”
Obviously AI won’t replace everyone. If 38 percent of jobs are predicted to be lost, that means 62 percent will remain under human control (at least for the near future). So what will save us from losing our career?
We can look toward the very forward-looking Elon Musk for answers. Musk is the South Africa-born inventor, innovator, entrepreneur and driving force behind PayPal, SpaceX, the Hyperloop and electric car pioneer Tesla, just to name a few creations of his fertile imagination.
By taking a closer look at the workforce behind just one of his companies, Tesla, we can see which jobs are likely to survive over the next several years — and which might not.
Tesla, Inc. is not a traditional automaker. The Tesla way is to get from concept to model quickly. To fail fast and to go where others haven’t gone before. Think of Tesla’s Musk as the Christopher Columbus of 21st century innovation.
Check out this job tier pyramid.
It gives us a way of organizing and describing the tiers seen in the employment picture today. All of the jobs we currently hold can fall into one of these three categories.
The Known Known
This is the base tier of the pyramid because it describes the largest number of American jobs today.
At Tesla, or any automaker for that matter, this worker category includes those in manufacturing and assembly. The process of making the parts and assembling vehicles out of them is a known set of steps. It’s relatively predictive across all automotive platforms. What we mean is that workers who do this sort of thing use processes that are largely familiar and consistent whether they’re making a Tesla Model S or a Hyundai Accent.
This consistency of job performance is bad news when it comes to human employment. Workers in this tier don’t have to bring much new knowledge to the workplace. Robots and software can be easily “taught” to take on such predictable responsibilities.
The Industrial Revolution brought on the first outcry against technology. Workers of the day felt that the new machines were going to push them aside, but the truth was that the workers could be trained to run the machines. Instead of replacing them, the new ways helped them work faster and easier. And there was still plenty of manual labor.
Today, it only takes a few human workers to operate and maintain a robotic assembly line.
The Known Unknown
Again focusing on Tesla, workers who hold jobs in the Known Unknown tier include business analysts and budget team members and the engineers and designers whose minds download what the assembly workers will put out. They’re creatively addressing known challenges with unknown solutions.
Their tools are the computers that can’t (yet) do the work without them. Their days’ responsibilities are variable and unpredictable. They know what their challenges are, and what they’ll end up with, but they must figure out how to get there.
Their jobs are safe. For now.
The Unknown Unknown
We could also call this work category The Most Difficult Job in the World. Why? Because there’s no job description. This is the top-of-the-pyramid tier that consumes Elon Musk’s time. He constantly confronts unknown challenges with unknown solutions.
There was no road map to affordable electric car production until Musk decided to build such a map and the road itself — and put his Model S on it. Just like there was no business model for what became PayPal until he decided to start working on a digital payment platform.
Make no mistake, this is a high-risk, high reward career path. There are no case studies. No mentors. No fallback positions because there’s nowhere to fall. Musk is a problem solver who’s highly adaptable and not afraid of trial and error. Of failing or suffering expensive setbacks or going alone where no one has gone before him.
Your advantage if you’re on the Unknown Unknown job tier is that the machines aren’t a threat. AI can’t get programmed to execute actions and activities that have never existed before they sprung from your mind. You’re ahead of the game. Ahead of the machines.
Not forever. Once you’ve done it, it can be copied. Replicated by competitors human or digital. Consider the iPhone.
Until Steve Jobs comprehended a whole new vision of what a simple phone could be, and then set to work on it, there was no risk of replication. Now? Well, virtually any skilled technician, programmed machine can reverse engineer even the most innovative smartphone.
What that means is that the challenge of taking your career into Unknown Unknow territory is that you must stay there and perform at that same high level. Innovation is constant.
We’re Not All Elon Musks but we can all be better than machines
Most of our minds won’t remain open to brilliant innovative pursuits like the talented inventor, but you can better protect your career.
Start by honestly reflecting on your responsibilities and job performance. How valuable is your input? Are you a problem solver? Is your work predictive, its processes consistent? Is your workflow pattern easy to see, or is every day different, filled with new challenges?
The best way to protect your career over the foreseeable future is to stay a step or two ahead of the machines. Get on or stay on a career path of creativity, innovation and self-direction.
The post The Types of Jobs That Won’t Be Taken Over By Artificial Intelligence appeared first on Lifehack.
When you picture success, you may think about the great accomplishments of people like Mark Zuckerberg or Steve Jobs. You’ve likely read articles about how these successful people get inspired and stay productive. One thing you may not have noticed was that some of the most influential people in the world take a minimalist approach to style.
Your style can communicate who you are and what you stand for before you ever open your mouth. Since we know that we never get a second chance to make a first impression, many of us spend lots of time agonizing over what to wear. We want to be successful, and we’ve been taught that we have to dress for success. Looking great doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel every day, though.
Some of the greatest minds of our time have adopted a minimalist wardrobe
You probably can’t picture Steve Jobs without thinking of his go-to outfit: a black turtleneck and jeans. When you think of Mark Zuckerberg, your mental image is likely to be him in a pair of jeans, a grey t-shirt, and possibly, a hoodie. Barack Obama is always in a blue or grey suit. We imagine them this way because these influential people have committed to wearing the same outfits over and over.
People who choose to wear the same thing over and over value simplicity and minimalism in their clothing choices. Taking the decision-making out of getting ready in the morning is an intentional move that influential people make to save time and energy. We humans can only make so many decisions per day before we suffer from decision fatigue.
Mark Zuckerberg’s fashion philosophy
Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, put it most succinctly. When asked to explain why he wears the same clothes every day, he said:
“I really want to clear my life so that I have to make as few decisions as possible about anything except how to best serve this community.”
He explains that spending his time and energy on frivolous things prevents him from putting his energy into his company. Mr. Zuckerberg knows that if he spends 30 minutes every day deciding what to wear, he loses three-and-a-half hours per week that he could devote to his work or his family. Think about how much time you spend picking out your outfits.
You can take a page out of Zuckerberg’s book
The average person makes a whopping 35,000 decisions per day. Many of those decisions relate to mundane things like what to pack in your lunch or which shirt you should wear. The more time and energy you spend on the mundane, the less you have to devote to the extraordinary.
Having a minimalist wardrobe doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. You can still look professional and put together, without fretting over fashion. By limiting the number of choices you have to make and choosing versatile pieces, you can design a sharp-looking hassle-free wardrobe for yourself.
Essential looks for a minimalist wardrobe
Depending on where we work and how we spend our time, there are certain outfits that we should have in our closets. If you can nail down some quality go-to pieces in each of these categories, you can do away with the closet full of decisions you have to make every morning.
At Lifehack, we’ve put together a list of essential looks, and we’ve identified some great pieces to help you pull them off.
1. Smart Office Casual
Looking sharp doesn’t mean that you need to have a different suit or set of accessories for every day of the week. Dress professionally without coming off as too formal with these items. This is the perfect look for the office.
- Tommy Hilfiger Men’s Dress Reversible Belt with Polished Nickel Buckle $21.02
- Zachary Prell Granite Soft Knit Blazer $398.00
- BENGAL Leather Satchel by Ted Baker $449.00
- Williams Cashmere Men’s Crew-Neck Sweater $37.84
- Men’s Knoxville Plain Toe Gore-Tex Oxfords $143.00
- Goodthreads Men’s Slim-Fit Wrinkle-Free Dress Chino Pant $30.00
2. Laid Back Executive
A quality polo shirt and a pair of chinos enable you to look put-together and casual. This look is perfect for those less-formal meetings and casual afternoons out.
- G-Star Raw Men’s 5620 Deconstructed 3d Low Tapered Cerro Stretch Jean $120.00
- Men’s Twin Tipped Polo Shirt-m1200 by Fred Perry $52.99
- Leather Backpack by Jack Spade $398.00
- Conway Sneakers by Vince $225.00
3. Ready for the Gym
Going to the gym is about getting results and being healthy. There’s no need to get fussy about fashion if you have a few solid and functional garments.
- Surge Short 7″ by Lululemon $85.00
- Tech Short-Sleeve Shirt by Under Armour $14.99 – $46.99
- A-PIE Fashion Breathable Sneakers Mesh Soft Sole Casual Athletic Lightweight $14.99
- Barnaby Tapered Joggers by Jack Wills $85.63
- Under Armour Resistor 3.0 Lo Cut Sock $21.99
- Assert Convertible Duffel Bag/ Backpack by Lululemon $163.58
4. Street Smart
For casual everyday wear, there’s no need to waste time rifling through t-shirts. If you are interested in emulating Mark Zuckerberg’s style, these are the types of items he wears on a daily basis.
- 501 Original-Fit Jeans by Levi’s $39.99
- Modern Fit Tee by Woolrich $22.45
- Raven Hoodie by All Saints $104.36
- Men’s Basket Classic B&W Fashion Sneakers by PUMA $74.95
5. Finishing Touches and Accessories
To add some flair to your outfits, consider a few simple accessories. Many of these work well with several of the outfits we’ve put together. Having versatile accessories ensures that you can look your best without having to spend too much time digging through extensive collections.
- Herschel Men’s Roy RFID Blocking Wallet $24.99
- Venture Navy Leather Bracelet by Links of London $225.00
- Expedition Scout 40 Watch by Timex $38.50
- Major II Bluetooth On-Ear Headphones by Marshall $85.95
- Bleu de Chanel cologne by Chanel $225.00
Keep it Simple and Practical
Wardrobes can quickly become expansive, but if you take time to curate your collection and identify versatile pieces, you’ll be able to put together a look for any occasion.
Featured photo credit: Anthony Quintano/ FlickR via flickr.com
|||^||New York Times: Make Better Decisions by Knowing How Decision Fatigue Works|
|||^||Independent: Mark Zuckerberg on Why He Wears That Same T-Shirt Every Day|
|||^||Thinking Business Blog: You Make 35,000 Decisions A Day: How to Ensure They’re Excellent|
The post All the Essential Items for Men’s Minimalist Outfits appeared first on Lifehack.
Having a good shaver is a must for guys. Even men who choose not to stay clean-shaven need a way to keep their facial hair neatly trimmed. Thanks to advances in technology, more men are shifting away from the manual razor in favor of electric shavers.
The newest generation of electric shavers not only save time, but they offer a closer shave with a lower risk of nicks than their manual counterparts. Gone are the days of sticking wads of toilet paper over shaving injuries. The latest electric shavers help you maintain a smooth and professional look.
There are so many great electric shavers on the market today. Here at Lifehack, we’ve hand-picked the 10 best electric shavers for you. Ladies, if you want to get the men in your life practical gifts, stay tuned. We’ll take the guess work out of electric razors for you.
1. Philips Norelco Series 3000 Shaver 3100
This model by Philips Norleco features a ComfortCut Blade system, which helps you achieve a comfortable wet or dry shave without nicks. The 4-Direction flex heads glide smoothly over your face and neck to adjust to the unique contours of your face.
The pop-up trimmer feature makes it easy to keep a mustache or sideburns looking tidy. Run this under the tap for easy clean-up, and start your day looking sharp.
Best electric shaver for: wet/ dry shaves, trimming mustache or sideburns, easy cleanup under faucet
2. Braun Series 7 790cc Cordless Electric Foil Shaver for Men with Clean and Charge Station
The Intelligent Sonic technology in this Braun shaver uses the power of up to 1,000 micro-vibrations per minute to trim thicker or harder to reach hairs. The ActiveLift trimmer picks up those frustrating flat-lying hairs on the neck and chin for an even shave. This shaver can trim hair as short as 0.05 mm, which makes it one of the closest shaves on the market.
Not only is the razor itself cool, but the clean and charge station is also cutting edge–no pun intended. Hit one button, and this razor is cleaned, charged lubricated, and ready for its next use. This would be a great time-saver for a busy guy.
Best electric shaver for: a close shave, busy guys
3. Remington PG6025 All-in-1 Lithium Powered Grooming Kit, Trimmer
This Remington is the high-quality, multi-functional workhorse on our list. This isn’t just an electric shaver–this is a full-fledged manscaping kit. It comes with 8 attachments so that you can give yourself a haircut, trim your face, neaten a wild beard, and take care of pesky nose and ear hairs.
The blades are self-sharpening surgical steel, which means that they’ll keep their edge for a long time. To clean these attachments, run them under the faucet.
If you have a lot of grooming to do, don’t worry about battery life with this kit. The lithium battery gives you 50 minutes of cordless battery life.
Best electric shaver for: all-in-one shaver, durability, battery life, easy cleanup under faucet
4. Philips Norelco Electric Shaver 9700, Cleansing Brush
The Philips Norelco 9700 model won the 2015 iF Design Award. Its shaving heads can move independently in eight directions to allow for a close, smooth shave. The contour-hugging abilities of this shaver cut about 20% more hair with every pass, which saves you time otherwise spent standing in front of the mirror.
You can choose from one of three settings depending on your time constraints and shave preferences. The V-Track Precision Blades channel your hair into the best cutting position, which gives you a closer and more comfortable shave, wet or dry. The cleansing brush attachment offers a hygienic and safe way to remove excess oils from your face.
Best electric shaver for: wet/ dry shave, a close shave, multiple settings to suit your schedule, facial cleansing
5. Braun Series 9-9095cc Wet and Dry Foil Shaver for Men with Cleaning Center, Electric Men’s Razor
For the guy who doesn’t bother shaving on the weekends, this model by Braun can handle 3-day beards with no problem. This foil shaver works well for wet and dry shaves, adapts to the shape of your face with a quadruple-action cutting system, and offers a close and long-lasting shave.
The four cutting elements use a combination of Braun’s Sonic Technology and 40,000 cross-cutting actions every minute to get the optimal shave on any part of your face.
Just like the Braun model we already mentioned on this list (#2), this one comes with that amazing cleaning station that cleans, charges, and lubricates your shaver with the touch of one button.
Best electric shaver for: 3-day beards, wet/ dry shaves, busy guys
Braun Series 9-9095cc Wet and Dry Foil Shaver for Men with Cleaning Center, Electric Men’s Razor, $269.99
6. Panasonic ES-LV61-A Arc5 Men’s Electric Shaver
Don’t let the five Arc 5 nanotech blades on this Panasonic shaver intimidate you. More foils mean that you get a better shave faster. The blades are positioned at a 30 degree angle, which offers you a close shave.
When these types of shavers have a slow motor, they can yank your hair. Ouch! This model’s 14,000 cycle per minute motor eliminates that problem. You’ll get a quick and clean cut without the agony.
The battery indicator lets you know how much charge you have, but this shaver is designed to maintain full power all the way until the end of its batter life. You don’t have to worry about the motor slowing down as the battery runs out.
Best electric shaver for: wet and dry shaves, close shaves
7. Remington F5-5800 Foil Shaver, Men’s Electric Razor
Each shaver foil on this Remington model flexes independently to worth with the contours of your face. Surgical stainless steel blades offer a close, clean shave. The bonus pop-up trimmer also makes it easy to tackle problem areas or neaten sideburns and mustaches.
Clean up involves a simple run under the faucet. The battery-life on this shaver allows you to go for up to 20 days between charges.
Best electric shaver for: close shave, neatening sideburns or mustaches, long battery life, quick charge
8. Panasonic ES8243A Arc4 Electric Razor for Men
This four-blade electric shaver cuts whiskers at their base. The blades are positioned at a 30 degree angle, and the head pivots to allow you to achieve a smooth and even shave across every contour of your neck, jawline, and chin.
The linear motor, which operates at 13,000 cycles per minute, makes shaving a quick and comfortable experience. This shaver runs at peak capacity until it needs to be recharged, which means you don’t have to worry about this shaver slowing and tugging on your face.
Best electric shaver for: wet/ dry shave
9. Philips Norelco 1150X/46 Shaver 6100
The head on this shaver pivots and tilts to adjust to the curves of your face. The design minimizes irritation and discomfort. This model works well with shave gels or foams, which can give sensitive skin an extra level of protection.
This shaver can be fully charged in one hour, and offers 40-minutes of shave time for every charge. There’s also a three-minute quick charge if your battery runs low before you are able to wrap up.
Best electric shaver for: sensitive skin, wet shave, quick charge
10. Braun Series 3 ProSkin 3040s Wet&Dry Electric Shaver for Men
Here’s another great option for guys who like to skip shaving on the weekends. It has been tested on a 3-day beard, and the results don’t disappoint. This Braun shaver has three pressure-sensitive shaving elements that adjust to conform to your face’s shape. The Micro-comb feature works to capture more hair in every stroke.
The two rechargeable NiMH batteries that come with this model can offer 40 minutes of shave time. This shaver has a 60-minute charging time, but there is also a 5-minute quick recharge option. Run this under the faucet for a quick and easy clean up.
Best electric shaver for: 3-day beard, wet/ dry shave
Featured photo credit: InfoWire.dk/ Flickr via flickr.com
The post 10 Best Electric Razors That All The Guys Would Need appeared first on Lifehack.