In this video, we will be reviewing Your One Word by Evan Carmichael. I’ll teach you how you can increase your success by finding a single word that describes yourself and I’ll find mine in the process, there’s also a ton of technical tips on building a brand and business in here, I hope you guys enjoy this video and learn something from it!
Your One Word describes who you are, what you want, and how you are going to grow yourself and your business.
Evan breaks up this book into three main parts, Core, Campaign and Company, and uses each chapter to help you find, use, and keep your one word for many reasons. I think the most important thing about your one word is that it helps keep your true north, what you really want in life during the difficult times. Martin Luther King Jr’s word was Equality, Oprah’s, is Heart, and Steve Job’s was Impact.
Basically, the Core chapter explains why it is so important to have a single word to describe yourself and how to find it through some simple exercises. It helps you evaluate your life, your character, and who you want to be in one word.
Something I found helpful in this chapter is that he describes three types of selling. You can sell using a feature; this is when you sell a product marketing it by what features it has. For example, if you’re selling a lightbulb, you might claim it will last over 50 years and cost less than $5/year to power. These are independent features of the product or service. The second form of selling is Benefit Selling, when you market a product or service to how it will help the buyer. For example, you could say your lightbulb will never have to be replaced, and this sells emotionally and practically to the customer who is buying it. The third, however, Evan says is the most important and it is Core selling. It’s selling with your one word in mind. Core selling would be selling your lightbulb by showing how buying it would change the world. Maybe you will reduce total waste on the earth, or reduce energy consumption in a way that is very eco-friendly. Steve Jobs said in an interview that it wasn’t his first million, his first 10 million, it wasn’t even when he hit 100 million dollars that he felt like he was done, he said he wanted to change the world. The same with Elon Musk, when he started Tesla, he was pretty sure the company would fail and go out of business, he just wanted to change how people saw electric cars. Now look at both companies!
Just like money, your one word is a tool, and the outcome of the use of it is all up to the user of the tool.
Another part of the Core section explains why a single word is so important. It’s important because clarity leads to conviction. Let me explain.
If you have a single word that describes what you want to accomplish in your life, you can simply pass every decision through it and ask yourself “is this supporting or failing my one word”? So it helps you make better decisions, and faster too! It keeps your eye on the long game. It can also help you stay motivated. If you know you are in it to change the world, relying on your One Word should motivate you.
So, how can we find our one word. Evan offers 5 questions.
He asks you to write down a huge list of things that make you happy, and to really think about it. To save you some time, I’ll skip to the next question, which is to find what connects all these things. For me, it is understanding. Understanding stuff helps make me happy, along with learning and teaching. The answer to the third question for me, is ignorance, I hate it when people don’t know stuff, or don’t have the access to further their education; ESPECIALLY when they have the drive and want to. Find out what traits you hate, and find the opposite.
The second part of the equation is Campaign. So this chapter is filled with tons of examples of how people have used their one word in the past to create a successful business in the past. I love historical examples and the research Evan did is outstanding. There are some technical and practical stuff in there I’d love to teach you about though.
One thing I resonated with is not to overthink or overspend on a logo. I spent 30 minutes designing the Practical Psychology logo and spent $25 for a designer to create it professionally. The logo isn’t as important as what the logo stands for, or well, what you make it stand for.
There are a couple more tips the author gives on creating a successful campaign.
The last part of the book is Company. Evan talks a lot about building the proper culture and environment of a company that boasts your one word. He gives tips on how to hire people in your business, and how to fire people in your business (even if you like them). Another trick he mentions is to give a name to your employees; for example, Starbucks employees are called baristas. He also gives some tips how to get more funds and raising capital from venture investors. My last tip of this book is when you are pitching to a potential investor, you have to know that you are not just pitching your idea or business. You are actually pitching yourself, the investor isn’t just investing in your business, they are investing in you, and they know the difference between a good executor and a bad executor, both with a great idea, can cost millions of dollars.
I hope you guys enjoyed this book review, if you’re interested in the book, check out the Amazon link below. If you’re interested in listening to this book for free, check out the link below for a free trial at Audible. Leave a comment of what you think your one word is and thanks so much for watching!
The book Charisma On Command was written by Charlie Houpert, who has a very interesting story, owns and runs the Youtube channel Charisma On Command as well as a website where he sell his Charisma University. It’s like a $600 in-depth course, and if you enjoy this video, or his book, I suggest checking it out! Anyways, Charlie was voted “Most likely to break out of his shell in college” when he graduated high school, but he mentioned when he was in college that didn’t happen, in fact, it happened when he decided to go on a study abroad trip to Costa Rica.
He said it was there when he realized Charisma was like a muscle, that it could be developed and built over time with the right routine and perseverance, and I believe the same. He starts one chapter in the book off by stating that charisma is NEEDED. You know your friend in college who gets great grades, even though their academic passion is subpar? Or that coworker who isn’t as technically skilled as you, but still gets the promotion? Or even the guy who dropped out of high school yet still manages to get a date with, and eventually marries your dream girl? The simple fact is that nepotism and favoritism exist. You can say it isn’t fair all you want, but it’s easier to accept it and start understanding what it takes to get what the people we mentioned earlier had.
Charlie thinks charisma is an equation, and I think it’s a great idea to help us understand what charisma actually is. See, technically charisma is an outward expression of inward thoughts and thinking patterns. Stuff so small and quick you can’t even notice – like someone’s eyes squinting 25% more, holding eye contact for twice as long, head nods, and the positive energy boost you just feel after being with them. Our brain can’t process all this information so fast, so it just declares the state “I like this person, and want to be around them more”, which puts the person in your charismatic category.
Conviction + Energy + Presentation
So this is the basic equation for charisma, and I’ll go over each variable in detail so we can better understand charisma. Conviction is confidence in your beliefs. For example, the famous Steve Jobs was hiring a friend John Scully, and in the process, Steve looked his friend in the eyes, who was working at Pepsi at the time, and told him “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” The conviction was so strong, and Steve had so much confidence in his conviction that he got his friend to believe in him too. That’s what leaders do, and that’s why most leader are charismatic.
One important thing about conviction is that someone with it cares more about their character than the opinions with others. That’s difficult if you struggle with the pressure of others, but it can be overcome with practice or a mental mindshift. For example, Charlie mentions when he was thinking about moving to South America, all of his friends and family were discouraging him and telling him he shouldn’t do it, but he went because he felt like he needed to and it was in his character to do so. Just because people don’t want you to do something doesn’t think they won’t respect you if you do it, or your charismatic past will go down the drain; in most cases you’ll be seen as even more charismatic as long as the thing you’re doing is in line with your character.
The second part of the equation is energy. What is energy? There are many things that make up a charismatic attitude and presence, but the first is high energy, not low energy. Take a look at MLK and Hitler. They both had high energy, to lead a large amount of people to follow their ideas, whether good or bad. Another example is the famous Oprah scene, where she screams “you get a car, you get a car, you get a car, everyone gets a car!”. That energy is contagious and people love to be around it!
Positivity is another part of the energy scene. You might be arguing, “Hitler wasn’t very positive” and you’d be wrong. While his ethical though process might not agree with yours, he was very positive in leading his people. For example, he didn’t lead with the thought his followers were going to lose the war, they were going to win it, and he believed it with all of his heart. Of course, on the other hand, the people who got a free car from Oprah saw her as pretty positive, as well as the people who watched that episode. If you want to be more charismatic, start by mastering positivity.
One thing Charlie hits pretty good in this book is that there is a common misconception among friends, “we are so close we can joke about it by being rude, sarcastic, and mean to each other”. He says this ruins relationships and that biting sarcasm should always be avoided. I believe this too, and behind every lie there is a bit of truth. When you call your large friend fat, you are labeling him and he might joke about it too, but deep down it really offends him on a psychological level. Avoid being mean to people and your friends, even on a joking level; just changing this can mean a lot on your charisma meter.
The last thing that can affect your energy is how passionate your are about something. Charlie says people are bored. They are bored at work, bored when they go to lunch, bored when they come home, bored when they turn on the TV, and bored when they scroll through social media. Give them something to be passionate about! It’s contagious, just be passionate about something and they’ll see it and want to be a part of it, just like John Scully and Steve Jobs.
The last part of the energy section, Charlie gives an awesome tip to choose any emotion you want, and how to instantly feel that emotion. I’m not going to tell you the tip, because I don’t want to ruin it, and you probably wouldn’t try it anyways.
Facial Feedback Hypothesis is the basic idea of the tip. I’ll explain this in a simple version. There was this experiment where scientists gave two people a pencil to hold in their mouth and one to write with their non-dominant hand. They told the participants they had to write with their non-dominant hand to distract them from the fact they were looking for something else. One group had to hold the pencil in their mouth with their teeth, causing them to smile, and the other had to use their lips, causing them to pucker without the pencil touching their teeth. After they were done writing a bit, they were told to leave, and write down on an exit survey how they felt. Those who were forced to smile, found that they were happier, which leads us to the conclusion of body language being one of the things you can fake until you make it. I’ll give you some body language tips to increase your charisma in a bit, but let’s get on to the Presentation part of the equation.
This part of the book was dedicated toward how charismatic people gave attention to other people and made them feel important.
Here are some tips to increase your charisma by upping your presentation game:
There was a ton of information in Charisma on Command, and I really hope you guys enjoyed my review, if you want to check out this book, I’ll leave an Amazon link in the description. Also, if you want a free audiobook, I’ll leave a link in the description so you can sign up and get the audio version of this book from Audible. One more thing, remember at the beginning I said you could win $20? The best comment on my next video within 60 second of uploading will receive a $20 Amazon giftcard, so turn on that notification bell! Also, everyone who comments within 10 minutes, I’ll check out your channel and leave a comment on a video if you have any. Thanks for watching!
Congratulations! Perhaps after days, weeks, or even months, of messaging a romantic prospect – you’ve only gone and done it. You’ve got yourself a date! Half the battle may already be over, but what about the other half yet to come? If you’re feeling a little nervous pre-date, which is only natural, the trick is to ensure that you’re the most prepared that you can possibly be. Read on for our tips on how to prepare for a first date.
Decide on a venue.
First of all, be courteous. Ask your date what they’d like to do as your first date. Some people like to do the standard dinner date, and some like an easy and casual drink, but there are those out there – those brave individuals – that like to do something out of the norm. It’s these types of individuals that put the fear of God up us mere mortals. (What do you mean you want to go paintballing? On a first date? But we haven’t even had the chance to speak to each other yet!) Whether your date is traditional, or the more adventurous type, ask them their preference is and then try to come to an agreement. Can’t decide between you? How about one of you takes the lead with the first date and the other takes the lead with the second? (Assuming there is going to be a second date, of course.)
Arrange the finer details beforehand with your date.
As soon as you’ve decided what your first date is going to entail, you need to pick a date and time. This can be a nightmare, as the average working adult is always busy trying to find time to exercise, maintain a house, do life admin and socialise alongside their full-time job. However, if your date likes you as much as they say that they do, then they will make a slot available for you. Also make sure you arrange the nit-picky details before the actual day of the date to avoid unnecessary panic and confusion in the run up to it. Nobody wants to show up at 8pm and their date has already left because they thought it was at 7pm.
Shower and groom yourself.
Rule 101: don’t show up to your date in last night’s clothes, smelling of the tuna salad that you had for lunch. (Yum!) It goes without saying, but always wash yourself before you meet someone new who has romantic potential. You don’t want to turn them off before you’ve even had chance to speak to them because of an overwhelming bad stench. Oh and you might want to consider trimming down the monstrous beard that looks like you’ve got a ferret on your face. Or shave your hairy Mary legs if you’re a lady and you’ve got your legs out. Showing up presentable is an important part of first date etiquette.
Wear a killer outfit.
Showing up presentable also involves looking smart in whatever you’re wearing. (Unless you’re going paintballing, because then you’d need to wear practical, comfy clothes – obviously.) You want to wear something that’s going to impress, so think about your choice carefully. Dress for the occasion, but don’t overdo it so much that it looks like you’ve tried too hard. Choose a color that suits you, as well as something that you love to wear and feel good in, and that confidence will shine through.
Calm those pre-date nerves.
We’re not going to lie to you; those pesky pre-date nerves are probably going to strike. And when they strike, sometimes they strike hard. Different people do different things to relax themselves. Some put on their favorite music in the car on the drive over and sing their hearts out, some talk to their friends on the phone as a distraction, and some even decide to grab a stiff drink. Whatever works for you, do it. But try to remember that your date will be feeling just as nervous as you. And nerves are a good sign, as it means you really like each other.
Set off in plenty of time.
There’s nothing worse than getting to the day, and almost the time, of your date for you to set off driving at the last possible minute and hit a traffic jam. Then, before you know it, you’re almost 30 minutes late and have left your poor date waiting and hating on you before you’ve even arrived. You might as well not arrive in these cases! The best thing to do on the day of your date is set off early, just to avoid any potential things that could go wrong. If you arrive at the venue early, then it doesn’t matter. You can simply grab a drink while you’re waiting. It says a lot about you to your date if you’re the first one to arrive and you’re waiting for them. You’ll score some extra bonus points without even realising.
If you follow all of these tips, and prepare yourself for your date in every possible way (mentally, physically and emotionally) then this will minimise those pre-date jitters. And whether you’re slightly nervous, really nervous or hardly nervous at all, the adrenaline will get you through. Try to relax and remember it’s a date, not a job interview. More often than not, they’re enjoyable! You’ve got this.
There are many fun aspects of dating. Dressing up, going for fancy dinners and meeting someone who you have a potential connection with are just a few of them. But dating also has its downsides, such as the awkward silences, having nothing in common with the other person and the sheer expense of it all. Having to spend your hard earned cash on an experience that made you want to tear out your own hair in frustration is not exactly ideal. But what happens if your date didn’t think it went that badly? What happens if they’ve been texting you for weeks, keep asking you for a second date and just downright refuse to leave you alone? Whether you’ve only just met them, or you’ve been dating for a few weeks and you’ve suddenly had a change of heart, here’s how to lay it all on line and tell them you’re just not interested.
1. Physically speak to them.
If you don’t know them that well and you’ve literally been on one date, then it might be okay to say what you have to say in a text. However, if you’ve had a fair few dates and you know them relatively well, then make sure you have this conversation on the phone or – even better – in person. Whatever you do, try not to just “ghost” them. If you haven’t already heard, “ghosting” is a millennial term referring to romantic links disappearing right out of your life. There’s no text, no phone call, no form of communication – your date is there one day and then simply gone the next. “Ghosting” is not a very nice way to treat someone, so it’s always kinder to have a conversation with your date – however hard it may be.
2. Have a valid list of reasons.
So many millennials nowadays are picky when it comes to dating and make up the most trivial excuses not to see someone anymore, which are often circumstantial, such as “they had bad breath” or “they were wearing a ridiculous shirt”. It’s important to give someone a chance first and foremost; however, if there are serious issues involved which severely affect your compatibility, then there’s no shame in putting an end to it sooner rather than later. People are different. And not everybody is going to be right for each other. Just make sure you’re honest and open about your reasons when you’re having the conversation and they will respect you more for it.
3. Let them down as gently as possible.
Sure, be honest and open – but not to the point where you are full-on insulting them. If they want to continue the relationship, and you don’t, then they are naturally going to be hurt when you sit them down and let them know this fact. Try to be mindful of this and say what you want to say in a tactful and careful way.
4. Include positives, as well as negatives.
Even though the essence of the conversation is negative, it would help keep your date’s spirits up and ease the tension between you both if you include some positive talking points. Have you really enjoyed getting to know them, despite the outcome? Tell them. Do you still want them in your life as a friend? Make sure you stress this. If the answer is no to both of these questions, then be as polite as possible and simply walk away.
5. Try to end the conversation on a good note.
If your date doesn’t agree with you and is bitter about the whole situation, it’s highly likely that the conversation is not going to end well. Sometimes, they can seem to take the news well, respond in an uplifting way to your positive comments and the conversation still won’t end on a good note. Often, it’s not personal. They’re just upset. The news is raw. But try your best to leave your ex with only positive vibes before you potentially never see them or talk to them again. It will ease your conscience and also make them feel better about it all.
6. Be respectful of their feelings.
Your ex might never want to see you again – and that’s fine. It’s their decision. If this is the case though, don’t start bombarding them with messages because you selfishly still want them in your life even though you know they are into you and you don’t feel the same. Respect their decisions and you can walk away with your head held high, knowing that you handled the situation as well as you possibly could.
Whether the conversation goes well, or insanely bad, it’s a conversation that needs to happen. And you will feel so relieved once it’s over. Remember to be as kind as you possibly can – no one likes to hear that their feelings aren’t reciprocated – and then move forward with your life. Good luck!
Love. It’s such a powerful four letter word. Often, falling in love doesn’t just happen. There are different stages you go through before you realise you’re in love. Sometimes it happens ever so suddenly, other times it develops gradually over time; but, once it’s there, it’s powerful and all-consuming. And there’s simply no shaking it! Whether you’ve just started dating someone new, or you’re coming to terms with overwhelming feelings for someone already in your life, read on to find out how you know you’re in love.
You just can’t stop thinking about them.
They’re in your thoughts, no matter what you do and no matter how hard you try to fight it. Every TV show you watch, each conversation that you have and everything you come across reminds you of them. You find yourself talking about them all the time – mainly because they are always on your mind. They start to affect your physical state, as well as your mental state, as you struggle to eat or sleep. Friends might be telling you to get it together, but you just can’t help how you’re acting. You’re totally obsessed with them.
The world feels like it’s a brighter place.
Everything seems that little bit better when you’re in love. The sky is bluer and the birds’ singing sounds prettier – you might even find yourself wanting to join in! You’re generally so much happier living your day to day life in a world you might usually find mundane – and that’s because the world now has them in it.
Your loved ones notice a positive change in you.
Not that you weren’t a happy person before, but your happiness has now definitely gone up several notches. So much so, that the people around you notice a significant difference to your behaviour. Perhaps you’re smiling a lot more, or you’re acting more confident, but there’s certainly something more positive about you. And your loved ones, the people who know you best, won’t shy away from telling you that this is the case.
You want to spend every waking moment with them.
When you’re in love, you just want to be around that special person all the live-long day. You can’t help it. They make you feel so good that you crave that amazing feeling when they’re not there – almost like an addiction. You might even go off the radar a bit when it comes to spending time with family and friends. It’s not that you don’t still adore your loved ones, but you’re just so unbelievably content in the other person’s company. Perhaps you don’t realising you’re doing it but, if you’re madly in love, you will prioritise spending time with your special person over seeing loved ones.
You can’t imagine your life without them.
This is the big one. If you can’t imagine not being with them, then you’re 100% head over heels in love. You can always picture a clear future with the person you’re crazy about and simply can’t imagine being with anyone else romantically. There will be no uncertainty involved whatsoever. You will feel so blessed that they have come into your life; however, on the other hand, you might feel extremely terrified that they could disappear. Falling in love is one of the most exciting experiences you can have in this life, but it is also one of the scariest. If you’re certain you’re in it for the long haul then you must have the strong kind of loving feelings.
You’re reading this article…
…And picturing your special person whilst you’re reading it. Deep down, you already know you’re in love – otherwise why would you be questioning it?
Just remember that finding someone you love, and who loves you back, is an incredibly rare and extraordinary thing. Treasure it and enjoy every moment.
Going through a break-up is one of the worst life experiences. Not only does it affect you mentally, but it affects you physically, making you feel lethargic, lose your appetite and struggle sleeping. You tend to overthink everything; where did it all go wrong? Why can’t you both work it out? And how is this even happening? The negative thoughts just seem to keep coming, and sometimes it’s difficult to shut them out, which has a detrimental effect on your mental health. Here are 5 of the most common negative thoughts you tend to have during a break-up and how to deal with them.
1. “I’ve made a mistake.”
It’s completely normal to question the reasons behind your break-up. Whether you’re the one who initiated it all, or simply agreed to it without a choice, both parties will second-guess themselves at least once. After all, how are you supposed to know that this is the best thing for you both in the long run, when you’re still very much in love with them? Even if your feelings have faded in the last however many months, you still care deeply for the other person and are very much in the relationship bubble. It’s so easy to believe that you’ve made a huge mistake; however, give it some time. Time will help you gain true perspective on the situation. If you’re adamant you want to be with the other person after a couple of months, then it might be worth having a conversation with them to see if you can both work it out.
2. “I don’t want to do anything today.”
This negative thought might be due to lack of sleep or motivation from your mental health being so severely jeopardised. Everybody’s allowed a couple of down days initially as you need time to grieve properly for the relationship, especially if it was a relationship that lasted for years. However, if it’s getting to the point where you haven’t left the house in a month, then it’s time to give yourself a little shake. Even if you don’t particularly feel like it, force yourself to get up, dressed and showered one day. Then force yourself to take a short walk by your house the next. Then head to your local corner shop the day after that. Make little steps forward and you’ll be surprised at how much you can achieve in a short amount of time.
3. “This pain is never-ending.”
It’s no secret that break-ups hurt. A lot. For a long time. However, it does get better. It may be a cliché, but time truly is a healer, as well as distractions. By leaning on your support system and spending time with the people who matter the most to you, then this will take your mind off things. Don’t let yourself stop going out and doing activities, even if it’s only exercise. Exercise releases endorphins in your brain that instantly improve your mood. Allow yourself to feel and process the pain, but also distract your mind whenever you can.
4. “I can’t live without them.”
One of the hardest parts of breaking up is the fact that you have to essentially cut the other person out of your life. They go from being your best friend to becoming a stranger. It’s an incredibly challenging transition, but you have to think – it’s only temporary. You will soon adjust to this new way of life – a life without them – but you can always reach out to them later when you’re truly over them if you’re adamant about still being friends.
5. “I will never love again.”
Everybody thinks that they will never get into another relationship again when they’re going through a break-up. Why would you want to, when it could result in you having to go through this heart-break again? Surprisingly, though, the heart heals time and time again. The time will come where you happen to meet someone who you think is amazing and you will be ready to open your heart to another person again. It might seem a long way off at the moment, but you will get there. Have faith.
No matter how badly you’re hurting, it’s important not to lose sight of the bigger picture. This heart-break is only a short-term circumstance. You will get through this. One day you will wake up and it won’t hurt anymore. If you managed to live how many years without your ex before you met them, then you can manage just fine without them post-break-up. Whatever you do, try not to be afraid to love again – because there’s nothing else in this world like it.
First dates can be truly terrifying. What to wear, what to do, how to act – it can all contribute to pre-date jitters so severe that they make you wonder if you even want to go on the date at all. Whether you’ve been messaging your date for weeks and you like them before you’ve even met them, or your friends have set you up on a blind date and you have no idea to expect, here are our first date tips on how to make a great impression that will leave your date wanting more.
Iron out the details beforehand.
Are you going for dinner? Or having an activity-based date? Are you meeting at the bar? Or at the nearest train station? As with most things in life, it’s always better to be prepared. If you’re organized and finalize these little details before the day and time of your date, then it helps eliminate any additional anxiety that you may have in the run up to it. Not only will you know exactly where you’re supposed to be and when, but you’ll also know what to expect. Goodbye, miscommunication and confusion!
Greet them nicely.
Did you know that it only takes eight seconds for someone to make an assumption about you when they first meet you? They can decide almost instantaneously whether they like you, which is why it’s so important to make effort from the get-go. When you’re greeting them, make sure you stand up, shake their hand, kiss them on the cheek and exclaim how amazing it is to meet them. Your politeness won’t go unnoticed.
Make interesting conversation.
There’s a fine line between asking your date insightful questions, and bombarding them like they’re interviewing for a job. Ask questions, but also let them enquire about you. Listen, let the conversation flow, and don’t be afraid of awkward silences. It’s only natural to have these when you’re both nervous. Just use these pauses to think about your next talking point instead. Oh, and try to avoid talking about the weather – unless you’re really stuck!
Be mindful of your manners.
If you’re at dinner, say please and thank you to the server. If you’re a gentleman, pull out your date’s chair so that they can sit down. Sometimes, it’s the little things that matter. Also if you’re at dinner, be mindful of your dining etiquette. Don’t start your meal before your date’s has arrived – and don’t choose anything that might be messy to eat. Tomato soup all around your mouth and down your top? Not very attractive.
Offer to pay.
Regardless of your sex, you should always offer to pay your half of the bill at the end of your date. If your date waves your money away, then that’s their choice – but at least you’ve offered. It says a lot about you – in a good way – if you’re willing to cough up, as opposed to making the assumption that your date will pay, which creates more of a negative impression.
Be direct with your feelings.
Whether you’ve had a wonderful date and want to see them again, or disliked every minute and don’t think you’ll be a good match for the future, always be upfront and honest about your feelings. When you’re saying goodbye, it’s better to tell your date there and then what you’re thinking in regards to them, in order to avoid having to deal with it later on. It’s so easy to agree to another date, even though you didn’t enjoy yourself, just because your date really likes you and has asked to see you again to your face. Always stay true to yourself and your feelings, even if it means you have to let someone down. And if it goes the other way, and you both want another date, then you can end the first one on a high!
There’s no right or wrong way to behave on your first date – the most important thing is that you’re enjoying yourself. If it doesn’t go quite as well as you hope, then don’t sweat it. There’s plenty more fish in the sea! And if the date is everything you wanted it to be and more, then that’s a bonus! Either way, every date is a learning experience in order to better prepare you for the next one. Now go get ‘em, tiger!
It goes without saying that dating can be quite the guessing game, especially if you’re a newbie. Some may argue that the most difficult part of it all is actually finding a date, but then how are you supposed to act on the date, and what do you do afterwards if you want to go on further dates? There are no set rules; however, people tend to struggle in the same type of situations. Here are a few of the most standard FAQ’s to serve as a guide for dating beginners. (You’re welcome!)
FAQ 1: What do I do when I see someone I find really attractive and want to approach them – how do I start a conversation?
A: Let’s say for example that you see someone you like on a train. First of all, take a good look at your surroundings and what is going on around you. Is it pouring with rain outside? Has the train been delayed? Identify a current topic and make a casual comment to them, such as “wow it’s raining really hard right now”. Another approach is to ask them a direct question about something they will know, such as “do you have the time please?” Then, when they have given you the information or responded to your casual comment, ask them a direct question about themselves. This could be anything from where they’re travelling to today; to did they catch the baseball game on TV last night. If you make the effort then the conversation will soon start to flow.
FAQ 2: How can I tell if someone I have a crush on likes me back?
A: You can always tell if someone likes you romantically. It’s in the things they do and say. If your crush is overly flirty, and teasing you a lot (maybe even insulting you), then they like you. They will also find subtle ways to tell you in their body language, including touching your arm, leaning towards you when you speak, and making eye contact! Sometimes they might just straight-up tell you that they like you as well, which is ideal, because it saves you from wondering! Actions also speak louder than words. If they’re finding ways to talk to you and be around you, and are doing kind things for you, then they so obviously like you!
FAQ 3: Where should you go with someone on a first date (in terms or venue or setting)?
A: Always suggest a public place for your first date, whether you’ve met them in person or not. Public settings are not only safer, but they are often buzzing which makes the whole experience more exciting! A lot of people like to do dinner on the first date; however, meeting up for drinks is much more casual and less pressured. You don’t want to be that person who gets food stuck in their teeth whilst you’re figuring out your date and simultaneously trying to look good! A mid-market cocktail bar makes for the perfect venue, as you can dress up or dress down for this type of occasion.
FAQ 4: If I’m on a date with someone, how do I know if and when I should kiss them?
A: As covered in FAQ 2, you’ll be able to tell whether they like you. If they’re being extra touchy feely, then they probably want you to kiss them. The biggest sign of whether they want you to kiss them is when you’re saying goodbye at the end of your date. If they are lingering, muttering, and generally not making much sense – then it’s likely that they’re nervous in the anticipation of a kiss. Always go in for the hug first, just in case you misread the signs, and then as you’re pulling away – look at them. If they’re looking back at you, the kiss will just happen as you automatically both lean forward. You can often just feel the chemistry when you’re about to kiss – it’s the anticipation on both sides – and you won’t be able to miss it!
FAQ 5: How long should I wait before I text them after a date if I want to see them again?
A: If they haven’t text you since the date, wait a little while to give them the opportunity to do so. However, if it’s been a few days and looking unlikely, then there’s no shame in texting them first. Just a casual “I had fun the other night, we should do it again sometime” will suffice. Be direct, otherwise you might run the risk of never seeing them again, but don’t bombard them with texts. If they really like you, then you won’t have to do much second guessing; they will make it extremely obvious that they want to see you again by arranging a second date.
Good luck, dating newbies! You’ll be pro’s before you know it!
A friend is someone you’re close to, who you know well and can relate to on some level. They should be a positive influence in your life, but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes a friend changes and becomes a hindrance to your wellbeing and sometimes they’ve always been deprecating and you somehow got tangled up with them and their negativity anyway. This kind of friend is one you don’t need and at some point you’ll start to realize it.
It’s not easy to cut a friend out of your life. They’re your friend after all, so they mean something to you. Maybe your attachment to them is even making you deny how much their presence affects you. It can help to know the signs of a toxic friendship so you can be sure that the relationship is no good.
Your time together should be uplifting; if you find your self-esteem, happiness, or stability compromised as a result of your interactions, it’s a sign that your friendship is a harmful one. You shouldn’t have to walk on eggshells around them for fear that they might lash out or because they’re intensely sensitive and become distressed easily. Occasional constructive criticism from a friend can be helpful, but frequent, harsh criticism is not beneficial in any way. If you’re often in a worse mood after seeing your friend, there’s a problem.
Your friendship also shouldn’t be overly dependent. Maybe your friend doesn’t insult you or take advantage of you, but if they rely on you too heavily it can become a burden that weighs you down. You’re not responsible for their happiness and if they treat you like you are and frequently get upset when you don’t come through, it’s another form of toxicity. The friendship still isn’t good for you and, really, it’s not good for them either.
Or maybe it’s just the opposite; maybe they’re neglectful of you. Friendship is a two-way street; it’s give and take for both sides. If you find that you’re always the one who initiates conversation, they let you down regularly, and you feel like you’re far more invested in the relationship than they are, you can come to feel unappreciated and frustrated. It can bring you down, even if it’s not intentional on their part. It’s not healthy and it’s time to stop putting so much effort into a relationship that is so unbalanced.
In some cases, it’s just their persona that impacts you and not the way they treat you. Friends who are always stressed out, depressed, or angry are taxing to be around. It’s not necessarily their fault, and patience is a reasonable response, but only to a point. It’s unfortunate that they’re having problems of their own, but you can only handle so much before it takes a toll on you. Stress can make you sick and cause you physical pain; if being around this friend is causing you distress, it’s time to let them go.
Basically, your friendship should be enjoyable and if it’s breaking you down instead, it’s probably toxic. It can be a hard thing to admit to yourself, but it’s an important realization to come to. Then you can figure out the best way to end the friendship and move on. You may not be ready to just break it off since there’s history between you and you feel an attachment to them. But you need to start accepting that letting them go is for the best. Don’t make excuses for them or try to justify your friendship; if it’s not working, it’s not working.
The best way to end a friendship is to sit down with them and tell them you need to end it. It makes your intention completely clear so there’s no way that they’ll misunderstand you. It’s also courteous; just because you’re cutting ties doesn’t mean you should treat them badly when you do it. This gives them the opportunity to fully understand the situation.
Before you have the talk, plan out what you want to say. Not necessarily word-for-word, just the general ideas you want to express. Tell them how the friendship has been affecting you and that you can’t stay in it any longer. But don’t criticise them; focus on where your needs aren’t being met or where you’ve been hurt and do your best to avoid accusing them or assigning blame. Planning out what you want to say beforehand will help you organise your thoughts so that you can focus on your feelings and not drift into picking them apart. It’ll also allow you to stay on track so you can get out everything you need to say and end the conversation.
While it’s important to be honest and tell them how you feel, you don’t have to over-share. Just give them the basics, especially if your friend has a tendency to be verbally abusive. There’s no point in pouring your heart out to someone who would probably take the opportunity to stomp on it. So let them know you’ve been affected, but there’s no need to get deep; just stick with what you’ve prepared. If they do get angry and insult you, do your best to hold yourself together emotionally. People who say hurtful things to you are often hoping to get a response out of you. Remind yourself that this is why you’re cutting them off and continue with what you have to say or choose to end the talk there and leave.
It’s also possible that they’ll be saddened by your decision. It can be hard to stay strong and carry through when they’re visibly upset, but do your best to keep moving forward. You don’t have to be heartless; tell them you’re sorry that it hurts them, but you need to take care of yourself first and that the friendship is detrimental to your wellbeing. You can tell them how much you care about them but make it clear that it doesn’t change how you’ve been impacted. Stand your ground and keep in mind that how they respond isn’t your fault; it’s your responsibility to stand up for yourself in a respectful way and it’s their responsibility to choose how they feel in reaction. You need to focus on your needs.
After you leave, it’s important to stay dedicated to the break. Don’t reach out, don’t back down, don’t doubt your decision. If you were driven to the realization that the friendship was toxic and felt sure enough to plan out how you were going to end it, it was the right decision to make. Ideally, you’ll delete their number from your phone and remove them from your social media accounts. As in romantic relationships, a clean break is more likely to stick and is easier to get through. Then you can mourn the friendship and start moving on without constant reminders of them popping up or having them contact you to try and get you to change your mind. Toxic friends are dangerous because they’ll try their best to persuade you into staying friends and then continue to mistreat you. Just cut all ties and let it be done.
This isn’t the only way to end a friendship. Slowly making yourself less and less available until they lose interest in you is a commonly used method, or cutting ties abruptly and all at once. These aren’t ideal though and have a lot of potential to backfire; slowly blocking them out will have them frustrated and could encourage their problematic behaviour to worsen, and doing it all at once could infuriate them, causing them to find ways to lash out. Not to mention, both of these are hurtful. Even if you’ve been mistreated, it’s not right to retaliate with similar behaviour. Have the courtesy to let them know what’s going on so that they understand and can, hopefully, see your side. They may be more likely to cooperate.
If you don’t feel like you can get through a break-up-style talk with your friend because you’re concerned you won’t be able to go through with it or you’re afraid of how they’ll react, write an email instead. This is an acceptable option if you don’t feel safe talking to them in person but need to get them out of your life. You can get your thoughts organized, express what you need to, and break off the friendship without being interrupted or challenged. Follow the same outline as for the in-person talk: keep it about your feelings, not their shortcomings; be respectful; be clear.
However you choose to end your toxic friendship, it will probably be difficult. But know that it’s for the best in the end and that your life will be better without it. You can then focus on the friends that are good for you and will have time in your life to welcome new ones. Removing even just one source of negativity can make a huge impact, and filling that space with positive influences will make it easier not to look back.
Assertiveness is about being confident and authoritative. Assertive people stand up for themselves and communicate what they want effectively while still being considerate of other people’s feelings. It sounds like a personality trait, and it can be; but it’s also a skill that can be developed and used to help you succeed. There are plenty of books and seminars available to help those who aren’t naturally confident to strengthen their ability to be assertive, but they all teach essentially the same basic tips and we’ll cover some of them here.
As you work on developing your assertiveness, keep this in mind: always be respectful. Some people confuse being assertive with being aggressive, but it’s not quite the same. Being aggressive usually means you’re being as forceful as necessary to get what you want, regardless of how it affects other people. Assertiveness on the other hand is about voicing your needs, thoughts, and feelings in order to get what you want but not at the expense of someone else. It’s not about power over others; it’s about getting what you want while using respectful behaviour. If you’re feeling angry, consider what you want to get across before you speak, and if it sounds harsh, take a little while to think of a more tactful way to get your point across. Because, again, assertiveness is not about aggression.
When you decide it’s time to make a change, the first thing you should do is assess your natural behaviour. Once you know what your current level of assertiveness is like, you can decide what kinds of changes you want to make and how much you want to change. Do you often hold back you opinions? Do you hope for a raise but never ask for one? Do you let people pile tasks on you and find it hard to say no? Find the areas you’d like to improve and focus on one thing at a time, re-evaluating as you go to see how you’re developing.
The second priority is to work on your confidence and to recognize your value. This step isn’t part of the act of being assertive, but it will make it easier for you to feel comfortable with your assertiveness. If you’ve got low self-esteem or low confidence, you might avoid standing up for yourself and that will be a problem here. So work on your confidence; find a way to feel good about yourself and know that you deserve to be treated with respect, always. Your needs, opinions, and feelings are just as important as anyone else’s. Try to observe your own behaviour; see how often you hold back because of a lack of confidence or how often to apologize unnecessarily. As you begin to acknowledge your self-worth, you’ll start to feel deserving of respect and won’t allow people to mistreat you. But remember: the idea is to recognize your value and the legitimacy of your feelings and opinions, not to feel more valuable than others. That kind of perspective can take you from assertiveness into aggressiveness.
For being assertive at work, building up your relationships with colleagues can be incredibly helpful. Many people are hesitant to express themselves to co-workers who are more-or-less strangers. Getting to know the people you work with can help you be assertive in two ways: first, it can make you feel more comfortable with being assertive with them because you know them better. Second, it can improve how they perceive your assertiveness. Having relationships with your colleagues will make them more receptive to your opinions and requests because they’ve had the chance to laugh and be friendly with you. Instead of often seeing the assertive you as work and viewing you as demanding or pushy, they recognize that you’re a likeable person who can speak out when necessary. So go to work functions with them or for drinks after work and create a good environment for you to be assertive in.
When a problem comes up with someone, whether at work or in your personal life, it’s the perfect time to assert yourself. Step forward and confront the person you’re having trouble with but avoid being accusatory. This is hugely important. Approaching a problem with someone by telling them how you think they’re acting is the perfect way to aggravate the issue. Instead, describe the situation objectively and say what you would like to change. Then, you can be subjective when it comes to telling them how you feel. For example, if your friend has bailed on plans with you last minute a few times in a row lately, don’t tell them that they’re being a jerk—that’s your perception. Summarize the situation factually; tell them you’d like them to give you more notice if they absolutely have to cancel. Then tell them how you feel, whether it’s mistreated or angry or upset. This way, you’re being honest about the problem and describing your point of view without accusing them of anything that might be inaccurate. Being assertive allows you to put your feelings on the table and ask for what you want, but does not involve attacking the other person’s actions or words, even if you feel angry.
You may find that one obstacle in the way of you being as assertive as you’d like to be is the fear of how someone else will react to your actions. You might worry that the other person will get upset or angry. But guess what—you aren’t responsible for their reactions. You’re only responsible for your own actions. Being intentionally hurtful to gain the upper hand isn’t acceptable, and isn’t assertiveness; but if you are acting assertively and not infringing on anyone else’s needs, you’re free to speak and act as you want. How the other people react is on them, so don’t let the fear of how they’ll feel stop you from standing up for yourself. Learning and accepting this fact makes being assertive so much easier.
Keep an eye on your development as you work on this skill. You might be a little under-assertive or a little overly assertive as you’re figuring out where the sweet spot is. It’s all about balance: you want to be assertive enough to be heard but not so forceful that you’re abrasive. Choose your words and your tone carefully when you speak, and act with consideration; it’ll help you find the right amount of push to use. It’s not always about the level of assertiveness though—sometimes it’s about frequency. If you’re constantly voicing your thoughts and needs, it can become a bit much, even when done with the right level of assertiveness. Know the difference between times when it’s really important to you to speak out and times when you can let it go and still be content.
Also be aware that assertiveness isn’t the ideal technique to use in every situation. It can go a long way toward helping you be heard and getting you want you’re after in a lot of situations, especially when it comes to business. There are other times, though, when it isn’t going to be as effective as a more persuasive approach. Where assertiveness is a matter of pushing from your side, persuasiveness is more focused in getting the other person to open up from their side. Look at it this way: when you want to stand up for yourself, assertiveness is the way to go; if the goal is to come to an agreement, persuasion is more likely the path to take. Both options are extremely useful, but knowing which one to use in what situation is key.
And it has to be mentioned that, unfortunately, navigating assertiveness can be more difficult for women than for men, and it has nothing to do with ability. Avivah Wittenburg-Cox, the CEO of one of the top gender consulting firms in the world, warns that women who are assertive are more likely to be viewed as aggressive than men who exhibit the same behaviour. If you’re a woman, being assertive could cause people you work with to view you in a negative light, and this might be something you want to keep in mind. However, as mentioned earlier, when you’re being respectfully assertive, the way people react to you is not your responsibility—you have the right to speak and act as you like. But be aware that this is a known possibility, and do with that knowledge what you will.
By now, you can probably see why assertiveness is so important: it prevents people from taking advantage of you, can earn the respect of others, and can help you get further at work. Assertive people are known to be more successful in their careers and happier in their relationships because they go after what they want and they don’t accept being mistreated. If you feel frustrated with your work life or the way your friends and family have been treating you, consider working on your assertiveness and get ready to see how much it can change your world.