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Relationship

6 Solid Reasons To Connect With Old Friends

“A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.”

Walter Winchell

Friendship is perhaps the most beautiful relationship. A mother-daughter relationship can be a friendship too, a teacher and student can form a deep friendship, our pets are our best friends too. In a sense, friendship is universal surpassing age, seniority, relationships, color, race, etc. However, friendships are volatile and must be handled with care. Over time we lose touch with friends, and we grow apart because we grow into different people.

Some friends go, some stay, some we are in touch with regularly, some on an occasional basis. If you are really lucky, you must be in touch with most of your old friends. We say lucky because staying in touch with friends in this day and age requires time, effort, and commitment.

There are many hurdles that can come up between friends and could be the reason to drive you apart from them. For example, misunderstandings, miscommunication, arguments, moving away to another city or town, even country, going to different schools, hanging out with different sets of friends, change of priorities, marriage, kids, etc. However, there are some people whose friendship remains steadfast despite all these factors. That is a real friendship. 

Friendship is like wine, it gets better with age. The older our friends, the more fond memories we have with them, the more we know them and vice versa, the more we can confide in them and they in us. The main reasons for staying in touch with old friends and never losing the connection is that old friends know the real you, they have spent a lot of time with you and you have grown together through life’s new phases. For example, our friends from pre-school or middle school, next-door neighbours, etc. will always hold a special place in our lives and vice versa. We all need friends to have a good laugh, watch a movie, go shopping, etc. However, the true test of friendship is when the chips are down and things are not looking great.

We list out 6 solid reasons when and why you must connect with old friends:

1. You feel low

Life’s like that full of highs and lows, ups and downs from time to time. An old friend can pull you straight out of your low by reminding you about the good times spent together e.g. mischief that you both created as kids or playing soccer in the alleys on rainy days. These wonderful memories can uplift your mood instantly; feeling low will be a thing of the past. Connecting with old friends may be more necessary now than ever given the dreary and stressful times we find ourselves in. Old friends carry a sense of belonging and familiarity which is very comforting in times of insecurity and stress.

2. You are going through a crisis

There will be times when we are hit by personal crises such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, failing health, etc. Old friends are the perfect support system to help you sail through these tough times. Old friends know your history; they may know things about you that your more recent friends wouldn’t. Old friends can encourage you by reminding you of crises you have gotten through in the past, for example, a financial crisis you faced because your parent lost their job and how you overcame it. 

3. When you are confused

You could be confused about your job, people you date, or confused about something big like choosing ‘the one’. This is when you need to connect with an old friend. Old friends know us longer and better and can put things in perspective for us. They know us inside out, they are familiar with our personalities; they’ve seen us at our worst and at our best. Old friends make for great advisors when it comes to making some of life’s hard choices.

4. On your big days

Make old friends part of significant life events such as a wedding, the birth of a child; they will appreciate the gesture wholeheartedly. For all, you know they may just embarrass you before all your guests by telling tales that you had long forgotten! Old friends bring that bit of fun and excitement into our lives. They are people with whom we have shared so much in the past then why not make them part of our big days? You owe them!

5. You feel lost

We all know that feeling of emptiness where it seems like we have everything but yet deep down inside we feel like we don’t have anything. When this happens, it may be helpful to reconnect with old friends and confide in them. Old friends are true friends who have stood the test of time; they want what is best for us and we can trust them to point us in the right direction. The best part is that they won’t judge you for not feeling like yourself. Be open with them and pour your heart out.  

6. When you realize their value

At the end of the day, we are all human; we make mistakes, we misjudge, we believe the wrong people and side with them while hurting others who are well-wishers. We also learn lessons the hard way. There comes a time in everybody’s life when they took someone at face value and considered them their friend. Instead, they were wolves in sheep’s clothing. Sometimes, bad experiences are necessary; they give us learnings for life and make us wiser.

So, if you are feeling alienated by people you thought were your friends but they turned on you, then it’s time to connect with an old friend. Connecting with old friends when you’re lonely will help you realize what you are missing. It’ll help you appreciate the friends who stayed and never left. This will help you be a better judge of people and forge friendships with people who are more like your old friends.

Conclusion

Friendship is a universal theme that underlies all relationships. It’s a blessing to have friends. Even one good friend is valuable against 10 fake friends. However, friends and friendships must not be taken for granted; they must be valued and respected. Over time, we may lose touch with friends for various reasons but being there for one another when the times are tough must be a priority for us. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that phone and call your old friend(s) or ping them on Facebook! It’ll be a conversation you’ve been missing for a long time.

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Relationship Self-Growth

6 Ways To Bolster Your Self Confidence

“Have confidence in confidence” — stick to this mantra and you’ll be unstoppable. Confidence is something that needs to be worked upon. Even the most confident people can stumble sometimes and lose their self-confidence as a result of unpleasant experiences. 

Developing confidence in oneself is very important because it increases the chances of succeeding in something. If the opposite happens, self-confidence is a quality that can bolster your confidence further and motivate you to keep going even in the face of failure. The most important factor to help you grow your self-confidence is to try new things. Remember, you won’t know until you have tried. Also, don’t let the fear of failure come in the way of reaching for your goals. Failure only teaches us valuable lessons and it should be a reason to come back stronger. When we stick to this mindset, we are self-confident and invite more self-confidence as we go further.

If you are struggling with self-confidence issues, the following are 6 ways that will help you develop this very important quality in yourself:

1. Try the unknown

To let go of the fear of the unknown, it is important to face it head-on. People who are low in self-confidence tend to think negatively about themselves and doubt their abilities to get things done. It is very important to get out of your comfort zones to grow as individuals. There are many ways to gain self-confidence by doing something you normally wouldn’t be confident of doing. For example, going out to dinner by yourself or watching a movie alone in a movie theatre, giving interviews just to gain confidence, going to an art exhibition, and discussing the artworks with the artist even if you don’t have a clue about art, etc. It is important to keep challenging yourself to gain self-confidence.

2. Work on your appearance

If this sounds frivolous to you, please take it seriously. A nice pair of heels or a crisp new shirt can do wonders for your self-confidence. When we look good our brain produces feelings of satisfaction and happiness. This is an instant boost to our self-confidence. So, invest in clothes and shoes that fit well, get a nice haircut, a little makeup also won’t hurt. Also, taking good care of your skin, getting a massage at the spa, hair treatments, etc. will make you feel good and take pride in yourself.

3. Get active

Along with dressing smart, you can bolster your self-confidence by getting into shape. We don’t want you to be superficial but to work on yourself and this includes taking good care of your health. When we take care of ourselves, our bodies, appearance, etc. we make a good impression on others and instill confidence in them about ourselves. Not to mention, this will also attract many compliments your way and instantly boost your self-confidence.

4. Avoid comparisons

Comparison is the thief of joy and also confidence. When we constantly deride our own achievements and what we have because we perceive what others have is far better, we are being extremely unfair to ourselves. In an age dominated by social media, comparisons are difficult to control. We are constantly bombarded with filtered and edited images of even the silliest things like a brunch or a new pair of sunglasses to more lavish images of vacations abroad. When every minute of someone’s life is glamorous and shown off, it is natural to feel inadequate in some way. However, this can damage your self-confidence over time. 

The best way to deal with this is to first cut down on social media time. Instead, spend time improving yourself and doing things that you like doing. Second, understand that what we see on social media is not the entirety of one’s life. The very people posting these glamorous and fake images of their lives also have problems; in some cases, they are even worse than what we imagine. Third, stop comparing yourself with others. Each one has a different and unique lived experience, choices, decisions, etc. that make our life what it is. Every person is different, every life journey is unique. So, stop comparing and capitalize on your abilities, achievements; take pride in yourself and your life. When this happens, your self-confidence will soar high.

5. Fight your impostor syndrome

We have heard about our mind having two voices, the positive one and the negative one. According to the New York Times, “the Impostor syndrome is a nasty mental bug that convinces you that your accomplishments don’t really count. The Impostor Syndrome forces our minds to think about and relive failures rather than successes thus casting doubt over our self-confidence. Therefore, one must make a habit of reminding oneself by writing down or simply remembering one’s successes and achievements. They may not be awards and accolades but something you are proud of. For example, giving an inspiring speech on a public forum or losing 10 pounds before your high school reunion. When we reflect on our successes, we immediately boost our confidence levels.

6. Allow yourself to fail

Be open to failures and at the same time be kind to yourself. Allow yourself the space to fail. Remember that every failure is an experience with a learning curve. Don’t beat yourself over it but learn from it. When you make this a consistent habit, self-confidence to do just about anything will follow. At the end of the day, what doesn’t kill us only makes us stronger. So, don’t be afraid of failures. In fact, look forward to them because you will only bounce back stronger with higher self-confidence.

Conclusion

Self-confidence is quality and tool that needs to be developed and nurtured over a period of time. Even the most self-confident people have times when they have their confidence shaken but that doesn’t mean they give up. Confidence can be gained by having the right attitude, self-belief, and pride in oneself. Working on ourselves, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones every now and then, enhancing our appearance, having a healthy body image, and constantly celebrating our successes will motivate us and inspire self-confidence. When we celebrate our uniqueness and individuality, self-confidence will follow.

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Relationship

5 Ways To Spot A Con Artist

Gina Wilson had a perfect life. A high-flying corporate job in a pharmaceutical company, two wonderful children, a supportive husband who worked in the real estate business, a mansion in the suburbs overlooking a garden, and a blissful life overall. Gina was well respected by her colleagues as a smart manager who always knew what she was doing.

However, Gina’s life was about to change for the worst. 

Gina met a gentleman named Alex Chambers at an HNI (High Networth Individual) event. The event had the who’s who of the corporate world. Gina’s reputation preceded her and soon she was being approached by people seeking her advice on strategies, exchanging contact cards, offering her consulting opportunities, etc. Then came Alex Chambers, a flamboyant man with an air of ambition, power, and magnetism. Gina was captivated by him at once. He introduced himself as a venture capitalist who funded ideas and businesses and helped entrepreneurs scale their startups. Alex asked Gina if she was interested in starting something of her own and at once Gina fell for his trap.

Alex Chambers had studied people for decades. He knew that someone like Gina, a working mother, and a driven and passionate professional would have definitely thought about starting something of her own. He played on exactly this and conned Gina into starting something with him. Strangely, despite being an investor himself, he asked Gina to invest her own money stating that this was the initial stage to secure funding and earn the trust of his business partners. Once they started the business, he assured her he would return her investment and invest his own money to scale up her business. Alex had earned Gina’s trust over a month by becoming friendly with her family. He talked about his vineyards in France, his vacation home in Italy and insisted they visit when the children have their holidays. 

Finally, the day came when Gina wired $ 2.5 million into Alex’s account. When Gina called him to confirm the transfer, Alex said he had received it and was excited to begin their new venture together. He was making a trip to Dubai to consult his Board of Directors and would be back in a week. That was the last Gina ever heard of or from Alex Chambers. 

Incessant phone calls, e-mails, texts remained unanswered. Gina and her husband ran background checks, something they should have done sooner, but in vain. Alex’s website had been taken down, his number had been blocked and so was his e-mail ID. Gina ran from door to post trying to make sense of this horrifying situation. In the end, Gina accepted that she had been taken for a ride and conned for millions of dollars which were her hard-earned money. 

It is very unfortunate if you, or someone close to you, has been the victim of a conspiracy by a con artist. Con artists are cunning individuals without any conscience. All they care about is making a quick buck at any cost. It is best to avoid such people beforehand. However, not everybody can spot con artists at once.

Top 5 signs to identify a con artist before it’s too late:

1. Exaggeration and extravagance

Con artists need people to notice them and think highly of them so they can set a trap. Con artists will usually appear larger than life; they will dress, speak, eat, drink in a way that makes them appear sophisticated and rich. Next, they will make their move and become friendly with unsuspecting victims who will gladly befriend them. After all, who wouldn’t want rich and powerful friends and acquaintances?

2. Garner false sympathy

A con artist may not only appear as rich and powerful, they can also appear as people who are needy depending on how they choose their victims. If they want to con a working-class person into trusting them, they will employ techniques to gain sympathy from them and then money. Many con artists also play on the emotions of people, for example, making their victims fall in love with them, become emotionally attached, promise marriage, and then take off with their money and belongings.

3. Being over-friendly

A con artist will get to know you and become extremely friendly with you. They will flatter you and act like your closest friend. They will even be there for you in times of need (without really meaning it). If someone fairly new to you suddenly goes out of their way to solve all your problems, that’s a sign to look out for. Con artists do this to earn your trust and then emotionally blackmail you to do exactly what they want.

4. They are secretive

Con artists will act high and mighty in public and when they are alone with you. However, when you start to dig into their personal lives, they will try their best to not say too much. If you find that someone is avoiding questions about their personal life e.g. spouse, business partners, or where they live but expect you to divulge everything – that’s a sure-shot sign of something fishy.

5. Dubious financial schemes

Con artists are hungry for money. They will constantly talk about how much they make and encourage people to invest in their business to get rich. However, they will have no clear evidence to show what that business is or what they do. They will also name people who cannot be reached or accessed easily as their business partners to cover their tracks. A classic example of a con artist is Anthony Gignac who posed as a member of the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia for years and conned scores of people!

Conclusion

The world is increasingly becoming a dangerous place. If we are not careful, things can take a turn for the worse. Con artists are criminals who play on our insecurities and get what they want out of us. In most cases, it’s money. In this blog, we discussed some signs to help you identify a con artist. It is very important to keep our eyes and ears open to anyone and everyone we meet. Don’t take people at face value. Dig deeper to know more about them. You never know who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing waiting to take undue advantage.

Con artists are criminals who play on our insecurities and get what they want out of us. You never know who is a wolf in sheep’s clothing waiting to take undue advantage. Click To Tweet

So, if you notice that things don’t add up about a certain someone, call them out immediately. Keep friends and family in the loop and in extreme cases don’t be afraid to do the right thing by reporting them to the right authorities. You will be doing yourself and many other unsuspecting innocent people a huge favor. Take care!

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Relationship Self-Growth

6 Ways For Introverts to Easily Interact With Others

Qualities such as confidence and good communication skills are not something one is born with. Like many other qualities and habits, these need to be worked upon. Some people have the confidence that can light up any room; they are effective communicators, fun to talk to, engaging in their interaction with others that makes them memorable. They also seem to attract great work opportunities based on their ability to hold their own in a large group or social gathering. Then there are those who are not too comfortable starting conversations, are shy to interact with people, and tend to avoid large gatherings because they simply don’t know what to say or tend to say very little. If you fall into the latter category, you are probably an introvert. 

At the outset, we would like to tell you that there’s nothing stigmatizing or bad about being an introvert. Being an introvert does not imply there is anything wrong with you. However, sometimes, being an introvert can work against you, for example, people might perceive you to be less confident and not give you the opportunities that you actually deserve.

Introverts are generally shy and quiet people; they don’t necessarily have many friends but a few close ones with whom they are most comfortable. Introverts are generally not comfortable in large gatherings, or public speaking. This may inhibit effective interaction and communication and create misperceptions about you. For example, people may think you are standoffish or stuck up. Worry not! Every individual is a work in progress and so are you. Don’t be upset or push yourself too hard if you are an introvert. Instead, a few simple strategies can help you communicate effectively without feeling too overwhelmed or uncomfortable.

So, let’s explore some simple ways to help you interact more effectively with people:

1. Know Your Strengths And Exercise Them

Just because others think you are an introvert and even if you really are one, this does not mean that you are not smart or intelligent. Each one of us is a mix of strengths and weaknesses but that does not mean we don’t go after what we want. So, work on your strengths. For example, if you feel comfortable having a one-on-one talk with someone, do it! If you feel more comfortable when someone introduces you to a person you want to speak with and then take it from there, request an acquaintance to do so. 

2. Work On Your Communication Skills

People are increasingly imbibing the habit of constantly learning and improving which is a good and positive thing. This includes not just ordinary people but also people who are very successful. For example, many successful people work on improving their presentation skills while others work on their public speaking skills to deliver lectures at large gatherings. Likewise, working on our communication skills is a lifelong investment with good returns. There are several communication experts who can coach you to be an effective communicator. So, take note of workshops happening in your neighborhood on effective speaking or webinars if being physically present is not convenient.

3. Have Genuine Conversations

Whether it’s social gatherings or professional networking events, it’s always nice to be yourself and have meaningful conversations. People also remember you this way and won’t hesitate to interact with you when they meet you next. If you are meeting someone new ask them open-ended questions that prove you are interested in having a conversation with them. For example, ask them where they studied or what subjects interest them rather than “are you having fun?”. Remember, it is quality that counts and not quantity. Having an engaging conversation with 2-3 people is better in comparison to making small talk with no impact with 10 people. Meaningful conversations can lead to longer and more fruitful conversations; they are great ice breakers and will give you the confidence to communicate effectively.

4. Utilize Conversation Starters

Conversation starters imply topics or things that can begin interesting and fluid conversations. For example, people who love to socialize and entertain have something known as conversation pieces such as an interesting work of art, or a uniquely designed piece of furniture, even a book in their homes. These are useful to begin engaging and interesting conversations. If you are inviting a new group of people home or vice versa, keep an eye out for such conversation pieces and conversation starters such as a new movie or trending news. You will come across as a well-informed person that people will love to talk to. 

5. Don’t Try Too Hard

When we try too hard for something, chances are we end up being disappointed. The same goes for working on communication skills. Don’t beat up yourself about being an introvert. Like we mentioned before, it is nothing to be ashamed of but it may hamper certain opportunities from reaching you. So, be gentle with yourself; don’t go out of your way to attend parties and other social gatherings and force conversations. Chances are it may just backfire because you may come across as trying too hard and this can be annoying to some people. For all you know, they may just start avoiding you, and then the whole purpose is lost. So, be genuine when you meet people, recognize your limitations, and do what you can.

6. Bring Company

Having a friend, family member or partner with you can ensure things proceed smoothly. For example, if you are not comfortable going alone to a networking event, bring along a colleague from work to participate. Having a company can act as a good support system especially if you’re an introvert.

Conclusion

It is difficult to change the personality one is born with and changes to it cannot happen overnight. Being an introvert is not the end of the world. Like everything else, introverts also need certain skills, tips, and tricks that they must practice in order to gain confidence and achieve what they set out to. Pushing yourself too hard will only leave you more stressed. It is wise to take baby steps toward achieving your goal. With some practical tips and strategies, effective interaction with others will never be a problem for introverts, and anyone else for that matter.

Being an introvert is not the end of the world. Like everything else, introverts also need certain skills, tips, and tricks that they must practice in order to gain confidence and achieve what they set out to. Click To Tweet
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Relationship Self-Growth

7 Traits Of Fake People And Why You Don’t Need Them

7 Traits Of Fake People And Why You Don’t Need Them
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In life, we will meet hundreds to thousands of people. Not all will be good, not all will be bad, some will be a little bit of both; mainly our experiences with people will shape our perceptions about them. Throughout our life, we make friends and enemies, friends who become enemies, and even enemies who become friends! We human beings are a complicated lot and our social interactions and communications are a reflection of this. 

Thankfully, we are empowered to make a choice as to who will stay in and who will go from our lives. Still, many of us do not exercise this power and keep certain people in our lives although they don’t add any value and are in fact toxic. Fake people, for example, are those that simply exist in our life by way of some association — they could be family members, friends, co-workers, high school mates, acquaintances, etc. They don’t add value to our lives and thus it is important to identify them and weed them out from our lives. Think of it as a detox process!

There are many different types of people around the world. It is important to know the traits of fake people to improve your life quality. Click To Tweet

Traits of Fake People

1. They Are Nice To Your Face

This is literally true for a lot of fake people. When they meet you at a social occasion, for example, they will act as if they have known you forever and will be super nice to you simply to show everyone else how nice and friendly they are. The moment you turn your back, they will show their true colors by not giving a fig!

2. Fake People Will Manipulate

Fakers don’t mind manipulating others to get their way and they do this very subtly without being exposed. If manipulation gets them what they want, they will do anything and everything.

3. Fakers Suck Up To People With Influence

Fake people plan their every move and are not genuine. No matter how good you are to them, if you cannot offer them anything useful, they will ignore you. Instead, they will make sure they are part of the inner circle of powerful people and people with influence. This is because they stand to gain something from them. 

4. They Lie Frequently

Have you ever come across people whose lives seem to be uncannily perfect? This means you have spotted a faker! Fake people will go to any lengths to show and prove that they and their lives are perfect. Social media has become a platform for so many people to fake about how happy they are, how perfect their relationships are, how much money they have, how rock solid their marriage is – even if this is not the case. If that were true, one shouldn’t feel the need to shout it out to the world. Fake people do this to garner attention and validation to make themselves feel good. 

5. They Never Make An Effort

Fakers, as mentioned earlier, will only associate and suck up to people who can make them look and feel powerful regardless of how they treat them. You may find that some fake people you know never call you or text you or make an effort to be there for you. For example, they don’t care about wishing you on your birthday or lending a helping hand even if you have done that for them.

6. Fake People Gloat About Nothing

Fakers love attention not for the people they are but for the things they own or do. After all, fake people don’t have inherent good qualities that people get attracted to. Thus they take the help of material things and exaggerate and gloat for people to sit up and take notice. It could be a new car, or a luxury watch or a recent trip that they just won’t stop talking about. 

7. Fake People Engage In Backbiting

Fakers are nice to your face but the minute you turn your back, they have a lot to say about you and others. They may also influence others’ opinions of you if it makes them look good or benefit.

Why Weed Out Fake People From Your Life

We don’t need people who are not genuine. Even if this means you lose out on a few friends or even family members, that’s fine. They don’t deserve to be in your life in the first place. Why should you waste time on people who do not deserve it? When we choose to let fake people stay in our lives, we underrate ourselves. It also rids us of true love, friendship, and most importantly respect. So if you value yourself, start weeding out the fakers from your life. Instead, pursue relationships with people who are interested in you, your well-being, and value you. You will be a happier person surrounded by people who make you happy and vice versa.

Out With The Fakers

If this makes sense to you then it is time to analyze the people you are surrounded with. If any of the above traits are familiar to you, do the right thing and maintain distance from fake people. 

  • Stop trusting them: Don’t trust them with any personal information or tell them about anything significant happening in your life.
  • Stop expecting from them: Forget about expecting anything from fake people. This could mean wishing you on your birthday, making an effort to meet you, helping you out, etc. When we don’t have expectations, we don’t get hurt.
  • Don’t let them get to you: Often we let other’s toxicity get to us. When we see fake people taking advantage or manipulating us, it upsets us and we don’t speak up for the fear of losing them and/or avoiding drama and tension. Fair enough. However, by making a habit of this, you are simply giving fake people more leeway to hurt you and others like you. So, confront them and speak up!
  • Maintain a distance: Cut down on contact with them; you’ll be better off! The more we let fake people into our lives, the more room we give them to hurt us and take us for granted. Make self-respect your priority.

Conclusion

Pursue genuineness and associate with people who embody this quality which is rare to find. You may have a hard time finding and sticking with people who are genuine but trust us it will all be worth it in the end. This is because people who are real and genuine will stay by your side and care about you; they will lift you up when the chips are down and give you moral support than just frivolity. Remember, if someone doesn’t respect you, they don’t deserve you. Plain and simple!

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Family Relationship

7 Reasons Why Dining With Your Family Is Important

7 Reasons Why Dining With Your Family Is Important

Dining with family as a regular activity has somewhat become a thing of the past. In the modern context, having dinner with the family is synonymous with a formally planned weekend night out. Eating food at the table with your family members seated together is a misnomer in our busy ‘lifestyles’.

Unfortunately, for many of us, something as ordinary yet wholesome as a family lunch or dinner is elusive. We are so tightly bound to our individualistic pursuits and ‘me time’, it is negatively affecting our relationship with our family. 

It’s just a family dinner you might be thinking, what’s the big deal? Family dinners don’t have the glamour of fine dining or champagne or getting dressed to impress and meeting fancy folks. This is exactly why family dinners are important — their purpose is much more meaningful and deep.

Dining with our families is an everyday simple pleasure that can do wonders for us and our families. Family is perhaps THE most important aspect of our lives — one that we must prioritize and nurture.

Dining with your family can bring significant and positive transformations in our lives and that of our loved ones. Read on to know more about why family dining is so important:

Family time must be prioritized no matter what. Dining with the family has multiple and positive and holistic benefits us and our loved ones. Click To Tweet

Reasons Why Dining With Your Family Is Important

1. Healthy Eating

Dining with your family promotes healthy eating patterns. When we dine with our children and/or spouse, partner, parents, etc. we are able to keep a check on what we and the others are eating and how much as opposed to mindlessly filling up our plates and sitting before the t.v. or laptop so that we don’t have to get up again. When we eat together, we are cautious of taking proper portions of food so that there’s enough for everybody else. Also, there is always someone telling you to mind what you’re eating or what you should eat e.g. more salad, or controlling your water intake during meals. Making family dining a habit can actually have a positive long-term effect on our health. 

2. Dinner Is More Enjoyable

We understand you are addicted to that web series and want to catch up on it but why do it during family dinner time? Why not take some time for yourself before or after? This is where we go wrong – we take our family time for granted to fulfill our need for entertainment. When we dine with family, we joke, laugh, talk, and make memories. Bonding over food is always a lot of fun; each one gets an opportunity to talk about their day, their highs and lows, share advice, resolve problems, and much more.

3. Build Self-Esteem in Children

According to Stanford Children’s Health

“Dinner is a perfect opportunity to build self-esteem in children. By listening to what children have to say, you are saying, “I value what you do; I respect who you are and what you’re doing; what you do is important to me.” The bottom line is that we must start looking at family dining time as an opportunity and not as a chore. This approach can lead to wonderful possibilities like creating a level of comfort, uninhibited communication and a safe space for children and adults to express themselves. 

4. Better Communication

Whether you’re living with your spouse, parents, children, siblings, etc. make dining together with them a priority. Dining with your family opens channels of communication in a healthy way.  As a result of our busy and ever-changing lifestyles, spending quality time with family has taken a backseat. It even shatters many misunderstandings we may have about the other person. For example, you may think your spouse has been acting very distant lately. However, you did not get the time or opportunity to ask them about it. But, after having a dinner conversation and lightening up you may realize it was something at work and nothing to be troubled about. Essentially, when you eat together it provides an opportunity for us to converse and address issues in a non-confrontational way. 

5. Improved Mental Health and Emotional Security

It is sad yet true that although we have people around us who love us we and/or our loved ones may still feel alienated and alone. Blame it on work, or simply taking your family for granted, being too self-centered, etc. people are feeling increasingly lonely and depressed. Family meals are a great way to bond with your loved ones and develop a sense of security which is essential for mental health and hygiene.

Knowing you have people who you love and who love you back unconditionally and having people you can rely on when the chips are down will help you relieve feelings of anxiety, insecurity and prevent more serious issues like depression. 

6. Be Good Role Models

As life progresses in the era of globalization, our lifestyles will become more demanding in terms of work, achieving goals, having ambitions, etc. In this chaos, it is important to teach the right stuff to our young ones. Family dining, as we have read so far, can have multiple benefits for our health and well-being. Pass on the family dining ritual to your children and teach them to value it. Remember, it all begins at home. What we do our children are likely to follow. 

7. Decreased Screen Time

Family movie nights are great but having simple meals together is even better. Sitting together for a meal also ensure adults and children both are not glued to their phone and/t.v. screens while they eat. The opposite can have several ill effects on one’s health.

Conclusion

A family meal no matter how ordinary can be extraordinary if only we give it a chance. Family time must be prioritized no matter what. Dining with the family has multiple and positive and holistic benefits us and our loved ones. Right from eating healthy to feeling health, family dining must be respected as a great opportunity and not just a daily chore. Try not avoiding or missing these precious moments because at the end of the day all we have is family!

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Family Relationship

Fun Activities To Do With Your Kids at Home with a Low Cost

Keeping kids busy when they’re home is a challenge for any parent, especially keeping them busy the right way. Many parents complain and stress about their child’s screen time which includes time spent watching television, playing games on mobile phones, and/or other electronic gadgets like phones and tablets. With the current situation, millions of children all over the world are restricted to their homes with schools, activity centers, parks, and daycare centers shut. This is a whole new situation for parents and children alike. 

Many of us are struggling to keep our kids engaged creatively and meaningfully because suddenly they are home all the time and we don’t want them to spend all their time watching t.v. The balance of extra curricular activities, school, playtime with friends or in the park, etc. has suddenly gone missing which is not ideal for children. While the situation still remains dicey, it looks like children are going to be home for a long time. 

Do keep in mind that children regardless of age are also going through several transitions in this period. Therefore,  it is very important for parents and other family members to be sensitive to children and their psychological and emotional needs. Whether you are working from home full-time, going to work every day, or attending office every alternate day, we provide some tips that are extremely beneficial for you and your children. Even when things are back to normal, these will help you bond with your kids and while they learn and have fun at the same time. Let’s find out!

With children and parents forced to stay home due to disruptions at work, school, and other public life, it is very important to devise ways to keep children away from the screen. Instead, it is highly recommended to keep them busy in… Click To Tweet

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A Love For Reading

There is no right time to start cultivating a love for reading in children. Now, more than ever, children must be accustomed to reading books not only to do well in school but also to enrich their minds and help them grow. Reading helps them become smarter, grow their vocabulary, spark curiosity and imagination, develop social and communication skills, and more, – all valuable life skills. Check out Amazon.com for an exhaustive list of books for children of all ages.

Art and Craft

There is no dearth of art and craft activities that you could come up with or consult resources like books and the internet. You will find millions of ideas on how to keep children busy and enhance their creative abilities and imagination. Apart from the usual drawing and painting on paper, try something new like painting on pebbles. We are sure the kids will love this activity and you will too! Grab a copy of The Little Book of Rock Painting: More than 50 tips and techniques for learning to paint colorful designs and patterns on rocks and stones to learn more about this wonderful art form. 

There is no limit to creativity and DIY (do-it-yourself) stuff can be a fun activity and teach kids to make stuff and use it too. Creating something by themselves and then using it can give children a sense of achievement and responsibility. Get them supplies like Kid Made Modern Arts and Crafts Library Kit or EpiqueOne 1500 Set of Bulk Craft Accessories for Kids which have several accessories and items that children can experiment with. 

Games

Who doesn’t love games? Games are something children and adults both can enjoy very much. Games are a great way to spend time with your children, laugh together and have lots of fun. Doing activities together will bring you and your children closer especially if you’re a working parent(s) and cannot devote a lot of time to your kids. Also, of late if you have been working from home, board games can be a refreshing break for everyone!  Games can also be a great way to increase mathematical ability in children teaching them how to count, add, and minus. 

Try classics like Ludo or Snakes and Ladders. Yellow Mountain Imports 2-in-1 Reversible Wooden Snakes and Ladders, Ludo Game Set is a great addition to your board game collection. Set up a bowling alley at home with Kids Bowling Set with 2 Balls Plastic Colorful Ball Indoor Sports Games or pass the time with Jenga Classic Game.

Indoor Exercise

Children’s physical development must be a top priority for parents and guardians especially at a time like this. It is understandable that in the current situation, parks, after school sports like soccer, baseball, cricket, etc. have either ceased completely or reduced drastically. Children are therefore spending more time at home than ever. This can also mean unhealthy eating and lack of exercise.

Invest in skipping ropes, try Cotton Jump Rope for Kids – Wooden Handle – Adjustable Cotton Braided Fitness Skipping Rope, and make sure your kids get their daily dose of exercise, you can join them too! For our young sports enthusiasts, the Franklin Sports Indoor Soccer Goal Set will be fun. Get the young ones active with ATIVAFIT 36-Inch Folding Trampoline Mini Rebounder.

Benefits

Too much screen time is detrimental to childrens’ health causing sleeping problems, speech development delays, and other behavioral problems early on. This further affects their performance in school and has health risks in the long run. It also leaves very little room for creativity and independent thinking. 

When children are engaged in creative and enjoyable experiences, their overall growth is enhanced. They become physically stronger as they develop fine and gross motor skills as they use their hands to mold clay for example, or building blocks, sew, knit, etc.

Engaging in useful and creative activities will enhance childrens’ cognitive skills, improve focus, learning ability, etc. as well. It also makes children and young people emotionally stronger and shields them from negative feelings and bad influences. Anxiety and depression for example are common in teens. However, getting your children used to channeling their energies in the right manner will make a world of difference and help them be more productive and secure as adults.

Conclusion

With children and parents forced to stay home due to disruptions at work, school, and other public life, it is very important to devise ways to keep children away from the screen. Instead, it is highly recommended to keep them busy in activities that will help them grow and build their cognitive and other skills.

Keeping children away from the screen is not only healthy for your children but also for the entire family. Children need their parents and/or guardians now more than ever in terms of emotional support. So, indulge in fun games and activities at home for the whole family and create wonderful memories!

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Relationship

10 Ways To Spot Toxic People And How To Distance Them

Man, The Social Animal

Man is a social animal and we will always need people around. Human beings have ‘social’ in their very DNA. We thrive in pairs and groups. There are people all around us in various social settings including family, office, school, university, yoga class, festivals, etc.

However, human social interactions are quite different from those of other animals. There is an exchange of opinions, there are discussions, debates, sometimes really heated ones like politicians throwing chairs at one another, or office colleagues enjoying drinks at the pub, or having an intellectual discussion with your professor about the topic of your next research paper. 

Human social interactions are as diverse as can be. We are constantly letting people into our lives, sometimes intentionally, sometimes not. Some people that we meet are simply in our social network because of our affiliation with that space or organization. For example, the security guard who guards your apartment building, or your kids’ high school teacher are not people that we have deliberately let into our lives unlike friends, partners, spouses, etc. The latter are people that we have chosen to be part of our lives because they matter to us. They hold special importance in our lives and pretty much influence our lives and the people we become. 

While some of those relationships may be great for us, unfortunately in many cases, the opposite is true and we realize it the hard way. In time, due to various reasons and circumstances, certain relationships with people become ‘toxic’. In other words, they are unconducive to our health and well-being. Let’s identify some traits of toxic people. We will then talk about how to tactfully distance them.

How To Spot Toxic People

Put simply, toxic people are those who make us feel bad about ourselves. Period. But, let’s not confuse toxic people with people who actually wish well for us but give us a piece of their mind once in a while, for example, our parents. Sometimes, their advice, no matter how hard we resist it, is actually beneficial. However, toxic people are those that make others feel bad to make themselves feel good. Here are some traits of toxic people:

Put simply, toxic people are those who make us feel bad about ourselves. Period. Click To Tweet

1. Manipulative

Toxic people only think about themselves and how they can benefit even if this means hurting someone else and causing pain. They will always put themselves first and not care about what you need. So, stay away!

2. They Are Cunning

Toxic personalities are complicated. They change their colors like the seasons to suit themselves and get what they want. One moment they are super nice when they need something from you and the other they act like they don’t know you!

3. They Hate Apologizing

Toxic people see themselves as idols of perfection and see no wrong in anything they do. Instead, they like playing the victim for the wrong they have done.

4. Judgemental

They judge you and make you feel terrible every step of the way. Constant criticism and blame is detrimental to our mental health and affects self-confidence and esteem very badly. That is no way to live so you’re better off without them!

5. They Are People Pleasers

Toxic people don’t only treat others badly but are ready to be treated badly if it serves their benefits. They like to please people that don’t like them back if they see a professional advantage for example.

6. Refuse To Take Responsibility

Toxic people often don’t take responsibility for their actions and resulting feelings. They blame you for it and are not willing to hear that they were wrong or responsible for the circumstances they find themselves in.

7. They Are Not Genuine

Toxic people wear multiple masks. They are not real or themselves with anyone. They try to please those who they can take advantage of and treat the rest badly.

8. They Turn Others Against You

Toxic people cannot bear to see others happy and will do anything and everything to prevent that. For example, badmouthing you in front of your closest friends or trying to turn you against them by filling your ears with criticism and gossip.

9. Insecure

Toxic people are deeply insecure about their looks, relationships, achievements, etc. and are constantly comparing themselves to others. They also envy others but refuse to work on themselves.

10. Disloyal

By now we know that toxic people are very selfish and will go to any extent to serve their selfish interests. Even if this means being disloyal to their best friends and trusted partners. 

Distancing From Toxic People

We understand that you have good in your heart and don’t wish to hurt anyone deliberately no matter how much that person has hurt you. However, it is important for us to take charge of our lives and if this implies cutting some people out, so be it. Self-respect and self-esteem are the most important. So put yourself first, think about what’s good for you, and then proceed.

Get Busy

Make good use of your time and get busy enough to leave very little to no space for toxic people. Learn a new hobby, join a fitness class or take a short travel break.

Feel Good About Yourself

Get a haircut and a fun color, or buy yourself that swanky new jersey. Trust us some retail therapy will do you a world of good and boost your self-confidence. It’ll bring out the real ‘you’ and make you realize how much you’re missing out on by retaining toxic people in your life.

Cut Down On Communication

If you find yourself overcommunicating with the toxic personality, you must cut down on it. Reduce the duration of phone conversations, texts, meetings, etc. gradually and distance them.

Conclusion

In life, we meet all kinds of people. Some last forever in our lives, others come and go for various reasons. Others may be physically away from us but are still very important to us and therefore we decide to keep them in our lives. However, we may come across people who are toxic, or people who we thought we knew really well may have toxic traits. So, spot such people and make sure you are as far away from them as possible!

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Relationship

5 Strategies To Say No To Things That Are Bad For You

On a daily basis, we make several choices, some good ones and some bad ones. Many are made on the spur of the moment, for others we take some time and there are some wherein there’s not really much of a choice, you simply gotta give in.  

Some decisions are made in haste and regretted later for example going on drinking binges even if they mean you get a bad hangover and don’t show up to work the next day, just because you want to give your friends company. Some things that we do, albeit unwillingly, are attributed to peer pressure and social validation.

We often give in by quietly justifying the wrong things as the right things because they are expected of us or make us look ‘cool’. These are the things that we don’t want to do at all but still end up doing anyway. It is very important to have a mind of our own and be assertive because letting people walk all over you will only end up leaving you hurt.

So how do we say no to things? How do we train our mind to distinguish what’s good for us and what’s bad for us? Say yes to good and no to bad? 

We list out 5 strategies to say no to things and people that are not good for you:

1. Have A Self Talk

Identify your life purpose. What is it that you actually want? What are you aspiring for? What is your plan? Write down your goals. Check out our blog on setting goals and how they can help you 5 Reasons Why Setting Goals Are Important. When you have the answer, ask yourself what obstacles are hampering your growth and progress. What are the things you must say no to or even eliminate from your life?

By things we also mean toxic relationships, disloyal friends and/or relatives. Once you have this figured out, start writing them down. Focus on each point and think to yourself, is this going to serve my life’s purpose? Is it going to help me or those who are important to me? If your inner voice says NO, then it’s time to let go!

2. Be Practical

If not saying no is costing you your sanity then things must change. You must decide what’s important and prioritize. Let’s say for example your supervisor or manager insists you work on a Saturday night and you say yes, despite having plans with your kids. 

Fine, work is important but so is family. In fact, family is way more important than work. Canceling on family especially when you have already made plans is just not done. In this case, if you are uncomfortable saying a flat ‘no’, be smart and make an excuse or convince your boss you will come in earlier than usual the next day and get the work done. Even if you have to sound emotional, do it. Be direct by saying, “my daughter will be very upset if I don’t make it”. If someone calls you a ‘softie’ or judges you for spending time with your family, pay no heed to them; they are not worth it!

3. Be Steadfast In Your Resolve

No means “no”! Even if we are steadfast and determined to say no, there are some occasions where we do give in. In that case, people may hold that against you when they want you to give in to what they are saying or want. Don’t be emotionally blackmailed or feel guilty to simply refuse. You can’t give in every time and that’s what it is. The person or people concerned will have to deal with it!

4. Don’t Be Affected By Others’ Opinions

People will always have opinions; there is no dearth of them anywhere! Sure some opinions must matter to us and be respectfully accommodated. However, you must draw a line. If you thrive on the opinion of every other person you meet, you will always end up doing what others want. As a result, you’ll lose your self-esteem and stop valuing yourself. You have a mind of your own, you’re smart enough to decide what’s good for and what isn’t. So don’t be afraid to say no for fear of judgment by others. 

5. Avoid And Disassociate

It is best to gradually move away or even directly eliminate certain people and habits from your life for good. For example, if you feel pressured to smoke heavily or try substances when you get together with a group of friends at the nightclub, cut it out from your weekly planner! Switch to a movie night instead! People and spaces which exert unnecessary pressure on you to do things that don’t please you are not worth your time. Don’t think about what others may think of you canceling. Let go. Others’ opinions of us are mere perceptions. They don’t know the real you. If you’re afraid you’ll be judged for saying no, think about it this way: Judging does not make people any better so why let such people bother you?

Conclusion

It’s not easy to say no to everything and to a certain extent it is not nice either. For example, Saying no to helping someone in need is not a good thing whereas saying no to someone who is taking undue advantage is perfectly alright. Life is full of choices and habits that determine the quality of our lives. If we feel pressured to say yes to some people then they are not the right people to have around. 

Please don’t think saying no equals cowardice. Not at all. It takes a really brave person to stand up for what they believe in even if it means displeasing some people. The people who respect you, care about you, and love you will understand that you too need to strike a balance to lead a happy life. So learn to say no to things that are detrimental to you. It is your life after all and you must be the one to decide what and/or who stays or goes!