Relationship Mistakes

March 1, 2012

No.10 Don’t Expect Her To Change

Don’t expect them to change. People change because they want to, not because you want them to.


No.9 Find Someone Who Shares Your Interests

Here’s the straight scoop. There is a woman who will love playing video games with you. There is a woman who loves sports. Hell, there is a woman who loves polka, if that’s what you’re into. Don’t get stuck in the trap of believing “what girls are like” and accepting someone who doesn’t mesh with you based on this foolish common “knowledge.”

If you don’t want to be forced to watch Sex and the City, find a woman who’s not interested in Sex and the City, or one who is but who respects that you aren’t. Don’t want to go shopping? Tell your woman or find one who doesn’t want to drag you along. Many of the problems I hear guys complaining about could be easily fixed by finding someone who actually shares their interests instead of the first hot body that catches their eye, or by putting their foot down at the beginning of the relationship. Don’t pretend you like things you don’t, don’t go out of your way to pretend you’re someone you’re not; just be you and find someone who enjoys what you do.

I think this is the secret to happiness in relationships.

No.8 Don’t Make Assumptions

The biggest relationship mistake I see young men make is thinking that “women are this way” from all the stupid “forever alone,” “Hey, aren’t girls crazy?” and “Hey, listen to this story about my crazy girlfriend” stories that float around.

No.7 Try To See Things From Her Point Of View

I would have to add empathy to that list. Being able to place yourself in your partner’s shoes and see things from their perspective is very important when diffusing fights or disagreements. The challenge is to get your partner to also do this on a regular basis.

No.6 Make Sure You’re On The Same Page

Furthermore, be careful for “feelings inequity” (she likes you more than you like her, or vice versa). Not sure if this is a problem, but most relationships go badly because of this. I’m not sure if there’s even anything you can do about it, just something to watch out for.

No.5 Learn To Compromise

The biggest breakdown in communication is when both parties expect different things. You can’t expect to have the same feelings on every issue, but you should be able to find an equitable meeting place. If one party keeps having to compromise but the other doesn’t, it can get bitter quickly.

No.4 Tell Her How You Feel

Tell her about it. F*ck being clingy. If you feel something, really feel it. Say it. If she doesn’t feel the same way, you’ll lose this one girl, but if she does and you wait too long, you could regret it forever.

No.3 Always Resolve Issues

Always resolve issues; don’t leave things you care about unresolved. If you care about something don’t say “That’s OK” when she gives you a half-assed excuse. If it actually isn’t OK that she still sees her ex every Friday night, tell her. It will eat at you if you don’t.

No.2 Don’t Get Personal

When you argue, don’t get personal. Respect her. Don’t say things that will hurt her feelings and expect she does the same. Your loved ones can cut you the deepest, but they never should.

No.1 Make Sure To Communicate

Lack of communication. Make sure you talk sensibly about the things that bother you and, in turn, when she does the same, don’t make judgments too fast; think about how you respond.
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9 Bad Habits to Beat Now

February 12, 2011

9 Bad Habits to Beat Now
By Michele Bender, Special to Lifescript
Published January 01, 2011

Feeling like you need a change of pace? What better time than a new year to remake yourself? Here are 9 bad habits we should lose, along with expert tips to get started. Plus, are you really ready to make a life change? Take our quiz…

Do you shop ’til you drop? Are you chronically late? We can help you turn over a new leaf.

We’ve asked top experts for their top tips. Try them for 21 consecutive days, and you may be out on good behavior before you know it.

“Start small with the creation of new, positive habits. These shift your energy and build confidence in yourself,” explains Regina Leeds, author of One Year to an Organized Life (Da Capo Lifelong Books).

Bad habit #1: Being Tethered to Your Cell Phone

Why you should kick it: You’re certainly not alone in your technology addiction. It’s hard to walk down the street, travel or dine and not see people texting, talking or scrolling away. But no one needs to be plugged in 24/7. It just takes you away from living your real, non-digital life.

How to kick it:

Figure out why you’re hooked. “Are you using your tools to help you with work? Or are you using them to avoid life?” Leeds asks. “There’s a real difference, and you need to be brutally honest to find out.”

Force yourself to spend at least 10 minutes listening to nothing but your own thoughts. “Learn the joy of quiet time. You’ll be astonished what you will discover,” Leeds says.

Disconnect when you connect. There’s nothing more annoying than being with someone who’s answering emails or clutching his or her cell phone while pretending to listen to you.

“Unless you’re on trial for a capital offense and you’re waiting to hear the jury verdict, give your full attention to your loved ones during meals and when you’re out to have quality time together,” Leeds says. “If you don’t enjoy being with your partner or children, call your therapist.”

Bad habit #2: Being Disorganized

Why you should kick it: “Being organized is the foundation for everything you want to achieve or accomplish,” Leeds says. It allows “you to have more time, less aggravation, better health and can be a springboard for creativity.”

How to kick it:
Take baby steps. Start with these small changes: Make your bed every day, never leave dirty dishes in the sink or allow clean ones to languish on the drain board and put your keys and glasses in the same spot every time.

“As you make slow, incremental positive changes, your self-esteem rises as does your faith in yourself that you can get organized,” Leeds says.

Tame the paper tiger. Open your mail each day and immediately toss extraneous materials like flyers or freebie magazines that come with your bills. Also, be realistic about which catalogs you’ll really read, saving one from each company, not 10. File mail into folders or baskets according to bills to pay, invitations to respond to, etc.

Bad habit #3: Always Being Late

Why you should kick it: It leaves you frazzled, creates a bad impression and is rude. “Though it’s usually unconscious, it’s as if you’re saying, ‘My agenda is more important than yours’,” Leeds says.

How to kick it:

Set a goal. Write it down and do so in the present tense rather than the future. “Saying, ‘I show up on time for all appointments’ is powerful,” Leeds says. “But saying, ‘As soon as I get organized, I’ll show up on time’ puts your good result in the future and just out of reach.”

Get a calendar. “Whether it’s an electronic calendar, the one on your computer or a paper version, you need to record your appointments and deadlines,” says Leeds, who adds that it helps to work with a week or month at a glance. “This way you can see what demands you’re making on yourself. Are you trying to do too much? Perhaps that’s why you’re always late!”

Bad habit #4: Forgetting Your Friends

Why you should kick it: The good feelings you’ll elicit when you remember a friend’s big day are priceless. It makes people feel loved when you note the good times as well as the bad. Maintaining close relationships is important for a fuller life and better health, according to research.

How to kick it:

Go high tech. “If you have a computer, it’s pretty easy to stay on top of dates these days,” Leeds says. Most calendar programs let you set reminders of important dates, or you can register with an online service that emails you when these big moments pop up.

Or use a paper calendar to record only birthdays and anniversaries, and put a note in your daily planner to look it at the beginning of each month. “You’ll know which cards or gifts you need to buy,” Leeds says.

Make time to reach out. “Set time aside each month to make long-distance calls,” Leeds says. “Or use your down-time waiting in doctor’s offices or airports (as long as you use your ‘inside voice’ so no one has to listen to your conversation).” If you don’t have time to call, check in regularly with a quick “thinking of you email.”

Bad habit #5: Not Saving Money

Why you should kick it: “Saving is critical in any economic environment,” says Michael B. Rubin, CPA and CFP and author of Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck (Wachtale & Martin). “But a down economy, where you may lose your job or something unfortunate happens, makes you see that having an emergency fund is even more important than ever.”

How to kick it:

Put aside something. “Most people think it’s going to be easier to save later, but later is a nebulous term and you’re always going to have more obligations even if your income increases,” Rubin says.

Keep track of your spending for seven days by getting receipts for everything, and then see what you value and where you can cut back. Next, stash the money away in a bank account or spot where you won’t touch it. “After a while, you’ll see it add up and change your attitude toward money,” Rubin says.

Call your credit card company. The best thing to do is to pay your credit cards in full each month. If that’s more a fantasy than reality, call your credit card company and ask for a lower interest rate, which is possible if you’ve at least been making your minimum payments each month.

“A lower interest rate frees you up to save money,” Rubin says. Check out these credit card tips from Jean Chatzky.

Bad habit #6: Shopping Too Much

Why you should kick it: “Scientists have recently demonstrated part of the reason why consumerism is so attractive – it’s an addiction,” explains Lifescript Depression Expert Richard O’Connor, Ph.D., author of Undoing Depression and Happy at Last.

Shopping releases dopamine, a brain chemical associated with anticipation and pleasant excitement. As soon as we make that purchase, we’re flooded with prolactin, another brain chemical telling us to slow down.

“Unfortunately, we crave more dopamine and then get into a vicious cycle, which accounts for cocaine addiction, gambling and buyer’s remorse,” O’Connor says.

How to kick it:

Count your blessings. Being grateful gave shoppers more satisfaction than their potential purchases would have, researchers found. “When people think about what’s important to them, they seem to do better with a self-control task,” says study author Kathleen Vohs, Ph.D., professor of consumer psychology at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Before whipping out your credit card, think about three things that really matter to you. “Happiness has much more to do with feeling connected and genuine and accomplishing things,” O’Connor adds.

Don’t shop while dieting. If you’re trying to slim down, quit smoking or do anything else that requires willpower, steer clear of stores. “Using self-control is similar to exercising a muscle. Once it’s fatigued, it needs to recuperate before it can work at its best,” Vohs says. If we resist the candy dish at the office early in the day, we’re less likely to later resist those stiletto pumps.

Bad habit #7: Bringing Work Home

Why you should kick it: Working at home keeps you tied to the office. You never get to decompress and rejuvenate, and it takes time away from your friends and family.

“But in today’s economy, with companies downsizing and employees asked to do more than their share of work, it’s the odd man who doesn’t bring home work,” Leeds says. “The idea is to handle this with care.”

How to kick it:

Perfect your time management. Ask yourself: Do I waste time sending personal or unimportant emails? Do I spend too much time on phone calls? Do I waste time searching for papers? If you answer yes then planning your day better could reduce your at-home workload.

Balance work with play. If you have to take the office home with you, spend some quiet time with your family or yourself before you get to work.

“The human body isn’t a machine,” Leeds says. “We need some relaxation in order to function at a high level.”

Bad habit #8: Procrastinating

Why you should kick it: All of us have a project we dread, that one that makes our stomach lurch when we think of it. “Everyone procrastinates from time to time,” Leeds says. But for a habitual procrastinator, “the heart of this behavior is fear – fear of success, fear of failure, fear of making a mistake.” Once you start a dreaded project, it’s usually not as bad as you imagined.

How to kick it:
Break it down. Fight intimidation by breaking the project into manageable morsels. Got a party to plan? Make a list of tiny tasks, like coming up with a theme, buying invitations and so forth. Each time you cross a task off your list, you feel motivated to move on.

Forget perfection. “Procrastination may also be a manifestation of a desire to achieve perfection,” says Leeds, a self-described “retired perfectionist.” Instead, focus on doing the best job you can. “The difference may be subtle, but it’s also powerful and life changing,” she says.

Bad habit #9: Being a Pack Rat

Why you should kick it: “Though people say this about themselves all the time, a ‘pack rat’ is actually a medical condition,” Leeds says. If you can’t throw anything out, living with all those belongings can make you feel unorganized, not to mention make it hard to find anything. Busting through the clutter can make you feel more in control.

How to kick it:
Make your trash another person’s treasure. “Find special homes for items you know you don’t need, but wish to hold onto emotionally,” Leeds suggests. Take your old sheets and towels to the local animal shelter or vet. “This way you can see how your discards help the sick and suffering animals,” she says.

Clear clutter creatively. Find artful ways to keep the memory of a past experience alive rather than keeping bulky material things that go with it.

You don’t need to save every piece of your baby’s clothing. Instead, put a photo of your child in a favorite outfit in a shadow box with other mementos of that period, such as a special toy and swatch of fabric from the outfit.

Recovering Changes From Microsoft Word
Published: October 6, 2010
Q. Microsoft Word sometimes crashes and I lose changes I just made to my file. What can I do?

A. To help prevent crashes, start by making sure you have installed all the available updates of Windows and Word on your computer.

Manually saving the file (the popular Control-S shortcut on Windows, or Command-S on the Mac version) is one way to retain more of your work. Although it does not replace manually saving the file at frequent intervals, recent versions of Microsoft Word include an AutoRecover function that can sometimes salvage a more recent version of a file after a crash.

To use the AutoRecover in Word 2010, go to the File menu and choose Options. On the left toolbar, click on Save. Make sure the checkbox is turned on next to “Save AutoRecover info every:” and then type the number of minutes between automatic saves of the file. The default is usually 10 minutes, but you can choose more frequent autosaves.

In Word 2007, you can get to the equivalent Save settings by clicking the Office Menu button, clicking on Word Options and clicking on Save in the left toolbar. In Word 2003, go to the Tools menu and choose Options. On most Mac OS X versions of Word, go to the Word menu, choose Preferences and click on the Save icon. The Word Options/Settings box also lets you turn on a checkbox to save a backup copy of your file on the computer; it’s in the Advanced options in Windows or the Save settings on a Mac.

After a system crash, Word’s AutoRecover function should kick in and show you the version of the file it saved on its own, which is hopefully newer than the last version you manually saved. Microsoft has more information on the AutoRecover function and where the files are kept on your computer at