Most communities, online or offline, come with some hard boundaries: No hate speech, no threats, no harassment. But a good community recognises some more borderline behaviour — stuff that isn’t as obviously terrible but can still slowly eat away at discussion, scaring away (or annoying away) good members until only jerks are left. And it can ruin any social group, from a book club or group text to, say, Reddit.
Tagged With personal relationships
If you've just emerged from a time capsule in the '60s, welcome to the future! In this world, the majority of women have jobs, which means housework doesn't come with a gender anymore. To keep your relationship healthy, it's probably best to share it equally.
If you're not naturally gregarious or 'charming', people skills can seem like things that other people have, not you. The Lifehack.org blog had an interesting article which talked about the things you can do to get better at building rapport with people.Some of them might seem quite obvious - smile at people, listen to them, use eye contact. But if you're naturally shy or introverted, even these things might seem difficult to you. I guess the thing to remember is that people (yourself included!) are very tuned in to body language - we can spot a fraud, or a fake smile, a mile away. So if you're trying to get over a habit like looking at your shoes instead of the person you're talking to, by all means try some of the tactics mentioned, but remember that *a little goes a long way*. A lot of this boils down to how relaxed you are around other people. As you relax, you'll be able to trust your own instincts more, and you won't need to remind yourself to do things like smile or make eye contact. As a bonus, your relaxed body language will be apparent to other people and they'll relax around you too.How to improve your rapport development
Last week we talked about coping when you're the rich one in your social group who gets leaned on to pay - now the Simple Dollar blog has tackled the problem at the other end of the spectrum - how do you keep control of your 'social spending' when your friends have more cash than you? Here's a few of their tips:1. Explain your goals to your friends2. Suggest low cost or no-cost social alternatives3. Budget for social spending such as the weekly trip to the pub4. Be prepared to opt out of some of the regular activities if they're beyond your budget.And if the shoe is on the other foot? "If, on the other hand, you’re financially well-off, be aware that your
friends may not be in a similar position. Don’t suggest expensive
activities. Don’t brag about money. Don’t flaunt it. Respect other
people’s limits."It's important to strike a balance between continuing to spend time with your friends, and being able to stick to your budget. How do you strike this balance? Tips in comments please.Six Ways to Break Free of the Purge and Splurge Cycle
Observing a heated argument taking place on Twitter prompted Coding Horror blogger Jeff Atwood to write an article urging people to consider the public nature of internet comms tools like Twitter, as well as the fact that it's often quicker and easier to nip an argument in the bud by taking it offline.Know when to escalate from IM to email, from email to phone, and
when to drop the ultimate communication A-bomb: a face-to-face meeting.
Sometimes people are hesitant to escalate communications even when it's
painfully obvious that they should. Resist the urge to reply in kind,
however tempting it may be. You'll both have a more productive
conversation when one of you finds the wherewithal to escalate to
"let's take this to email", "let me call you", or even "let's meet for
coffee".If your online professional conversations turn to flame wars then you
are making yourself look bad and making it harder to work well with
people. Knowing when and how to call a ceasefire can save you time and keep conversations constructive.On Escalating Communication
Dustin Wax over at Lifehack.org has a thought provoking article on how to apply GTD principles to having a weekly relationship review with your partner.Though I do *not* suggest treating your relationship like a work challenge (no-one wants to feel like a project on someone's to do list!) he suggests approaching it as a regular meeting with your partner to go over plans and processes and see what need work. This can help nip problems or disagreements in the bud, and
help you be ready to respond to any unexpected challenges life throws
your way.This is a time to gather and process the household's in box (it could be bills, shopping lists and so forth). And, importantly, it's a time to share thoughts and come up with a game plan together. Dustin suggests the following list of topics to cover off:What went wrong over the past week?What did you particularly enjoy that you’d like to do more of? (meals, activities, TV shows, trips out, etc.)How are you each handling your respective household duties?What is coming up that you need to be prepared for?What kind of help do you need from your partner?What issues in the house have been occupying your thoughts lately? (problems with kids, repairs needed, messiness)What’s going on at work, or coming up at work, that could affect your family life?Pick a time and place which will be comfortable for both of you. And remember to keep it constructive - there's no point whinging if you aren't working towards fixing whatever the problem is. Got any other ideas for relationship GTD? Share in comments please.How to improve your relationship with a weekly review
Social groups often have one person who is considered to be the big spender - often they're the one who earns the most money, and they'll often end up with the bill at the end of a night out, or getting approached for loans by their friends. There are a lot of reasons why you might end up in this role - earning more, wanting to help, feeling guilty for having more money than your friends. Because IT is a profession that pays better than a lot of other jobs,
often it's the IT person in the bunch who is in this position.Yes, it's wonderful to be able to do things with your friends, to spoil
them and help them when they need it. But it's not healthy for the
relationship or your bank balance if it becomes something you always do
- and feel like you have to do. Here's some of The Simple Dollar's tips for dealing with the situation:
Recognise that you don't need to buy stuff to be seen as successful and valuable to othersCommit to buying less, and choosing activities that centred around buying thingsDon't worry about losing "friends" who expect you to pay all the timetalk to your inner circle about itSo have you ever been the one who always pays? How did you solve it?Photo by adactio.Defeating Superman Syndrome: How to progress beyond the "need" to be the financial superhero
An insightful essay on understanding geeks called "The Nerd Handbook" isn't a life hack for you, it's for your family and friends. If you're reading Lifehacker, chances are you're a nerd, and technologist and software manager Michael Lopp articulates the workings of your psyche to the tee. The Nerd Handbook explains to nerds' loved ones how the geek thinks, the importance of the nerd's "Cave" and our chase for "The High" that comes from solving problems, our finicky attention span and our insatiable appetite for information. If you're a nerd, print this out and give it to your non-nerd spouse to teach 'em "advanced nerd tweakage." The Nerd Handbook
Lots of financial advice seems to be written with single people in mind - or at least couples who agree on everything. But your financial situation can be greatly affected by the other people in your life - and people often have very different ideas on how to solve financial problems. So what can you do when you and your partner disagree on how to solve a financial problem? The Get Rich Slowly blog found this question at Ask Metafilter and I found the various suggestions it provoked to be quite interesting.I want to start being more financially responsible. My husband doesn't
want to hear it. Can I do this without hurting our marriage? How?One suggestion was to find a way to separate the emotional side of things from the practical when you discuss and decide on money problems ("highlight that 'I hate how unstable we are financially' does not mean 'I hate being married to you'"). And if you build in a little discretionary 'fun money' into the budget, it will probably be easier to stay on budget without feeling deprived and upset.The other suggestion I loved was to sit down with your loved one every fortnight for home made cocktails, and spend half an hour working out your finances then. :)So have you crafted any strategies for coming to agreement with your partner over money? Share tips in comments please.
Whether you're mingling with people at a birthday party, or attending a professional networking event, you rely on similar social networking skills. It's definitely a learned skill, and you'll get better with practise.The Global Nerdy blog had some nice pointers - the main one being "Be
more of a host and less of a guest" - you'll find it's much easier to
get along at social events if you make the social effort rather than
waiting for someone to come up and talk to you. Here are some tips I've picked up along the way:
Shy? Lonely? You're not alone. If you feel that social situations put you in an awkward position and you are looking to break out of your shell, the Succeed Socially website features articles on everything to turn from geek to social butterfly: advice on meeting new people, getting along with others, starting conversations, being funny (or seeming less weird), making eye contact, overcoming laziness, coping with nervousness, and more. Guys might also appreciate the articles on how to dance, beat shyness, and conquer the video game habit. Other social issues, such as drinking, are addressed. Even if you have some good social skills but feel they need a little brushing up on, the articles contained on the Succeed Socially site should give you some good direction and boost your confidence in any social situation.
How to Have More Social Success
Machiavellian psychology suggests that if you profile people around you, you'll be less inclined to be involved in personal conflicts. How do you achieve this? First, you need to be receptive to the act of reading people and focus your energy on the task. Once you've reached this awareness, understand what you are looking for and master the act of listening. Keep the conversation flowing by asking questions. Make sure to be cognisant of any slang, exaggerations, sarcasm, self-criticism, or gossip, as these characteristics can define the person you are profiling. Pay attention to body language and whether acts are consistent with what is being said. Watch out for mistakes, because if repeated often, the excuses are no longer valid.
Good manners start with good intentions. Etiquette experts postulate that writing thank you notes increases the frequency and quality of gifts you receive. But what if you're stuck and don't know what to write? The Thank You Note Samples site covers nearly every imaginable topic to give thanks for, from acknowledging the receipt of charity donations to expressing appreciation for hospitality arrangements to thanking your potential employer for an interview. Multiple letter formats are available to add variety (especially if you're spending the night writing the same monotonous notes due to a recent wedding). Additionally, the suggestions go a step beyond just the written word. Why not give thanks, for example, with a gift basket? If you want to express your gratitude and feel like you are not inspired, the Thank You Note Samples site will definitely get you back on your toes and you'll be filled with ideas for expressing appreciation.
Thank You Note Samples