Around the web – Highlights Week 42

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Around the web – Highlights Week 42

A list of the articles I read this week (42) and the highlights I made for them. (Last week)


Develop Your Emotional Intelligence by Watching Great Television Dramas

  • After it was all said and done, the drama-watching group’s empathy scores were substantially higher than the nonfiction-watching group. Black and Barnes speculate that watching fictional people experience hardship causes you to consider their problems from multiple perspectives; including what it would be like to be in the character’s shoes.
  • Empathy and emotional intelligence are what many consider to be the basis for “being a good person,” so you might as well use it as an excuse to watch some more great TV.


This Tool Turns Your Vague Goals Into Actionable Tasks

  • To reach your goals, it helps to break them down into a series of actionable tasks. This tool from Harvard Business Review can help you organize the process to come up with an easy-to-read plan.
  • A Tool to Help You Reach Your Goals in 4 Steps


How the Impact Bias Affects Your Expectations of Happiness

  • There is a social psychologist at Harvard University by the name of Dan Gilbert. Gilbert’s best-selling book, Stumbling on Happiness, discusses the many ways in which we miscalculate how situations will make us happy or sad, and reveals some counterintuitive insights about what actually does make us happy.
  • One of the primary discoveries from researchers like Gilbert is that extreme inescapable situations often trigger a response from our brain that increases positivity and happiness.
  • “People are not aware of the fact that their defenses are more likely to be triggered by intense rather than mild suffering. Thus, they mis-predict their own emotional reactions to misfortunes of different sizes.”
  • In a very famous study published by researchers at Northwestern University in 1978 it was discovered that the happiness levels of paraplegics and lottery winners were essentially the same within a year after the event occurred. You read that correctly. One person won a life-changing sum of money and another person lost the use of their limbs and within one year the two people were equally happy.
  • Where to Go From Here
    • First, we have a tendency to focus on the thing that changes and forget about the things that don’t change.
    • Second, a challenge is an impediment to a particular thing, not to you as a person.


Fitness Is a Journey, and It Doesn’t Have to Suck

  • Unfortunately, focusing all your energy only on the end goal makes the process with health and fitness feel crappy—which makes you less likely to stay with it and find success.
  • It’s not surprising, of course. “This person lost over 350 pounds!” sounds a lot sexier than “This person discovered that with consistency and hard work he can steadily lose weight but not as dramatically as most people would believe!”
  • No One Else’s Progress Should Affect Your Own
  • Do What Works For You (And You Alone)
  • Realize That There Are Different Forms of Progress
    • Physical
      • think about improvements in your workouts.
    • Mindset
      • Confidence takes on one of the most common and important forms of progress in mindset.
    • Emotional
    • Habits
    • Knowledge
  • Honor All Progress, and Celebrate Mistakes


Use the Reappraisal Technique to Deal With Anger

  • for the daily things that piss you off, altering your perception is a powerful tool to avoid getting angry. On the other hand, venting and talking about how much someone deserves your anger is the best way to
    • stay
    • angry.


The Sound of Your Voice Might Make You Seem Smarter When Pitching Ideas

  • research suggests the sound of your voice is actually better at making you seem smarter and your ideas stronger.
  • written passages lack critical paralinguistic cues that provide critical information about a speaker’s intelligence and thoughtfulness
  • Without even thinking about it, you naturally flood your listener with cues to your thinking through subtle modulations in tone, pace, volume, and pitch. The listener, attuned to those modulations, naturally decodes these cues.
  • Written text may not convey the same impression as your voice, because it lacks a critical feature: the sound of intellect.
  • but your voice is already designed to cue others into your intricate thought process. The next time you have a good idea, you might want to skip the email and go share it in person.


Three Tips for Safe World Travel From the Man Who’s Seen It All

  • Always keep the essentials on you
  • Don’t be arrogant
  • Smile a lot


Stop Feeling Guilty For Getting Sleep

  • competitive business tends to lead to the glorification of the super-worker. This can lead to thinking that sleep is something you get after your to-do list is done, not a very important item on your list. If you treat sleep like a low priority, or put it off, you’re going to get worse sleep:
  • Remember also that ignoring these signs can have a tremendous impact on your mood, productivity and health.
  • You’re not doing it wrong if you get eight hours of sleep instead of six, and you don’t have to convert yourself to a morning person just to be successful. All you have to do is get some damn sleep. The more you put it off, or try to cut it short, the less productive you’ll be.


Be More Honest With People by Thinking of the Truth as a Chance to Connect

  • We’re all guilty of telling a white lie or pretending to be okay with something that secretly drives us nuts. If you have a hard time being brutally honest with someone, think of it as a chance to improve your relationship with that person.
  • Sure, some things are worth ignoring, but most of the time, being honest is the most appropriate solution
  • It is possible that if you tell the truth not only will you be delivered yourself from the prison of untruth, but the person who hears the truth will also be opened and can be delighted.
  • Solid friendships include openness, and it’s easier to be open when someone presents you with honesty. You’re creating a chance for connection.
  • But the overall idea here is: when you tell the truth, you have a better chance at building a meaningful relationship with that person.


Seven Destructive Habits that Kill Solid Communication

  • Psychiatrist William Glasser came up with the concept of the “seven deadly habits” of communication.
    • Pointless Criticism
      • criticizing is when you knock someone down for the wrong reasons.
      • Zen Habits offers a few of these examples
        • To hurt someone
        • To vent our frustrations
        • To boost our ego.
      • is to focus less on criticizing and more on offering feedback to support and encourage their improvement. In fact, support and encouragement are two “caring” habits Glasser listed for more effective communication.
    • Blaming
    • Ineffective Complaining
      • Complaining is exhausting because it puts pressure on the other person. Counselor Laura Schenck puts it like this:
        • Complaining often results in the other person feeling as if they should somehow “fix” the problem or else just get away from the complaining. Whatever the outcome, it puts distance between us and those we love.
      • that people complain for a few different reasons:
        • Venting
        • The Active Effective Complaint
          • The complainer makes a specific complaint addressed at the person responsible, in order to improve the situation
        • The Ineffective Complaint
          • Complaining in order to feel some sense of control over something which the complainer cannot control
          • suggests asking yourself these three questions to keep your complaints from getting out of hand:
            • Is my complaint specific and contained or general and vague?
            • Are your complaints the same ones over and over?
            • Are you afraid that if you don’t focus on the negative in a situation, you will be unprepared for a major disappointment?
    • Nagging
      • The nagging pattern is a demonstration of the remarkably consistent but dumb belief we all have that, if what we’re doing isn’t working, the solution is to do more of it. This pattern is self-perpetuating, with each person repeatedly reacting to the other’s behavior in virtually the same way.
      • The answers are simple, but not easy: it comes down to breaking the pattern of nagging-resisting and instead learning to compromise and empathize.
      • For example
        • Focus on encouragement, not judgement
        • Focus on the effort instead of the outcome
        • Express your feelings rather than criticize
      • One tip Howes suggests to break the pattern is to establish a deadline.
    • Threatening
      • It’s a one-way street.
      • But many times, people use an ultimatum as a threat in order to manipulate others
      • This hilarious post from Scary Mommy points out why common threats don’t work, and how you can revise them to be more effective.
      • This works with relationships, too. Instead of threatening your partner if they don’t do something, open up about why your request is important
    • Punishing
      • effective discipline is not about punishment, it’s about teaching. In fact, the word discipline actually comes from the Latin word “ disciplinare,” which means, “to teach.”
      • Punishment comes from a place of control and retaliation, while discipline comes from a place of trust, consistency, and improvement. With discipline, the “punishment” serves a purpose.
    • Bribing
      • Instead of bribery, Glasser said negotiating a compromise is better for communication. It makes sense: negotiating is about coming to a mutual agreement, and that involves the other person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. In addition, a couple of his other “caring habits” apply here, too: compromise also involves listening and respect.


How to be awesome on Twitter in 5 steps

  • Tip #1: Remember that social media is a mass medium what counts is that you are aware that you’re tweeting to the whole world.
    • Don’t do something you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of your hometown newspaper
  • Tip #2: Respect other people’s privacy
    • Take your cues on what’s acceptable from their own Twitter streams.
    • Ask before posting photos that include other people.
  • Tip #3: Favorite wisely and well
    • favorites are basically the bookmark function of your Twitter stream and they should be managed as such.
    • One downside to favoriting: It’s public, and so it’ll show up in the Tweetdeck Activity feeds of anyone who’s following you on Twitter. If you don’t want people seeing what you endorse or pay attention to, think twice about favoriting.
  • Tip #4: Use a Twitter client instead of
    • The bonus of using a client like TweetDeck is that you can add something called the Activity Feed, which shows you what everyone you follow is up to – who they’re following, what they favorite, who they add to their lists (and what their lists are).
  • Tip #5: Think about your definition of “sensitive”


Do Uncomfortable Things Regularly to Get Used to Leaving Your Comfort Zone

  • even making little changes to how you usually get stuff done can have a big impact on your comfort zone.
  • You don’t have to throw your entire routine out the window to step out of your comfort zone. Try taking small steps, like driving a different route to work or even moving your desk to a different location. These can help you to get comfortable with the discomfort that comes from trying something new.


Form Your Best Ideas With a Monthly Idea Rundown

  • Sometimes ideas seem useless until they’re connected with other ideas. Revisiting all of the idea notes every month gives you a chance to connect the dots and turn average ideas into great ones.
  • Having a monthly idea rundown not only reminds you what you came up with, but it may also lead to solutions you would never have pieced together otherwise. Of course, you have to be consistently writing down all of your ideas in order for this method to work. Ganguly recommends you note everything you think of, good or bad


How Women Can Show Passion at Work Without Seeming “Emotional”

  • Be intentional
    • Plan your argument in advance, and generate support before meetings so your passion won’t take others by surprise.
  • Know your audience
  • Use other tools of influence
    • Combining passion with logic, specificity, creativity, and experience can be more effective than relying on passion alone.
  • Support what your gut is telling you
    • If you feel passionate about something, say it proudly and then proceed to back up your feelings with facts
    • They might even find your passion contagious.


Can You Be Addicted to Your Lip Balm?

  • Even the most dedicated lip balm users probably don’t have this type of addiction. While there are people who apply it dozens or hundreds of times a day, psychotherapist Daniel Mattla told Refinery29 that they are likely experiencing, not a drug addiction, but something like obsessive-compulsive disorder. For these people, “
    [applying lip balm is] a ritual and a self-soothing mechanism, just like hand-washing.”
  • Lip balms contain oils and moisturizers that aim to soothe your dry skin. Skin cells are born at the lower layers of the epidermis, and migrate upwards while they shrink and flatten. The flattened, nearly empty cells at the surface make a great barrier against moisture, especially since they are glued to each other at their edges. This keeps water from escaping your skin, and other substances from finding their way in.
  • When skin is dry, skin cell production speeds up. This means that the cells reaching the surface aren’t fully matured, and the barrier is imperfect: dry skin can’t protect itself as well, and is even more susceptible to further drying. (There’s a good explanation of this process in this online dermatology textbook.) If you can stop the drying with some kind of artificial barrier—like a lip balm—that can give the skin a chance to heal itself.
  • So yes: Moisturizing the skin on your lips really does keep them supple, like lip balms promise. If your lips are chapped and you use a balm for a few days, they should recover. If they don’t, it’s likely due to other factors.
  • Why You Need to Keep Re-Applying
    • If your lips don’t feel better after a few days, there are a few other things that could be going on.
    • Lip balm sometimes (not always) contains substances called counter-irritants. Some people find them soothing, some irritating. In truth, they’re both.
    • If you apply a balm for that soothing tingly feeling, and end up with irritated lips, your next move might be to re-apply. For most people this never gets beyond a very mild irritation, but if you think this might be happening to you, try switching brands to something that doesn’t tingle or sting at all.
    • Counter-irritants aren’t the only potential problem, but they are a big one. Other possibilities include:
      • the balm contains something you’re allergic to, like oils or fragrances.
      • the balm contains alpha-hydroxy acids or salicylic acid, both of which are chemical exfoliants
      • your lips are being exposed to damaging factors from the environment, like dry air, sunlight, or frequent lip-licking, that a lip balm can only fix on a short-term basis.
  • What to Look For in a Lip Balm
    • Occlusive ingredients are greasy or sometimes waxy, and form a barrier on top of the skin to keep moisture from escaping. Petroleum jelly is a classic example; many oils and waxes also fall into this category.
    • Emollients fill in the gaps between skin cells to make skin feel smooth instead of rough. These include some oils, alcohols, and esters. (You may have heard advice to avoid alcohols in lip balm, but they’re not all created equal: octyl dodecanol, hexyl dodecanol, and oleyl alcohol make great emollients and aren’t drying.)
    • Humectants absorb water, helping to pull moisture from the deeper layers of skin into the epidermis. Honey, glycerol, and urea are all effective humectants. (Yes, urea is found in urine, but it’s also present in our sweat to help moisturize our skin. Urea containing lotions are some of the best moisturizers out there.)



By |2015-10-18T11:41:29+00:00October 18th, 2015|Allgemein, Lifehacker, Technology|0 Comments

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