Topic Friends Quotes

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In friendship...we think we have chosen our peers. In reality a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another...the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting--any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking no chances. A secret master of ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends, "Ye have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each of us the beauties of others.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
Isabelle and Jace had left the topic of dead Shadowhunters behind and had moved on to something Jace apparently found even more horrifying__Isabelle's date with Simon. "I can't believe he took you to an actual restaurant." Jace was on his feet now, putting away the floor mats and training gear while Isabelle leaned against the wall and played with her new gloves. "I assumed his idea of a date would be making you watch him play World of Warcraft with his nerd friends." "I," Clary pointed out, "am one of his nerd friends, thank you.
Cassandra Clare (City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments, #4))
Boy bands are sent by God to aid women of all ages in their quest to avoid reality, but specifically to trick young women into believing that males think about topics other than sex.
Penny Reid (Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City, #2))
Felicity," Mrs. Featherington interurupted, "why don't you tell Mr. Brdgerton about your watercolors?" For the life of him, Colin couldn't imagine a less interesting topic (except maybe for Phillipa's watercolors), but he nonetheless turned to the youngest Featherington with a friendly smile and asked, "And how are your watercolors?" But Felicity, bless her heart, gave him a rather friendly smile herself and said nothing but, "I imagine they're fine, thank you.
Julia Quinn (Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons, #4))
These days, in the world of apps and social media and … idiot friends, it is literally impossible to avoid spoilers. If a character dies, it is gonna be the number one trending topic on Twitter, it is gonna be the top trending story on Facebook — and Reddit and Tumblr just turn into a completely uncensored memorial service of memes. This happens all the time with sports results, but — I shit you not — I once got a notification from the BBC News app saying that a character in a show I was watching had just died! I thought that news notifications are supposed to be for impending natural disasters, not for just ruining my bloody afternoon.
Daniel Howell
But in Friendship, being free of all that, we think we have chosen our peers. In reality, a few years' difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another, posting to different regiments, the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting—any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances. A secret Master of the Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you," can truly say to every group of Christian friends "You have not chosen one another but I have chosen you for one another." The Friendship is not a reward for our discrimination and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of all the others. They are no greater than the beauties of a thousand other men; by Friendship God opens our eyes to them. They are, like all beauties, derived from Him, and then, in a good Friendship, increased by Him through the Friendship itself, so that it is His instrument for creating as well as for revealing.
C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves)
In 2014, my friend Herbie Hancock was invited to give the prestigious Norton Lectures at Harvard University, where he shared great insights on the topics of mentorship and changing poison into medicine. Herbie related lessons from his jazz mentor, Miles Davis, who taught him that “a great mentor can provide a path to finding your own true answers,” and to always “reach up while reaching down; grow while helping others.
Tina Turner (Happiness Becomes You: A Guide to Changing Your Life for Good)
You dance through topics like two old friends, finding comfort in a language which is instantly familiar. You create a small world for yourselves, and for you both only, sitting on this sofa, looking out at the world which has a tendency to engulf even the most alive.
Caleb Azumah Nelson (Open Water)
Ready to meet my best friend, then?" I clipped my vest together in front and smiled tightly. "Should I bring a bottle of wine? Any taboo topics? Politics, life after death?" "Yeah, just stay away from that one entirely.
Lia Habel (Dearly, Departed (Gone With the Respiration, #1))
I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don't even invite me.
Dave Barry
A friend who is a high-level executive, intimidating to many, recently promoted a courageous employee who walked into his office with a large bucket of sand and poured it on the rug. “What the hell are you doing?” demanded my friend. The employee replied, “I just figured I’d make it easier for you to bury your head in the sand on the topic I keep bringing up and you keep avoiding.” You
Susan Scott (Fierce Conversations: Achieving Success at Work and in Life One Conversation at a Time)
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
The weather,I finally thought.The weather was always a good topic of conversation. "That was some blizzard we had last week,wasn't it?" I asked, since he'd been at Cynthia's instead of with us.We could talk about the blackouts,the shrieking winds- He perked up, looked around. "There's a Dairy Queen in town?I didn't know that.Where is it?" I heard Allie snicker. Sam took up for his friend. "It's an understandable mistake.
Rachel Hawthorne (Love on the Lifts)
There will be but few people, who, when at a loss for topics of conversation, will not reveal the more secret affairs of their friends.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Aphorisms on Love and Hate)
People of very different opinions--friends who can discuss politics, religion, and sex with perfect civility--are often reduced to red-faced rage when the topic of conversation is the serial comma or an expression like more unique. People who merely roll their eyes at hate crimes feel compelled to write jeremiads on declining standards when a newspaper uses the wrong form of its. Challenge my most cherished beliefs about the place of humankind in God's creation, and while I may not agree with you, I'll fight to the death for your right to say it. But dangle a participle in my presence, and I'll consider you a subliterate cretin no longer worth listening to, a menace to decent society who should be removed from the gene pool before you do any more damage.
Jack Lynch (The Lexicographer's Dilemma: The Evolution of "Proper" English, from Shakespeare to South Park)
The thing about being barren is that you’re not allowed to get away from it. Not when you’re in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
When it first emerged, Twitter was widely derided as a frivolous distraction that was mostly good for telling your friends what you had for breakfast. Now it is being used to organize and share news about the Iranian political protests, to provide customer support for large corporations, to share interesting news items, and a thousand other applications that did not occur to the founders when they dreamed up the service in 2006. This is not just a case of cultural exaptation: people finding a new use for a tool designed to do something else. In Twitter's case, the users have been redesigning the tool itself. The convention of replying to another user with the @ symbol was spontaneously invented by the Twitter user base. Early Twitter users ported over a convention from the IRC messaging platform and began grouping a topic or event by the "hash-tag" as in "#30Rock" or "inauguration." The ability to search a live stream of tweets - which is likely to prove crucial to Twitter's ultimate business model, thanks to its advertising potential - was developed by another start-up altogether. Thanks to these innovations, following a live feed of tweets about an event - political debates or Lost episodes - has become a central part of the Twitter experience. But for the first year of Twitter's existence, that mode of interaction would have been technically impossible using Twitter. It's like inventing a toaster oven and then looking around a year later and discovering that all your customers have, on their own, figured out a way to turn it into a microwave.
Steven Johnson (Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation)
original plan to write about September 11, 2001, in the I Survived series. But over the past two years, I have received more than a thousand e-mails from kids asking me to write about this topic. At school visits, there are always kids who raise their hands and ask, “Will you be writing about 9/11?” At first, my answer was always no. I was shocked that you would be so curious about that terrible day, which I had been trying to forget since it happened. I have friends who lost family members on 9/11 and others
Lauren Tarshis (The Attacks of September 11th, 2001 (I Survived, #6))
I have female friends that get mails from publishers that read 'Hey. I heard you write about sex. This is a very popular topic now'.
Martijn Benders
brain exchanges,” where I’d get on a sixty-minute call with a friend who was an expert on a topic and we’d share notes on our best practices.
Vishen Lakhiani (The Code of the Extraordinary Mind: 10 Unconventional Laws to Redefine Your Life and Succeed On Your Own Terms)
Some of my close friends could easily be deceased; this would not have a serious effect on our relationship.
Dave Barry (You Can Date Boys When You're Forty: Dave Barry on Parenting and Other Topics He Knows Very Little About)
It had been in a Paris house, with many people around, and my dear friend Jules Darboux, wishing to do me a refined aesthetic favor, had touched my sleeve and said, "I want you to meet-" and led me to Nina, who sat in the corner of a couch, her body folded Z-wise, with an ashtray at her heel, and she took a long turquoise cigarette holder from her lips and joyfully, slowly exclaimed, "Well, of all people-" and then all evening my heart felt like breaking, as I passed from group to group with a sticky glass in my fist, now and then looking at her from a distance (she did not look...), and listening to scraps of conversation, and overheard one man saying to another, "Funny, how they all smell alike, burnt leaf through whatever perfume they use, those angular dark-haired girls," and as it often happens, a trivial remark related to some unknown topic coiled and clung to one's own intimate recollection, a parasite of its sadness.
Vladimir Nabokov (The Portable Nabokov)
I want my students to learn what life readers know: reading is its own reward. Reading is a university course in life; it makes us smarter by increasing our vocabulary and background knowledge of countless topics. Reading allows us to travel to destinations that we will never experience outside of the pages of a book. Reading is a way to find friends who have the same problems we do and who can give advice on solving those problems. Through reading, we can witness all that is noble, beautiful, or horrifying about other human beings. From a book’s characters, we can learn how to conduct ourselves. And most of all, reading is a communal act that connects you to other readers, comrades who have traveled to the same remarkable places that you have and been changed by them, too. Rewarding reading with prizes cheapens it, and undermines students’ chance to appreciate the experience of reading for the possibilities that it brings to their life. For students who read a lot, these programs are neither an incentive, nor a challenge. Yes, my classes participate in the schoolwide incentive programs when they are offered; after all, they would blaze past the requirements anyway. But I never let my students lose sight of what the true prize is; an appreciation of reading will add more to their life than a hundred days at Six Flags ever could.
Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)
It’s much easier for me, for all of us, to complain and gossip because it holds the listener’s interest, but it does have a negative residual effect. I thought I was making fun dinner conversation, but it was actually just a release for me. My friend had no choice but to open up those “low vibrational” topics because that’s what I’d been talking about the most. Things people have done or said that are fucked up, ways people have let me down, failures, bad behavior, rudeness, lies. The shortcut to human connection is meeting on the common ground of hating a third person. But that shit is low vibrational and leaves a fart fog of shittiness in the air. And sometimes, people already have so much shittiness going on in their lives, they just can’t take another moment of it. Remember that.
Karen Kilgariff (Stay Sexy & Don't Get Murdered: The Definitive How-To Guide)
There was no friend of Kant's but considered the day on which he was to dine with him as a day of pleasure. Without giving himself the air of an instructor, Kant really was so in the very highest degree. The whole entertainment was seasoned with the overflow of his enlightened mind, poured out naturally and unaffectedly upon every topic, as the chances of conversation suggested it; and the time flew rapidly away, from one o'clock to four, five, or even later, profitably and delightfully. Kant tolerated no calms, which was the name he gave to the momentary pauses in conversation, or periods when its animation languished.
Thomas de Quincey (The Last Days of Immanuel Kant (Illustrated))
L'Avventura,' Dad said, 'has the sort of ellipsis ending most American audiences would rather undergo a root canal than be left with, not only because they loathe anything left to the imagination-we're talking about the country that invented spandex-but also because they are a confident, self-assured nation. They know Family. They know Right from Wrong. They know God-many of them attest to daily chats with the man. And the idea that none of us can truly know anything at all-not the lives of our friends or family, not even ourselves-is a thought they'd rather be shot in the arm with their own semi-automatic rifle than face head-on. Personally, I think there's something terrific about not knowing, relinquishing man's feeble attempt to control. When you throw up your hands, say, "Who knows?" you can get on with the sheer gift of being alive.
Marisha Pessl (Special Topics in Calamity Physics)
Ebook readers might cause problems. This has become a controversial topic as more and more people use and love ereaders. A close friend of mine doesn’t go anywhere without her Kindle and will probably be buried with it. A Wolf, she was dismayed when I shared the findings of a new Harvard Medical School study:23 reading an ebook in the hour before bed delayed sleep more than reading a print book under normal lamplight, and it also increased sleep inertia the next day.
Michael Breus (The Power of When: Discover Your Chronotype—and the Best Time to Eat Lunch, Ask for a Raise, Have Sex, Write a Novel, Take Your Meds, and More)
I argue very well. Ask any of my remaining friends. I can win an argument on any topic, against any opponent. People know this, and steer clear of me at parties. Often, as a sign of their great respect, they don’t even invite me.” —DAVE BARRY
Laura Doyle (The Surrendered Wife: A Practical Guide for Finding Intimacy, Passion and Peace with a Man)
The work I do is not exactly respectable. But I want to explain how it works without any of the negatives associated with my infamous clients. I’ll show how I manipulated the media for a good cause. A friend of mine recently used some of my advice on trading up the chain for the benefit of the charity he runs. This friend needed to raise money to cover the costs of a community art project, and chose to do it through Kickstarter, the crowdsourced fund-raising platform. With just a few days’ work, he turned an obscure cause into a popular Internet meme and raised nearly ten thousand dollars to expand the charity internationally. Following my instructions, he made a YouTube video for the Kickstarter page showing off his charity’s work. Not a video of the charity’s best work, or even its most important work, but the work that exaggerated certain elements aimed at helping the video spread. (In this case, two or three examples in exotic locations that actually had the least amount of community benefit.) Next, he wrote a short article for a small local blog in Brooklyn and embedded the video. This site was chosen because its stories were often used or picked up by the New York section of the Huffington Post. As expected, the Huffington Post did bite, and ultimately featured the story as local news in both New York City and Los Angeles. Following my advice, he sent an e-mail from a fake address with these links to a reporter at CBS in Los Angeles, who then did a television piece on it—using mostly clips from my friend’s heavily edited video. In anticipation of all of this he’d been active on a channel of the social news site Reddit (where users vote on stories and topics they like) during the weeks leading up to his campaign launch in order to build up some connections on the site. When the CBS News piece came out and the video was up, he was ready to post it all on Reddit. It made the front page almost immediately. This score on Reddit (now bolstered by other press as well) put the story on the radar of what I call the major “cool stuff” blogs—sites like BoingBoing, Laughing Squid, FFFFOUND!, and others—since they get post ideas from Reddit. From this final burst of coverage, money began pouring in, as did volunteers, recognition, and new ideas. With no advertising budget, no publicist, and no experience, his little video did nearly a half million views, and funded his project for the next two years. It went from nothing to something. This may have all been for charity, but it still raises a critical question: What exactly happened? How was it so easy for him to manipulate the media, even for a good cause? He turned one exaggerated amateur video into a news story that was written about independently by dozens of outlets in dozens of markets and did millions of media impressions. It even registered nationally. He had created and then manipulated this attention entirely by himself.
Ryan Holiday (Trust Me, I'm Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator)
He showed the fineness of his nature by being kinder to me after that misunderstanding than before. Nay, the very incident which, by my theory, must in some degree estrange me and him, changed, indeed, somewhat our relations; but not in the sense I painfully anticipated. An invisible, but a cold something, very slight, very transparent, but very chill: a sort of screen of ice had hitherto, all through our two lives, glazed the medium through which we exchanged intercourse. Those few warm words, though only warm with anger, breathed on that frail frost-work of reserve; about this time, it gave note of dissolution. I think from that day, so long as we continued friends, he never in discourse stood on topics of ceremony with me.
Charlotte Brontë
Imagine for a moment that one of your friends writes you a twenty-page letter passionately wanting to share her excitement about a new teacher. This letter has only one topic, your friend’s new teacher. [But] at the end of her letter, you still do not know one thing about her teacher. Yet, Paul presents the central figure of his theology this way. . . . It [seems] impossible to imagine how Paul could avoid telling one story or parable of—or fail to note one physical trait or personal quality of—Jesus.
Richard C. Carrier (On the Historicity of Jesus: Why We Might Have Reason for Doubt)
I returned to London in the spring of 1926 for the General Strike. It was the topic of Paris. The French, exultant as always at the discomfiture of their former friends, and transposing into their own precise terms our mistier notions from across the Channel, foretold revolution and civil war.
Evelyn Waugh (Brideshead Revisited)
Work hard. Work dirty. Choose your favourite spade and dig a small, deep hole; located deep in the forest or a desolate area of the desert or tundra. Then bury your cellphone and then find a hobby. Actually, 'hobby' is not a weighty enough word to represent what I am trying to get across. Let's use 'discipline' instead. If you engage in a discipline or do something with your hands, instead of kill time on your phone device, then you have something to show for your time when you're done. Cook, play music, sew, carve, shit - bedazzle! Or, maybe not bedazzle... The arrhythmic is quite simple, instead of playing draw something, fucking draw something! Take the cleverness you apply to words with friends and utilise it to make some kick ass cornbread, corn with friends - try that game. I'm here to tell you that we've been duped on a societal level. My favourite writer, Wendell Berry writes on this topic with great eloquence, he posits that we've been sold a bill of goods claiming that work is bad. That sweating and working especially if soil or saw dust is involved are beneath us. Our population especially the urbanites, has largely forgotten that working at a labour that one loves is actually a privilege.
Nick Offerman (Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Fundamentals for Delicious Living)
Groups have a center of gravity. Families, friends, churches, offices, and schools all have a dominant consciousness, a center of gravity, a party line. It’s the often unspoken agreement that keeps things running smoothly based on what to believe, how to behave, what’s acceptable, and what isn’t. So when you charge in all excited about whatever it is you’ve learned, you are a disruption. And systems don’t take kindly to disruptions, often expending extraordinary energy to quell the disruption, pushing it to the edges, discrediting it. This is why some churches ban books, this is why certain topics are off-limits at family gatherings, and this is often why people use words like heretic.
Rob Bell (What Is the Bible?: How an Ancient Library of Poems, Letters, and Stories Can Transform the Way You Think and Feel About Everything)
This was becoming ridiculous. Vast numbers of questions were unanswered, vast amounts of information needed to be exchanged, and now Claudia was introducing further topics. It was fortunate that I was among friends and family, or I would have had some sort of brain-overload-related breakdown. We needed to prioritize the issues to deal with them one by one.
Graeme Simsion (The Rosie Result (Don Tillman, #3))
On the TV screen in Harry's is The Patty Winters Show, which is now on in the afternoon and is up against Geraldo Rivera, Phil Donahue and Oprah Winfrey. Today's topic is Does Economic Success Equal Happiness? The answer, in Harry's this afternoon, is a roar of resounding "Definitely," followed by much hooting, the guys all cheering together in a friendly way. On the screen now are scenes from President Bush's inauguration early this year, then a speech from former President Reagan, while Patty delivers a hard-to-hear commentary. Soon a tiresome debate forms over whether he's lying or not, even though we don't, can't, hear the words. The first and really only one to complain is Price, who, though I think he's bothered by something else, uses this opportunity to vent his frustration, looks inappropriately stunned, asks, "How can he lie like that? How can he pull that shit?" "Oh Christ," I moan. "What shit? Now where do we have reservations at? I mean I'm not really hungry but I would like to have reservations somewhere. How about 220?" An afterthought: "McDermott, how did that rate in the new Zagat's?" "No way," Farrell complains before Craig can answer. "The coke I scored there last time was cut with so much laxative I actually had to take a shit in M.K." "Yeah, yeah, life sucks and then you die." "Low point of the night," Farrell mutters. "Weren't you with Kyria the last time you were there?" Goodrich asks. "Wasn't that the low point?" "She caught me on call waiting. What could I do?" Farrell shrugs. "I apologize." "Caught him on call waiting." McDermott nudges me, dubious. "Shut up, McDermott," Farrell says, snapping Craig's suspenders. "Date a beggar." "You forgot something, Farrell," Preston mentions. "McDermott is a beggar." "How's Courtney?" Farrell asks Craig, leering. "Just say no." Someone laughs. Price looks away from the television screen, then at Craig, and he tries to hide his displeasure by asking me, waving at the TV, "I don't believe it. He looks so... normal. He seems so... out of it. So... un dangerous." "Bimbo, bimbo," someone says. "Bypass, bypass." "He is totally harmless, you geek. Was totally harmless. Just like you are totally harmless. But he did do all that shit and you have failed to get us into 150, so, you know, what can I say?" McDermott shrugs. "I just don't get how someone, anyone, can appear that way yet be involved in such total shit," Price says, ignoring Craig, averting his eyes from Farrell. He takes out a cigar and studies it sadly. To me it still looks like there's a smudge on Price's forehead. "Because Nancy was right behind him?" Farrell guesses, looking up from the Quotrek. "Because Nancy did it?" "How can you be so fucking, I don't know, cool about it?" Price, to whom something really eerie has obviously happened, sounds genuinely perplexed. Rumor has it that he was in rehab.
Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho)
Some gifted people have all five and some less. Every gifted person tends to lead with one. As I read this list for the first time I was struck by the similarities between Dabrowski’s overexcitabilities and the traits of Sensitive Intuitives. Read the list for yourself and see what you identify with: Psychomotor This manifests as a strong pull toward movement. People with this overexcitability tend to talk rapidly and/or move nervously when they become interested or passionate about something. They have a lot of physical energy and may run their hands through their hair, snap their fingers, pace back and forth, or display other signs of physical agitation when concentrating or thinking something out. They come across as physically intense and can move in an impatient, jerky manner when excited. Other people might find them overwhelming and they’re routinely diagnosed as ADHD. Sensual This overexcitability comes in the form of an extreme sensitivity to sounds, smells, bright lights, textures and temperature. Perfume and scented soaps and lotions are bothersome to people with this overexcitability, and they might also have aversive reactions to strong food smells and cleaning products. For me personally, if I’m watching a movie in which a strobe light effect is used, I’m done. I have to shut my eyes or I’ll come down with a headache after only a few seconds. Loud, jarring or intrusive sounds also short circuit my wiring. Intellectual This is an incessant thirst for knowledge. People with this overexcitability can’t ever learn enough. They zoom in on a few topics of interest and drink up every bit of information on those topics they can find. Their only real goal is learning for learning’s sake. They’re not trying to learn something to make money or get any other external reward. They just happened to have discovered the history of the Ming Dynasty or Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and now it’s all they can think about. People with this overexcitability have intellectual interests that are passionate and wide-ranging and they study many areas simultaneously. Imaginative INFJ and INFP writers, this is you. This is ALL you. Making up stories, creating imaginary friends, believing in Santa Claus way past the ordinary age, becoming attached to fairies, elves, monsters and unicorns, these are the trademarks of the gifted child with imaginative overexcitability. These individuals appear dreamy, scattered, lost in their own worlds, and constantly have their heads in the clouds. They also routinely blend fiction with reality. They are practically the definition of the Sensitive Intuitive writer at work. Emotional Gifted individuals with emotional overexcitability are highly empathetic (and empathic, I might add), compassionate, and can become deeply attached to people, animals, and even inanimate objects, in a short period of time. They also have intense emotional reactions to things and might not be able to stomach horror movies or violence on the evening news. They have most likely been told throughout their life that they’re “too sensitive” or that they’re “overreacting” when in truth, they are expressing exactly how they feel to the most accurate degree.
Lauren Sapala (The INFJ Writer: Cracking the Creative Genius of the World's Rarest Type)
We are not going to do the "does God test people" topic complete justice here because it's complicated, but a fair, brief summary would be this: Yes, God sometimes tests us (Deuteronomy 13:3, I Chronicles 29:17). But by God tests us, we don't mean He puts us through trials to see if we will fail (even secretly hoping we will fail). No, when God tests us, He is looking to find out what is in our hearts. He is looking to expose strength and weakness, to show us where we are and where we need to grow. His tests are not so much like a driver's license exam - you pass or fail - but like the diagnostic test a car manufacturer does on the cars themselves before releasing them into the world. The manufacturer needs to know if the vehicles are safe and ready for the road or if they need more work before they leave the factory.
Elizabeth Laing Thompson (When God Says "Wait": Navigating Life's Detours and Delays Without Losing Your Faith, Your Friends, or Your Mind)
When we read of the battles in India, in Italy, in the Crimea, what did we care? It was only an interesting topic, like any other, to look for in the paper. Now, you hear of a battle with a thrill and a shudder. It has come home to us ... A telegram comes to you and you leave it on your lap. You are pale with fright... How many, many of your friends or loved ones this scrap of paper may tell you have gone to their death.
Mary Boykin Chesnut (Mary Chesnut: A Diary From Dixie)
When the topic of food comes up in conversation with family, friends or casual acquaintances, it’s fascinating to hear the litany of rationalizations, knee-jerk defense mechanisms, self-limiting belief statements and general confusion or ignorance from otherwise intelligent folks when it comes to eating healthfully. But then again, Conventional Wisdom has often led even the best and brightest minds in nutritional science astray.
Mark Sisson (The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series))
I will always give you hope. Here is why. We will get through this. I want you to know this. This Easter I just chilled at home. So did you. Today I told a friend who was feeling low I told her this. We are in this moment. I know it is scary and depressing. BUT next year this will be a story. Maybe a topic of conversation on a first date. When this whole thing is over it will be "do you remember when" and we will get there. This too shall pass.
Johnny Corn
I do need to talk about books. Because talking about books allows me to talk about anything with anyone. With family, friends, and even with strangers who contacted me through my Web site (and became friends), when we discuss what we are reading, what we are really discussing is our own lives, our take on everything from sorrow to fidelity to responsibility, from money to religion, from worrying to inebriation, from sex to laundry, and back again. No topic is taboo, as long as we can tie it in to a book we’ve read, and all responses are allowed, couched in terms of characters and their situations.
Nina Sankovitch (Tolstoy and the Purple Chair: My Year of Magical Reading)
The thing about being barren is that you're not allowed to get away from it. Not when you're in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it, all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine?
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
1. _______ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities.   2. _______ I often prefer to express myself in writing.   3. _______ I enjoy solitude.   4. _______ I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame, and status.   5. _______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me.   6. _______ People tell me that I’m a good listener.   7. _______ I’m not a big risk-taker.   8. _______ I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions.   9. _______ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members. 10. _______ People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.” 11. _______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished. 12. _______ I dislike conflict. 13. _______ I do my best work on my own. 14. _______ I tend to think before I speak. 15. _______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself. 16. _______ I often let calls go through to voice mail. 17. _______ If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled. 18. _______ I don’t enjoy multitasking. 19. _______ I can concentrate easily. 20. _______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars.
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
We all know that sex is the most interesting topic in the world. We love to talk about sex. There's no juicier gossip than who is sleeping with whom. And we love to read about sex. Check the top 1000 books on Amazon. Most of them have a shirtless guy on the cover, because they're smutty "romance novels" (read: porn for women) about a girl being swept off her feet by one (or more) billionaire alphamales. There are literally tens of thousands of books out there about shirtless billionaire alpha-male vampires who can't wait to mate with you. Lucky you! And women eat that shit up! Men, not so much. We men prefer to watch actual porn. And there's a perfectly good explanation for that.
Oliver Markus Malloy (Why Men And Women Can't Be Friends: Honest Relationship Advice for Women (Educated Rants and Wild Guesses, #1))
in such moments I have formulated my creed, wherein all is clear and holy to me. This creed is extremely simple; here it is: I believe that there is nothing lovelier, deeper, more sympathetic, more rational, more manly, and more perfect than the Saviour; I say to myself with jealous love that not only is there no one else like Him, but that there could be no one. I would even say more: If anyone could prove to me that Christ is outside the truth, and if the truth really did exclude Christ, I should prefer to stay with Christ and not with truth. I would rather not say anything more about it. And yet I don't know why certain topics may never be touched on in society, and why, if anyone does introduce them, it makes the others uncomfortable. Still, enough of it. I heard that you were desirous of travelling somewhere in the South. God grant that you may succeed in obtaining permission to do so. But will you please tell me when we shall be quite free, or at any rate as free as other people ? Perhaps only when we no longer need freedom ? For my part, I want all or nothing. In my soldier's uniform I am the same prisoner as before. I rejoice greatly that I find there is patience in my soul for quite a long time yet, that I desire no earthly possessions, and need nothing but books, the possibility of writing, and of being daily for a few hours alone. The last troubles me most. For almost five years I have been constantly under surveillance, or with several other people, and not one hour alone with myself. To be alone is a natural need, like eating and drinking ; for in that kind of concentrated communism one becomes a whole-hearted enemy of mankind. The constant companionship of others works like poison or plague; and from that unendurable martyrdom I most suffered in the last four years. There were moments in which I hated every man, whether good or evil, and regarded him as a thief who, unpunished, was robbing me of life. The most unbearable part is when one grows unjust, malignant, and evil, is aware of it, even reproves one's-self, and yet has not the power to control one's-self. I have experienced that. I am convinced that God will keep you from it. I believe that you, as a woman, have more power to forgive and to endure. Do
Fyodor Dostoevsky (Letters of Fyodor Michailovitch Dostoyevsky to his family and friends)
She’d noticed before how middle-aged women were obsessed with the topic of age, always laughing about it, moaning about it, going on and on about it, as if the process of aging were a tricky puzzle they were trying to solve. Why were they so mystified by it? Jane’s mother’s friends seemed to literally have no other topic of conversation, or they didn’t when they spoke to Jane. “Oh, you’re so young and beautiful, Jane.” (When she clearly wasn’t; it was like they thought one followed the other: If you were young, you were automatically beautiful!) “Oh, you’re so young, Jane, you’ll be able to fix my phone/computer/camera.” (When in fact a lot of her mother’s friends were more technologically savvy than Jane.) “Oh, you’re so young, Jane, you have so much energy.” (When she was so tired, so very, very tired.) “And
Liane Moriarty (Big Little Lies)
1. You are constantly second-guessing yourself. 2. You ask yourself, “Am I too sensitive?” a dozen times a day. 3. You often feel confused and even crazy at work. 4. You’re always apologizing to your mother, father, boyfriend, boss. 5. You wonder frequently if you are a “good enough” girlfriend/wife/employee/friend/daughter. 6. You can’t understand why, with so many apparently good things in your life, you aren’t happier. 7. You buy clothes for yourself, furnishings for your apartment, or other personal purchases with your partner in mind, thinking about what he would like instead of what would make you feel great. 8. You frequently make excuses for your partner’s behavior to friends and family. 9. You find yourself withholding information from friends and family so you don’t have to explain or make excuses. 10. You know something is terribly wrong, but you can never quite express what it is, even to yourself. 11. You start lying to avoid the put-downs and reality twists. 12. You have trouble making simple decisions. 13. You think twice before bringing up certain seemingly innocent topics of conversation. 14. Before your partner comes home, you run through a checklist in your head to anticipate anything you might have done wrong that day. 15. You have the sense that you used to be a very different person—more confident, more fun-loving, more relaxed. 16. You start speaking to your husband through his secretary so you don’t have to tell him things you’re afraid might upset him. 17. You feel as though you can’t do anything right. 18. Your kids begin trying to protect you from your partner. 19. You find yourself furious with people you’ve always gotten along with before. 20. You feel hopeless and joyless.
Robin Stern (The Gaslight Effect: How to Spot and Survive the Hidden Manipulation Others Use to Control Your Life)
Who might this young man be?” In an instant I sorted through every possibly explanation for Sage’s presence, but judging by the way Mom was looking at him, I knew she already had it in her head that he was a romantic prospect, and she’d go on believing that even if I said he was purely a homeschool friend. And if she thought I was interested in him, no political luncheon would stop her from sitting us down and grilling Sage in front of everyone so she could dig up any deal breakers before I had to find them out the hard way. She’d probably even encourage her guests to join in, and I knew they’d be happy to do it-I’d seen it happen to Rayna. The problem was, I couldn’t spend all day hanging out at Mom’s lunch. I needed to go through Dad’s things, and I wanted to finish before the Israeli minister and his Secret Service protection left the house open for any not-so-welcome visitors to return. “This is Larry Steczynski! You can call him Sage. He’s my new boyfriend!” Rayna suddenly chirped, threading her arm through Sage’s and giving him a squeeze. To his credit, Sage looked only slightly surprised. Just one more thing to add to the long list of reasons I love Rayna. She knew exactly what I’d been thinking and had found the one answer that would leave me completely off the hook. “Really!” Mom said meaningfully. “Then we should talk.” She turned to the group and asked, “Gentleman?” Without hesitation, all the senators and the Israeli minister agreed that the next topic of their agenda should clearly be a debate of Sage’s merits and pitfalls as a partner to Rayna. As Mom took Sage and Rayna’s hands and led them to the couch, two senators gladly moved aside to give them space. Sage shot me a look so plaintive I almost laughed out loud.
Hilary Duff (Elixir (Elixir, #1))
Sexual violence is a difficult topic to think about and even harder to deal with. I understand that a wide range of emotions may have been ignited while reading this book, so I ask you to take care of yourself. Always remember to take care of yourself no matter what, and never stop doing the things you love that bring peace and joy to your life. Whether it is music, art, exercise, cooking, reading, sports, prayer, nature, or any of the other amazing gifts life has to offer: Embrace them. Do what you love to do, embrace all the beauty that exists within yourself and the world around you, and take care of yourself. And of course, reach out to someone if you need help. Talk to a family member or friend, find the right therapist, or seek out a religious or spiritual guide if needed. Life is very difficult to go through it alone, so please talk to someone you love and trust, and one who always has your best interest at heart.
Robert Uttaro
Stopping before them, St. Vincent confided, “I would have found you sooner, but I was attacked by a swarm of dingy-dippers.” His voice lowered with conspiratorial furtiveness. “And I don’t wish to alarm either of you, but I had to warn you…they’re planning to serve kidney pudding in the fifth course.” “I can manage that,” Lillian said ruefully. “It is only animals served in their natural state that I seem to have difficulty with.” “Of course you do, darling. We’re barbarians, the lot of us, and you were perfectly right to be appalled by the calves’ heads. I don’t like them either. In fact, I rarely consume beef in any form.” “Are you a vegetarian, then?” Lillian asked, having heard the word frequently of late. Many discussions had centered on the topic of the vegetable system of diet that was being promoted by a hospital society in Ramsgate. St. Vincent responded with a dazzling smile. “No, sweet, I’m a cannibal.” “St. Vincent,” Westcliff growled in warning, seeing Lillian’s confusion. The viscount grinned unrepentantly. “It’s a good thing I happened along, Miss Bowman. You’re not safe alone with Westcliff, you know.” “I’m not?” Lillian parried, tensing inwardly as she reflected that he never would have made the glib comment had he known of the intimate encounters between her and the earl. She didn’t dare look at Westcliff, but she apprehended the immediate stillness of the masculine form so close to hers. “No, indeed,” St. Vincent assured her. “It’s the morally upright ones who do the worst things in private. Whereas with an obvious reprobate such as myself, you couldn’t be in safer hands. Here, you had better return to the dining hall under my protection. God knows what sort of lascivious scheme is lurking in the earl’s mind.” Giggling, Lillian stood from the bench, enjoying the sight of Westcliff being teased. He regarded his friend with a slight scowl as he too rose to his feet.
Lisa Kleypas (It Happened One Autumn (Wallflowers, #2))
Qualities such as honesty, determination, and a cheerful acceptance of stress, which can all be identified through probing questionnaires and interviews, may be more important to the company in the long run than one's college grade-point average or years of "related experience." Every business is only as good as the people it brings into the organization. The corporate trainer should feel his job is the most important in the company, because it is. Exalt seniority-publicly, shamelessly, and with enough fanfare to raise goosebumps on the flesh of the most cynical spectator. And, after the ceremony, there should be some sort of permanent display so that employees passing by are continuously reminded of their own achievements and the achievements of others. The manager must freely share his expertise-not only about company procedures and products and services but also with regard to the supervisory skills he has worked so hard to acquire. If his attitude is, "Let them go out and get their own MBAs," the personnel under his authority will never have the full benefit of his experience. Without it, they will perform at a lower standard than is possible, jeopardizing the manager's own success. Should a CEO proclaim that there is no higher calling than being an employee of his organization? Perhaps not-for fear of being misunderstood-but it's certainly all right to think it. In fact, a CEO who does not feel this way should look for another company to manage-one that actually does contribute toward a better life for all. Every corporate leader should communicate to his workforce that its efforts are important and that employees should be very proud of what they do-for the company, for themselves, and, literally, for the world. If any employee is embarrassed to tell his friends what he does for a living, there has been a failure of leadership at his workplace. Loyalty is not demanded; it is created. Why can't a CEO put out his own suggested reading list to reinforce the corporate vision and core values? An attractive display at every employee lounge of books to be freely borrowed, or purchased, will generate interest and participation. Of course, the program has to be purely voluntary, but many employees will wish to be conversant with the material others are talking about. The books will be another point of contact between individuals, who might find themselves conversing on topics other than the weekend football games. By simply distributing the list and displaying the books prominently, the CEO will set into motion a chain of events that can greatly benefit the workplace. For a very cost-effective investment, management will have yet another way to strengthen the corporate message. The very existence of many companies hangs not on the decisions of their visionary CEOs and energetic managers but on the behavior of its receptionists, retail clerks, delivery drivers, and service personnel. The manager must put himself and his people through progressively challenging courage-building experiences. He must make these a mandatory group experience, and he must lead the way. People who have confronted the fear of public speaking, and have learned to master it, find that their new confidence manifests itself in every other facet of the professional and personal lives. Managers who hold weekly meetings in which everyone takes on progressively more difficult speaking or presentation assignments will see personalities revolutionized before their eyes. Command from a forward position, which means from the thick of it. No soldier will ever be inspired to advance into a hail of bullets by orders phoned in on the radio from the safety of a remote command post; he is inspired to follow the officer in front of him. It is much more effective to get your personnel to follow you than to push them forward from behind a desk. The more important the mission, the more important it is to be at the front.
Dan Carrison (Semper Fi: Business Leadership the Marine Corps Way)
Remember everything and do not miss a detail of how she receives you: if her color changes as you give her my message; if she becomes agitated or troubled when she hears my name; if she moves about on her pillows, if you happen to find her in the richly furnished antechamber of her rank; if she is standing, look at her to see if she shifts from one foot to another; if she repeats her answer two or three times; if she changes from gentle to severe, from harsh to loving; if she raises her hand to her hair to smooth it, although it is not disarranged; finally, my friend, observe all her actions and movements, because if you relate them to me just as they occurred, I shall interpret what she keeps hidden in the secret places of her heart in response to the fact of my love; for you must know, Sancho, if you do not know it already, that with lovers, the external actions and movements, revealed only when the topic of their love arises, are reliable messengers bringing the news of what transpires deep within their souls.
Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (Don Quixote)
She and I spend a good twenty minutes talking about sperm (truly a magnificent topic), then dry shampoo, then book recommendations. We talk so much that we get distracted from our work. And it clicks. I’ve been on so many average friend-dates and had so many lacklustre networking chats that I now recognise chemistry when I see it. I take the leap of faith and ask for her number. She invites me to her book club. This time, I don’t have to walk into an unfamiliar flat full of strangers alone – I walk in with her, my new friend, who introduces me to everyone. A small book club, at someone’s house, eating homemade pie: this was where I want to be. It is somehow one of the most outgoing things I have ever done and also somehow feels kinda normal. Everyone here works in the same field, but we aren’t talking about work. We are drinking wine and discussing the book over dinner. Casual. Intimate. This is what Emma had meant. And it all started with a single question: what was the deal with all this sperm from Denmark in the noughties?
Jessica Pan (Sorry I'm Late, I Didn't Want to Come: An Introvert's Year of Living Dangerously)
How did you find me?" "I've followed you for a long time." He must have mistaken the look on my face for alarm or fear, and said, "Not literally. I just mean I never lost track." But it wasn't fear, or anything like that. It was an instant of realization I'd have a lot in the coming days: I'd been thinking of him as coming back from the dead, but the fact was he'd been there all along. He'd been alive when I cried in my room over him being gone. He'd been alive when I started a new school without him, the day I made my first friend a Jones Hall, the time I ran into Ethan at the library. Cameron Quick and I had existed simultaneously on the planet during all of those moments. It didn't seem possible that we could have been leading separate lives, not after everything we'd been through together. "...then I looked you up online," he was saying, "and found your mom's wedding announcement from before you changed your name. I didn't even need to do that. It's easy to find someone you never lost." I struggled to understand what he was saying. "You could have written to me, or seen me, sooner?" "I wanted to. Almost did, a bunch of times." "Why didn't you? I wish you had." And I did, I wished it so much, imagined how it would have been to know all those years that he was there, thinking of me. "Things seemed different for you," he said, matter-of-fact. "Better. I could tell that from the bits of information I an interview with the parents who were putting their kids in your school when it first started. Or an article about that essay contest you won a couple years ago." "You knew about that?" He nodded. "That one had a picture. I could see just from looking at you that you had a good thing going. Didn't need me coming along and messing it up." "Don't say that," I said quickly. Then: "You were never part of what I wanted to forget." "Nice of you to say, but I know it's not true." I knew what he was thinking, could see that he'd been carrying around the same burden all those years as me. "You didn't do anything wrong." It was getting cold on the porch, and late, and the looming topic scared me. I got up. "Let's go in. I can make coffee or hot chocolate or something?" "I have to go." "No! Already?" I didn't want to let him out of my sight. "Don't worry," he said. "Just have to go to work. I'll be around." "Give me your number. I'll call you." "I don't have a phone right now." "Find me at school," I said, "or anytime. Eat lunch with us tomorrow." He didn't answer. "Really," I continued, "you should meet my friends and stuff." "You have a boyfriend," he finally said. "I saw you guys holding hands." I nodded. "Ethan." "For how long?" "Three months, almost." I couldn't picture Cameron Quick dating anyone, though he must have at some point. If I'd found Ethan, I was sure Cameron had some Ashley or Becca or Caitlin along the way. I didn't ask. "He's nice," I added. "He's..." I don't know what I'd planned to say, but whatever it was it seemed insignificant so I finished that sentence with a shrug. "You lost your lisp." And about twenty-five pounds, I thought. "I guess speech therapy worked for both of us." He smiled. "I always liked that, you know. Your lisp. It" He started down the porch steps. "See you tomorrow, okay?" "Yeah," I said, unable to take my eyes off of him. "Tomorrow.
Sara Zarr (Sweethearts)
way to respond to such a test is to give an ambiguous answer and then change the topic. For example, you could respond by saying - “It’s hard to know what people mean to say when you cannot see their body language, mannerisms, etc.” Never qualify yourself in your emails. If she mentions in an email that she loves the car that you are standing next to in one of your photographs, get her talking about why she loves it. Ask her about her interest in automobiles. You could even ask her if she has a need for speed. Do not begin talking about how you bought that car last year and it cost you a pretty penny. Do not talk about how it goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds or how people always ask you to give them a joyride in it. Do not bite on her bait. A woman will do this to see if a man might slip up and show her exactly how desperate he is to get validation from other people, especially women. Sample questions Which of the following animals do you like? a. Komodo dragon (+5) b. Bonobo (+3) c. Dog (0) d. Cat  (-1) Your friends would describe you as: a. Sweet and supportive (+5) b. Feisty, fun and sassy (+3) c. Strong and independent (0) d. Totally random (-1)
Strategic Lothario (Become Unrejectable: Understand what women want and know how to attract women to avoid rejection)
Become Aware of Memory Bias When people are anxious, they often have biased recall for events. For example, Brian talks himself into believing he screwed up an interview for a promotion because he thinks over and over about things he could’ve said. However, he doesn’t as easily recall the good answers he gave. He endlessly mentally rehashes ambiguous cues the interviewers gave off, such as appearing to rush through questions, but doesn’t as easily recall when the interviewers responded positively. Another example: A friend of mine used to talk herself into believing she’d failed every exam she ever took. She’d ruminate over all the answers she hadn’t known and wouldn’t recall questions she’d been able to answer correctly. The take-home message when you’re ruminating: Don’t trust your memory. You might be ruminating about something fictional or at least magnified. This also applies to ruminating about how you think others perceive you; you may just be mind reading based on a biased memory of interactions. Experiment: Do you have any current rumination topics where memory bias might be playing a role? If you can’t think of anything now, come back to this experiment when you have an issue that fits. Answer the following questions: 1. What’s your ruminating mind telling you? 2. What are the objective data telling you about whether your ruminative thoughts are likely to be correct? For example, my friend who always convinced herself she’d failed exams had never failed anything. 3. Are you recalling feedback as harsher than it was or recalling blips in your performance as worse than they were?
Alice Boyes (The Anxiety Toolkit: Strategies for Fine-Tuning Your Mind and Moving Past Your Stuck Points)
Speaking of debutantes,” Jake continued cautiously when Ian remained silent, “what about the one upstairs? Do you dislike her especially, or just on general principle?” Ian walked over to the table and poured some Scotch into a glass. He took a swallow, shrugged, and said, “Miss Cameron was more inventive than some of her vapid little friends. She accosted me in a garden at a party.” “I can see how bothersome that musta been,” Jake joked, “having someone like her, with a face that men dream about, tryin’ to seduce you, usin’ feminine wiles on you. Did they work?” Slamming the glass down on the table, Ian said curtly, “They worked.” Coldly dismissing Elizabeth from his mind, he opened the deerskin case on the table, removed some papers he needed to review, and sat down in front of the fire. Trying to suppress his avid curiosity, Jake waited a few minutes before asking, “Then what happened?” Already engrossed in reading the documents in his hand, Ian said absently and without looking up, “I asked her to marry me; she sent me a note inviting me to meet her in the greenhouse; I went there; her brother barged in on us and informed me she was a countess, and that she was already betrothed.” The topic thrust from his mind, Ian reached for the quill lying on the small table beside his chair and made a note in the margin of the contract. “And?” Jake demanded avidly. “And what?” “And then what happened-after the brother barged in?” “He took exception to my having contemplated marrying so far above myself and challenged me to a duel,” Ian replied in a preoccupied voice as he made another note on the contract. “So what’s the girl doin’ here now?” Jake asked, scratching his head in bafflement over the doings of the Quality. “Who the hell knows,” Ian murmured irritably. “Based on her behavior with me, my guess is she finally got caught in some sleezy affair or another, and her reputation’s beyond repair.” “What’s that got to do with you?” Ian expelled his breath in a long, irritated sigh and glanced at Jake with an expression that made it clear he was finished answering questions. “I assume,” he bit out, “that her family, recalling my absurd obsession with her two years ago, hoped I’d come up to scratch again and take her off their hands.” “You think it’s got somethin’ to do with the old duke talking about you bein’ his natural grandson and wantin’ to make you his heir?” He waited expectantly, hoping for more information, but Ian ignored him, reading his documents. Left with no other choice and no prospect for further confidences, Jake picked up a candle, gathered up some blankets, and started for the barn. He paused at the door, struck by a sudden thought. “She said she didn’t send you any note about meetin’ her in the greenhouse.” “She’s a liar and an excellent little actress,” Ian said icily, without taking his gaze from the papers. “Tomorrow I’ll think of some way to get her out of here and off my hands.” Something in Ian’s face made him ask, “Why the hurry? You afraid of fallin’ fer her wiles again?” “Hardly.” “Then you must be made of stone,” he teased. “That woman’s so beautiful she’d tempt any man who was alone with her for an hour-includin’ me, and you know I ain’t in the petticoat line at all.” “Don’t let her catch you alone,” Ian replied mildly. “I don’t think I’d mind.” Jake laughed as he left.
Judith McNaught (Almost Heaven (Sequels, #3))
Since we’re on the topic, I’d also like to set some ground rules.” “What kind of ground rules?” he asks, leaning back. I press my lips together and take a breath. “Well…I don’t want you trying to kiss me again.” Peter curls his lip at me. “Trust me, I don’t want to do it either. My forehead still hurts from this morning. I think I have a bruise.” He pushes his hair off his forehead. “Do you see a bruise?” “No, but I see a receding hairline.” “What?” Ha. I knew that would get him. Peter’s so vain. “Calm down, I’m only kidding. Do you have a piece of paper and a pen?” “You’re gonna write this down?” Primly I say, “It’ll help us remember.” Rolling his eyes, Peter reaches into his backpack, pulls out a notebook, and hands it to me. I turn to a clean page and write at the top, Contract. Then I write No kissing. “Are people really gonna buy it if we never touch each other in public?” Peter asks, looking skeptical. “I don’t think relationships are just about physicality. There are ways to show you care about someone, not just using your lips.” Peter’s smiling, and he looks like he’s about to crack a joke, so I swiftly add, “Or any other body part.” He groans. “You’ve gotta give me something here, Lara Jean. I have a reputation to uphold. None of my friends will believe I suddenly turned into a monk to date you. How about at least a hand in your back jean pocket? Trust me, it’ll be strictly professional.” I don’t say what I’m thinking, which is that he cares way too much what people think about him. I just nod and write down, Peter is allowed to put a hand in Lara Jean’s back jean pocket. “But no more kissing,” I say, keeping my head down so he can’t see me blush. “You’re the one who started it,” he reminds me.
Jenny Han (To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1))
When we have poor vagal tone, we have higher sensitivity to perceived threats in our environment, which overactivates the body’s stress response and leads to reduced emotional and attentional regulation overall. Those of you who experience the discomfort of social anxiety might recognize this disconnect. Imagine walking into a party filled with strangers. You might have obsessed over what to wear to the party, planning every detail, every possible conversation topic, or you may have felt totally neutral about the party—no warning signs that you might feel uncomfortable and act accordingly. Either way, none of it matters once you actually walk into the room. Suddenly, all eyes are on you. Your face grows hot and red when you hear laughter, which you’re certain is about your outfit or your hair. Someone brushes past you, and you feel claustrophobic. All the strangers seem to be leering. Even if you know rationally that this is not a hostile place, that no one is looking at or judging you (and if they are, who cares?), it’s nearly impossible to shake the feeling once you’re trapped in it. That’s because your subconscious perceives a threat (using your nervous system’s sixth sense of neuroception) in a nonthreatening environment (the party) and has activated your body, putting you into a state of fight (argue with anyone and everyone), flight (leave the party), or freeze (don’t say a word). The social world has become a space filled with threat. Unfortunately, this kind of nervous system dysregulation is self-confirming. While it is activated, anything that doesn’t confirm your suspicions (a friendly face) will be ignored by your neuroception in favor of things that do (the stray laugh you felt was directed at you). Social cues that would be seen as friendly when you were in social engagement mode—such as a pause in the conversation for you to enter, eye contact, a smile—will be either misinterpreted or ignored.
Nicole LePera (How to Do the Work: Recognize Your Patterns, Heal from Your Past, and Create Your Self)
The thing about being barren is that you're not allowed to get away from it. Not when you're in your thirties. My friends were having children, friends of friends were having children, pregnancy and birth and first birthday parties were everywhere. I was asked about it all the time. My mother, our friends, colleagues at work. When was it going to be my turn? At some point our childlessness became an acceptable topic of Sunday-lunch conversation, not just between Tom and me, but more generally. What we were trying, what we should be doing, do you really think you should be having a second glass of wine? I was still young, there was still plenty of time, but failure cloaked me like a mantle, it overwhelmed me, dragged me under, and I gave up hope. At the time, I resented the fact that it was always seen as my fault, that I was the one letting the side down. But as the speed with which he managed to impregnate Anna demonstrates, there was never any problem with Tom’s virility. I was wrong to suggest that we should share the blame; it was all down to me. Lara, my best friend since university, had two children in two years: a boy first and then a girl. I didn’t like them. I didn’t want to hear anything about them. I didn’t want to be near them. Lara stopped speaking to me after a while. There was a girl at work who told me—casually, as though she were talking about an appendectomy or a wisdom-tooth extraction—that she’d recently had an abortion, a medical one, and it was so much less traumatic than the surgical one she’d had when she was at university. I couldn’t speak to her after that, I could barely look at her. Things became awkward in the office; people noticed. Tom didn’t feel the way I did. It wasn’t his failure, for starters, and in any case, he didn’t need a child like I did. He wanted to be a dad, he really did—I’m sure he daydreamed about kicking a football around in the garden with his son, or carrying his daughter on his shoulders in the park. But he thought our lives could be great without children, too. “We’re happy,” he used to say to me. “Why can’t we just go on being happy?” He became frustrated with me. He never understood that it’s possible to miss what you’ve never had, to mourn for it.
Paula Hawkins (The Girl on the Train)
-Write out a conversation with your inner voice. Begin the entry with a question directed to yourself, then write your mental response. It may help to label the different voices A and B. Dialogue writing is a very effective way to get to the heart of the matter. The following passage is an example of typical dialogue writing: A: Tomorrow is a big day. You have an interview at a college. How do you feel? B: I am really nervous. This is the first interview and I don’t know what it is going to be like. A: What are you afraid of? B: I’m afraid I’ll stutter and say something stupid. I’m worried the person will ask a question and I won’t know what to say. A: What do you want to discuss? B: I think it is good that I was on the basketball team for four years. That shows commitment and dedication. I also got decent grades and earned a blue ribbon at the science fair. A: What about your hobbies outside of school? B: I really like to read. I could mention that. I could talk also about the vacations my family has taken. They are pretty interesting. I enjoy my part-time retail job. A: It sounds like you do a lot. B: I guess I am good at organizing my life and accomplishing what needs to be done. Hey, that would sound good in an interview! -Try focused “freewriting.” Pick one topic, such as school, friends, or family, and write everything that comes to mind about that topic. Write for at least ten minutes or until you’re certain that you have run out of things to write. -Write your belief system. Start by writing “I believe…” at the top of a clean page. Then write whatever comes to mind. It may help to ask yourself questions when you get stuck such as “What do I believe about friendship?” “What is my personal style?” or “What are my gifts and abilities?” -Write about an event from your perspective, then write about the same event from someone else’s point of view. For example, if you had a hard time answering a question during class, write about how you felt, what you thought, and how you behaved. Next, pretend you are the teacher writing about the same event. What do you think he or she was thinking? How did he or she act? This exercise is a great way to show that there are multiple ways of seeing the same situation.
Heather Moehn (Social Anxiety)
When we left, we were told it would be another month before the winner was announced. Then I felt really discouraged. Friends were telling me that my injuries and my fitness level guaranteed me the cover. I felt the opposite. I didn’t feel I was as fit as the others and I felt like the war was too controversial a topic for the magazine to want to feature a wounded veteran. I had completely talked myself out of even the slightest possibility of winning by the time I was back on a plane to New York a month later to find out the results. My family didn’t believe that I didn’t know already. They thought I’d been told and kept asking me about it. But I really didn’t know. The winner was being announced live on NBC’s Today show. I had made my peace with not winning and Jamie and I were just excited to go to New York and be on Today. We had a layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, and when we landed there I had a voice mail from my friend Billy. His message: “I thought we had to wait to see who won? It’s already out!” I clicked onto my Facebook app and saw that Billy had posted a picture of him and some of his buddies at a truck stop in Kentucky posing with a Men’s Health magazine--and I was on the cover! I was shocked. But even then I was convinced this wasn’t real. Maybe the editors had decided to give the cover to all three of us and we each had a different region of the country. It felt incredible to see myself on the cover of that magazine but I just wasn’t convinced I was the outright winner. Jamie and I got to our hotel room late. I called my contact at Men’s Health, Nora, and said, “I’ve already seen the magazine.” There was a beat on the other end of the line before she flatly said, “We’ll talk about it in the morning.” So Jamie and I went to bed. The next morning we met up with Finny and Kavan and headed over to 30 Rockefeller Plaza for the Today show. I didn’t say a word about what I’d seen. When we arrived, Nora was at the door. I waited for the others to go in before I said to her, “So we’re not going to talk about what we’re not going to talk about?” I was smirking a little but quickly wiped the grin off my face when I saw the look on Nora’s. “You’re not the only person in this competition, Noah. Not everyone knows.” Roger that. I wouldn’t say another word.
Noah Galloway (Living with No Excuses: The Remarkable Rebirth of an American Soldier)
If you’re still not sure where you fall on the introvert-extrovert spectrum, you can assess yourself here. Answer each question “true” or “false,” choosing the answer that applies to you more often than not.* ______ I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities. ______ I often prefer to express myself in writing. ______ I enjoy solitude. ______ I seem to care less than my peers about wealth, fame, and status. ______ I dislike small talk, but I enjoy talking in depth about topics that matter to me. ______ People tell me that I’m a good listener. ______ I’m not a big risk-taker. ______ I enjoy work that allows me to “dive in” with few interruptions. ______ I like to celebrate birthdays on a small scale, with only one or two close friends or family members. ______ People describe me as “soft-spoken” or “mellow.” ______ I prefer not to show or discuss my work with others until it’s finished. ______ I dislike conflict. ______ I do my best work on my own. ______ I tend to think before I speak. ______ I feel drained after being out and about, even if I’ve enjoyed myself. ______ I often let calls go through to voice mail. ______ If I had to choose, I’d prefer a weekend with absolutely nothing to do to one with too many things scheduled. ______ I don’t enjoy multitasking. ______ I can concentrate easily. ______ In classroom situations, I prefer lectures to seminars. The more often you answered “true,” the more introverted you probably are. If you found yourself with a roughly equal number of “true” and “false” answers, then you may be an ambivert—yes, there really is such a word. But even if you answered every single question as an introvert or extrovert, that doesn’t mean that your behavior is predictable across all circumstances. We can’t say that every introvert is a bookworm or every extrovert wears lampshades at parties any more than we can say that every woman is a natural consensus-builder and every man loves contact sports. As Jung felicitously put it, “There is no such thing as a pure extrovert or a pure introvert. Such a man would be in the lunatic asylum.” This is partly because we are all gloriously complex individuals, but also because there are so many different kinds of introverts and extroverts. Introversion and extroversion interact with our other personality traits and personal histories, producing wildly different kinds of people. So
Susan Cain (Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking)
Then call me Pierce because we're friends." He bent in close in the turn, eyes gleaming as they dropped to her lips. "Intimate friends, if I get my wish." This time there was no mistaking his meaning. But he was so practiced and smooth that she couldn't help herself-she laughed. When that made him frown, she tried to suppress her amusement, but that only made her laugh harder. "What's so funny?" he muttered. "I'm sorry," she said, swallowing her amusement. "It's just that I've heard my brothers make such insinuations to women in that tone of voice for years, but I've never been on the receiving end." Pierce's smile would rival that of Casanova. "I don't know why not," he said in a lazy drawl. His gaze raked her appreciatively as they swirled about the room. "Tonight, in that purple gown, you look particularly fetching. The color suits you." "Thank you." Minerva had been trying to get her to stop wearing browns and oranges for years, but Celia had always pooh-poohed her sister's opinions. It was only after Virginia had said exactly the same thing last month that she'd begun to think she should listen. And to order new gowns accordingly. "You're a lovely woman with the figure of a Venus and a mouth that could make a man-" "You can stop now." Her amusement vanished. She'd be flattered if he meant a single word, but clearly this was just a game to him. "I don't need the full rogue treatment, I assure you." Interest sparked in his eyes. "Hasn't it occurred to you that I might be sincere?" "Only if you're sincerely trying to seduce me." He cast her a blatantly carnal glance as he held her tighter. "Well, of course I'm trying to seduce you. What else would I be doing?" She pitched her voice over the music. "I'm a respectable woman, you know." "What has that got to do with anything?" She arched an eyebrow at him as they moved in consort. "Even a respectable woman might be tempted into, say, slipping out with a gentleman for a walk in the moonlit courtyard. And if said gentleman should happen to steal a kiss or two-" "Lord Devonmont!" "Fine." He smiled ruefully. "Bu you can't blame me for trying. You do look ravishing this evening." "There you go again," she said, exasperated. "Can you never talk to a woman as if she's a normal person?" "How dull that would be." When she frowned, he shook his head. "Very well. What scintillating topics of conversation did you have in mind?
Sabrina Jeffries (A Lady Never Surrenders (Hellions of Halstead Hall, #5))
You want to kiss her, right?” “What?” I have lost track of our conversation. I was thinking about how if Kit called me her friend, then I would have multiplied my number of them by a factor of two. And then I considered the word flirting, how it sounds like fluttering, which is what butterflies do. Which of course looped me back to chaos theory and my realization that I’d like to have more information to provide Kit on the topic. “Do. You. Want. To. Kiss. Her?” Miney asks again. “Yes, of course I do. Who wouldn’t want to kiss Kit?” “I don’t want to kiss Kit,” Miney says, doing that thing where she imitates me and how I answer rhetorical questions. Though her intention is to mock rather than to educate, it’s actually been a rather informative technique to demonstrate my tendency toward taking people too literally. “Mom doesn’t want to kiss Kit. I don’t know about Dad, but I doubt it.” My father doesn’t look up. His face is buried in a book about the mating patterns of migratory birds. It’s too bad our scholarly interests have never overlapped. Breakfast would be so much more interesting if we could discuss our work. “So if you want to kiss Kit, that means you want her to see you like a real guy,” Miney says, and points at me with her cup of coffee. She’s drinking it black. Maybe there’s nothing wrong with Miney. Maybe she’s just tired. “I am a real guy.” How come even my own sister sees me as something not quite human? Something other. “I have a penis.” “And just when I think we’ve made progress you go and mention your penis.” “What? Fact: I have a penis. That makes me a guy. Though technically there are some trans people who have penises but self-identify as girls.” “Please stop saying that word.” “What word? Penis?” “Yes.” “Do you prefer member? Shlong? Wang? Johnson?” I ask. “Dongle, perhaps?” “I would prefer we not discuss your man parts at all.” “Wait, should I text Kit immediately and clarify that I do in fact have man parts?” I pick up my phone and start typing. “Dear Kit. Just to be clear. I have a penis.” “Oh my God. Do not text her. Seriously, stop.” Miney puts her coffee down hard. She’ll climb over the table and tackle me if she has to. “Ha! Totally got you!” I smile, as proud as I was the other day for my that’s what she said joke. “Who are you?” Miney asks, but she’s grinning too. I’ll admit it takes a second—something about the disconnect between her confused tone and her happy face—and I almost, almost say out loud: Duh, I’m Little D. Instead I let her rhetorical question hang, just like I’m supposed to
Julie Buxbaum (What to Say Next)
her that when he had first raised the idea, I hadn’t known he was sick. Almost nobody knew, she said. He had called me right before he was going to be operated on for cancer, and he was still keeping it a secret, she explained. I decided then to write this book. Jobs surprised me by readily acknowledging that he would have no control over it or even the right to see it in advance. “It’s your book,” he said. “I won’t even read it.” But later that fall he seemed to have second thoughts about cooperating and, though I didn’t know it, was hit by another round of cancer complications. He stopped returning my calls, and I put the project aside for a while. Then, unexpectedly, he phoned me late on the afternoon of New Year’s Eve 2009. He was at home in Palo Alto with only his sister, the writer Mona Simpson. His wife and their three children had taken a quick trip to go skiing, but he was not healthy enough to join them. He was in a reflective mood, and we talked for more than an hour. He began by recalling that he had wanted to build a frequency counter when he was twelve, and he was able to look up Bill Hewlett, the founder of HP, in the phone book and call him to get parts. Jobs said that the past twelve years of his life, since his return to Apple, had been his most productive in terms of creating new products. But his more important goal, he said, was to do what Hewlett and his friend David Packard had done, which was create a company that was so imbued with innovative creativity that it would outlive them. “I always thought of myself as a humanities person as a kid, but I liked electronics,” he said. “Then I read something that one of my heroes, Edwin Land of Polaroid, said about the importance of people who could stand at the intersection of humanities and sciences, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do.” It was as if he were suggesting themes for his biography (and in this instance, at least, the theme turned out to be valid). The creativity that can occur when a feel for both the humanities and the sciences combine in one strong personality was the topic that most interested me in my biographies of Franklin and Einstein, and I believe that it will be a key to creating innovative economies in the twenty-first century. I asked Jobs why he wanted me to be the one to write his biography. “I think you’re good at getting people to talk,” he replied. That was an unexpected answer. I knew that I would have to interview scores of people he had fired, abused, abandoned, or otherwise infuriated, and I feared he would not be comfortable with my getting them to talk. And indeed he did turn out to be skittish when word trickled back to him of people that I was interviewing. But after a couple of months,
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
I was watching a documentary that described a night at Thomas Jefferson’s house Monticello. After the meal each night the family, with their guests, would retire into the parlor to drink tea and spend 3-4 hours discussing things they learned or were pondering lately. Without the television or other individualistic electronic means of entertainment I think we’d still do this to avoid boredom. When I first heard about this practice my first thought was, “Oh, that’s what a family does.” I grew up in an age where it was natural to entertain myself or go off with friends but it makes sense that, in the absence of these things, a family would need to learn to interact and really enjoy each other’s company. So 3-4 times per week we have an informal meal followed by what we simply call “family time.” This can be done around the dining room table or the coffee table but it’s been an amazing experience. I begin by asking if anyone learned or had any ideas or questions they’ve been pondering about God. We move from that topic into a more general question like, “Did anyone learn anything today or have something they want to discuss?” We share stories from the day, passages of things we’ve read, watch funny videos or play a family game. At the end we often talk about what’s in store for tomorrow and pray together.
Jeremy Pryor (Family Revision: How Ancient Wisdom Can Heal the Modern Family)
•  Create a base of rigorous learning opportunities. Teachers begin with clear ideas about what learning should occur as the result of a lesson or unit aligned with assessments and standards. Then, teachers connect students with the curriculum by transforming student-boring topics into student-friendly concepts that have enduring value beyond the classroom, lie at the heart of the discipline, require analysis, have the potential to engage students, and span various cultures. Give students a reason for studying the curriculum.
Leslie S. Kaplan (Culture Re-Boot: Reinvigorating School Culture to Improve Student Outcomes)
Spaghetti thinking prevents taking action towards solutions. If you are frustrated with a coworker, have a child who can’t seem to make a decision or have a friend who seems to have the same set of problems over and over, then they are probably in spaghetti thinking. You ask them something and they get off topic. They talk their way around the real problem. They avoid the most important problem to solve. You want them to commit to solving one problem and they throw 15 other problems in the pile. They avoid real action and real solutions and comfort themselves with venting and overthinking. Spaghetti thinking prevents clarity, wastes time, and prevents productivity.
Sarah K. Ramsey (Problem Solved: Simple Habits For Complex Decisions)
Theories of memory and reasoning didn't distinguish thoughts about people from thoughts about rocks or houses. Theories of emotion didn't distinguish fear from anger, jealousy, or love. Theories of social relations didn't distinguish among family, friends, enemies, and strangers. Indeed, the topics in psychology that most interest laypeople — love, hate, work, play, food, sex, status, dominance, jealousy, friendship, religion, art — are almost completely absent from psychology textbooks.
Steven Pinker
If you picked mostly Cs: JOSHUA is your Bad Boyz Best Friend Forever!!! He is incredibly loyal and selfless and will go to the ends of the earth to ensure that he’s the BFF who has your back for LIFE! Joshua is super intelligent and ambitious and can intuitively spot your vulnerabilities to know when you really need his help and when you want a little space to yourself for that needed alone time. Although this BFF tends to be generally quiet and unassuming, you’d be surprised to know how passionate Joshua is about his friendships, social issues, and how he stays true to his beliefs and can bravely stand up for what’s right. He is a natural born leader and can astutely talk about all kinds of unusual topics. (Yeah, we said “astutely.” Your vocabulary will definitely grow with this guy around!) Like you, Joshua enjoys fun adventures and the summer months along with all their cool activities. He can’t wait to spend quality time with you, his new BFF. This dude is charming, crazy handsome, and really talented, and he has a great personality. He can hang out with the rich and famous and still make time for the important things in his life, like being the best Bad Boyz BFF EVER!
Rachel Renée Russell (Spectacular Superstar (Dork Diaries #14))
Heat surges over my face as we near the table where my friends all sit staring at us like we’re a Hallmark Christmas movie with a twist of porn. Someone should explore that topic.
Alexia Chase (A Sinfully Unrequited Series (Books 3 – 6): All Tied Up & The Flip Side of All Tied Up & All Stripped Down & The Flip Side of All Stripped Down)
It took me longer than I’d like to admit to realize that most of the time on social media, especially with strangers, I wasn’t having real debates or even real conversations; more often than not, it was just a game to the other person. Even when the topic was sexual assault or police brutality, I found myself—and saw my friends—regularly sparring with people who were either simply saying outrageous things to get a rise out of us, or who seemed to have no empathy about the situations being discussed but felt entitled to opine on them and, if they could, to “win.
Kaitlin Ugolik Phillips (The Future of Feeling: Building Empathy in a Tech-Obsessed World)
Look, it’s not like I don’t understand why you’re so obsessed with my bro, but—” “Oh ho ho ho! You are quite the joker, Alice. My love for Alexander is pure and innocent. Yes, as one who is known as the Queen of Purity, the love that I have for your brother can only be pure in return. Please do not mistake it for something as vile as obsession. Such terms more aptly describe my brother.” “Well, I can’t deny you on that point.” Jameson de Truante was unpleasant at best, an obsessive-compulsive freak at worst, and a narcissistic loser with an ego the size of Mars. Nobody liked him. Not really anyway. People just treated him nicely because he was rich. “Back to my original topic,” Jasmine started. Alice wanted to facepalm, but that would require effort. “Could we please change the subject? Listening to how my best friend wants to bang my older brother is troublesome.” “W-wha—I do not want to ‘bang’ Alexander! I thought I told you, my love for him is—” “Pure. Yes, yes. I know. Your love is so pure. Is that why you have a naked body pillow of my brother at home?” Jasmine nearly fell out of her seat. Her horrified expression was a sight to behold. “H-how did you know about that?” “I didn’t,” Alice said, feeling a jolt course through her. Knowing that her friend really did have a body pillow with her brother on it creeped her out.
Brandon Varnell (A Most Unlikely Hero, Vol. 2 (A Most Unlikely Hero, #2))
(Kana has been talking about her Uncles with her friends at school and her teacher, Mr. Yokoyama, has called her dad in because he’s concerned that it’s not an appropriate topic for school children and that she may be bullied for it in the future because “her situation at home is a bit unusual”) Yaichi: Yokoyama-san, are you concerned that she’s being raised by a single father? Yokoyama: Uhhh… Yaichi: I appreciate your concern, but it’s really unnecessary. You don’t need to be concerned about a single parent household. At least, no more so than for any other student. Yokoyama: No, I meant… Yaichi: Also, about Kana, if there is anything that makes her different, I… wouldn’t make her change on account of other people. As for the foreigner staying with us, he is my brother’s husband, and Kana’s Uncle. I see absolutely no reason to stop her from talking about her beloved uncle to her friends. If Kana is ever bullied for any of this, I would hope that, as her teacher, you would reprimand the bullies, and not the bullied child for being different.
Gengoroh Tagame (My Brother's Husband, Volume 2 (Otouto no Otto, #3-4))
When my father interviewed kids for Candid Camera, his favorite part of his work, he had a challenge. How could he quickly break through the intimidation felt by a little child toward a big unknown adult? He did so by lighting a match and feigning difficulty in blowing it out. Balanced on the edge of a preschool-size chair, he would huff and puff with theatrical overacting, turning finally to the youngster and saying, “Can you help me?” And they would. Moments later, my dad and his new friend would be chatting about guardian angels, the wonders of spaghetti, money, and a host of other delightful topics. The gap my father was closing is called the “power distance,” a concept developed by Professor Geert Hofstede. This phenomenon can cause people to avoid or defer to those they feel are more powerful and, in doing so, to shut down channels of honest communication. By asking for help, my father broke the power distance and opened a gateway to closeness with each and every match blower. If you lead at least a few people, this section is for you. And in order to develop the closeness needed to build a white space team, you’ll need to address the same lopsided dynamics as my father. You must ask for help, step out of having all the answers, and truly enlist a wide spectrum of input to move toward the changes you want. Speak to people about their needs, desires, and enthusiasms. And make it more than a gesture, authentically being open to using the ideas that spring from these conversations. The following steps will show you how.
Juliet Funt (A Minute to Think: Reclaim Creativity, Conquer Busyness, and Do Your Best Work)
Ritika Rajput | Urban Fellows Programme (2020 - 21) | Testimonial - IIHM youtube channel A personal note about this girl as she was my closest friend once. When we used to trek to bram kunth along with Shubham das, Shalini chauhan and Urvashi Poonia Bishnoi near Nalanda Interim campus in rajgir, she makes everyone laugh. She is such as crazy girl I have every met. She is talented soul that has completed BSc in Chemistry from Jamia Milia Islamia with Gold Medal, Nalanda University topper in MSc Ecology and Environmental studies, Then she pursued urban fellows program as part of CSR, SDG, Water and Human Settlement goal as a research topic. She is vivid reader, and her favorite book was silent spring, sigmund freud and Vivekananda., She also read texts in science, statistics and very good mathematics and also NCC. In trekking in Rajgir once we visited along with 10 other people, she deliberately put her legs on me to what my reaction was, I said you need better specs. Yes she is having blindness problem. Very talented soul that is not showing any growth in research now as far as my knowledge. This kind of women should come up to research. Urvashi is also good researcher but lack in focus. Shubham went to banking and Shalini is a freelance language trainer. Just memories
Ganapathy K
It was the critic Alexander who put me on my guard against unnecessary fault-finding. People should not be sharply corrected for bad grammar, provincialisms, or mispronunciation; it is better to suggest the proper expression by tactfully introducing it oneself in, say, one’s reply to a question or one’s acquiescence in their sentiments, or into a friendly discussion of the topic itself (not of the diction), or by some other suitable form of reminder.
The first, indirect method of breaking the ice is to ask people for objective information or a subjective opinion. These can be very legitimate and important questions that would necessitate speaking to a stranger. It doesn’t necessarily matter that the person you are asking knows the answer; it’s just a way to begin a dialogue. For that matter, it doesn’t even matter that you don’t know the answer. Excuse me, do you know what time the speeches begin? Do you know where the closest Starbucks is? What did you think of the CEO’s speech? Do you like the food here? The first two examples are inquiring about objective information, while the latter two are asking for a subjective opinion. The second, indirect method of breaking the ice is to comment on something in the environment, context, or specific situation. It can be as simple as an observation. Imagine you are thinking out loud and prompting people to answer. Did you see that piece of art on the wall? What a crazy concept. The lighting in here is beautiful. I think it’s worth more than my house. This is an amazing DJ. All the rock ballads of the ’80s. Notice how these are all statements and not direct questions. You are inviting someone to comment on your statement instead of asking them to engage. If they don’t choose to engage, no harm no foul. You are not putting any pressure on them to respond, and you don’t necessarily need to expect an answer. The third and final indirect method of breaking the ice is to comment on a commonality you both share. For instance, why are you both at your friend Jack’s apartment? What business brings you both to this networking conference in Tallahassee? What stroke of misfortune brought you to the DMV this morning? So who do you know here? So how do you know Jack? Has Jack told you about the time he went skiing with his dog? The idea with these commonalities is that they are instant topics of conversation because there will be a clear answer behind them.
Patrick King (Better Small Talk: Talk to Anyone, Avoid Awkwardness, Generate Deep Conversations, and Make Real Friends (How to be More Likable and Charismatic Book 6))
The healing message Sevens need to hear and believe is God will take care of you. I know, easier said than done. It will take courage, determination, honesty, the help of a counselor or a spiritual director, and understanding friends to help Sevens confront painful memories and to encourage them to stay with afflictive feelings as they arise in the present moment. If Sevens cooperate with the process, they’ll grow a deep heart and become a truly integrated person. Ten Paths to Transformation for Sevens Practice restraint and moderation. Get off the treadmill that tells you more is always better. You suffer from “monkey mind.” Develop a daily practice of meditation to free yourself from your tendency to jump from one idea, topic or project to the next. Develop and practice the spiritual discipline of solitude on a regular basis. Unflinchingly reflect on the past and make a list of the people who have hurt you or whom you have hurt; then forgive them and yourself. Make amends where necessary. Give yourself a pat on the back whenever you allow yourself to feel negative emotions like anxiety, sadness, frustration, envy or disappointment without letting yourself run away to escape them. It’s a sign you’re starting to grow up! Bring yourself back to the present moment whenever you begin fantasizing about the future or making too many plans for it. Exercise daily to burn off excess energy. You don’t like being told you have potential because it means you’ll feel pressure to buckle down and commit to cultivating a specific talent, which will inevitably limit your options. But you do have potential, so what career or life path would you like to commit yourself to for the long haul? Take concrete steps to make good on the gifts God has given you. Get a journal and record your answers to questions like “What does my life mean? What memories or feelings am I running from? Where’s the depth I yearn to have that will complement my intelligence?” Don’t abandon this exercise until it’s finished. Make a commitment that when a friend or partner is hurting, you will try to simply be present for them while they are in pain without trying to artificially cheer them up.
Ian Morgan Cron (The Road Back to You: An Enneagram Journey to Self-Discovery)
All of the day’s planned tasks are canceled. Bob stays inside Hot Topic for the rest of the day. Left to their own devices, the group huddles together in the communal Old Navy on the first floor. At first, I think they’re holding a memorial service, but then I hear the TV playing. They’re watching DVDs of Friends on a giant, monolithic plasma screen. A citywide blackout forces Monica, Ross, Rachel, Phoebe, and Joey to hang out together. They light candles and talk about the weirdest places they’ve had sex. Phoebe sings a song. I hate Friends but I’ve seen most of the episodes.
Ling Ma (Severance)
Nanny didn’t so much enter places as insinuate herself; she had unconsciously taken a natural talent for liking people and developed it into an occult science. Granny Weatherwax did not doubt that her friend already knew the names, family histories, birthdays and favorite topics of conversation of half the people here, and probably also the vital wedge that would cause them to open up. It might be talking about their children, or a potion for their bad feet, or one of Nanny’s really filthy stories, but Nanny would be in and after twenty-four hours they’d have known her all their lives. And they’d tell her things. Of their own free will. Nanny Got On with people.
Terry Pratchett (Maskerade (Discworld, #18))
I let out a breath. “Yeah.” I sounded too eager, but Asher didn’t seem to notice. I was so bad at this. I couldn’t remember the last time I’d made a friend—at least a friend I didn’t work with. Work friends were easier. There was common ground and always something to talk about. If the conversation ran dry on other topics, work-related subject matter was always a safe bet, and so awkward silences were few and far between.
Cate Ashwood (Textual Relations)
Obviously, insights gained from gnosis are rarely welcomed as topics of conversation at social gatherings. To break the silence and speak about what you know to be your spiritual reality, or tell another about a numinous experience or your philosophical insights or take up a religious vocation becomes possible for many women only when they are over fifty and have found friends with spiritual depth.
Jean Shinoda Bolen (Goddesses in Older Women:: Archetypes in Women Over Fifty)
There’s a friend of mine, a Persian guy named Behzad. He just loves life, and he has no time for anybody who is not happy. If you ask Behzad what’s his secret? He’ll just look up and say, “Stop asking why and start saying wow.” The world is such an amazing place. As humans, we’re used to taking everything for granted. Like what you and I are doing right now. We’re sitting indoors, wearing clothes, well-fed, and communicating with each other through space and time. We should be two monkeys sitting in the jungle right now watching the sun going down, asking ourselves where we are going to sleep. When we get something, we assume the world owes it to us. If you’re present, you’ll realize how many gifts and how much abundance there is around us at all times. That’s all you really need to do. I’m here now, and I have all these incredible things at my disposal. [8] The most important trick to being happy is to realize happiness is a skill you develop and a choice you make. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles. It’s just like losing weight. It’s just like succeeding at your job. It’s just like learning calculus. You decide it’s important to you. You prioritize it above everything else. You read everything on the topic.
Eric Jorgenson (The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness)
I didn’t mind answering that I was from India, but I disliked the way India became the sole topic of conversation after that. Some international students loved talking about their countries. I didn’t. I didn’t care for the caste system, I didn’t know enough to talk about Indian politics, I resented having to defend my country’s poverty, and I was insulted when people asked if Indians rode on elephants. Over time I grew to hate the well-meaning friendly question “Where are you from?” As long as I was in small-town America, I realized, I was no longer just a person. I was a representative of my country. It was a daunting realization and an enormous burden.
Shoba Narayan (Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes)
The Vidame de Pamiers was still, at sixty-seven years of age, a very brilliant man, having seen much and lived much; a good talker, a man of honor and a gallant man, but who held as to women the most detestable opinions; he loved them, and he despised them. Their honor! their feelings! Ta-ra-ra, rubbish and shams! When he was with them, he believed in them, the ci-devant “monstre”; he never contradicted them, and he made them shine. But among his male friends, when the topic of the sex came up, he laid down the principle that to deceive women, and to carry on several intrigues at once, should be the occupation of those young men who were so misguided as to wish to meddle in the affairs of the State.
Honoré de Balzac (Works of Honore de Balzac)
My friend Bangaly Kaba, formerly head of growth at Instagram, called this idea the theory of “Adjacent Users.” He describes his experience at Instagram, which several years post-launch was growing fast but not at rocketship speed: When I joined Instagram in 2016, the product had over 400 million users, but the growth rate had slowed. We were growing linearly, not exponentially. For many products, that would be viewed as an amazing success, but for a viral social product like Instagram, linear growth doesn’t cut it. Over the next 3 years, the growth team and I discovered why Instagram had slowed, developed a methodology to diagnose our issues, and solved a series of problems that reignited growth and helped us get to over a billion users by the time I left. Our success was anchored on what I now call The Adjacent User Theory. The Adjacent Users are aware of a product and possibly tried using it, but are not able to successfully become an engaged user. This is typically because the current product positioning or experience has too many barriers to adoption for them. While Instagram had product-market fit for 400+ million people, we discovered new groups of billions of users who didn’t quite understand Instagram and how it fit into their lives.67 In my conversations with Bangaly on this topic, he described his approach as a systematic evaluation of the network of networks that constituted Instagram. Rather than focusing on the core network of Power Users—the loud and vocal minority that often drive product decisions—instead the approach was to constantly figure out the adjacent set of users whose experience was subpar. There might be multiple sets of nonfunctional adjacent networks at any given time, and it might require different approaches to fix each one. For some networks, it might be the features of the product, like Instagram not having great support for low-end Android apps. Or it might be because of the quality of their networks—if the right content creators or celebrities hadn’t yet arrived. You fix the experience for these users, then ask yourself again, who are the adjacent users? Then repeat. Bangaly describes this approach: When I started at Instagram, the Adjacent User was women 35–45 years old in the US who had a Facebook account but didn’t see the value of Instagram. By the time I left Instagram, the Adjacent User was women in Jakarta, on an older 3G Android phone with a prepaid mobile plan. There were probably 8 different types of Adjacent Users that we solved for in-between those two points. To solve for the needs of the Adjacent User, the Instagram team had to be nimble, focusing first on pulling the audience of US women from the Facebook network. This required the team to build algorithmic recommendations that utilized Facebook profiles and connections, so that Instagram could surface friends and family on the platform—not just influencers. Later on, targeting users in Jakarta and in other developing countries might involve completely different approaches—refining apps for low-end Android phones with low data connections. As the Adjacent User changes, the strategy has to change as well.
Andrew Chen (The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects)
Topics & Questions for Discussion In Chapter One, “Cyrus Jones and the Magic Funeral,” Asha describes Cyrus as “mostly human, a little bit cartoon, a tiny bit ghost.” Having read the book, what do you think of Cyrus as a character? Have you met anyone like him in real life? Think back to your high school crush(es). Do you recall that first feeling of attraction? How would you react if you happened upon that person now? What does Asha’s relationship with her older sister Mira bring to story? How does she add to your understanding of Asha as a person? Jules is a source of support, emotional and financial, for Cyrus and Asha. What other roles does he play in the novel? Recall the manifesto Cyrus writes in Chapter Three: “We don’t try to convince people to buy things We don’t spy on anyone We don’t sell our souls (we don’t sell anything) and We are equal partners and make all decisions together.” Did you predict any of these points might falter? Were you correct? Consider what kind of workplace Utopia is. Would you like to work there? What elements would you like to see in your current work situation? At the end of Chapter Five, Asha thinks about the cultural differences between her and Cyrus, contemplating his “whiteness.” To what extent do you think their differences affect their understanding of each other? Have you had to think about cultural differences in a similar way? Besides WAI, several other app ideas are mentioned in the novel: Consentify, LoneStar, Buttery, Flitter, and so on. Discuss your favorite, or if you have any other start up ideas. Asha, Cyrus, and Jules must delve into all the logistical aspects of starting and growing a business, from assembling the right team to sourcing funding. What seem to be the biggest challenges to starting a business? The novel deals with themes of gender dynamics and white male privilege throughout. At what points can you see these dynamics at play, and how do the characters respond? If you were Asha’s friend, or family member, how would you react to her relationship with Cyrus? Would you have warned her or supported her? What does or doesn’t seem to work about their marriage?
Tahmima Anam (The Startup Wife)
Call center solutions for small business What does it mean to develop a call center solutions that is small business friendly? It is unique to each organisation, which necessitates that the design be designed on a case-by-case basis. Do you have a partner who is willing to help you build your solution from the ground up? Scaling is a crucial aspect of developing a call center solution for a small organisation. Tiny businesses aren't always small businesses. By the end of a single year, a company that accepts a few dozen calls per week may be taking several hundred calls per day — Alternatively, they could remain the same size. It depends on a number of things, one of which is whether they are committed to providing the resources their customers and employees require for organic growth. Speak with your technology solutions provider about scalability if you want to provide your company the chance to expand. ChaseData offers a variety of scalability alternatives, including solutions that allow for remote agent flexibility, allowing your team to grow and shrink as needed. That way, you'll always be in control of your labour costs, and you'll have the correct number of employees on hand to handle whatever your customer base throws at you! Small Business Still Be Smart A prevalent assumption is that small business call center solutions must be limited in terms of features and capabilities. This is absolutely not the case. When it comes to the technology employed in today's call centers, small can be mighty. One of the most pressing concerns when it comes to increasing efficiency and productivity in a call center – whether large or small – is reducing time spent on repetitive information. Consumers frequently say that they spend several minutes providing simple information to call center personnel, including repeating it several times for verification or because their call has been moved. This process is not only inconvenient for the caller, but it can also be a waste of time and money for your call center! Using smarter technology to limit the quantity of data that must be transmitted is a wonderful approach to improve productivity, efficiency, and customer happiness. It assists in the reduction Our Topics Tags -: ivr solutions in delhi | voice blaster | voice logger | GSM PRI Gateway | GSM VoIP Gateway | Gsm gateway
Asfera Technologies
Relying on screens, on typing at high speed, we have constructed an environment in which it is more difficult than ever to get a sense of context... We comment glibly rather than engage; there just isn't time... We check in with friends in short text messages about inane topics rather than sit down for a proper chat or withdraw to write a letter that can impart thoughts and emotions and give us a sense of our tangible selves in our handwriting, in our choice of stamp, that even the most elegantly composed e-mail will lack.
Richard Polt (The Typewriter Revolution: A Typist's Companion for the 21st Century)
Look, I’m not joking around. Smartphones are dangerous. Not because they may cause stress, anxiety, and even depression, but because they change your behavior. It seems like we can’t focus on one thing for more than 5 seconds. Why? Well, we can’t because our smartphone is constantly going off. Not because people are calling you (it seems like people are afraid of calling these days, but that’s another topic), but because you’re constantly getting notifications about THINGS THAT DON’T MATTER. Change Your Smartphone Behavior The same study I mentioned above also found something else: “Researchers asked participants to perform a concentration test under four different circumstances: with their smartphone in their pocket, at their desk, locked in a drawer and removed from the room completely.” The results are significant — test results were lowest when the smartphone was on the desk, but with every additional layer of distance between participants and their smartphones, test performance increased. Overall, test results were 26% higher when phones were removed from the room.” Sure, it’s just a study. And you don’t have to believe everything you read. But this is something I can personally attest. For the past two years, I’ve significantly changed my smartphone behavior. Namely: I have turned off ALL my notifications except messages and calls I’ve removed myself from all Whatsapp groups except for one with my closest friends I’ve removed all news apps (if something important happens, you’ll hear it from the people around you) I only consume music, paid journalism, articles from specific authors I follow, podcasts, YouTube videos (mostly to learn, but also for entertainment because I’m not a robot), books, and audiobooks on it For the rest, I use my phone to call, text, and to take notes, photos and videos Also, I’ve stopped immediately responding to notifications. That doesn’t mean I don’t value other people who try to reach me. It means that I refuse to be a slave to my phone. I control my phone. For most of us, it’s the other way around. In the past, Facebook, Instagram, Apple, Google, etc, all controlled my mind. Obviously, they still do because the only way to escape those idiots is to cut yourself off and run to the woods. That’s not realistic. I like my phone. But I don’t need it. The results have been great since I started using my smartphone in the above way. During the past two years, I got more things done than ever. And, I still have time to work out daily, hang out with my friends, have dinner with my family, and
Darius Foroux (Do It Today: Overcome Procrastination, Improve Productivity, and Achieve More Meaningful Things)
I want my students to learn what life readers know: reading is its own reward. Reading is a university course in life; it makes us smarter by increasing our vocabulary and background knowledge of countless topics. Reading allows us to travel to destinations that we will never experience outside of the pages of a book. Reading is a way to find friends who have the same problems we do and who can give advice on solving those problems. Through reading, we can witness all that is noble, beautiful, or horrifying about other human beings. From a book’s characters, we can learn how to conduct ourselves. And most of all, reading is a communal act that connects you to other readers, comrades who have traveled to the same remarkable places that you have and been changed by them, too.
Donalyn Miller (The Book Whisperer: Awakening the Inner Reader in Every Child)
For while asceticism is certainly an important strand in the frugal tradition, so, too, is the celebration of simple pleasures. Indeed, one argument that is made repeatedly in favor of simple living is that it helps one to appreciate more fully elementary and easily obtained pleasures such as the enjoyment of companionship and natural beauty. This is another example of something we have already noted: the advocates of simple living do not share a unified and consistent notion of what it involves. Different thinkers emphasize different aspects of the idea, and some of these conflict. Truth, unlike pleasure, has rarely been viewed as morally suspect. Its value is taken for granted by virtually all philosophers. Before Nietzsche, hardly anyone seriously considered as a general proposition the idea that truth may not necessarily be beneficial.26 There is a difference, though, between the sort of truth the older philosophers had in mind and the way truth is typically conceived of today. Socrates, the Epicureans, the Cynics, the Stoics, and most of the other sages assume that truth is readily available to anyone with a good mind who is willing to think hard. This is because their paradigm of truth—certainly the truth that matters most—is the sort of philosophical truth and enlightenment that can be attained through a conversation with like-minded friends in the agora or the garden. Searching for and finding such truth is entirely compatible with simple living. But today things are different. We still enjoy refined conversation about philosophy, science, religion, the arts, politics, human nature, and many other areas of theoretical interest. And these conversations do aim at truth, in a sense. As Jürgen Habermas argues, building on Paul Grice’s analysis of conversational conventions, regardless of how we actually behave and our actual motivations, our discussions usually proceed on the shared assumption that we are all committed to establishing the truth about the topic under discussion.27 But a different paradigm of truth now dominates: the paradigm of truth established by science. For the most part this is not something that ordinary people can pursue by themselves through reflection, conversation, or even backyard observation and experiment. Does dark matter exist? Does eating blueberries decrease one’s chances of developing cancer? Is global warming producing more hurricanes? Does early involvement with music and dance make one smarter or morally better? Are generous people happier than misers? People may discuss such questions around the table. But in most cases when we talk about such things, we are ultimately prepared to defer to the authority of the experts whose views and findings are continually reported in the media.
Emrys Westacott (The Wisdom of Frugality: Why Less Is More - More or Less)
Vox and other outlets have been quick to identify these experiences as examples of what technology and social-media scholar danah boyd would call “context collapse.” A 2011 study that boyd conducted with Alice E. Marwick found that Twitter users who had built the most successful personal brands did so by recognizing the fact that they no longer really knew who their audience was. To tweet was to throw a message into a void that could include close friends, family, potential employers, and (as recent events have shown us) sworn enemies. Marwick and boyd describe how context collapse creates a “lowest-common-denominator philosophy of sharing [that] limits users to topics that are safe for all possible readers.”4
Jenny Odell (How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy)
But my main debt is to my wife Sarah, who provided a never failing source of encouragement in the bad days and a willing ear after the good ones. I have often been somewhat sceptical about author's protestations of gratitude to husband, wife, friend or whoever, without whom... Never again. To have a lived a life with someone whose thoughts are occupied by one topic to the exclusion of most other things is more than one can reasonably ask; it was certainly not in the original contract. (Preface)
Jonathan Dancy (Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology)
Catherine also wanted to know if my late friend’s hair had ever been singed by fire. That made no sense to me. However, later we recalled that Michael Jackson’s hair had been singed by fire, and that Forrest J Ackerman had appeared in Michael Jackson’s music video, Thriller, directed by Forry’s close friend John Landis. So the “singed by fire” observation ties together Forry and Michael Jackson and Thriller, which was about vampires and the “undead,” a favorite topic for Forry in fiction.
Paul Davids (An Atheist in Heaven: The Ultimate Evidence for Life After Death?)
The most common response to these complications is to suggest modest hacks and tips. Perhaps if you observe a digital Sabbath, or keep your phone away from your bed at night, or turn off notifications and resolve to be more mindful, you can keep all the good things that attracted you to these new technologies in the first place while still minimizing their worst impacts. I understand the appeal of this moderate approach because it relieves you of the need to make hard decisions about your digital life—you don’t have to quit anything, miss out on any benefits, annoy any friends, or suffer any serious inconveniences. But as is becoming increasingly clear to those who have attempted these types of minor corrections, willpower, tips, and vague resolutions are not sufficient by themselves to tame the ability of new technologies to invade your cognitive landscape—the addictiveness of their design and the strength of the cultural pressures supporting them are too strong for an ad hoc approach to succeed. In my work on this topic, I’ve become convinced that what you need instead is a full-fledged philosophy of technology use, rooted in your deep values, that provides clear answers to the questions of what tools you should use and how you should use them and, equally important, enables you to confidently ignore everything else.
Cal Newport (Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World)
And then bam – even though I should have seen it coming – babies are suddenly on the brain. There is an abrupt tap on the shoulder from friends, family, society and suddenly it’s the number one topic of conversation. Babies. Babies. Babies. When. When. When.
Emma Gannon (Olive)
Why, then, would you want to turn this liberating skill over to a device? Think about it: How do you feel when someone tries to impose their thinking on you? If a family member, friend, or colleague came up to you and said, “Don’t think about this; here’s your opinion,” you’d try to get away from that person as soon as you possibly could. Yet, when we immediately reach for the Internet to provide us with information, we’re essentially inviting the same thing. In Chapter 15, I will provide you with a powerful set of tools that will allow you to supercharge your thinking and expand your perspective on any topic or problem.
Jim Kwik (Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life)
That was just one of many weird things we have done. Even weirder to me than that, was the fact that we all talked about- like how it would be for one of us to die… if we would. Sex, drinking, and death were the main topics most nights. Yet that nightfall I do not remember how it came up in the conversations, other than Kenneth complaining that I got to sit in the front seat- aka ‘shotgun’ with Jenny after the party I guess I was where he thought he should be, and you know that wearing a seatbelt is for pussies. I do remember us talking about what a bucket let would be, yet to me, I thought mine was almost complete. The rap music was so loud, that we were yelling at one other just to overhear. Jenny kept going through her I-phone to change the song and text her other friends and boys, her phone was in her right hand in her lap. One reason I sat there is that- I was the one that was meant to pick the music so she could drive. I remember hearing the lyric- ‘To the window to the walls…’ the song was ‘Get Low!’ However, Jenny was so high, and Maddie was singing in the back to the words making her hands go in-between the front seats, and that was comical because she is as white as they come. I remember that is when we started shouting our theory on death and the afterlife, or if there is one. I thought there was… yet I was not sure. We were all gathering what those would be. Jenny was bitching about how it could be and going to be, in the ground, and like her beautiful body is going to be eaten away overtime in her sealed casket. That made my skin crawl. We were all like you’re going to die you’re not going to feel anything dumb ass. Then Maddie said my dying wish is to hook up with Lizzy, Sam, and others all at the same time and never stop. Hey, why not they were both very sexy hot girls. I could see that fantasy of doing it until death. I was a little pissed that I was not one of the girls in that scenario but it's her death wish not mine. Yet this is kind of surprising to me because Maddie was never that way at all. Like she has a boyfriend of two years. However, their love life was always on again and off again. The makeup hookups are all that kept them together… I think...? (#- Hashtag: Wcw- Women crush Wednesday)
Marcel Ray Duriez (Nevaeh Falling too You)
We investigated this a little further, and found an interesting pattern across all our bestselling books, beyond just Steel and Grisham. It turns out that successful authors consistently give that sweet spot of 30 percent to just one or two topics, whereas non-bestselling writers try to squeeze in more ideas. To reach a third of the book, a lesser-selling author uses at least three and often more topics. To get to 40 percent of the average novel, a bestseller uses only four topics. A non-bestseller, on average, uses six. While this may sound like a lot of numbers, the effect on your reading experience and the cohesion of a satisfying narrative is quite significant. Telling the heart of a story with fewer topics implies focus. It implies lack of unneeded subplots. It implies a more organized and precise writerly mind. It implies experience. We tested this finding with two of our friends—an agent and a novelist. Both told us that they had, through a series of painful rejections from publishing houses, come to the theory that new writers start out too ambitious. They
Jodie Archer (The Bestseller Code)
We investigated this a little further, and found an interesting pattern across all our bestselling books, beyond just Steel and Grisham. It turns out that successful authors consistently give that sweet spot of 30 percent to just one or two topics, whereas non-bestselling writers try to squeeze in more ideas. To reach a third of the book, a lesser-selling author uses at least three and often more topics. To get to 40 percent of the average novel, a bestseller uses only four topics. A non-bestseller, on average, uses six. While this may sound like a lot of numbers, the effect on your reading experience and the cohesion of a satisfying narrative is quite significant. Telling the heart of a story with fewer topics implies focus. It implies lack of unneeded subplots. It implies a more organized and precise writerly mind. It implies experience. We tested this finding with two of our friends—an agent and a novelist. Both told us that they had, through a series of painful rejections from publishing houses, come to the theory that new writers start out too ambitious. They said such writers tend to favor the approach of telling a complex situation from all angles, which will entail many topics. Writers are observers, and it is natural for them to want to share all that they have observed about the human condition. While writing such a topic-rich novel can be a very satisfying intellectual endeavor, the market tends to reject it. It’s too much in a 350-page experience. Focus that brings both depth and a story that can be easily followed is the preference—topics in fiction are not meant to amount to an encyclopedia. They serve as the underlying linchpins for character and emotional experience and are meant to overshadow neither.
Jodie Archer (The Bestseller Code)
The second dominant topic in Fifty Shades is not BDSM either. It is something complementary to human closeness. This topic is about intimate conversation, which makes up another 13 percent of the novel, and reflects Ana’s emotional discussions not just with Christian but with her best friend, Kate, her mother, her friend José, and her stepfather. A third important topic in James’s novel, accounting for roughly 10 percent of the topical DNA, is one that centers on nonverbal communication such as smiles, glances, and other facial expressions. We learned that actually, when the novel is machine-read word for word, not one of the three most dominant topics in the novel is about kinky sex. To be sure, sex is there in the topical profile: the fourth, fifth, and sixth most prevalent topics taken together add another 13 percent of the overall ingredients and all of these relate to seduction, sex, and the female body. But clearly there was something else going on, something more subtle and more interesting than the BDSM hype that became the center of so much of the reviews.
Jodie Archer (The Bestseller Code)
I do not at all have a sense of luring anyone into the poetic by catching hold of them through my subject matter. The idea appalls me in fact. Some events — whether a tree in a certain light, a Mexican family looking at the movie stills outside the cinema, a dream, my own condition of being in or out of love, of some epiphany relating to husband, child, friend, cat or dog, street or painting, cloud or stone, a book read, a story heard, a life thought about, a demonstration lived through, a situation, historical and/or topical, (that’s to say known in the moment of its passing into history) — it doesn’t matter, the list is endless, but some events (selected by some interior mysterious process out of all the other minutes and hours of my life) begin to form themselves in my understanding as phrases, images, rhythms of language, demand to be further formed, demand midwifery is one way to put it. Not all that one feels most strongly makes this verbal demand, even if one is a poet — by poet here I mean prose writer too — … but whatever experiences do demand it are always strongly felt ones. That is my testimony.
Denise Levertov
Last week I was in St. Louis and went to a party with friends. When some people there learned that I lived in the country, they asked me about brown recluse spiders. Having recently been bitten and read up on the topic, I jumped right in, telling them rather more than they wanted to know about the infrequency and usual mildness of the bites and the shy nature of the little spider. What they wanted to hear more about was the part where the skin rots off. After scaring themselves deliciously for a while, several of them decided to cancel plans for a weekend in the Ozarks, and I realized that one of the major points in the favor of brown recluse spiders is that they help keep down the tourists.
Sue Hubbell (A Country Year: Living the Questions)
damages incurred from the usage of this publication.   * * * Table of Contents   1.   How to Use this Book 2.   Free Conversation Skills Training 3a. Part 1 - What is in the Way of Developing Great Conversation Skills? 3b. The 10 Negative Habits that Limit Conversation Skills 3c. The Love and Connection Daily Practice 4a. Part 2 - Conversation Skills Tips and Strategies 4b. How to Approach Someone to Start a Conversation 5.   9 Great Ways to Confidently Approach Anyone 6.   How to Stop Feeling Nervous When Meeting New People 7.   What to Say When Introducing Yourself to New People 8.   6 Easy Ways to Avoid Getting Stuck for Words 9.   10 Interesting Topics of Conversation for Every Occasion 10.  The Best Questions to Keep a Conversation Going 11.  How to Shine in Conversation with Listening Skills 12.  How to Use Body Language to Read People Like a Book 13.  Show People You Like Them and Make Friends with Ease 14.  Closing Thoughts * * * How to Use this Book     This book is a how to guide to making conversation with new people. I present ideas, strategies and approaches that can help you only if you apply the techniques.   Make sure to use these principles and ideas out there in the real world. It may take a little trial and error but if you practice you’ll see its much easier than most people think to start a conversation with someone you are meeting for the first time. You’ll have much more fun talking to people and you’ll enjoy letting your personality shine.   Do bear in mind, the strategies presented here are a starting point, you’ll need to adjust your application of the individual tips to the context and people you are dealing with. Some flexibility on your part is essential.   Take it a step at a time, aim to improve just a little each day, use these strategies often and make a commitment to ongoing learning with the free resources mentioned in the next section. Before long you’ll be one of those people others respect and admire. They’ll be wondering how you make
Peter W. Murphy (Always Know What To Say - Easy Ways To Approach And Talk To Anyone)
Perhaps no topic touches on the importance of choice in longevity as directly as does that of suicide. The act of taking one's own life is truly a tragedy because it creates so many victims. Family and countless friends are left to bear feelings of undeserved misery and guilt. The commandment "Thou shalt not kill" is written in nine verses of scripture. Not one of them grants self-exclusion. The rational mind knows it is wrong. Unfortunately, forces of stress and depression incite behavior that is not always rational. . . . We know that the good done and the desires of the heart will also be weighed when final judgment is rendered. Alma taught: [Alma 41:2-3.] . . . Repentance operates in the spirit world as well as on earth. . . . Suicide is a choice--a grievous choice--that abbreviates longevity. Its victims include those who suffer because of that choice. They need and deserve the reassurance of the gospel and the knowledge that life for their loved one continues. Immortality of the soul applies to all, as does the privilege of repentance and forgiveness.
Russell M. Nelson
files are displayed by using the horrid — and I hesitate to mention this subject — hex dump format. If this topic pleases you (or impresses your friends), cool. Otherwise, press Esc and hunt down more readable files.
John Wiley & Sons (A Little Bit of Everything For Dummies)
But Ignatian spirituality is so capacious that even an introduction will touch upon a broad spectrum of topics: making good choices, finding meaningful work, being a good friend, living simply, wondering about suffering, deepening your prayer, striving to be a better person, and learning to love.
James Martin (The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life)
Yes, we were good at using the grapevine. But what we were best at, what we were really the kings of, that was buses and sitting around in bedrooms. No one could beat us at that. None of this led anywhere. Well, we probably weren’t very good at doing things that led somewhere. We didn’t have particularly good conversations, no one could say we did, the few topics we had developed so slowly we ourselves assumed they had nowhere to go; not one of us was a brilliant guitarist, although that is what we would have loved to be, more than anything else, and as far as girls were concerned, it was rare we came across one who wouldn’t object if we pulled up her jumper so that we could lower our heads and kiss her nipples. These were great moments. They were luminous shafts of grace in our world of yellowing grass, grey muddy ditches and dusty country roads. Yes, that was how it was for me. I assumed it was the same for him. What was this all about? Why did we live like this? Were we waiting for something? In which case, how did we manage to be so patient? For nothing ever happened! Nothing happened! It was always the same. Day in, day out! Wind and rain, sleet and snow, sun and storm, we did the same. We heard something on the grapevine, went there, came back, sat in his bedroom, heard something else, went by bus, bike, on foot, sat in someone’s bedroom. In the summer we went swimming. That was it. What was it all about? We were friends, there was no more than that. And the waiting, that was life.
Karl Ove Knausgård
One method, which he had developed during his mock debates with John Collins in Boston and then when discoursing with Keimer, was to pursue topics through soft, Socratic queries. That became the preferred style for Junto meetings. Discussions were to be conducted “without fondness for dispute or desire of victory.” Franklin taught his friends to push their ideas through suggestions and questions, and to use (or at least feign) naïve curiosity to avoid contradicting people in a manner that could give offense.
Walter Isaacson (Benjamin Franklin: An American Life)
We were enduring the consequences of poorly made decisions. We had no idea how to help our friends go through their terrible trials. We were disappointed weekly by the church's avoidance of tough topics, or the black-and-white binary boxes. The church gave us cat-poster clichés or pulpit-pounding guilt-trips. So we adopted the self-improvement techniques of culture, which turned out to be self-improvisation, and it only made us worse.
J.S. Park (What The Church Won't Talk About: Real Questions From Real People About Raw, Gritty, Everyday Faith)
What happened?” I asked. “They shot you with a manticore spine. Who the fuck owns a manticore? Why would anyone actually decide they want to keep one of those ugly fuckers?” “I feel we’re getting off topic here,” I reminded him. “What. Happened?” “Right, well you went to sleep and they dragged us all down here, but Ellie here woke up. Tore some guy’s arm off before they subdued her. By that point Alan and I had woken up, and they gave us all a kicking. Still, she tore some guy’s arm off, which was pretty badass of her. If we find it, and then find him, can we beat him to death with it?” I stared at my fox friend for a moment. “I’d rather use something more . . . stable for bludgeoning someone to death, but sure, why not?
Steve McHugh (Lies Ripped Open (Hellequin Chronicles #5))
The groundbreaking book that popularized the topic is Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ, written by Daniel Goleman, our friend and advisor. One of the most important messages in the book is that emotional competencies are not innate talents; they are learned abilities. In other words, emotional competencies are something you can deliberately acquire with practice
Chade-Meng Tan (Search Inside Yourself: The Unexpected Path to Achieving Success, Happiness (And World Peace))
fact, cannot be called a hero. Events conspire to darken his future and twist his morality, but his choices are his own. Most importantly, the story delves into some topics of a sensitive nature, particularly sexual abuse and violence, though there is nothing graphic in the telling. I didn’t set out to write a book about those things, but they came up as part of the course of this tale, and I couldn’t avoid them. Before allowing some of the situations in this book, before writing them, I sought advice from a number of friends; people who have confided in me over the years. Several of them
Michael G. Manning (The Mountains Rise (Embers of Illeniel, #1))
Stepping out and stepping up can be an intimidating experience, especially in social situations where the outcomes are unpredictable and uncertain. Have you ever been reluctant to . . . • Say "no?" • Request help? • Ask for a raise? • Stand up to a bully? • Talk about tough topics? • Confront a friend or spouse? • Speak up and share your opinion? • Begin a conversation with a stranger? • Deliver a presentation or speak in public? • Talk about the “white elephant” in the room? • Befriend people who are much different than you? • Make sales calls because you don’t want to be rejected? • Approach a new group of people at a networking event? • Go to an event by yourself where you did not know anyone?
Susan C. Young (The Art of Action: 8 Ways to Initiate & Activate Forward Momentum for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #4))
Stepping out and stepping up can be an intimidating experience, especially in social situations where the outcomes are unpredictable and uncertain. Have you ever been reluctant to . . . • Say "no?" • Request help? • Ask for a raise? • Stand up to a bully? • Talk about tough topics? • Confront a friend or spouse? • Speak up and share your opinion? • Begin a conversation with a stranger? • Deliver a presentation or speak in public? • Talk about the “white elephant” in the room? • Befriend people who are much different than you? • Make sales calls because you don’t want to be rejected? • Approach a new group of people at a networking event? • Go to an event by yourself where you did not know anyone? Each of these scenarios can strike fear in the hearts of many because each involves risk and potential discomfort. Life holds endless circumstances with a broad and diverse range of challenge or conflict that require you to be brave.
Susan C. Young (The Art of Action: 8 Ways to Initiate & Activate Forward Momentum for Positive Impact (The Art of First Impressions for Positive Impact, #4))
Since time immemorial, the issue of money has been an uncomfortable one. Notice that your friends would rather talk about what they do for a living instead of how much money they make for a living, or that during family reunions and social get-togethers, your relatives — and you yourself — avoid the topic of job salaries like the plague.
Geoffrey Wright (How to Ask for a Raise: Negotiating Your Salary Increase with Ease and Confidence to Get the Raise You Want and Deserve)
The primary group is composed of people with whom you are intimately involved, including your immediate family and close friends.....Rivalries certainly occur among primary groups, such as the nineteenth-century blood feud between the Harfields and McCoys and the seemingly endless battle for the White House between the Bush and Clinton dynasties. (Rivalries are also common within families, but that's a topic for another books, or perhaps for therapy.) But rivalries are more often seen among secondary groups--the participants have chosen to identify with an institution or group, and in some way they are measuring themselves against an alternative that represents an opposing point of view.
Steven Hyden
Larry King Larry King is one of the premier figures in American broadcasting, and his show, Larry King Live, on CNN, is one of the longest-running television programs currently on the air. The summer of 2007 will mark his fiftieth anniversary in broadcasting. I first met Princess Diana at a party in Los Angeles. As at so many parties in LA, there were famous people from all walks of life--actors, broadcasters, executives, authors, politicians, journalists. But there was only one princess, and she stood out from the crowd, talking and smiling and taking the time to give each person some personal attention. I kept her in the corner of my eye, waiting for an opportunity to talk to her. But she was spending so much time with every guest! Eventually, I made my way over to where she stood, and waited for a chance to finally meet this illustrious lady. Her pictures did not do her justice. I had seen her many times on TV and in the papers, of course, but seeing her in person was a whole new experience. She was absolutely beautiful. Her face was radiant, animated and full of life. She had honesty in her eyes, which made her approachable, and she had this uncanny ability to make everyone around her comfortable. I have interviewed thousands of people in my career, and this is a quality that I’ve always known is essential for a broadcaster. But for Diana, it seemed to come completely naturally. Within the first five seconds of meeting her, I felt like we had been friends for years. It was a big party and she was the star. Everybody wanted to talk to her. Not a big surprise--after all, she had interesting things to say about so many different topics. I always respected her work with land mines and AIDS, I knew her importance to the fashion world, and her role as a princess in the Royal Family made her one of the hottest topics of the tabloids. Yet she chatted about her sons and her friends with everybody--Diana was an extraordinary woman with an unassuming air, and it was an absolute pleasure to be in her presence. When we were introduced, her eyes lit up and she grabbed my hand. She said, “Oh, you’re Larry from the telly!” We laughed and spoke for a little while about our families, and I was amazed at how well she remembered all of the little details I mentioned. After all of the people she had met that night, she was bright-eyed and curious about everything. My only regret from the first time we met was that we didn’t have a few more hours to talk! I blushed when she mentioned a few interviews I had done earlier in the year. I didn’t know she had seen me on CNN. It was a warm, friendly greeting that I will never forget.
Larry King (The People's Princess: Cherished Memories of Diana, Princess of Wales, from Those Who Knew Her Best)
From the Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Behind “The Exciting Story of Cuba” It was on a rainy evening in January of 2013, after Captain Hank and his wife Ursula returned by ship from a cruise in the Mediterranean, that Captain Hank was pondering on how to market his book, Seawater One. Some years prior he had published the book “Suppressed I Rise.” But lacking a good marketing plan the book floundered. Locally it was well received and the newspapers gave it great reviews, but Ursula was battling allergies and, unfortunately, the timing was off, as was the economy. Captain Hank has the ability to see sunshine when it’s raining and he’s not one easily deterred. Perhaps the timing was off for a novel or a textbook, like the Scramble Book he wrote years before computers made the scene. The history of West Africa was an option, however such a book would have limited public interest and besides, he had written a section regarding this topic for the second Seawater book. No, what he was embarking on would have to be steeped in history and be intertwined with true-life adventures that people could identify with. Out of the blue, his friend Jorge suggested that he write about Cuba. “You were there prior to the Revolution when Fidel Castro was in jail,” he ventured. Laughing, Captain Hank told a story of Mardi Gras in Havana. “Half of the Miami Police Department was there and the Coca-Cola cost more than the rum. Havana was one hell of a place!” Hank said. “I’ll tell you what I could do. I could write a pamphlet about the history of the island. It doesn’t have to be very long… 25 to 30 pages would do it.” His idea was to test the waters for public interest and then later add it to his book Seawater One. Writing is a passion surpassed only by his love for telling stories. It is true that Captain Hank had visited Cuba prior to the Revolution, but back then he was interested more in the beauty of the Latino girls than the history or politics of the country. “You don’t have to be Greek to appreciate Greek history,” Hank once said. “History is not owned solely by historians. It is a part of everyone’s heritage.” And so it was that he started to write about Cuba. When asked about why he wasn’t footnoting his work, he replied that the pamphlet, which grew into a book over 600 pages long, was a book for the people. “I’m not writing this to be a history book or an academic paper. I’m writing this book, so that by knowing Cuba’s past, people would understand it’s present.” He added that unless you lived it, you got it from somewhere else anyway, and footnoting just identifies where it came from. Aside from having been a ship’s captain and harbor pilot, Captain Hank was a high school math and science teacher and was once awarded the status of “Teacher of the Month” by the Connecticut State Board of Education. He has done extensive graduate work, was a union leader and the attendance officer at a vocational technical school. He was also an officer in the Naval Reserve and an officer in the U.S. Army for a total of over 40 years. He once said that “Life is to be lived,” and he certainly has. Active with Military Intelligence he returned to Europe, and when I asked what he did there, he jokingly said that if he had told me he would have to kill me. The Exciting Story of Cuba has the exhilaration of a novel. It is packed full of interesting details and, with the normalizing of the United States and Cuba, it belongs on everyone’s bookshelf, or at least in the bathroom if that’s where you do your reading. Captain Hank is not someone you can hold down and after having read a Proof Copy I know that it will be universally received as the book to go to, if you want to know anything about Cuba! Excerpts from a conversation with Chief Warrant Officer Peter Rommel, USA Retired, Military Intelligence Corps, Winter of 2014.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
Meanwhile, the peculiar life of Athanarel continued. We did not have a king, yet the government was somehow carried forward, and foreign diplomats attended the constant round of social events, and they all seemed content with things as they were. Not so the more serious of the courtiers, but as yet the questions everyone most wanted to ask--“When will we have a king? Why does he wait?”--were as yet discussed only in quiet corners of informal parties and never by those most closely concerned. The weather curtailed outside activities. For now the races and picnics were set aside for inside diversions: readings, music, dancing, parties, chocolate, and talk. I think four new dances were introduced during that time, but what I really enjoyed was the resumption of sword work. Parties to pursue the martial arts were organized, and fencing tourneys replaced racing for those who liked competition. I competed only for fun, and no one bet on me, not even Savona, because, despite my enthusiasm, I wasn’t very good. Neither was Bran, though he shared my enthusiasm. The others who favored the blade had been well-trained from childhood, and our lack showed. But this did not stop either of us from trying. One of the topics of conversation was my party, which was perhaps the more anticipated because people kept inside perforce had more time to spend on their costumes. My own involvement with the preparations had escalated accordingly, about which I’ll have something to say anon. From Flauvic, of course, nothing was seen, nor did he entertain--but after enough days had passed that I had quite given up on him, I received a witty note, gracefully written by his own hand, stating that he would attend my party. And so, on the surface, all was serene enough. Tamara remained cool but friendly, and Nee told me over chocolate one morning when Elenet was not there that Tamara never mentioned me but in praise. Trishe held her weekly breakfast parties in her rooms at Khialem House; Deric and Geral continued to flirt with me; Savona continued his extravagant compliments; I was often in company with Shevraeth now, and we both smiled and conversed, but always, it seemed, with other people.
Sherwood Smith (Court Duel (Crown & Court, #2))
I was contemplating on why I wanted to share this with you, can you handle it, can you handle me being blunt, will you just judge me for revealing how I may feel towards a person, topic or even you, so with all that being said... I wasn't going to show this but I feel like a collection of people need to hear it, and also profusion of weak-minded individuals are scared to say the truth amongst the masses (which are their friends, strangers, and family members); the reason why they might be hesitant on sharing their thoughts on a "strange topic" may consist of fear of being judged, fear of being an outcast, being alone, failing your loved ones, staying in a box, remaining in the hands of poor choices of leaders, fitting into this category of "weirdos", and/or being placed in a barrel of deep-dark-matter, forming strange thoughts of abnormal voices and situations regarding inscrutable singleton/misfits. You tried comparing being cynical, introverted, using meaningless words of misfits, with being insane, psychotic, mentally deranged and "strange-minded" Really? if being motivated to be the very best of your abilities will take you, not knowing your own limits, never stopping until you have nothing left in your body and even then, you won't stop because you know, if you stop you may miss something significant, so then guess what; I assume I am a psychotic, deranged, mentally disturbed, insane, and strange-minded individual. but anyways, off topic, I'm always drawn towards the obscure, darker, deep-mined and vague individuals because I think it's just a lot more interesting. But it's also thought-provoking fun doing the meaningless antics sometimes, and I think that's why 'Misfits' have been great in that way, as you get a really good balance of unusual, obscured, introverted, thinks-loudly, randomness, provocative (in the way of, not caring what you may think of them, but keeping that mentality of self-respect and of others in mind), refreshing, and amusing. I will never understand the course of thought behind apotheosizing a person not knowing who they really are, it's strange, but whatever do you. Extra stuff: Like I said before, I honestly can care less what people have to tell me what I need to do in order to keep my sanity, composure, and how I may feel at this point in my life; but just know, I am in no way shape or form, saying everything that's happening in the world or in my life is all for a greater purpose, I'm simply saying, poor choices are a part of life, and if this is one of mine then so be it, I'll accept it as a learning experience, so peace out. PS: I am not directing this to anyone, in particular, it is just a series's concept, with underground meanings.
Judah Siler
twist his morality, but his choices are his own. Most importantly, the story delves into some topics of a sensitive nature, particularly sexual abuse and violence, though there is nothing graphic in the telling. I didn’t set out to write a book about those things, but they came up as part of the course of this tale, and I couldn’t avoid them. Before allowing some of the situations in this book, before writing them, I sought advice from a number of friends; people who have confided in me over the years. Several of them have been
Michael G. Manning (The Mountains Rise (Embers of Illeniel, #1))
On that topic, how are things going with Jared?” Holly inquired. “I want to interfere horribly in my friends’ love lives and keep my own embarrassing and pathetic one private, is that so much to ask?” “Mmm,” said Holly, and gave Kami a grin that reminded Kami of when Holly had been the sunny confident school goddess she had barely known and envied a little. “Now that you know that I’m not at all interested in Jared, is it inappropriate to say that I did get the impression that he might channel all those simmering repressed emotions in a useful way. I mean being explosively good in bed.” “Viking tiger in the sack, I have no doubt,” Kami said lightly, and felt a blush stage a hostile takeover of her neck and march up to claim the territory of her face
Sarah Rees Brennan (Unmade (The Lynburn Legacy, #3))
I blinked the stars out of my eyes. “Fancy seeing you here, Ex.” He gave me his smile of sexy confidence, dropped his backpack, and sank to the floor beside me. “What do you think of Davis and Liz?” My heart had absolutely no reason to skip a beat. He was not asking me out. He was asking me my opinion of my friend Liz and his friend Davis as a couple. That did not necessarily mean he was heeding public opinion that he and I were next to get together. Liz and Davis were a legitimate topic of gossip. I managed to say breezily, “Oh, they’ll get along great until they discuss where to go on a date. Then he’ll insist they go where she wants to go. She’ll insist they go where he wants to go. They’ll end up sitting in their driveway all night, fighting to the death over who can be more thoughtful and polite.” Nick chuckled, a low rumble in his chest. Because he’d sat down so close to me and our arms were touching, sort of, under layers and layers of clothing, I felt the vibration of his voice. But again, my heart had no reason—repeat, no reason—to skip two beats, or possibly three, just because I’d made Nick laugh. He made everybody feel this good about their stupid jokes.
Jennifer Echols (The Ex Games)
Above all, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is about the missing story of the mother. Tom Marvolo Riddle was named after his father and maternal grandfather, but we learn his mother Merope’s story to understand why Voldemort chose Harry to mark as his equal. Severus Snape bears the surname of his Muggle father, but in his magical textbook, he names himself after his witch mother, Eileen Prince. Harry hears about his father’s friends and about his mother herself, but on the topic of Harry’s mother’s friends, everyone is conspicuously silent.
Lorrie Kim (Snape: A Definitive Reading)
When spending quality time with friends, freely settle down for deep and meaningful conversations about any topics. This can help you maintain a strong bond with your soulmates.
Saaif Alam
The only sounds at the late hour were the faint jingle of a phone ringing in the nurses’ station, the ping of an elevator, the faraway sound of the wheels of a cart, and the gentle beep of Brandon’s vital signs monitor. They wouldn’t allow any flowers or personal items in the ICU, but Sloan had snuck in an engagement photo. It sat on the table next to the bed. Her and Brandon on the beach, the surf crashing around their feet, her tattooed arm over his shoulder, them looking at each other. Both of them laughing. I looked back at him and sighed. “You’re going to have some gnarly scars, buddy.” They’d started the skin grafts for the road rash on his arm. “But you’ll get to do everything you planned to do with your life. One of us is going to get the girl. I’ll help you any way I can. Even if I have to wheel your ass to the altar.” I could picture his smile. With any luck I’d see it in a few hours. A knock on the door frame turned me around in my chair. “Hey, cutie.” Valerie came into the room for her vitals check. She turned the lights up, and I stood and stretched. As if sleeping in a chair wasn’t hard enough, the activity every two hours was the final kicker. I wouldn’t call anything I did on these overnight shifts sleeping. Maybe napping, but not sleeping. Every two hours Brandon was moved. They checked his airways, changed out bags, looked at his vitals. I don’t know how Sloan was handling doing this almost nightly for the last three weeks. Sloan was a good woman. I’d always liked her, but now she’d earned my respect, and I was grateful Brandon and Kristen had her. “Did you decide what day you want to bring the kids to the station?” I asked Valerie, yawning. She cycled the blood pressure cuff on Brandon’s arm and smiled. “I’m thinking Tuesday. You on shift Tuesday?” “Yup.” She wrote down some notes on Brandon’s chart and then gave me a raised eyebrow. “Any updates with your lady friend?” I laughed a little. “No.” The whole nursing staff knew about my depressing love life. I’d gotten hit on a few too many times by some of the younger nurses. I couldn’t claim to have a girlfriend, and I wasn’t married, so it was either “I’m gay” or “I’m in love with that girl over there.” I’d gone with the latter, and now I wished I’d said I was gay. They didn’t know why Kristen wouldn’t date me, just that she wouldn’t. It had turned into the favorite topic of the ICU. A real-life episode of Grey’s Anatomy. I rarely got through a Brandon visit without it coming up. The drama escalated when Kristen had been hit on by the nurses’ favorite single orthopedic surgeon. According to the nurses’ gossip circuit, Kristen told him to go fuck himself. And apparently she’d actually said, “Go fuck yourself.” After that everyone was sure she was holding out for me. Only I knew better.
Abby Jimenez
Questions and topics for discussion 1) What do you think it means to be a Bossypants? Do you know anyone personally that you would describe as a Bossypants and did the society you live in ever try to drown her? 2) The lessons Tina has learned from her work as a writer, a boss, a performer, and a producer are lessons that can be carried across a wide array of disciplines. (For instance, from her instructions about improv: Always speak in statements.) Which moments resonated the most for you? 3) In Chapter 4, Tina realizes that she has been guilty of holding her gay friends to a double standard—enjoying their company but still expecting them to stay in a “half-closet.” Have you ever had a moment like this? In a related question, do you think young pop stars today experience too much pressure to pretend to be a lesbian with Madonna? 4) While working at the YMCA in Chicago, Tina experienced some personal low points. But it also propelled her into pursuing her improv career. Have you ever experienced a similarly transformative period? During your transformation, did you ever spin around and pretend to be Wonder Woman? 5) What are some of your favorite SNL sketches or 30 Rock episodes? Should we just act them out? 6) Which other celebrities, besides Kim Kardashian, do you think may have been engineered by Russian scientists to sabotage our athletes? 7) Are there more specifics you would add to “The Mother’s Prayer for Its Daughter”? 8) Tina writes a love letter to Amy Poehler. Do you have friends who inspire you in the same way that Amy inspires Tina? ACTIVITY: Write a love letter to Amy Poehler and mail it to her home address (p. 291).
Tina Fey (Bossypants)
When the first day of the festival had concluded, I retired early, my feet aching and my body exhausted. Narian had left us after our tour of the grounds, and I had not seen him since, although I hoped he would come to me now. He did, but even as he dropped through my window, he seemed distracted, far away inside his own head. I tried to engage him in conversation, but found it to be mostly one-sided, for I could not hold his interest. Though there was no smooth way to launch into the necessary topic, I did so anyway, doubtful that he was even listening. “Are you upset that your family was with us today?” I asked. “You invited them?” Judging by the tone of his voice, I had landed upon the correct issue. “Yes. It made sense to do so.” “I suppose,” he replied, but I knew the answer did not reflect his actual thoughts. “They’re old friends of my family, Narian. And I thought perhaps you would…enjoy seeing them again.” “Alera, they don’t want my company.” “Your mother does.” His eyes at last met mine. “I spoke to her about you. She would give up her husband to regain her son.” “I doubt that’s true,” he said with a short laugh. “It is,” I insisted, reaching out to run a hand through his hair. I might have changed her words a little, but I understood her intent. “She told me so herself. Believe it.” Narian stared at me, a flicker of hope on his face that quickly faded into his stoic façade. “Even if what you say is true,” he said at last, “in order to have a relationship with her, with my siblings, I need to have one with Koranis.” “You’re right,” I admitted, for my dinner at the Baron’s home had proven that to be the case. He sat on the bed beside me and drew one knee close to his chest. “Koranis doesn’t want to be anywhere near me, and to be honest, I have no interest in a relationship with him. I have no respect for him.” Narian read the sympathy in my eyes. “It’s all right, Alera. I don’t need a family.” “Maybe you don’t need one,” I said with a shrug, playing with the fabric of the quilt that lay between us. “But you deserve one.” I thought for a moment I had hit a nerve, but instead he made a joke out of it. “Just think--if I’d had Koranis as my father, I might have turned into him by now. I’d be brutish and pretentious, but at least my boastful garb would distract you from those flaws. Oh, and this hair you love? It would be gone.” I laughed at the ounce of truth in his statement, then fell silent, for some reason feeling sadder about his situation than he was.
Cayla Kluver (Sacrifice (Legacy, #3))
SOCRATES’ SCORN OF PEOPLE WHO REFUSE TO THINK Socrates had no patience for people who give up on stretching their minds because our reasoning so often falters and fails. He even coined a word for them: misologists—“haters of reasoning.” “It is a sad case,” he said, “when a man discovers that some of his cherished beliefs are false and therefore gives up on finding the truth. He should blame himself for failing to validate his belief, but instead he turns against thinking itself. So for the rest of his life he goes on hating reason and speaking ill of it.” Socrates would have recoiled from our common practice of dodging discussion of an important but controversial topic by saying, “You have your opinion, and I have mine. Let’s just agree to disagree.” To Socrates, this would have been an avoidance of the need to engage in dialogue, to be willing to test our convictions in the give-and-take of discussion. “Let us not let into our souls this idea that perhaps there is no soundness in reasoning,” he enjoined his friends. “Let us think instead that we ourselves are not yet sound, and struggle to become better thinkers.
Ronald Gross (Socrates' Way: Seven Keys to Using Your Mind to the Utmost)
As a former consultant, I can tell you that many tout engagement as a panacea. They measure engagement through a short questionnaire, typically including statements like: “I have a best friend at work,” “In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work,” or “My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.” My chief HR officer friends tell me that engagement surveys fail to tell them how to improve. If your scores are low, do you raise them by somehow convincing more employees to be best friends? Or, if profits are low, is the best fix to start praising people more? We do measure some similar topics at Google (along with dozens more), but don’t merge them into a single all-encompassing construct like engagement. We see better results by instead understanding very specific areas like career development or manager quality.
Laszlo Bock (Work Rules!: Insights from Inside Google That Will Transform How You Live and Lead)
And yet we constantly make the active choice to disengage. We listen to our headphones as we walk, run, take the subway. We check our phones when we are having dinner with our friends and family. We think of the next meeting while we are in the current one. In short, we occupy our minds with self-made memorization topics or distracting strings of numbers
quiet people get less practice meeting people and often turn up unprepared to discuss a wide range of topic with the people they do end up talking to. And this is why I stressed the importance earlier of taking a different view of what a conversation is about - making conversation with someone you don't know is all about discovering if this person is a good match, a potential long term friend. With this in mind you need to prepare for conversation before the social event rather than hoping to wing it when you're tense and nervous at the gathering.
Peter W. Murphy (Always Know What To Say - Easy Ways To Approach And Talk To Anyone)
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Many whites believe that if they are not talking about racism with their friends of color or if their friends are not giving them feedback about racism, then racism is a non-issue. But just because you and your friend don’t talk about racism does not mean it isn’t at play. Indeed, this silence is one of the ways that racism is manifest, for it is an imposed silence. Many people of color have told me that they initially tried to talk about racism with their white friends, but their friends got defensive or invalidated their experiences, so they stopped sharing their experiences. If racism is not a topic of discussion between a white person and a person of color who are friends, this absence of conversation may indicate a lack of cross-racial trust.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
It might be worth mentioning that at that moment I hated Laura, was glad her marriage had fallen apart, that her ceaseless trust in the world had at last been proven foolish. Finding friends in every city she moved to, marrying a man on the strength of what, who knows, everywhere manufacturing happiness, happiness, happiness. But her luck had run out. Her story was still the better story, but finally, thank god, she was miserable in it.
Miranda Popkey (Topics of Conversation)
I wondered if somehow Kate Chopin knew that The Awakening would outlive all the hypocrites who’d judged her for writing about a taboo topic. It wasn’t as if Tolstoy and Flaubert, as far as I knew, were labeled pariahs and shunned by all their turncoat friends after their big adultery novels were published.
Claire Greene
If racism is not a topic of discussion between a white person and a person of color who are friends, this absence of conversation may indicate a lack of cross-racial trust.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
I joined a bunch of Bible studies when I started following Jesus. Everyone around me was in at least one, so I thought there must be some rule or eleventh commandment and I had just missed it. We sat in circles, and I assumed we'd either start making friendship bracelets or start talking about Jesus. We ate chips and cookies, and I heard lots of opinions about every social topic, about whether it's okay to watch rated R movies, and about what words meant in Greek and Hebrew. It wasn't long before I started to feel bored with the whole thing. That's when some friends and I started a 'Bible Doing' group. We read what Jesus said and then schemed ways to actually go and do those things. It might sound strange, but think about it: Jesus never said, 'Study Me.' He said, 'Follow Me.' Jesus invited us to find people who don't have food and to get them something to eat. He said to hang out with people in prison. He said if you know someone who doesn’t have a place to stay, help them find one. He was all about doing things for widows and orphans, not becoming informed about them. Following Jesus is way more exciting than studying Him. Do we need to know the Scriptures? You bet. But don't stop there. Our faith can start to get confusing and boring when we exercise it by debating about it.
Bob Goff (Live in Grace, Walk in Love: A 365-Day Journey)
To add a note, highlight a single word, multiple words, or a sentence, then tap Note. Additional options include highlighting the selected text, sharing with friends on Goodreads and other social networks, and searching the book, all text, or the Kindle Store. Tap the Menu icon on the options bar to view more options, including opening the dictionary and reporting an error with the content. You can also swipe through the different cards to view the X-Ray topic (if available), dictionary definition, Wikipedia entry, and an option to translate the selected word. Notes will appear
Amazon (Kindle Paperwhite User's Guide)
Gertrude’s was an old diner on Main Street, six blocks west of the courthouse and three blocks south of the police station. It claimed to serve pecan waffles that were famous around the world, but Theo had often doubted this. Did people in Japan and Greece really know about Gertrude and her waffles? He wasn’t so sure. He had friends at school who’d never heard of Gertrude’s right there in Strattenburg. A few miles west of town, on the main highway, there was an ancient log cabin with a gas pump out front and a large sign advertising DUDLEY’S WORLD-FAMOUS MINT FUDGE. When Theo was younger, he naturally had assumed that everybody in town not only craved the mint fudge but talked about it nonstop. How else could it achieve the status of being world famous? Then one day in class the discussion took an odd turn and found its way to the topic of imports and exports.
John Grisham (Theodore Boone: The Abduction)
REPORTING PEOPLE - an epidemic in Poland? (as usual, just a topic to be discussed on a lesson) The topic of reporting people, an activity still widespread in post-Communist Poland, has cropped up during yesterday's family gathering at my place. Real-life examples of reporting on people: - one person works for a government agency. Someone has recently (2017) called their supervisor to report her, saying that her workload was insufficient, - some person was a lecturer at a university. He then set up his own private practice and started earning significantly more money than his university colleagues. He started being frequently called to come and present all his financial statements at the Revenue. Spending a significant amount of time there, he made friends with the investigator, who informed him those were his work colleagues who continually reported him, - when my Dad bought his first 'real' car after the fall of Communism, someone from the area called the Revenue to inform them of this fact. He had to demonstrate how he had paid for it, - in the past, I gave classes at a language school in Poznań. It seemed to me I had a great contact with the students and that they were satisfied with the course (always smiling, laughing and talking a lot...). I quit the language school, because I took up another course at the uni and the hours overlapped. After a while, some woman contacted me via social media, telling me that the students had been dissatisfied with my teaching, saying I covered the material in too slow a manner. I was 21 years old, the woman approximately 10-15 years older (so you'd expect some more maturity). It came as a shock to me, as I had really not noticed any dissatisfaction and I really cared a lot about the students' satisfaction with the course. Fortunately, I later met a woman who had been one of the students at the course, and it turned out the students had actually been dissatisfied with HER teaching, saying her pace was too FAST. (It was a beginner's course for older people who had had no contact with English...). She invited me for a coffee and explained to me a few things. For example people's capacity for lying. She was a manager at a government agency, so she must have had some experience. - some coffee has also become a subject of me being reported recently. Thank you for your attention ;) feel free to disagree
There were eight simple lessons in plain language anybody could understand, and I studied them just a few hours a night, then started practising on the wife. Soon found I could talk right up to the Super and get due credit for all the good work I did. They began to appreciate me and advance me fast, and say, old doggo, what do you think they're paying me now? $6,500 per year! And say, I find I can keep a big audience fascinated, speaking on any topic. As a friend, old boy, I advise you to send for circular (no obligation) and valuable free Art Picture to:— SHORTCUT EDUCATIONAL PUB. CO. Desk WA Sandpit, Iowa. ARE YOU A 100 PERCENTER OR A 10 PERCENTER?
Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt)
Our Ideal Citizen—I picture him first and foremost as being busier than a bird-dog, not wasting a lot of good time in day-dreaming or going to sassiety teas or kicking about things that are none of his business, but putting the zip into some store or profession or art. At night he lights up a good cigar, and climbs into the little old 'bus, and maybe cusses the carburetor, and shoots out home. He mows the lawn, or sneaks in some practice putting, and then he's ready for dinner. After dinner he tells the kiddies a story, or takes the family to the movies, or plays a few fists of bridge, or reads the evening paper, and a chapter or two of some good lively Western novel if he has a taste for literature, and maybe the folks next-door drop in and they sit and visit about their friends and the topics of the day. Then he goes happily to bed, his conscience clear, having contributed his mite to the prosperity of the city and to his own bank-account.
Sinclair Lewis (Babbitt)
His anxiety melted away, and he envied Patricia for having such charming friends. If this had been a gathering of Laurence’s tribe, by now someone would already have tried to prove they were the supreme expert on some topic. There would have been dick-measuring. Instead, these people just seemed to accept one another and feed each other tacos.
Charlie Jane Anders (All the Birds in the Sky)
I’m certainly not going to tell him about this. And neither are you. None of us needs the useless stress that would create. Don’t even get me started on the topic of how many of my friends he fucked during visits home after I left for college. Besides, we’re grown adults, Rafe. We can fuck whoever we want to fuck. I certainly don’t tell him who to—” “Please stop saying that.” He couldn’t breathe.
Skye Jordan (Dirty Score (Rough Riders Hockey, #3))
I see you have a friend.” Anna nodded at the bear. “A guardian bear, Rose claims.” The earl again brought the bear up to face him and frowned thoughtfully. “He seems a solid sort, if a bit reserved.” “Rather like the viscount.” “Douglas?” The earl smiled at her characterization. “Don’t underestimate him, as my father and I did. He appears to be a proper little Puritan, tending his acres and adoring his wife, but Heathgate, Greymoor, and Fairly all listen when Douglas deigns to address a topic.” “He does seem to adore his viscountess, but I believe he is just a protective sort of man in general.” “Protective?” The earl considered the word, but his brain was becoming as creaky as the rest of him. “Perhaps. He certainly dotes on Rose and would cheerfully strangle any who sought to do her harm.
Grace Burrowes (The Heir (Duke's Obsession, #1; Windham, #1))
Meeting and Greeting 1. Use eye contact and smiling as your first contact with others. In doing so, you can scout out the friendly, approachable strangers in the room and feel immediately more at ease. 2. Be the first to say hello. Stay calm if you are left alone to mingle—large parties, forgetful hosts, and friendly guests make this situation inevitable. 3. Introduce yourself to others. Offer your hand and say: “Hello. My name is . . .” 4. As you shake hands, repeat the person’s name. “Nice to meet you, Jack.” This will help imprint the name in your own mind. 5. Make an extra effort to remember names and use them in conversation: “Don’t you agree, Jim?” This makes people feel special. 6. Go out of your way to meet new people. They may feel as out of place as you do: “Hi, I don’t believe we’ve met yet, I’m . . . “ or “I don’t know a soul.” 7. Ask neutral questions that are easy to answer to convey the message that you’d like to get to know this person better. 8. Be prepared to say something interesting about what you do—but in small doses. No one wants to hear you talk exclusively about yourself. 9. Communicate a sense of enthusiasm about the event at hand or life in general. Focus on the positive. 10. Look for passing comments that could open up a whole topic of conversation. “The New York subways were a real experience for this country boy” could lead to a discussion of childhood on the farm, adjusting to city life, public transportation. . . . Clothes, jewelry, and accessories also make excellent conversation pieces. It’s up to you to take the conversational ball and run with it, but be sure to pass it back to your teammate from time to time.
Jonathan Berent
SELF-DISCLOSURE In order to begin to reveal to your new acquaintance who you really are, it is helpful to discuss topics that are important to you. Be willing, as the conversation progresses, to share your beliefs, values, attitudes, and goals. These reveal a deeper level of what you are about. Self-disclosure includes facts, thoughts, ideas, aspirations, and deepest feelings. The trick is timing. You don’t want to reveal the really intimate, personal aspects of your life until you have known a person for some time, but you can build trust by gradually revealing your interests, hopes, and background. Sufficient mutual trust must be established so that both parties are comfortable. Then, more intimate details can be shared. Levels Three Levels of Self-Disclosure There is a pattern of increased trust and intimacy. Becoming familiar with it may help you to develop a sense of timing when it comes to self-disclosure. 1. Cliché greetings: Responses to questions like “How are you?” and “How’s the family?” Your basic answer should be brief and as positive as possible. This tells the person that your attitude is open, friendly, and available for conversation. 2. Background of experiences: Your job, where you’re from, what you do for fun, activities you’re involved in. At this stage, people actually begin to know each other. 3. Opinions and preferences: Your attitudes, values, and concerns. Dont's Some Conversational Don’ts 1. Talking about illnesses in detail. 2. Stating your opinions in a way that puts down anyone who disagrees. 3. Gossiping or speaking badly of others. 4. Spending too much time talking about yourself. 5. Revealing all your personal problems. 6. Using terminology or jargon unfamiliar to others. 7. Dominating the conversation.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
Cancer is another forbidden or “whisper” topic. I read about a writer named Emily McDowell who said the worst part of being diagnosed with lymphoma wasn’t feeling sick from chemo or losing her hair. “It was the loneliness and isolation I felt when many of my close friends and family members disappeared because they didn’t know what to say, or said the absolute wrong thing without realizing it.” In response, Emily created “empathy cards.” I love them all but these two are my favorites, making me want to laugh and cry simultaneously.
Sheryl Sandberg (Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy)
Three Opening Topics of Conversation Use your information-gathering skills to devise topics that would interest you both. As your conversation proceeds, listen carefully to the answers to your questions; they will provide you with material for further conversation. 1. The situation you’re both in. For example, if you meet someone in a continuing-education class, you know that you share an interest in learning, as well as in the topic of the course itself. Questions such as “Have you taken other adult education classes?” or “How did you become interested in English history?” should get the ball rolling. If you meet someone at a party, you might start off by talking about how you know the people throwing the party. “Oh, you and Bob went to sailing camp together? Do you still sail?” And so on. Take your cues from them, and let them know you are interested by following up—both verbally with questions, and nonverbally with your body language. 2. The other person. First, observe what the person is doing, wearing, saying, or reading. Look for things you share in common, or find something that you’d like to know more about. (But watch their body language to be sure they are approachable. A person who is busy changing a tire or engrossed in a book may not want to be disturbed, even by friendly, approachable you.) 3. Yourself. Talking about yourself is a step leading toward conversational intimacy. But it is only effective if you provide an easy way for you intended companion to turn the conversation around to him or her. A compliment such as “I wish I had your sense of color” starts out with you, but focuses on the other person. It makes her feel immediately appreciated, and offers her a chance to take the conversation further if she likes. When someone mentions something you know about or like, indicate it by nodding or by a short sentence (“I’ve been interested in gardening for years!”). Be careful not to talk about yourself too much—especially at first. That can be a real turnoff.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
She came across as charming and efficient, but problems erupted as soon as she started. Two of my best people threatened to quit, so I took her off the project.” I could barely watch as she laughed and yakked like an intimate friend of both Ian’s and Baldacchio’s. On tonight of all nights, the opening of Abraham’s exhibition. I had to wonder, was she here because of me? Everyone in the business knew he’d been my teacher and mentor. Was I completely paranoid? I would’ve loved to pursue the topic of Minka’s shortcomings and find out how in the world she’d finagled a job at the Covington in the first place, but Abraham’s friend Doris interrupted us just then, grabbing Abraham’s arm and giving it a vigorous shake. “Now, what were you yelling about, old man?” she said. I almost snorted. “Doris Bondurant,” Abraham said formally, “I’d like to introduce my former assistant and now my greatest competition, Brooklyn Wainwright. Brooklyn, this is my old friend Doris Bondurant.” “Watch who you’re calling old, buster,” she said, and elbowed Abraham in
Kate Carlisle (Homicide in Hardcover (Bibliophile Mystery, #1))
Changing Topics Changing topics gracefully is the hallmark of an excellent conversationalist. Changing topics keeps the conversation fresh and allows you to explore further ideas of mutual interest. And if you detect that your conversational partner is uncomfortable with a subject, or not interested in it, changing the topic will be tactful and greatly appreciated. Good conversations usually move naturally from one subject to the next. Sometimes, the movement will be to a somewhat unrelated area. The important thing is to go with the flow. The best way to change the subject is to guide the conversation based on information you were given earlier. Suppose your conversation focuses on volleyball, and your partner mentions having enjoyed volleyball on the beach in Florida last month. As the discussion of volleyball winds down, you might elect to return to the topic of Florida—when and where your partner visited, what places you are familiar with or would like to see, and so on. A second way to change subjects is to branch off from the “available” topics by referring to the event at hand: At a party: “Have you tried the crab dip? It’s really terrific.” “Can I freshen your drink?” “I simply must have some more chicken wings. The sauce is amazing!” At a book club meeting: “I wanted to go and compliment the author. I see he’s free now.” These are friendly gestures, and leave open two possibilities: the chance for a graceful exit on either part, or the possibility of continuing the conversation at the refreshment table or in line near the author. It’s important to be able to change subjects quickly if you sense that your companion is losing interest or is sensitive to something you’ve touched upon (body language will tell you if words do not). Providing easy outs is the considerate thing to do.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
dialogue led participants not to certainty but to a shocking realization of the profundity of human ignorance. However carefully, logically, and rationally Socrates and his friends analyzed a topic, something always eluded them.
Karen Armstrong (Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life)
Work hard. Work dirty. Choose your favourite spade and dig a small, deep hole; located deep in the forest or a desolate area of the desert or tundra. Then bury your cell phone. And then find a hobby. Actually, 'hobby' is not a weighty enough word to represent what I am trying to get across. Let's use 'discipline' instead. If you engage in a discipline or do something with your hands, instead of kill time on your phone device, then you have something to show for your time when you're done. Cook. Play music. Sew. Carve. Shit, bedazzle! Or, maybe not bedazzle. The arrhythmic is quite simple, instead of playing Draw Something, fucking draw something. Take the cleverness you apply to Words with Friends and utilize it to make some kick ass corn bread, Corn Bread with Friends - try that game. I'm here to tell you that we've been duped on a societal level. My favourite writer, Wendell Berry writes on this topic with great eloquence, he posits that we've been sold a bill of goods claiming that work is bad. That sweating and working especially if soil or saw dust is involved are beneath us. Our population especially the urbanites, has largely forgotten that working at a labor that one loves is actually a privilege.
Nick Offerman
Complaining     “I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).     God hates complaining. In the Old Testament, God rescued the Israelites from 400 years of slavery in Egypt. They had a miraculous escape through the Red Sea and were on their way to the Promised Land. Yet only two of the original group actually arrived at the final destination. The rest perished in the desert. Why? One contributing factor was their complaining.   First, they complained that they had no food so God graciously provided manna. This was food that miraculously appeared each morning for them to collect for their families for the day. However, it wasn’t long before they complained about the manna. They even went so far as to say that they preferred their lives of slavery in Egypt to another day of eating manna.   I’m disgusted by their ungratefulness. They were a complaining, grumbling bunch that couldn’t see how good they actually had it. They were constantly looking for the bad in their situation instead of focusing on how God had favoured them, heard their cries, saved them from slavery, and provided for them on their way to the Promised Land.   However, it’s easy for me to pass judgment on them as I read about their story in the Bible. It’s obvious to me what they did wrong. But I was recently convicted of my own behaviour. Some days I am no better than those complainers.   I can think specifically of a job I received. This job was a miracle from God in itself. My two co-workers had been waiting over three years to get this job – I had just applied a month before. It was only part-time hours so it allowed me to continue to pursue my other interests and hobbies. It was close to my home, within the hours that my children were at school and doing what I love to do – teach.   However, when I was first offered the job I complained about the topic I would be teaching – accounting. It was not my first love. I would have preferred to teach creative writing or marketing – something fun. But accounting? I balked. Then I complained about the cost of parking. Then I complained that I had to share an office. Then I complained that my mailbox was too high, the water was too cold, the photocopier was too far away, the computer was too slow – well, you get the point. Instead of focusing on the answer to prayer, I focused on the little irritants about which to complain.   Finally, I started to complain about the students – one particular student. She would come to class with a snarl and sit in the back of the classroom with her arms crossed, feet up and a scowl that would scare crows away. It seemed to me that she not only hated the topic I was teaching, but she also hated the teacher.   Each day, I returned home and complained to my husband about this particular student. Things didn’t improve. She became more and more despondent and even poisoned the entire class with her sickly attitude. I complained more. I complained to other teachers and my friends; anyone who dared to ask the question, “How do you enjoy teaching?”  
Kimberley Payne (Feed Your Spirit - a collection of devotionals on prayer)
Rosenhead did not speak Spanish and worked through bilingual officials from the Planning Ministry. Over the years he wrote dozens of reports on multiple topics—energy, industry, transport, finance, housing. Once, he said, he was given two days to write six reports on six different subjects. He dutifully churned them all out and submitted them. And then . . . nothing. He asked his minders about the fate of the reports. They shrugged. He asked about the president’s plan to integrate decision making across state agencies. Blank looks. He asked about his transport recommendations. Silence. He asked for responses to his studies on infrastructure and finance. There weren’t any. When Rosenhead challenged Giordani over the information vacuum, his friend smiled enigmatically and said such was a consultant’s fate. “No feedback, none at all,” said Rosenhead. “Quite extraordinary. This is the only place where this happens.” The professor said he had heard rumors the country’s infrastructure was in trouble. “I get the impression Chávez has applied the concepts of operational research in ways I would not.” He paused and sipped his rum. “Maybe if it was a more organized country, operational research would work here.
Rory Carroll (Comandante: Hugo Chávez's Venezuela)
assessing Ronald Reagan. There are so many basic questions that even his friends cannot quite figure out, such as (to start with the most basic one): Was he smart? From the brilliant-versus-clueless question flows even more complex ones. Was he a visionary who clung to a few verities, or an amiable dunce who floated obliviously above facts and nuances? Was he a stubborn ideological coot or a clever negotiator able to change course when dealing with Congress and the Soviets and movie moguls? Was he a historic figure who stemmed the tide of government expansion and stared down Moscow, or an out-of-touch actor who bloated the deficit and deserves less credit than Gorbachev for ending the cold war? The most solidly reported biography of Reagan so far—indeed, the only solidly reported biography—is by the scrupulously fair newspaperman Lou Cannon, who has covered him since the 1960s. Edmund Morris, who with great literary flair captured the life of Theodore Roosevelt, was given the access to write an authorized biography, but he became flummoxed by the topic; he took an erratic swing by producing Dutch, a semifictionalized ruminative bio-memoir, thus fouling off his precious opportunity. Both Garry Wills in his elegant 1987 sociobiography, Reagan’s America, and Dinesh D’Souza in his 1997 delicate drypoint, Ronald Reagan, do a good job of analyzing why he was able to make such a successful connection with the American people.
Walter Isaacson (American Sketches: Great Leaders, Creative Thinkers & Heroes of a Hurricane)
Michelle Phan grew up in California with her Vietnamese parents. The classic American immigrant story of the impoverished but hardworking parents who toil to create a better life for the next generation was marred, in Phan’s case, by her father’s gambling addiction. The Phan clan moved from city to city, state to state, downsizing and recapitalizing and dodging creditors and downsizing some more. Eventually, Phan found herself sleeping on a hard floor, age 16, living with her mother, who earned rent money as a nail salon worker and bought groceries with food stamps. Throughout primary and secondary school, Phan escaped from her problems through art. She loved to watch PBS, where painter Bob Ross calmly drew happy little trees. “He made everything so positive,” Phan recalls. “If you wanted to learn how to paint, and you wanted to also calm down and have a therapeutic session at home, you watched Bob Ross.” She started drawing and painting herself, often using the notes pages in the back of the telephone book as her canvas. And, imitating Ross, she started making tutorials for her friends and posting them on her blog. Drawing, making Halloween costumes, applying cosmetics—the topic didn’t matter. For three years, she blogged her problems away, fancying herself an amateur teacher of her peers and gaining a modest teenage following. This and odd jobs were her life, until a kind uncle gave her mother a few thousand dollars to buy furniture, which was used instead to send Phan to Ringling College of Art and Design. Prepared to study hard and survive on a shoestring, Phan, on her first day at Ringling, encountered a street team which was handing out free MacBook laptops, complete with front-facing webcams, from an anonymous donor. Phan later told me, with moist eyes, “If I had not gotten that laptop, I wouldn’t be here today.
Shane Snow (Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success)
From The Bridge” by Captain Hank Bracker Mundane Happenings Life is just packed with “Mundane Happenings!” It’s the mundane happenings that usually take the most time and they always seem to interfere, just about when you want to do something really important. Let’s start with mundane things that are routine, like doing the dishes and taking out the garbage. The list for a single person might be a little less involved or complicated but it would be every bit as important as that of a married couple or people with lots of children or even pets. Oh yes, for some the list of mundane responsibilities would include washing clothes and taking the children to their activities. You know what I mean… school, sports, hobbies, their intellectual endeavors and the like. For most of us beds have to be made, the house has to be kept clean, grass has to be cut and the flowers have to be pruned. Then there are the seasonal things, such as going trick or treating, buying the children everything they need before school starts or before going to summer camp. Let’s not forget Christmas shopping as well as birthdays and anniversaries. This list is just an outline of mundane happenings! I’m certain that you can fill in any of these broad topics with a detailed account of just how time consuming these little things can be. Of course we could continue to fill in our calendar with how our jobs consume our precious time. For some of us our jobs are plural, meaning we have more than one job or sometimes even more than that. I guess you get the point… it’s the mundane happenings that eat up our precious time ferociously. Blink once and the week is gone, blink twice and it’s the month and then the year and all you have to show for it, is a long list of the mundane things you have accomplished. Would you believe me, if I said that it doesn’t have to be this way? Really, it doesn’t have to, and here is what you can do about it. First ask yourself if you deserve to recapture any of the time you are so freely using for mundane things. Of course the answer should be a resounding yes! The next question you might want to ask yourself is what would you do with the time you are carving out for yourself? This is where we could part company, however, whatever it is it should be something personal and something that is fulfilling to you! For me, it became a passion to write about things that are important to me! I came to realize that there were stories that needed to be told! You may not agree, however I love sharing my time with others. I’m interested in hearing their stories, which I sometimes even incorporate into my writings. I also love to tell my stories because I led an exciting life and love to share my adventures with my friends and family, as well as you and future generations. I do this by establishing, specifically set, quiet time, and have a cave, where I can work; and to me work is fun! This is how and where I wrote The Exciting Story of Cuba, Suppressed I Rise, now soon to be published as a “Revised Edition” and Seawater One…. Going to Sea! Yes, it takes discipline but to me it’s worth the time and effort! I love doing this and I love meeting new friends in the process. Of course I still have mundane things to do…. I believe it was the astronaut Allen Shepard, who upon returning to Earth from the Moon, was taking out the garbage and looking up saw a beautifully clear full Moon and thought to himself, “Damn, I was up there!” It’s the accomplishment that makes the difference. The mundane will always be with us, however you can make a difference with the precious moments you set aside for yourself. I feel proud about the awards I have received and most of all I’m happy to have recorded history as I witnessed it. My life is, gratefully, not mundane, and yours doesn’t have to be either.” Captain Hank Bracker, author of the award winning book “The Exciting Story of Cuba.
Hank Bracker (The Exciting Story of Cuba: Understanding Cuba's Present by Knowing Its Past)
No one can identify the uninformed until they voice their ignorance about a topic. Silence is a fool’s best friend. Sadly, he is often too foolish to realize it.
Carlos Wallace (The Other 99 T.Y.M.E.S: Train Your Mind to Enjoy Serenity)
They would talk about the bridge game they had played the night before with two friends. The main topic of conversation had been a Kansas City murder in which a woman had killed her husband over a hand of bridge. “You be dumb,” Ace told Jane (as he reconstructed it years later for Jerome Beatty of American Magazine): “I’ll try to explain the finer points of bridge, and why murder is sometimes justified.
John Dunning (On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio)
To give just one example of what the inside of this world (largely upper-class and Oxbridge world of wealth, power, and privilege) looked like: Huxley sent the UNESCO documents to his close friend the English poet Stephen Spender. In his reply, from his regular retreat at the Chalet Waldegg in Gstaad, Switzerland, Spender says that he won't burden Huxley with his own views on human rights, since he doesn't have anything 'worth saying' on the topic, but then goes on to suggest that Huxley send the documents to some of his acquaintances. This curious list of the great and the good includes the psychiatrist and philosopher Karl Jaspers, the first and second president of Czechoslovakia, the Italian philosopher Benedetto Croce, Isaiah Berlin, A.J. Ayer, and W.H. Auden. Spender even gives Huxley some advice about whom to avoid: 'I honestly don't think there are any outstanding Belgians.
Mark Goodale (Letters to the Contrary: A Curated History of the UNESCO Human Rights Survey)
you should become the type of person you would like to get to know. You prefer someone who actively skydives over someone who watches television all day. You prefer someone who has something to teach you in an interesting subject. You prefer someone who displays passion and has opinions on a wide range of topics. Are you this person?
Patrick King (Better Small Talk: Talk to Anyone, Avoid Awkwardness, Generate Deep Conversations, and Make Real Friends (How to be More Likable and Charismatic Book 6))
even if you follow these steps, sometimes people either aren’t willing to engage or not good at opening up themselves. You can blast past this by using forms of elicitation, in which you put forth a topic or question in a way that a person will feel compelled to engage or elaborate. These take the form of prompting the person to reply to your recognition, encouraging mutual complaining, assisting your naiveté, and correcting your incorrect assumption or information.
Patrick King (Better Small Talk: Talk to Anyone, Avoid Awkwardness, Generate Deep Conversations, and Make Real Friends (How to be More Likable and Charismatic Book 6))
(Of course, the best topics are always somewhat inappropriate. Very few topics are truly inappropriate—you just have to speak about those topics in an appropriate manner.)
Patrick King (Better Small Talk: Talk to Anyone, Avoid Awkwardness, Generate Deep Conversations, and Make Real Friends (How to be More Likable and Charismatic Book 6))
Neurodivergent Checklist Time Blindness: Many neurodivergent people have trouble properly perceiving time as it passes. It either goes by too quickly or slowly. The perception of time depends on the level of stimulation the neurodivergent person is dealing with. It also can vary depending on what you’re focused on. If you’ve ever found yourself unable to account for time, you may be neurodivergent. Executive Dysfunction: This is what you experience when you want to accomplish a task, but despite how hard you try, you cannot see it through. Executive dysfunction happens for various reasons, depending on the type of neurodivergence in question. Still, the point is that this is a common occurrence in neurodivergent people. Task Multiplication: What is task multiplication? It happens when you set off to accomplish one thing but have to do a million other things, even though that wasn’t your original plan. For instance, you may want to sit down to finish some writing, only to notice water on the floor. You get up to grab a mop, and on the way, you notice the laundry you were supposed to drop off at the dry cleaners. Stooping to pick up the bag, you find yourself at eye level with your journal and remember you were supposed to make an entry the previous day, so you’re going to do that now. On and on it goes. Inconsistent Sleep Habits: This depends on what sort of neurodivergence you’re dealing with and if you’ve got comorbid disorders. Most importantly, neurodivergent people sleep more or less than “regular” people. You may also notice that your sleep habits fluctuate a lot. Sometimes you may sleep for eight hours at a stretch for a week, only to suddenly start running on just three hours of sleep. Emotional Dysregulation: With many neurodivergent people, it’s hard to keep emotions in check. Emotional dysregulation occurs in extreme emotions, sudden mood swings, or inappropriate emotional reactions (either not responding to the degree they should or overreacting). Hyperfixation: This also plays out differently depending on the brand of neurodivergence in question. Often, neurodivergent people get very involved in topics or hobbies to the point of what others may think of as obsession. Picking Up on Subtleties but Missing the Obvious: Neurodivergent people may struggle with picking up on things neurotypical people can see easily. At the same time, they are incredibly adept at noticing the subtle things everyone else misses. Sensory Sensitivities: If you’re neurodivergent, you may be unable to ignore your clothes tag scratching your back, have trouble hearing certain sounds, and can’t quite deal with certain textures of clothing, food, and so on. Rejection Sensitivity: Neurodivergent people are often more sensitive to rejection than others due to neurological differences and life experiences. For instance, children with ADHD get much more negative feedback than their peers without ADHD. Neurodivergent people are often rejected to the point where they notice rejection even when it’s not there.
Instant Relief (Neurodivergent Friendly DBT Workbook: Coping Skills for Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Panic, Stress. Embrace Emotional Wellbeing to Thrive with Autism, ADHD, Dyslexia and Other Brain Differences)
This blond Brett boy was very tall. And in his disposition seemed an incompleteness. People who talked to Brett usually first referenced his height. Thus, a compliment or statement regarding his figure was the first thing he heard. Andrei could imagine that the first fraction of every conversation in his life had to do with how tall he was. And since conversations did not last that long, Brett had mastered the form of receiving the compliment, but compared to folks with a shorter body, had a considerably lower percentage of conversations in his life about other things. It was merely the way it had turned out. The world acknowledged Brett’s height and Brett monopolized this attention and innocently adjusted by mentioning his height for all sorts of topics—for being the butt of jokes, for flirtation, to compete in the quiet dance of masculine dominance in rooms that men knew so well. Andrei located the offness to him—a certain naïve, boyish way Brett spoke and moved. If Andrei and Brett had been the same age, not in a hotel restroom, and most importantly, friends, Andrei would have offered him some advice: “Accept comments on your height quickly, my friend, and then never address it again. Change the topic fast and carry on. You don’t want to lose out on the higher picture.” And the same words would apply to every living thing: “Rather than be swayed, strike through everything you do. Your mighty sword is your identity, not mirrors, reflections, or other eyeballs.
Karl Kristian Flores (A Happy Ghost)