life-skills

How to Start a Conversation When You Have Nothing to Talk About

Starting a conversation to get to know someone or breaking an awkward silence can be very stressful. To start a conversation when you have nothing to talk about, use these guidelines.

1. Introduce yourself if necessary. If you don’t know the person, breaking the ice is very simple: look approachable, tell the new person your name, offer your hand to shake, and smile.
2. Remark on the location or occasion. Look around and see if there is anything worth pointing out. Examples of location or occasion comments include: “This is a gorgeous room!”, or “Great dog!”
3. Ask an open-ended question. Most people love to talk about themselves, and open questions can help with this. These require an explanation for an answer rather than just a simple yes or no. Open questions tend to begin with who, when, what, why, where, and how.
4. Keep the conversation going with small talk. This keeps the conversation light and simple, and helps to establish similarities.
5. Synchronize. Once the other person has started talking, follow his or her cues to keep the conversation going smoothly. Use active listening to reflect what they’re saying and, perhaps, feeling.
6. Helpful techniques and cues to convey your interest include: Say the other person’s name from time to time; give encouraging feedback (by nodding, saying “ah-ha”, “wow’, “oh” “That’s amazing!”, etc.); keep your body language open and welcoming; and make comfortable, genuine eye contact with the person.
7. Be aware of your internal monologue. When you suddenly feel that you’re not able to engage in conversation with someone else, it’s likely that you’re saying negative things to yourself. For example, you may be worrying that you’re boring, not good enough, too unimportant, intruding, wasting their time, and so on. Try to keep in mind that everyone has these self-doubts from time to time.
8. Respond thoughtfully to someone who remains awkward or uncomfortable. If he or she appears withdrawn and uninterested, don’t persist for too long. Try a bit more, and then make the decision to move on and talk to somebody else. Also, be careful not to ask too many questions as they may feel shy discussing themselves.

Source: http://www.wikihow.com/Start-a-Conversation-When-You-Have-Nothing-to-Talk-About (Adapted)

How to Do Your Laundry Without Ruining Your Wardrobe

Doing laundry for yourself is like a rite of passage most of you should earn in your teens, but the sad fact of the world is that the majority of you still have your mommies washing your clothes every holiday break til you graduate college. Whenever it happens, this is something you gotta learn and if you do it wrong, there can be some disastrous consequences for your clothing, so let’s get it right.

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Here’s a tip for neurotypical (or other socially comfortable) people.

Sometimes you may notice a person hanging around at the edges of a group not saying anything. They may seem awkward, intent, or bored. Often, people do this because they’re interested in the conversation and would like to be part of it, but don’t know what to say to join in. Sometimes the situation makes it particularly difficult for them to join in without invitation. Maybe the conversation is moving very fast and doesn’t have a lot of pauses. Maybe there’s a lot of background noise and it’s difficult to hear the conversation in the first place. Maybe the person hanging around has been admonished for interrupting or saying the wrong thing enough when young that they are afraid to do anything that would remotely look like interrupting now.

“ Not everyone can just walk up to people and start chatting, even if they have a reason to. I have missed countless opportunities to talk to people because I am clueless as to how to get a conversation started. I am pretty sure I have also looked like a strange person hanging around because I will stand next to people hoping I can say something at some point and get magically included (it never happens).” - Laura Negmo, talking about accessible conferences

If you’re in the group, take a moment to address a comment to the person hanging around. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself and ask them what they think about the topic under discussion. If you are as hyperfocused as I am, it may be hard to pause the flow and let someone else in, but it only takes a moment, and the extra person can usually only improve the conversation. A neurotypical should have no problem with this.

My Personal 3 Steps to Success

1) Think of the specific thing you need to get done and whatever steps might be involved.

2) Take several deep breaths. Promptly hyper-focus as intensely as you can, and feel your senses become concise.

3) Immediately start with step one of your plan. After an hour of work take a 15 minute break, and repeat from step 2 until you accomplish your goal. Also, if you find yourself being horrendously distracted, which happens to me more than I’d like to admit, start over from step 1.

With the help of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, Stanford University is launching program designed to teach students the basics of choosing groceries, cooking and eating healthy. The Teaching Kitchen @ Stanford also wants to inspire students, get them excited about food, and allow them the opportunity to gain confidence in their cooking.

As Jamie Oliver would say – gorgeous!

Cooking 101: Stanford Adds Healthy Eating Skills To The Curriculum

Photo: Courtesy of Stanford’s Residential and Dining Enterprises

Adulting wisely and unwisely

There are wise and unwise ways of trying to be more adult. You want to catch yourself if you’re doing both.

Wise ways of being more adult are things like: 

  • tracking your expenses, and putting spare cash in savings for things you Need, instead of blowing it on Wants, like accessories and video games
  • being respectful and decent toward other people, even if you’ve got difficult Feelings about them
  • learning how to eat healthy, buy groceries, and prepare meals
  • developing enough independent living skills that you could completely take care of yourself if you lived alone in your own apartment (even if your health, finances, or relationships mean that you wouldn’t) 
  • doing household chores without being asked, and without complaining about it… including chores that aren’t traditionally associated with your gender

You can tell you’re adulting wisely (”adulting” has been a verb for a couple years now) because you’re taking responsibility for things, you’re doing what you need to, and it works out. Even when it feels like a bummer in situations where you’re doing something challenging instead of something fun, you end up being glad you did it, because it makes your life easier later. It makes life easier for your friends and family, too. They get along with you better because you’re not making them do everything.

Unwise ways of being more adult are things like: 

  • pretending you don’t like your favorite things, because others say they’re for kids
  • throwing away your number one teddy bear, so your date won’t see you still have one
  • trying to like really grimdark movies (or other interests that you think are more mature than yours), even though they never feel very fun to you, they just make you feel kind of miserable or lost
  • using your credit card for everything
  • either swearing a lot, or using long words more than you need to, just because you think this is a more mature way to talk
  • being rude to your parents in an effort to look independent

You can tell you’re adulting unwisely if you’re doing something that feels like you’re being untrue to yourself, you regret it soon after, it offends others, and it doesn’t demonstrate responsibility. They even backfire and make you look childish in a bad way. You don’t have to do these things to be good at being an adult.

One unwise kind of adulting that snags a lot of people in this era: thinking that because you aren’t making art (or music, any medium) as well as your favorite professional, it means you can’t make art at all. You could make art just fine when you were a child, but as you grow up, you start judging it more harshly. 

Don’t fall for unwise adulting. Be true to yourself. Like what you like. Make your art. 

anonymous asked:

Tuff and different kind of question here ladies, how to master the heels and feel as comfy as sneakers :D ?

Now these are the kinds of questions I am 100% qualified and prepared to answer! I live in heels. I don’t even know the last time I wore sneakers.

  • Don’t wear brand new heels for really long stretches of time. If you know you’re going to work at 10-hour day, today is not the day for new shoes. Heels need to be broken in just like any other shoes.
  • Invest in comfy heels in the first place. My personal favorite is the Comfort Plus brand sold at Payless. These have cushioning built in and really give you great support on the arches.
  • You can buy gel inserts for all kinds of heels. There are other types of insoles, but I really swear by the gel ones. Buy the ones specifically designed for heels. Feel them first and make sure it gives you support where you need it (I need it on the toes, but you might need it in the arches). You can even buy some just for the toes for shoes that are open on the sides, but if you do that, buy one set for each pair and use the sticky backs to secure them, otherwise they’ll be all over the place.
  • Buy the right kind of heels for your feet. Everyone’s feet are different and the way you walk will also dictate what kind of shoes are best for you. If you have weak ankles, don’t buy shoes that put all of your weight over your ankles. Also consider rounded vs pointed vs square toes—it’s not just about what looks best. Your foot may just be shaped better for one kind or another. If you have square feet, they don’t go into a pointed toe. It’s like preschool blocks.
  • Find the right height (for you). You can mix it up by all means and have a few different heights for different occasions, but you’ll probably find that you’re more comfortable at a certain height. For me, it’s somewhere around 2 inches, which lots of women find too high. I hate kitten heels and feel really uncomfortable in them. If you’re not someone that wears heels and doesn’t know yet, start out around 1″-1.5″. Don’t go straight to 3″ heels. You gotta work up to that shit.
  • I feel like this should go without saying, but whenever possible, try on the heels and walk around before you buy them. I recognize this isn’t an option for buying online, but if you’re in the store, try them on. Make sure you can walk in them and won’t want to cut off your toes or heels a la Cinderella.
  • If buying online, only buy from somewhere with an easy return policy. 
  • Wear heels often! If you never wear heels, don’t wear them every day (unless you need to for a job or something), but rather, work up to it. Wear them once a week to get used to them until you feel comfortable wearing them more often. Eventually, you’ll think nothing of them and wear them 90% of the time like I do. If you want to, of course.

Hi, Past Me. Don’t get defensive, but I need to tell you something that’s kind of upsetting. Right now, you’re doing a whole lot of things that are going to embarrass your face clean off in just a few years. A lot of it centers around the fact that you can’t admit or even recognize when you’re wrong … and trust me, you’re wrong way more often than you think. Some of what you’re bullshitting about seems pretty harmless: incorrect movie trivia or repeating urban myths as fact. Other times, it can be directly damaging: giving romantic advice to a friend, even though every relationship you’ve ever been in ends with someone praying for a meteor to fall on your crotch…

“6 Crucial Warnings I Wish I Could Give My Past Self” by John Cheese

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My Life Skills classroom has designed a T-shirt fundraiser! For those of you who don’t know, Life Skills classrooms are public school special education classes. Kids in this class generally have a more severe disability and usually spend their entire day in the classroom. We love taking the kids on field trips and coming up with unique and fun activities to give them the best high school experience possible while they’re there, which can become pricy. This is where our fundraisers come in!
Our shirt is an $18 100% cotton long sleeve shirt with an original design by a student in our schools art program. If you look at the front there are several sprouts around “Life Skills” and inside the leaves are the different representative colors of several disabilities. On the back the sprouts have grown into a tree and accompany the quote “Everyone can learn, just not on the same day, or in the same way” our classroom hashtag (#NoBoundaries) is on the bottom. They are $18 and can be bought at www.booster.com/webolifeskills2 and we also accept donations.
If you can’t buy or donate please reblog! Thank you for your support!