Thought Catalog

18 Thanksgiving Rituals You Only Understand If You Have Siblings

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 07:30 PM PST


1. Fighting in the family group text over what items should be included in the dinner this year, with dramatic statements like “Why would you choose cranberries? They’re disgusting,” or “If we aren’t using Mom’s stuffing recipe, I’m not coming.”

2. Good-naturedly shit-talking each other if one of you is planning on bringing a significant other home this year. These conversations often involve teasing, casual threats of embarrassment, and questions like “What do they even see in you?”

3. Watching home movies together and discovering that you are all THE SAME EXACT PEOPLE now that you were as children. The quiet one is still quiet, the smart one is still smart, the weird one (hi) is still a total weirdo.  

4. Having a heated debate every year over when it’s appropriate to start playing Christmas music.

5. Making your youngest brother or sister be your designated driver to the bars if they aren’t 21 yet.

6. Accusing your parents of having a favorite child because it’s funny to watch them get riled up and fervently defend themselves.

7. Somehow always ending up watching an ABC Family Harry Potter marathon, no matter how many other plans you had originally made.

8. Bringing your various pets home if you are able to, so that your house is like one giant domestic petting zoo.

9. Always zeroing in on one sibling and treating them like the red-headed stepchild for the week.

10. Awkwardly laughing with one another when your mom commiserates that she doesn’t have any (or enough) grandchildren yet.  

11. Celebrating how delicious wine is when it’s purchased by real adults like your parents, instead of the $9 stuff you buy at Walgreens. And being thoroughly confident that you and your siblings will accidentally kill the stash in about 48 hours.

12. Secretly bitching with each other if you have to spend Thanksgiving night with any annoying guests.

13. Running for the hills whenever one of your parents says that they could use a little help with dinner.

14. And then usually feeling guilty because your one damn sibling with the good conscience went to help, and now you have no choice but to help as well.

15. Ganging up on one sibling when it’s time to clean up, and electing them as the head dishwasher.

16. Getting bored the Friday after Thanksgiving and deciding to bake something together, like pumpkin bread or apple pie, and then losing interest halfway through and begging your mom to help you, even though you’re adults.

17. Peer pressuring each other to either go out for Black Friday, or stay in on Black Friday, depending on how aggressive or passive your family is about holiday shopping.

18. Looking around when you’re all together and knowing that your family is the ultimate #squad, but refusing to ever admit it because you’re not interested in having a Full House moment. TC mark

Each Myers-Briggs Type’s Kryptonite

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 07:00 PM PST


ISFJ – Self-sacrifice.

ISFJs are down-to-earth, focused and capable – but they're also self-sacrificing to a fault. This type has a tendency to internalize almost everything that happens to and around them – therefore taking on responsibility for problems that don't necessarily involve them. The tendency to adopt external problems as their own is the ISFJ's kryptonite.

ISFP – Sensitivity.

The ISFP's sensitivity is what makes them brilliantly creative and unique – but it's also what holds them back in many ways. Because this type dislikes conflict so intensely, they have a tendency to run for the hills as soon as they foresee a tense situation arising – holding them back from pursuing many relationships or opportunities that could otherwise be beneficial for them. This type's sensitive nature is one of their greatest strengths but their aversion to criticism or conflict is their Achilles heel.

ESFP – The need for approval.

ESFPs have fiercely engaging personalities – this is both their greatest strength and their greatest setback. Though this type is capable of achieving just about anything they set their mind to, they also feel the compulsive need to have everyone around them like them – which occasionally makes them back down from situations that they ought to stand their ground in. The need for approval is in part what makes the ESFP so successful, but it is in equal part their personal kryptonite.

ESFJ – Obedience.

ESFJs are incredibly in tune with the norms, values and expectations of the social world that surrounds them. They are tirelessly careful to not violate any social rules and as a result are often obedient to others' expectations, even when they are not in complete agreement with them. Learning to stand up for themselves – even if it means violating a social or societal rule – is something the ESFJ needs to work on throughout their lives if they do not want their personal kryptonite to rob them of the things they want most.

ENFP – The 'Greener Grass' Syndrome.

ENFPs are ceaselessly scanning the horizons for new, exciting opportunities that they haven't tried yet. Even when they're perfectly content with their lives, this enthusiastic type is prone to abandoning a good thing in favor of the next, potentially better thing. Their never-ending quest for the next great thrill – and their corresponding aversion to stick with what they love – is the ENFP's Achilles heel.

ENFJ – The Urge To Interfere.

ENFJs are highly perceptive individuals, who usually have a keen grasp on what is likely to help or hinder their loved ones. As a consequence, they often feel compelled to intervene in the lives of their loved ones, perceiving themselves to know what's best for them. This can not only lead to tension and conflict if the ENFJ is not careful, but it will also exhaust them to the core as they try to care for everyone around them at all times. The compulsion to help those who are struggling is the ENFJ's personal kryptonite.

INFJ – Perfectionism.

INFJs aren't perfectionists in the stereotypical sense of the word – they aren't the most detail-oriented type nor are they the most outright neurotic. However, they are prone to deliberating over their options to a detrimental extent – trying so hard to pinpoint the best of all possible options that they end up missing out on opportunities altogether. Attempting to always seek out the most perfect situation – and refusing to take a chance on anything less – is the INFJ's Achilles heel.

INFP – Idealization Of Others.

People, situations, opportunities, problems – you name it, the INFP can idealize it. This type lives largely inside their own minds and while their wild imaginations help them in many ways, they can also create a disconnect between the INFP and reality, particularly in the arena of love. It is their proneness to idealizing potential partners that so often breaks apart INFP relationships before they even begin – when the other person fails to live up to the standard the INFP had created for them internally. The urge to distort reality with fantasy is the INFP's kryptonite.

INTP – Inaction.

INTPs see the world in an objective, rational and creative fashion – a mixture of perceptions that almost no other type shares. However, the INTP is often so busy contemplating and readjusting their worldview that they forget to apply their perceptions to real-world actions. The disinclination to act on their thoughts and ideas is the INTP's kryptonite.

ENTP – Indecision.

ENTPs are enthused about life in almost every capacity – they love planning for the future, speculating over the present and evaluating the past. The world is an all-you-can-eat-buffet for this highly ambitious type and yet they can never decide on just one dish. As excitable as they are ambitious, the ENTP often finds themselves torn between various projects, goals and undertakings, unable to commit to just one. Indecision is the one thing that holds this type back from truly excelling – you might say it is their kryptonite.

INTJ – Sociality.

INTJs are brilliant individuals who can reason their way through just about any situation – except social situations. Before their introverted feeling is developed, INTJs often experience difficulty picking up on social nuances, which makes navigating the external world a challenge for them. They may see a clear path to the implementation of their goals, but if they must network or win over people to get there, they will experience difficulty along the way. Socialization is the one realm that logic does not always apply to, and it is therefore INTJ's personal kryptonite.

ENTJ – Competitiveness.

ENTJs see a direct route to everything they want – and what they want is to be the best at everything. While this highly resourceful type is prone to dominating opponents at much of what they do, the urge to win can occasionally get the better of them. They may find themselves ignoring the long-term consequences of many of their actions as they fight to keep the upper hand in the short-term. The desire to always be on top (rather than to play the long game) is the ENTJ's kryptonite.

ISTJ – Change.

ISTJs are all about quality. They want to use the tried and true method of getting everything done – because why take a chance on something that hasn't proven itself to be reliable? Though this quality is useful for the ISTJ in many ways, it also makes them highly resistant to change. They have trouble believing without seeing, so they often resist changes until they've had enough time to concretely witness the positive outcomes of the change – by which point, the rest of society has already moved onto something new.

ISTP – Passiveness.

ISTPs are incredibly analytical thinkers, who can quickly determine the most direct route to getting something done. However, this type prefers analyzing systems to acting on them – which means that many of their brilliant ideas never come to fruition. Despite being incredibly capable individuals by nature, the ISTP's passiveness often causes them to underperform.

ESTJ – Subjectivity.

ESTJs are incredibly logical individuals who truly believe that they see the world in the most clear, objective fashion possible. What this type often fails to realize, however, is that their value judgments of the world are highly subjective. What they deem as important is not what the next person deems as important and vice versa. Failing to realize this, the ESTJ often spends a great deal of time frustrated with others for behaving illogically. If this highly rational type were a little more comfortable with accepting that everyone looks at the world differently, they’d be able to save time on lecturing others and use that time to get more sh*t done.

ESTP – Impulsivity.

ESTPs are incredibly resourceful and capable – but their impulsivity often gets the better of them, causing them to cave into short-term desires rather than pursuing long-term achievements. A quick, on-the-fly reaction time is at the core of this type's personality – but it's also their Achilles heel. TC mark

Heidi Priebe explains how to manage the ups, downs and inside-outs of everyday life as an ENFP in her new book available here.


Why You Should Not Go to Law School

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 06:30 PM PST

At some point in their life, everyone who attends college thinks they should go to law school.

They're wrong.

For the overwhelming majority of people (>99.9%), law school is the wrong choice. How do I know this?

Because I've been that person – I went to law school for the same reasons everyone thinks they should go – and I was wrong. I never should've gone to law school, if you didn't go you made the right choice, and if you are thinking about going now, you shouldn't.

Let me repeat myself: YOU SHOULD NOT GO TO LAW SCHOOL.

If you're still thinking about law school start by asking yourself one simple question:

"Why do I want to go to law school?"

It's an obvious question, but almost everyone overlooks or avoids it. So answer it, right now, to yourself. Then compare this reason to the list below.

These are the six wrong reasons I hear most often. See if your answer is in this list.

1. "I like arguing and everyone says I'm good at it."

Of all reasons to go to law school, this is the worst by a large margin. Know who else likes arguing? Sports talk radio hosts, cable news talking heads and teenaged girls — i.e., idiots.

If you like to argue just for the sake of being contentious, you shouldn't pick a job based on this unresolved emotional issue of yours, you should get counseling for it.

If you like arguing for the intellectual challenges it can present, that's an understandable and reasonable position. Everyone likes a healthy, intelligent debate right?

“Make no mistake about it: law school is not a bastion of intellectual discourse. It is a fucking trade school.”

Well, understand that being a lawyer has almost nothing to do with arguing in the conventional sense, and very few lawyers ever engage in anything resembling "arguments" in their commonly understood form.

You aren't going to be sitting around a fine mahogany desk sipping scotch with your colleagues discussing the finer points of the First Amendment; you're going to be crammed in a lifeless cubicle forced to crank out last-minute memos about the tax implications for a non-profit organization trying to lease office space to a for-profit organization. If this gets your juices flowing, maybe the law is for you after all.

You won't even be having fun discussions in law school. In law school, the people who want to "argue" a lot are called "gunners" and are hated by everyone, even the professors.

Make no mistake about it: law school is not a bastion of intellectual discourse. It is a fucking trade school. You are there to be trained to think and act exactly the same way as everyone else in the profession, so you can be a drone in the legal system. Law school make drones, not thinkers.

Beyond that, to be genuinely good at legal "arguing," you must be dispassionate, reasonable and smart. I have never met a person who was any of those things who also said they went to law school because other people told them they were good at arguing.

If arguing is really why you want to go to law school, save your money and start a blog about American politics where you can shout into the echo chamber of imbeciles all you want without bothering anyone smart who has shit to do.

2. "I want to be like Jack McCoy from Law & Order [or insert your favorite legal TV show character]."

I have little sympathy for this perspective. It's 2015. If you still allow yourself to be misled by the bullshit on TV, it means you are either hopelessly naive or an unrecoverable moron, and you should immediately drown yourself in the nearest toilet to save the world the frustration of having to deal with you and your stupidity.

Let me be VERY clear about this for you: The actual job of being a lawyer is NOTHING AT ALL like what you see on TV.

It is possibly less like the real thing than any other profession depicted on television. Every doctor I've ever talked to scoffs at shows like ER and House, but they all say that at least the diagnoses are connected to the physical symptoms we see and are treated with the proper kinds of drugs.

In legal dramas, the exact opposite is the case. Don't think so? The next time you get a DUI, represent yourself and try to give a speech to the jury while questioning the arresting officer in court. You won't make it longer than 30 seconds before you're held in contempt and locked up for wasting everyone's time. Is that a little harsh? Maybe. Welcome to the grown-up world.

There is NO lawyer/law procedural that even remotely shows what it's like to be a lawyer. Why? Because being a lawyer is not only soul-crushing, it's really boring, and that doesn't make for good TV. If you want to know what it's like to be a lawyer, go work in a law office for a summer.

Or shadow a lawyer for a day or two. There's nothing like a day with a lawyer to disabuse you of the notion that anything in the legal profession is like TV.

3. "It's the only way I can think of to use my humanities degree."

If you think this, it means you have not been paying attention to the massive changes that have happened in the world over the past 10 years.

Having a soft major is nowhere near the career death sentence that so many make it out to be. The world is changing, and the US economy with it. Most manufacturing and production jobs are moving off shore, if they haven't already, and the hard science jobs required to staff them are being taken by Indians and Chinese and other people from cultures who actually require their students to learn something in science class.

The good news is that our economy is shifting to a service and information based economy, and soft majors are becoming more and more valuable. Why? Because a services and information-based economy needs what the Humanities creates: literate, intelligent, well-read people who can write and communicate ideas effectively.

In fact, many very smart people now think that having a humanities degree, combined with an ACTUAL skill like design or programming, is the key to a future where robots are coming to take most of the jobs.

Do not make the mistake of thinking law school is your only option. That is simply not true. In plain English: A humanities major now has many, many options they didn't have in the pre-Internet era.

Beyond that, this reason belies an assumption: that you have to get a job.

When you finish school, everyone knows about the two most obvious options: 1. Get a job working for someone else or 2. Get more schooling. But there is a third option: Carve your own path in the world. This can take many different forms, like starting a company [for example see Paul Graham's piece here].

Or it could take the form of many other sorts of lifehacking activities [for example, see Tim Ferriss' muse concept, or the example of many people who are putting together very healthy incomes by freelancing using sharing economy apps].

There are other ways to make a living, and lots of people following those paths, you just have to go look for them.

And if you MUST get a job working for someone else, learn to program in 12 weeks and you can almost guarantee yourself a job right away, paying good money.

4. "I want to change the world/help homeless people/rescue stray kittens/do something noble."

Look, wanting to help others is great, but if you are one of those rosy-eyed dipshits who sign anti-sweatshop petitions while wearing Nikes (made in Vietnam by children) and listening to your iPod (made in China by near slaves) you know what's going to happen when you finally go out into the world trying to change it equipped with just a law degree and a healthy dose of optimism?

Life is going to kick you in the teeth. Repeatedly.

If you go to law school with just a vague notion of public service and no sense of real, directed purpose, you WILL regret your decision. My first day in law school, the entire class was gathered in a lecture hall and they asked everyone who wanted to be in public service to raise their hand. At least 100 people did. Do you know how many ended up in a public service job three years later? Three of them.

The other 97+ didn't stop wanting to make the world a better place, they just didn't know what it actually means to help poor people for $30,000 a year when they raised their hands three years earlier. They hadn't tested their moral resolve in the crucible of suffocating debt.

A $140,000/year job at Skadden Arps is a hard thing to ignore when you're staring down the barrel of a $150,000+ nut and $1,700+ monthly loan payments that start real quick after graduation.

If you want to cultivate a life full of bitterness and resentment a good way to do it is go to law school thinking you're going to be a crusader for change, then end up having to become the very opposite – a corporate lawyer drone – to pay off your law school debt. This happens to pretty much everyone in law school.

If you want to change the world, that's awesome – go do it. Don't go to law school.

5. "I don't know what else to do."

If you are coming to the end of your schooling and don't know what to do, or just otherwise feel lost in life, you shouldn't feel bad. It's OK. You're not alone. At least you have an excuse: You're barely old enough to drink, you don't need to know what you're going to do with the rest of your life at this point.

If your parents and guidance counselors say that you should have already "picked a direction" or "figured out a plan for your future" by now, ignore them. The pressure and admonitions they are foisting upon you aren't about your happiness or your success; it's about theirs. It's about validating themselves as good parents and qualified counselors. By every traditional measure, if you go to law school, it means they have succeeded in their prescribed roles.

None of this, of course, has anything to do with whether you are happy or fulfilled or even like the law; which are the most important considerations when making a decision like this. So relax. If you need more time to find your calling, that's fine, take it. Try lots of things, see what you like. Try working in a law firm, you'll see real fast that you hate it (or you'll love it, and thus validate your law school choice).

6. "I want to make a lot of money."

If there's one thing you can't argue with, it's that lawyers make a lot of money, right? A corporate lawyer starts at something like $140k a year, that's huge, right?


$140k+ to start sounds like a lot of money, until you break it down. Currently, most large corporate firms (where you will find these six-figure starting salaries) require somewhere between 1900-2000 billable hours from their associates. This is not the total number of hours you have to be in the office, this is the total number of hours of actual work you can bill directly to a client.

“You are not guaranteed a job out of any law school, much less a job that pays six figures.”

For a smart attorney with a solid work ethic, it typically takes about 10 hours in the office to accrue 7 billable hours; tracked most often in 6 minute or 1/10th of an hour segments. If we take the lower end of the billable requirement threshold (1900 hours), that means a typical attorney has to work about ~2700 real hours in a year to meet their minimum billables. To put that in perspective, 2700 hours is equal to working 7.5 hours a day EVERY SINGLE DAY OF THE YEAR.

Using a $140,000 base salary, that's equivalent to making ~$50/hour [FYI–here's a short list of other careers that pay $50/hour or more and do not require: a) 3 years of post-graduate schooling and $150k in debt or b) you to work 365 days a year to get it].

I am using $140,000 as the base, because that usually is the highest starting salary quoted by people talking to me about this. How many of those jobs do you think there are? If you said "not very many" you are far more right than you know. There aren't many at all, and pretty much all of them go to kids who come from the Top 15 law schools.

Beyond that, the overall legal job market has dried up, even the low paying jobs. They aren't going to tell you any of this at law school recruitment receptions; in fact schools continue to tell prospective students the opposite, which is why more and more of them are being sued for fraud. Think about that–the information about legal jobs is so wrong, the schools sending it out ARE GETTING SUED BY STUDENTS FOR FRAUD.

Not only that, but having a high paying legal job is not that great. There is a reason so many lawyers leave the legal field: Being a lawyer–especially a lawyer at the type of big corporate firm that seemingly pays so well–SUCKS. The American Bar Association has published several studies about the incredibly low job satisfaction of lawyers and in every survey they publish, most lawyers say they would NOT be a lawyer if they had it all to do over again.

This is what people mean when they talk about something that looks too good to be true.

I cannot be any clearer about this: You are not guaranteed a job out of any law school, much less a job that pays six figures.

The problem of debt

Now, ask yourself the question again:

"Why do I want to go law school?"

If any of the 6 above reasons describe why you want to go to law school, stop now. Seriously. No qualifiers on this statement, just stop. Do not go. You will regret it because you are doing it for the wrong reasons.

I will admit that there ARE good reasons to go to law school. You may even have one of the good reasons. If you think so, you're still not out of the woods. Even if your reason for going to law school is rock solid, you still need to consider one major thing: debt.

I've mentioned this multiple times above, because it is so crucially important to making the right decision about law school. Debt is the elephant in the room that law schools never tell you about, but ends up dominating your life.

Law school is three years long. If you go to an average law school and don't get any tuition help or scholarships, you are going to spend ~$150,000 all-in, at least (that is the MINIMUM). That's 3 years of tuition, assorted fees, books and living expenses. Unless you are one of the few whose parents set up a tuition fund for both your undergrad and your grad school, that means you are going to be taking loans.

This means you are going to start your law job already 150k in the hole–and that's not counting any undergrad debt you may be carrying. This means you are going be making a $1700/month payment for about a decade. That is a monthly rent payment in most cities (not SF & NYC, of course).

And make no mistake about it: Once you are in debt, they fucking have you. In a straight-forward approximation, a starting salary of $140,000/year would put our intrepid new lawyer in the 28% tax bracket. Loan payments will take another 14.57% of his per-unit-time income. To a first-degree approximation then, it is accurate to say 42.5% of our new lawyers income dissipates before being touched by him/her. It'd be funny if it wasn't so sad.

Even if you started off law school with the best of non-profit save-the-world intentions, when you are staring a $1700 per month payment in the face, you will end up scurrying to work for a white collar sweatshop. And you will hate it, like everyone does, and you will want to leave, like everyone does, but you won't be able to–like everyone else can't–because you will have too much debt to pay off.

So you're going to spend a decade toiling 12 hours a day for what? To pay off the debt you incurred to get that job!? HOW FUCKING CRAZY IS THAT!?!


But don't just believe me

I asked some friends who are lawyers to read a preliminary version of this article and give me their feedback. I'll leave you with their quotes:


“I would HIGHLY recommend that anyone who is thinking of law school spend a year as a paralegal or as some sort of staff at a law firm before going to law school. Enough so that you can see 1) what young attorneys have to do 2) hear how much they bitch about hating it and 3) dispel any notions about ANY law firm caring about their associates or being "family friendly". Because that is a damn expensive mistake to make if you find out you don't like the practice of law. I went to a very good, very expensive law school and started out at a big firm. I hated it. I have since moved on to a smaller firm, which I do like more.

But in all honesty, if I could do it all over, I would not go at all. And if I wasn't staring 100K in student loans in the face, I would probably quit firm practice altogether.”


"I have worked as a paralegal in some form of legal (family, bond, litigation) for 14 years now. I have yet to meet an attorney who is satisfied with his lot in life. I am not saying everyone non-esquire is thrilled with theirs, just that on a whole, these are some of the saddest, most down-trodden people I have known in my life. Most of my best friends are attorneys so I hear first hand about the student loans they are STILL paying off at 38; the huge houses and Mercedes' they purchased well beyond their means to "keep up with the Joneses" (aka every other attorney in the firm); the misery that is their ongoing marriages; the ridiculous hours; ice cold dinners; the utter lack of originality in their conversations; etc., etc., etc. Listening to these woes sucks the energy out of me every time they come up. The most common nugget I hear: "Why, God WHY did I choose this profession?"”


"Nobody ever told me that I would be keeping time sheets that require me to divide my days into six-minute increments. Nobody told me I would have to choose between doing it right and doing it on a budget. The words "the client is cost-sensitive" burn my ears. But the marketing shit is the worst. The push to bring in business and schmooze potential clients and "cross-sell" within the firm. It's worse at some firms than others, but it is absolute misery to me no matter how much or how little marketing I may be doing. I've been practicing for 10 years, most of that time in big firms, and I have yet to get used to the business side of things. So I suppose that would be my take on things: even if you are going to law school for all of the "right reasons," odds are you will spend a significant portion of your day as the used-car salesman from Hell whose boss is nickel-and-diming you to an early grave."


"As I write this, it is 85 degrees, sunny, with a slight, cooling breeze coming from the West. The only reason I know this is that I took twenty minutes to run to get a sandwich to eat at my desk. I am sitting in a basement office which houses three of us, putting off research on state law fair debt collection vs. the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the definition of a creditor to write this post. If that paragraph alone doesn't deter someone from law school, then I don't know what will."

And my personal favorite, from a friend of mine who is a partner at a huge multi-national firm:


"I am a partner in one of the largest law firms in the world (measured by either revenue or # of lawyers). I had two associates pull all-nighters last night. I doubt either of them has slept more than 3 or 4 hours any night this week. I wonder if they are regretting their decision to go to law school? I'd ask, but I don't really care.

Tucker, I'd really prefer if you did not do anything to cut off the supply of drones. Fortunately, the ones who will actually be persuaded by your speech are not the ones we want working here. I actually agree with everything you said in your speech. However, whoever posted the job satisfaction stat about 76% being unsatisfied, that means 24% are satisfied. You may be in the 24%."

Here is the funny thing about this piece: Every bit of knowledge in this piece was conferred to me before I got to law school. Much of it was told to me by lawyers who repeatedly stressed how much they hated their jobs. At this point, even the ABA is telling college kids not to go to law school.

You know what I did? I ignored it. I was stupid. Sure all of those other assholes may be miserable and may hate the legal profession, but what do they know, they're only lawyers? If you're laughing at my ignorance, you're right to laugh.

Don't be me. Don't go to law school.

Go do something with your life that you'll enjoy, is rewarding and productive and makes the world a better place. TC mark

image –Law & Order

The Real Reason Why Men Cheat

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 05:30 PM PST

Twenty20 / daniel.rodriguez45
Twenty20 / daniel.rodriguez45

We all “know” that men (and likely women, too) cheat because the sex with you isn’t that good anymore and they’ve found something better elsewhere, right?

Well, it turns out — that’s not true at all.

There’s something else quite remarkable going on behind all of that cheating. For the most part, men don’t cheat because they want to trade up for a younger, hotter, thinner, blonder babe than you. And even if craving better sex is a motivating factor for him, it’s still further down on the list than you’d ever imagine.

The number one reason why men cheat is … a lack of emotional appreciation.

Yep. That’s right. Call the guy a sex-obsessed, superficial, cheating jerk all you want. He mostly just wanted to feel appreciated … by YOU!

To appreciate him means recognizing the full worth he brings to the table and openly expressing gratitude to him for his efforts and contributions.

Think for a moment when you’ve feel unappreciated. You probably also felt resentful, overwhelmed, angry, rejected, or even sad. In this state, imagine someone coming to you and saying, “We need to talk,” pointing out a way you could do something better, or a way you’re messing up.

How would that make you feel? How would you likely respond?

Now, think of a time when you felt truly appreciated. You probably also felt confident and proud, like your tail is wagging. Perhaps you felt like you’re doing your thang really well; that what you contribute makes a difference, and that you uniquely matter. In this state, imagine someone coming to you and saying, “We need to talk,” pointing out a way you could do something better, or a way you’re messing up.

Now how would you feel and respond now? It’s a big difference, right?

The truth is If we, men and women alike, each had a bank account that contained appreciation from others (instead of money), most of us would have to file for bankruptcy!

That’s the sad state of things. Most of our bank accounts are empty, or even in serious overdraft. And, few of us show up as our best self for others when we feel that depleted.

So, is this what’s going on for someone right before they cheat? Their emotional appreciation bank account is in overdraft?

As a broad generality, yes! Men want and need to know they’re doing well by the people they care about. They feel like they’re winning, not losing. How do they know they’re doing well and winning? Well, their partner is happy in general, happy with them and expresses it openly. Men with partners like that feel deeply, truly, and consistently appreciated.

When men don’t feel appreciated when they feel their efforts make no difference, that they’re unable to make you happy and provide what you need, they begin to shut down, tune out, and leave — or, cheat.

Appreciation is a vital emotional nutrient for men. If they don’t get that nutrient regularly from you, they find a place (or person) that will supply it. Whether that’s long hours spent at work, hanging out with their buddies, or … finding another woman.

So, does showing appreciation mean painting on a saccharine smile, endlessly stroking his ego and pretending to like something you actually don’t? No. That’s not sincere appreciation at all.

The power of genuine appreciation is deceptively simple. Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “What you celebrate, you get more of.”

Pour your attention into pointing out what sucks — about him, life, the relationship, you — and you’ll get more suckiness. Pour your attention into pointing out what you appreciate, enjoy, find satisfying and fun for you, and that’s exactly what he’ll give more of.

You probably don’t set out to make your man feel like a loser.

I’m sure when you mention things he does that displeases you, you’re really trying to help things change for the better. Most of us think and do the same. We focus on it! Make sure he knows! Unfortunately, this backfires big time, every time.

So, what’s the remedy? Start making regular deposits in his “emotional appreciation” bank account:

Make a point of noticing and commenting on what your man does that’s good, right, delicious, fun, satisfying, pleasurable, moving, humorous, or inspiring, etc.

Try doing this at least once a day. Or, if that’s easy for you, 5 to 10 times per day. And make sure his appreciation bank account is full before bringing up something hard. A good guideline is around five appreciations for every request you make.

(Hint: this works not only with partners and lovers, but with colleague, brothers, fathers, sons and friends).

But it has to be real for you. If you’re faking it, he’ll know and your words will bounce off him like a bounced check!

Of course, I know there are real impasses and conflicts you need to address and deal with. Not now. Dealing with them and getting anywhere with them (rather than driving you both deeper into “stupid” fights) is not possible without his appreciation bank account feeling full.

Maybe you feel like he hasn’t appreciated you very much lately either, so why should youappreciate him? Maybe your emotional bank account is empty and you’re not sure where you’ll find the appreciation bone in your body.

Appreciation isn’t the whole picture in building extraordinary relationships, but it is thefoundation. Without it, the relationship crumbles. Good will erodes. Tempers easily flare, like a match on a dry forest floor. Resentment builds up. You feel like opponents, rather than allies.

So, no. You can’t get the big, hard stuff that’s not working to change with appreciation alone. However, appreciation changes the feeling between the two of you. It helps you soften, reconnect, and lower your defenses so that it’s actually possible to work on and shift the big, hard stuff that’s not working.

Need some signs you’re appreciation is filling him up in a good way? Look for these signs of change in him:

His mood improves

You notice a little light come on in him

His chest puffs up a little

He smiles or grunts approvingly

You two have more sex (and higher quality sex)

He starts to appreciate you, acts more thoughtful, and starts doing “little things” (that matter so much somehow!) for you

Alternately, you may not get any feedback for a while. Keep doing it anyway.

If his bank account is really low, he’ll likely wonder if you’re for real or trying to get one over on him. Keep showing appreciation anyway. It will pay off! When you practice appreciation authentically, those you’re showing appreciation to will rise in value and worth in your eyes. And a secret plus is that you’ll also feel better.

Simply put, appreciation makes everyone feel their best — men and women alike. When we feeling at our best, our most highly-prized values come tumbling out. We can’t help but lavish our best selves on those around us. TC mark


19 Hilariously True Mindy Lahiri Quotes That Will Help You Lead Your Most Authentic Life

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 05:00 PM PST

The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project

1. “I figure if I’m gonna be a mess, I might as well be a hot mess.”

2. “When your love story ends, all you can do is cry, listen to sad music, and drink wine that you bought from the gas station.”

3. “I have the right to life, liberty, and chicken wings.”

4. “I’m going to take the stairs instead of taking the elevator. Escalator, maybe. Baby steps.”

5. “Maybe I won’t get married. Maybe I’ll just do one of those Eat Pray Love things. Ugh, I don’t want to pray. Forget it. I’ll just die alone.”

The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project

6. “I'll tell you one thing that always lasts forever. Herpes. It's gross, and it's horrible—Google image search it."

7. “I want you to love me in the way that I can show on Instagram.”

8. “Did you know that when I die, in my will I leave all of my money to Tina Fey? I don’t even know her! I just think she would spend it in interesting and responsible ways.”

9. “Songs should be three minutes long and Nicki Minaj raps in the middle.”

10. “My body is very attracted to your body, but when you speak my brain gets angry.”

11. “I’m sorry, are you saying that I’m not cultured? I’m deeply cultured. I’ve been to London.”

The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project

12. “Your secret is safe with me. Largely because I don’t care and I’ll probably forget.”

13. “Please let this date be good. May he have the wealth of Mayor Bloomberg. The personality of Jon Stewart. The face of Michael Fassbender. The penis of Michael Fassbender.”

14. “If we’re still single in 5 years and we haven’t found anybody can we make a pact? That we will kill each other.”

15. "Kim Kardashian started out with a sex tape, but she did not let it define her. So we just need to ride out this minor humiliation until we find our Kanye."

16. “I’m not picky, I just have high standards.”

The Mindy Project
The Mindy Project

17. "Condom etiquette. It's hard for women, you know? Because you want to have condoms, but you can’t keep them by the bed, because then it seems like you're, like, using them constantly… So then you have to do that whole dance, like, 'Oh, hey, I might have some somewhere from that bachelorette party I had as a goof!' "

18. “I’m like very smart and successful, and I’m hot, but don’t even know it, which makes me even hotter.”

19. “It is so weird being my own role model. I recommend it.” TC mark

For The Loves You’ve Lost

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 04:30 PM PST

Gavin Schaefer
Gavin Schaefer

They are the loves that we don't remember existed until one day we're shocked with their presence. The loves who have been gone for too long and we've put on a shelf for some time. They collect dust and get hidden behind the shiny, new romances that glow from the honeymoon phase. But then a new, glow-y relationship cracks and shatters and all of sudden *poof* the dust settles and you're reminded of what was once yours.

But somehow, since they have been tucked away for so long, they don't belong to you anymore. The writing on their pages is dimmed and you can't seem to read it no matter how hard you squint. They don't fit like your favorite sweater anymore; they're too short in the arms or hug you in the wrong places. And the voice that at one time you could have picked out in a stadium is now faint, distant, and unrecognizable.

They aren't your person, your love, anything remotely yours. And it's awful.

But simply acknowledging that you know they aren't a part of your life doesn't make them go away. They hang out in the corners of your apartment like ghosts, ready to scare you when you least expect it. You know they aren't real, you know they aren't there, but if you close your eyes tight enough you'd swear they were. You can feel their lips grazing the backs of your shoulders and remember how big their hands were as they cupped your cheeks and got lost in your tangled, 3 AM hair.

You loved them, and you lost them.

That's the reality of the situation. You were once hand in hand, side by side. And now you're not. They were once snuggled up next to your chest and spilled their soul at 3 AM, and now you're in bed alone. They used to sing along to your favorite songs and now all there is is silence.

Again: it's awful. So you try to wrap it up and conceal it. You bury it so deep you'll never have to deal with it again. If you deny, deny, deny: it never was. You never loved them because, simply, they never existed.

But try as you might to put them on the highest shelf where you'll never have to face them, they will come back.

It might be days, it might be months, it might take years. They won't have crossed your mind in seemingly forever but then there they are, standing in front of you looking exactly as you left. You swear if you reached out you'd be able to touch them, be able to breath in that oh-too-familiar scent of knock off detergent and cigarettes. But then you snap out of it and recognize that you're just hoping, just wishing. That as much as you tried to get rid of them, they're there. You can feel them, and as much as you SWEAR they're within arm's length, realistically they're still gone.

They're the ones whose names sit on the back of our tongues and we taste unexpectedly. The names that try to break free from our chests and declare to the world, "Once I was theirs!" no matter how hard we have tried to keep them under wraps. They're the loves we tip toe around just certain that if we step too hard they'll wake with vengeance and we'll be forced to break all over again.

Breaking is scary; remembering something that is now forever unobtainable is even scarier. But that's not what should be taken away from lost loves.

As scary as it is to face them, to confront them, running and tip toeing from them for the rest of your life is even scarier.


Look at your scattered loves, the ones you've tried to avoid, and scoop them up. Hold them, soak them in again, and remember why you loved them in the first place.

And if nothing else:

Just remember that you loved them.

What we should take away from lost loves is just that: the love. We need to hold it close and tender and promise to do our best to treasure it. We'll take the memories and put them away in a special place just for us. We will acknowledge the pain that comes with knowing we may never see them again but appreciate the fact that we got to see them in the first place. And we look at their ghost we'll reach out to nothing but still promise to keep reaching.

Always keep loving, always keep trying, always keep reaching. TC mark

I’m A Spoiled Brat Because I Want You To Love Me As Much As I Love You

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 04:00 PM PST

Twenty20, leta_vita
Twenty20, leta_vita

I’m a spoiled brat because I crave your attention. Your arms linked around my waist when we stand in front of the stove, alternating between stirring the pasta sauce and kissing. Your hand in mine when we walk into the bar on a Friday night, and you introduce me to your friends. Your fingers running through my hair when we curl up on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Because I want to hear about your day—the sh*tty sandwich you got at the deli next door, the coworker who took another thirty minute bathroom break before lunch, the sedan with the duct-taped passenger door that cut you off on your way home.

Because I want your eye contact when we speak. No video games. No cell phones. No computer screens. Just me and you, your brown eyes locked on my face.

I'm a spoiled brat because I want you to do things with me. Because I don't always want to be the one to make the plans, to pay for the dinner dates, to come up with things for the two of us to do. I want you to think ahead sometimes, to buy groceries, to make reservations, to grab my hand and pull me back to the car the second I walk in the front door, my night already mapped out.

I'm a spoiled brat because I want text messages. Some in the morning. Some during your lunch. Even a few at night, when we're both driving home. Little things, 'How's your day, Babe?' 'Hey, just thinking of you.' And even some messages back when I text you.

Because I want to hear what's on your mind, the random things you're thinking about, how your favorite pro basketball team's doing, what you want to eat for dinner.

Because I want to hear your perspectives, and discover the way you think.

Because I want to be challenged to think differently, to argue with you about our passions and learn even more about each other.

I'm a spoiled brat because I want you—physically and mentally, the good and the bad, the lazy days and the adventures.

I'm a spoiled brat because I want you to love me as much as I love you. TC mark 

14 Couples On How Their Relationship Changed For Better (Or Worse) After Traveling Together

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 03:30 PM PST

via twenty20/dannyovens
via twenty20/dannyovens

1. “My boyfriend and I were flying back from a trip to Arizona to see his parents and on the way back we hit turbulence and I mean major turbulence that shook the whole airplane and caused a stewardess to actually fall down in the aisle trying to get to the intercom to make sure people buckled up. It went on for thirty minutes too and several times we were literally falling. My man took my hand and stayed calm the entire time. He was clearly worried but compared to other people on the plane crying out and saying things like ‘oh God’ he was a rock and he just kept telling me everything would be okay. It said a lot about how he handles stressful and scary situations and he made me feel safe.”

—Cherie, 23


2. “No matter how much you think you love someone, you can learn to hate them after not eating a real meal or sleeping for 24 hours while waiting for a flight inside a Chinese airport. Airport terminals are where love goes to die.”

—Skye, 26


3. “Girlfriend and I went to a music festival for the weekend in Iceland a couple years ago. We talked about it and decided we’d both pack really light. Apparently light meant three suitcases to her and constant complaining once we were in our hotel room about all the things we forgot. This trip is when I learned that not being able to cut loose every once in a while is a pet peeve of mine. You shouldn’t have to take your whole apartment with you just to get away for the weekend.

This is a whole thing in our relationship that we haven’t worked out yet.”

—Maurice, 27


4. “This is about my ex-boyfriend. He and I went to South Korea for a week’s vacation. I’m second generation American and while I’d never gotten the impression he didn’t like Korean things I sure found it out on that trip. Dude literally complained about the language barrier the whole time. He complained that there wasn’t more Western food available and that he couldn’t watch Netflix in Seoul. Fucking hell, dude, why travel if you’re going to be this big of a bitch about it?”

—Esther, 24


5. “My now husband and I spent a week camping and hiking in Alaska before we were married. You never know how that kind of this going to go but after a brief period of fighting at the beginning of the week we really settled into this amazingly thoughtful and cooperative groove where we worked together as a team. He’s the best travel companion I’ve ever had.”

—Maggie, 26


6. “Went to Brazil with some friends including my boyfriend for Spring Break Junior year of college. Dude spent the entire time gawking at Brazilian girls openly. I get it, they’re beautiful, but the amount of disrespect he showed was a real turn off. I dropped him half way through the trip and ended up hooking up with one of the locals and spending most of my time with him instead. It’s like, get a clue, if you ignore me then you don’t get to keep me around.”

—Anna, 22


7. “I learned just what a chill person my girl is when our luggage got lost on a trip to the Bahamas two years ago. I mean, she was annoyed but she absolutely did not let it ruin her good time. We just went and bought some basics and spent the first half of the week changing in and out of two outfits. It was actually more fun than if we had our luggage with us and when the airline found our stuff four days later it was a total afterthought. Her whole attitude saved the trip.”

—Jim, 29


8. “My husband talks when he’s bored, a lot, and when you’re traveling, as we all know, there’s a lot of boredom. I finally had to tell him to stop talking to me because I was going insane. So, we learned that in order to travel together he has to talk less and I have to expect to be low grade annoyed the whole time.”

—Sam, 24


9. “News flash to those who don’t know, when you’re hostel jumping in Europe not everywhere is going to have a washing machine available so pack more than two pairs of everything. A boy I dated briefly couldn’t understand why he couldn’t expect the world to just provide washing facilities for him no matter where we were. Ugliest American traveler I ever knew.”

—Janice, 24


10. “Girl I was dating back in 2010 actually complained about mass transit options when we went to London for a few days. Within a single day she developed this ridiculous proud American persona where she suddenly felt like everyone should have a car and there shouldn’t be so many subways and buses. And that’s when I began to hate her and realize what an infantile moron she was.”

—Martin, 27


11. “My girlfriend and I went to Tokyo together and quickly realized how sloppy we were compared to literally everyone in the entire country including every inanimate object. Like, our seats on the subway had it together more than we did appearance wise. We just laughed it off and decided that ‘ugly American’ was apparently also a literal description. Japan has its shit together and we bonded closely over our disgusting and hairy appearance.”

—Mack, 23


12. “You can learn a lot about a person from the kind of shoes they wear to the airport for a twelve hour flight around the world. If they wear heels and a tight dress because they want to look good that might be a sign that they don’t understand what they’re doing. Prepare your body because they’re going to be complaining about their choices for the next three days and asking why no one told them what to wear even though you told them ‘wear something loose and comfortable’ no less than three billion times.”

—Vincent, 27


13. “My wife and I both learned patience but we had a headstart on it since we both knew that travel can be stressful (we hadn’t traveled together before). However we were traveling with another couple who had not learned this lesson and fought nearly the entire trip about the stupidest shit imaginable like what what an appropriate vacation bedtime is. So, I guess what she and I learned is that we’re solid and everyone else is crazy.”

—Nathan, 30


14. “Long-term boyfriend (now fiance) and I actually learned a lot about each other just from whirlwind holiday trip last Christmas. I learned that he needs to be the one manages tasks and planning and transitions and that he wants me to steer him and acknowledge his efforts in this way. I learned that I need him to be able to set the itinerary. It’s weird that this was the lesson that we took from our trip together but it’s valuable info. Once we both realized that’s what was going on it was easy to see how this held true in our relationship as well. We’re both much better for it.”

—Jude, 25 TC mark

15 Women Share How They Got Over Their Ex (For Good)

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 03:00 PM PST

Twenty20 / thompsonlxs_
Twenty20 / thompsonlxs_

1. “I completely cut him out of my life. Blocked him from my phone, so I have no idea if he has even tried calling, unfollowed him on ALL social media, and deleted every photo I had of him in my photo library. If he’s not around, I won’t think about him.” —Andrea, 23


2. “After we broke up I hooked up with multiple guys, and thought that would help. I slowly started to realize that made me miss him even more.” —Dawn, 24


3. “Honestly, I don’t believe in ‘getting over your ex.’ You shared a part of your life with them, and that part of your life won’t ever disappear. You shouldn’t ‘get over’ them, you should just keep on moving without them.” —Rachel, 25


4. “My ex was a piece of shit. The only thing I miss about him is the sex. The rest of him was not hard to get over.” —Kaitlyn, 23


5. “I have no hard feelings towards my ex whatsoever. We both still care a lot about one another, and I only ever hope the best for him. I think that really helped me get over him though. The fact that I don’t think about him negatively helps me to be a more positive person in general, and I think it has attracted more positive people towards me as well.” —Kiersten, 25


6. “It takes way too much energy to fully eliminate him from my life. He is a person, and he lives in the same world I do, his existence is inevitable.” —Greta, 27


7. “The best way to get over an ex is to replace him with someone else.” —Kate, 23


8. “Distraction. That is how I get over any ex. Usually I just drown myself in work, which is probably not the best for my love life, but hey, it’s great for my career.” —Becky, 27


9. “I got over my ex by making him regret ever dumping me. I joined a gym, got fit as hell, posted tons of photos of me and my friends looking good and having fun, and sure enough, he reached out. Him asking me out again made it so easy to move on. I don’t want to be with someone who only appreciates what they have until it’s gone. I want to be the girl who says, ‘You missed your chance, too bad,’ and I am.” —Liz, 24


10. “I tried online dating, and surprisingly met a few really great guys. It helped me get over him because I wasn’t worrying about whether or not he was thinking about me, I was worrying about how nervous I was to go on a bunch of dates with guys I only knew from photos.” —Carley, 24


11. “I feel like you never truly get over an ex. There’s always that one thing that reminds you of them, and that one moment when they pop into your head, and that’s just unavoidable. If you’re actively trying to get over them, it means you’re not.” —Mia, 26


12. “I just think about our relationship as a learning experience, and I think everyone should see their exes in that way, so you can move forward and not make the same mistake twice.” —Daniella, 24


13. “My ex lives a few blocks away from me, so running into him happens about as often as I go grocery shopping. We’re both mature about the breakup, and are civil towards each other, but neither one of us has started dating someone else, at least that I know of. I think knowing he’s still single gives me some sort of comfort. That probably means I’m not over him at all, but I feel good and that’s all that matters.” —Kylie, 25


14. “A lot of wine, a lot of ice cream, and a lot of crying. I think that’s pretty normal, right?” —Christina, 23


15. “My ex basically broke my heart, and it took me a while to open up to someone again because I was scared of being hurt. The amount of potential relationships I metaphorically shat on made me realize I needed to let my guard down, and when that began to happen I learned a lot about myself. I got over him because I realized that I had nothing to do with why he left.” —Mary Kate, 26 TC mark

5 Questions About Money You Need To Ask Your Significant Other Before Saying “I Do”

Posted: 08 Nov 2015 02:00 PM PST

Unsplash / Scott Webb
Unsplash / Scott Webb

Here's the thing. Before Johnny and I said "I do," we didn't ask each other a single thing about finances. I knew Johnny liked to eat frozen burritos because he'd made them for me a time or two. He knew that I had student loan debt because I told him that after he'd already proposed. Because I'm evil. Or maybe I was just embarrassed.

And luckily, everything worked out. We were both very (very) young so neither of us had much in the way of financial baggage or make-or-break opinions. A joint checking account seemed like a romantic idea, as did changing my last name. Our naiveté worked in our favor since we were able to learn and grow together.

But let's say that fateful day Johnny and I exchanged phone numbers never happened. Instead, here we are, both closing in on 30, and after swiping right (or is it left?) and getting matched up on Tinder, we've been dating for the last several months. We both have our own personal finance blogs, his about keeping a $20 monthly grocery bill (by filling up on Taco Tuesday, of course), and mine on living on a J.Crew-only "budget." The "L" word has been said, the "M" word has been discussed at length, but so far, he hasn't put a ring on it.

What financial questions should we ask each other before he pops the question? Here are a few we think would be helpful to get this discussion rolling…

1. How do you feel about budgeting?

If one or both of you is keeping a budget, you'll probably say it right here. If you're not, you'll probably say something vague like, "Seems like a good idea," or "I'm not opposed to it," or, hopefully, "I've always wanted to, but I'm not sure where to start." Now that's an answer we can work with.

Once you're engaged and a wedding date has been set, what better time to start tracking your spending together as you plan your big day? There doesn't even necessarily have to be a strict budget in place, but it could provide a look into the type of financial personalities each of you has.

2. Do you have any debt?

Awkward question award. But it's important to know what you're getting yourself into. Chances are, your future spouse has already spilled the beans on this one, but in case it's never come up, it's a must. There are situations where a spouse might be liable or where jointly owned assets can be seized by a lender. With that on the line, this question is definitely worth getting an answer on.

3. Have you put any money in savings?

You don't need exact figures, but it's good to have an idea of how much money you'll be starting your marriage off with. Right after you get back from your fantasy-land honeymoon where money and jobs and weight gain don't matter, you'll likely start renting or buy a place together, which both require a significant amount of money up front. You'll also need a more robust (at least double) emergency fund than what you needed when you were single.

4. How do you imagine finances working once we're, ya know… married?

Hopefully, your question doesn't actually sound just like that, but it is important to know whether your future spouse intends to share bank accounts, keep all your earnings separate, have each person be in charge of separate bills, etc. Johnny and I chose joint banking, but that's not the answer for every couple (pssst, it is the answer but we're just pretending like there are other valid opinions other than our own). Knowing what to expect is what's most important.

5. What do you want from the future, and how are you going to make it happen?

Do you both want kids? Do you want to buy a home? Do you want to retire in Tahiti? Do you want to pay off your student loans in 5 years? Are you contributing to a 401k/Roth IRA, etc.? These are the questions of the future. Finding out how your future plans align will be one of the main keys to financial success. Chances are good that if you've made it to wanting to marry each other, you both want a lot of the same things from the future.

Once you've finished up your financial confessional, you'll be that much closer to walking down the aisle with less financial worry so that you can focus on not tripping/fainting/tossing-the-garter-to-your-younger-brother (gross) on your wedding day. Some of your significant other's answers might not be what you were hoping for, but you'll compromise and work as a team to get it figured out. Because, duh, that's what this whole marriage thing is all about. TC mark