The 8 Defining Characteristics of a Best Friend

Everyone with a bestie will recognize these ever-important traits of what it means to be a true friend.


Who would we be without our friends? From an early age, friends teach us the ropes, giving us the building blocks to learn how to give, love and face life’s ups and downs. The United Nations recognizes the importance of friendship and proclaimed July 30 as International Friendship Day, highlighting friendships as a way to bridge differences and bring about more peace in the world. Take a moment to celebrate your friends both near and far by exploring the eight defining characteristics of what being and having a best friend really means.

1. TELEPATHY


Your best friend has the uncanny ability to read your mind before the words pop out of your mouth. Just by exchanging a glance, you both know exactly what the other is thinking.

2. HONESTY


Whether you have a piece of broccoli stuck in your teeth or you are about to embark on a major life decision, your best friend is there to give you their real opinion. While sometimes it can seem a bit harsh or they may even disagree with your choices, your best friend won’t hide their views – especially if they think it’s in your best interest.

3. HUMOR


Rolling on the floor laughing till your stomach hurts doesn’t happen with just anyone. Best friends know exactly what will trigger a belly-aching laugh, and between the personal jokes and shared experiences, your bestie knows how to tickle your funny bone.

4. EMPATHY


Your best friend can actually feel what you are going through – because they have been there before. Or, they simply relate to you on such a deep level that they can profoundly understand what you are experiencing.

5. GENEROSITY


Giving is something that comes naturally between best friends, with each person willing to share what they have with the other. A true friendship has boundaries, but abundance is key. No tabs are kept on who gives and who receives, creating a flow of sharing and caring between you both.

6. TRUST


Secrets, fears and deep thoughts are just some of the things you freely share with your best friend – because you know that what you say remains in the vault. Your best friend would never use your private information against you or to hurt you in any way.

7. ENCOURAGEMENT 


Your bestie thinks that you are awesome and is there to give you a boost when you are feeling low. As your personal cheerleader, your best friend reminds you of how many great things you have to offer the world, always focusing on your positive attributes that make you shine.

8. STEADFASTNESS


Your best friend has your back! No matter the situation, you know that when you need your friend to be there for you, they are present without fail. As James Taylor and Carole King sing:

You just call out my name

And you know wherever I am

I’ll come running to see you again

Winter, spring, summer or fall

All you have to do is call

And I’ll be there

Yes I will

You’ve got a friend

Advertisements

Are You Washing Your Face Wrong?


Washing your face is one of those basic beauty routines that you do when half asleep — literally. Rub, rinse, pat dry, and that’s it, right? Well, according to skin-care pros, if you really want to maintain a clear, glowing complexion, there’s a bit more to washing your face than a half-awake rinse.


1. Don’t ignore your hairline.

“Sometimes women don’t work their cleanser close enough to their hairline as they should because they don’t want to mess up their blowouts. You could get acne there if you don’t clean that area,” says Francesa Fusco, MD, a dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology in New York City. Slip on a wide headband to protect your edges and then be sure to massage your cleanser all the way out to your hairline to thoroughly get rid of makeup and gunk.


2. Use the right water temperature.

If your skin feels uncomfortably tight or not quite clean enough after you wash it, don’t be so quick to blame your cleanser. The problem might be your rinsing game. “Stick with lukewarm water when you rinse. Hot water dries out your skin, and cold water doesn’t remove dirt and oil as well,” says Debra Luftman, MD, a dermatologist in Calabasas, California and a Simple Advisory Board Member.

3.  Slow Down

For the best results, work your cleanser all over your skin in a circular motion with your fingertips. Start from your nose (where makeup is usually the heaviest) and go outward toward your hairline. Want to turn the whole process into a de-stressing mini-massage? Use an oil cleanser — it feels luxe on the skin and not at all greasy.


4. Give Your Cleanser an Assist

Creamy formulas are great for dry and sensitive skin types, but to whisk away heavy makeup (think stick foundation or an elaborate strobing job), it’s a good idea to follow up with a cleansing water to zap every last trace. Start by saturating a cotton pad with the liquid, and wipe it over one-half of your face. Then flip the pad over to its clean side and do the other half.

5. Rinse the Right Way

For healthy skin, the way you take off your cleanser is just as important as how you apply it — see tip no. 3. “When you’re rinsing, rub your fingers over areas where lather tends to accumulate, like the sides of your nose, your eyebrows, and near the hairline. Then once you think you’ve rinsed enough, splash three more times [for a thorough clean],” says Dr. Fusco.


6. Master the Art of Face Wipes

To avoid redistributing the very makeup you’re trying to get rid of, grab a cleansing cloth and take Dr. Luftman’s advice: “Start with one side of the face, wipe it from top to bottom, skipping the nose. Then turn the towelette over and repeat on the other side. Do your nose last — [but make sure you do a pinching motion as you go down the length of your nose] to avoid spreading bacteria onto your skin.”

5 Brutal Truths About Emotional Intelligence


Ever since Daniel Goleman’s international best-seller Emotional Intelligence was released in 1995, interest in this quality has risen dramatically. Many psychologists and other experts claim that higher emotional intelligence (also known as EI or EQ) leads to better performance, better pay, and overall success. But is emotional intelligence really all that it’s cracked up to be?

Here are five brutal truths I’ve discovered about emotional intelligence.

1. It doesn’t matter what you call it. It’s real.

Some claim that emotional intelligence doesn’t really exist, that it’s a myth. The study of EI as a science is relatively new, and many psychologists disagree on its application. But the general idea of EI has been around as long as we have. To boil it down to basics, ask yourself:

  • Do emotions influence your thinking and decision making?
  • Can awareness and deliberate efforts to control emotional reactions make a difference in behavior and outcomes?

The resounding answer to both these questions is yes.

2. There’s no quick way to develop it.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, there’s no microwave way to success. Like any skill or ability, developing EI takes time and dedicated effort.

3. It has a direct effect on your physical health.

Doctors and scientists have proved that stress can cause a variety of health problems, including headaches, muscle pain, stomach problems, and fatigue. It can even increase the risk of heart attack and other serious diseases. This is all the more reason you should learn how to manage stress properly.

4. It can save your relationship.

Think about the last argument you had with your significant other. Where did things go wrong?

Emotional intelligence can help you:

Using EI to deal with disagreements turns potentially destructive conversations into opportunities to learn–and will help you and your partner discover new ways of working together.

5. It can be used for evil.

It’s important to know that emotional intelligence can be used both ethically and unethically. Every day, certain politicians, colleagues, and even supposed friends use emotionally intelligent skills to manipulate others.

Of course, this is just one more reason why you should work at raising your own EI, to protect yourself.

How Should Busy People Pick The Optimal Time To Work Out?

The Pros of a Morning Workout

When you wake up, all of your muscles are relaxed and you’re likely to feel lethargic – exercise is the perfect remedy for this. Furthermore, a morning workout wakes you entire body up, including your metabolism. This means you’re more likely to lose weight when exercising in the morning as opposed to the evening. Moreover, if you don’t eat a big breakfast (especially not carbs) you will burn even more fat, according to PubMed studies.

A different study by Appalachian State University found that exercising at 7 a.m. lowers your blood pressure and improves sleep quality.

The Bad Points of Working Out In The Morning

You need to have the motivation to get up early each and every day. It’s too easy to hit the snooze button when the alarm goes off! It’s worth keeping in mind that you will probably have to get up earlier than normal if you want to exercise properly. You should also note that mornings can sometimes be hectic, especially if you have to go into work earlier than normal, which means you might be tempted to avoid exercising from time to time.


Evening Workouts Have Some Advantages

If you’ve had a stressful day at work, exercising is the ideal way to take your mind off things. On top of this, your body has had a chance to wake up and all of your muscles will be ready for the most strenuous of workouts. A study conducted by the American College of Chest Physicians found that your lungs are at peak performance in the late afternoon, making exercising much easier.

One final point about working out in the evening: it can also help you get to sleep! We said earlier that morning workouts are best for getting a good night’s sleep, but if you exercise at least two hours before bedtime, you should find that sleep comes just as easily since you’re burning off excess energy and calories. However, exercising too close to bedtime will likely have the opposite effect so try not to leave it too late!

The Cons of Evening Workouts

Sometimes when you’ve had an exhausting day at work, any kind of exercise is the last thing on your mind. We’ve all had days like this. It’s unavoidable, unfortunately. You might also have some unexpected family commitments to attend to after work, means that going to the gym isn’t possible. This general lack of control over what might happen each evening makes it more likely that people will skip workouts, and once people miss too many they might stop exercising completely.

Okay, so what’s the best time to exercise?

If you want to lose weight and maintain a strict schedule, morning workout is probably your best option. If, however, you want to exercise when your body is most alert and optimized for performance, evening workout might be preferred. Of course, it’s important to note that everyone is different – some people are naturally morning people, while others are night owls – so, your optimal time might be suited to a particular time of the day regardless of what scientific evidence says.

How Much Water Should You Drink In A Day

Everyone’s heard the old refrain — drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Turns out that’s not entirely accurate. The Mayo Clinic recommends about 13 cups a day for an average male and about nine cups a day for the average female. But the actual amount of water a person should drink in a day can vary based on where you live, how much you weigh, and what kind of lifestyle you lead.

Water makes up 60 percent of our body’s weight and is absolutely imperative for our organs to function. Since we are constantly losing water through sweat, urine and even our breath, drinking enough water is crucial. If you become dehydrated, you will lose energy and become nauseated, headache-y, and tired. Severe dehydration can even send you to the hospital so drinking an adequate amount of water is crucial to maintaining your health on a daily basis.


If you exercise, you are losing more water than the average person. Therefore, it’s important to drink water before, during and after your workout — an extra 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 cups should be sufficient for a short workout. If you’re doing prolonged exercise, like running in a marathon, you have to drink much more than that.

In the summertime or if you live in a warm climate, you’ll also need to drink more water than the recommended amount. That’s because heat can make you sweat more and lose fluids faster.


You’ll also need to drink more water than is usually recommended if you’re sick with a fever, vomiting or diarrhea. If all you’ve got is a pesky cold, drinking water can also help keep your nasal passages hydrated and prevent you from getting sicker.

Another instance where you need to drink more water? If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. The Mayo Clinc recommended that a pregnant woman drink at least 10 cups of water a day and a nursing woman to drink 13 cups of water a day. That’s because nursing drains your body and can leave you dehydrated if you’re not drinking enough. Not to mention that adequate hydration while breastfeeding can ensure an ample milk supply.


How do you know if you’re drinking enough? You can count the cups you drink or you can just peek in the toilet after you pee — you should be peeing a clear or light yellow liquid. If your urine is dark yellow or cloudy, you definitely are not drinking enough.

This is a lot of water to drink for physical health, but drinking water can have an influence on your emotional health as well. A 2014 study published in PLOS ONE found that, if you’re not drinking enough water, drinking more water will better your mood and increase general positive emotions. If you’re already drinking a good bit of water during the way, keep it up! The same study found that folks who drank a high amount of water over the course of the day experienced a decrease in their happiness levels if they decreased their water intake.


If water isn’t your thing, you can also safely substitute juice, milk or coffee for a cup or two a day. Since I was never a major water drinker, I like to combine 1/3 cup juice with 2/3 cup water. 

Traveling Makes Us Better


1. Plan for the Unexpected

An itinerary can be helpful, but you won’t be able to plan everything down to the smallest detail. How could you possibly have known about that little restaurant at the back of that alley before you arrived, or that friendly local who invited who into his house to hear him play thesanturi? Often, the best parts of a trip are a result of an adventure.

2. Not getting what you want or getting what you didn’t want can be a blessing in disguise

When you have to take a later bus or a different ferry, you have no choice but to accept it. This is how a lot of successful people learn to be happy when things don’t go their way.

3. The best things can come from the worst experiences

Once, when I was in New York, I was swindled by a stranger for a hundred dollars. At first I was devastated. I spent the entire next day thinking about what I should have done to keep my money, and what I would do if I had it. But what I learned from this about humanity, about the nature of good and evil within people, and how circumstances force them to do bad things showed me a lot about myself and how to cope with misfortune.

4. Price and value are two different things

The cost of a trip may be a couple of thousand dollars, depending on how big you go. But the value it could have on your life and your memories could be priceless. Think about how much you are willing to spend, sure, but also consider what else you want from your vacation, who you want to meet, what kind of experiences you want to have, and how you want to remember it ten years from now.

5. Dont follow others’ footsteps and find your own path

Traveling in a guided tour can be informative and fun, but I look forward to wandering away from the group, down labyrinthine alleys, into falafel shops and sectarian neighborhoods, to experience my own understanding of a city and its environs. The same applies to when I come home from my trip.

6. Living in the moment

Traveling is kind of like being in love. Except instead of being intimate with another person, you become intimate with a place. Those moments of pleasure when the sun hits your face and you look out onto a foreign countryside, or arrive at a new train depot in a bustle of taxis and hawkers—those are the moments you, or at least I, remember, and live for, again and again.

7. Seeing how other people live

We’re all part of a human family, but it’s easy to forget that when we move through our daily routine, seeing people who live just like we do. But when you see people going about their daily existence in ways very different from your own, it can open your eyes to how similar you are to them, and how different.

8. Appreciating what you have

When you see a family eating rice for dinner and sleeping on the street under the open sky, it can help you think about how lucky you are to have a home and warm clothes you can go back to. Chances are if you’re reading this right now, your probably in the top 20% of the world’s wealthiest people. Don’t forget it!