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Relationships | Parenting | Food | Life | Mother, wife, and left-handed herbivore. INFJ. Still a Jersey girl. Weekly email:

And some might just help restore your faith in humanity too

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Like many people, I’ve had a love/hate relationship with social media. I don’t want to give it up completely, but I’m often exploring ways of making it better in my life.

For all the negatives one can point out about the hours we lose to scrolling whichever platform has us hooked, there are also a handful of reasons I’ve found being on social media useful. They are the reason I haven’t been able to cut the cord (and, honestly, I likely never will).

We each have our social media kryptonite. Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram don’t provide a temptation for me…

And how to start shifting your thinking today

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For a long time, I didn’t realize how essential a growth mindset is for successful relationships.

Often when people discuss mindset, the focus is on how a growth mindset benefits a person as an individual. It helps kids in school. It helps each of us deal with failure.

All of these things are true and important.

But our mindset affects far more than just us. It also deeply affects how we relate to those around us and the relationships we develop (or don’t develop) with them.

When I recently reread Carol Dweck’s excellent book Mindset I was struck by just…

Save yourself an immeasurable amount of time, frustration and misery

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When I look back on my life in my teens and twenties, there are five truths I wish I’d realized sooner. This knowledge would have saved me an immeasurable amount of time, frustration, and, frankly, misery.

I used this time to travel quite a lot and develop interests in the subjects that appealed to me. I had a lot of fun. After college, I was financially independent and gainfully employed. I got to fulfill my childhood dream of living in New York City. So, I don’t see that time as a failure or a complete waste.

But it could have…

Why I’m trying not to forget each near miss

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Two years ago, our dentist referred us to a specialist for something he’d seen in my daughter’s jaw. He didn’t seem overly concerned. I wasn’t either until I took her to see the specialist and saw the look on his face after he examined the x-ray.

At that moment, the floor seemed to sink beneath my feet.

While she was out of the room, the doctor told me that our daughter had a 5-centimeter tumor in her jaw. He gave no assurance things would be okay. In fact, he said he couldn’t help. Only a few doctors in the world…

Even if you really, really want to

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I’m not sure how it started, but my husband and I have a “no baggage” policy. Secret resentments or silent grudges are forbidden. Maybe because our relationship started long-distance, we quickly recognized that open communication was the only way we had a chance of making it.

So, for us, there’s no waiting for an annual airing of our grievances on Festivus or keeping them bottled up until we explode. We must each let one another know when we are hurt, angry, or disappointed promptly.

This tactic has served us well over the last two decades.

What I appreciate about a…

Things I didn’t know then (but can tell you now)

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Around 8 am on the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend 2001, I gave myself a silent pep talk in the mirror. This is a necessary practice for introverts who occasionally want to pass for extroverts, without consuming alcohol.

I was at the College of Santa Fe for the long weekend, to attend a screenwriting conference. I was intent on learning, meeting lots of people, and making the expense of my travel from the east coast and the conference worthwhile. I knew I had to be a bit more outgoing than normal to accomplish this.

I’d met a few nice people…

Sometimes following our (loving) instincts is wrong

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The first time I cleaned up some of my husband’s things around the house and he got mad I was shocked. I was expecting thanks, not complaints. Heaven forbid I put something back where it belongs. Far from being apologetic, I was angry. I felt unappreciated and deeply annoyed too.

I was just being nice. I certainly wouldn’t have complained if he cleaned up my stuff. What the heck?

It’s no secret that relationships are work and, at different points, both partners will make mistakes and hurt one another. This is why forgiveness is a requirement of any close relationship…

When rewards don’t work, try pairing

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I’ve often had trouble getting myself to do things that need to be done when I don’t really want to do them.

But recently I stumbled upon the best way I’ve ever found for getting myself to do tasks I normally dread. Now instead of avoiding certain tasks, I look forward to doing them and even actively look for the time to get them done as soon as possible.

It’s so simple I can’t believe I never consciously used this technique before.

I’m calling it pairing.

For me, it works much better than bribing myself with rewards.

In the past, I had often tried…

And one little trick to snap you out of thinking that way

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My husband was the one who told me that Bill and Melinda Gates had announced their divorce. He’s not one to gossip, but he told me about it in a text. He was so surprised — and disappointed.

It’s always harder to accept a split when the couple has been together for so long and they seem so great together. There are some couples who we just assume will always be together.

I know my husband was not the only one who felt that way when they saw the news. …

Jennifer Haubrich

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