Researchers asked 115 undergraduate students to rate the attractiveness of 20 individuals based on their profiles. Participants then had to say whether or not they would be interested in going on a date with the person behind the profile.
Each profile was ‘manipulated’ to emphasize conformity (with statements such as, ‘She is quite happy to go along with what others are doing,’) or non-conformity (‘She often does her own thing rather than fit in with the group.)
The participants were asked which people of the opposite gender they found most attractive. They were also asked to name which members of their own gender they thought would be most attractive to others.
So, what do men and women find attractive? Both the men and women were more attracted to the profiles of people who seemed to know their own mind.
Interestingly though, the men were more accurate in predicting which profiles would be the most attractive to the opposite sex. Women tended to overestimate the extent to which men would prefer women who followed the crowd, but it turns out that’s not the case. Men prefer women who know their own mind.
To test out whether the findings were unique to the Australian culture, the study was also conducted in Britain, America, and India. The results were similar to those found in Australia. Both men and women prefer partners who can think for themselves.
In a world that sometimes feels like it presses too hard for conformity, it feels more than a little bit excellent to know that an independent mind is where it’s at to send sparks flying.
The research dispels a common belief (or maybe a stereotypical belief) that men prefer women who are submissive and agreeable. Of course, some men prefer this (just as some women prefer men who are more conforming) but for the vast majority, this just isn’t the case.
For them, women with their own minds are the ones who get their attention — and the first date.
This article was written by Karen Young, psychologist
Source: The One Personality Trait In Both Men And Women That Makes People Incredibly Attracted To Them (msn.com)
The updates are numbered 15.4.1 for the iPhone and iPad, and 12.3.1 for the Mac.
They bring some small changes, including a fix for a battery bug that meant that iPhones and iPads lost charge more quickly than they should after a recent update. While it is not clear how widespread that bug was, affected users said their devices had been losing charge more quickly since iOS 15.4 was released.
OS 15.4 was made available by Apple in mid-March, and included a range of features, including the ability to unlock an iPhone while wearing a mask.
But as well as that battery fix, the new updates also fix a critical security bug that Apple warned could already have been used by hackers.
It did not give detailed information about those bugs, how exactly they could be exploited or how many people are likely to have been hacked. The company often withholds informations about such security flaws so that attackers are not able to exploit them.
Installing the latest updates should however secure devices against anyone trying to make use of the attack.
That is done by opening up the Settings app, clicking through to software updates, and pressing the option to install the new version of the operating system. Macs, iPhones and iPads should also prompt users to update too.
Apple has pushed out a number of security updates over the year, aimed at fixing similarly dangerous bugs.
Brides and grooms typically go into a marriage thinking until death do us part. Still, for every 1,000 marriages in the U.S. in 2019, 14.9 ended in divorce, which was a 50-year low.
If you’re going through a divorce and aren’t financially prepared, there are resources that may be able to help. And though the road ahead will be difficult, it might help to consider what life could look like after the divorce.
The following are only contributing factors and not legal grounds for divorce, though there is some overlap.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, finances are one of the most common reasons for divorce proceedings and is a top reason why couples argue. In fact, a survey conducted by Finder in 2020 found that about a third (33.78%) of American adults would reconsider a romantic partnership due to a partner’s debt. In short: It’s a good idea to balance that checkbook.
Ironically, the average cost of a divorce with an attorney is about $10,000. If finances were the reason for your nuptial negation, consider some alternative options for ending it. There are less expensive online divorce services that can save you money if you have an uncontested divorce.
According to Health Street, 7.3% of divorces are a result of drug or alcohol addiction. Whether it’s prescription drugs, sex, alcohol or illegal narcotics, addictions can become a strain on relationships. Also, addiction can sometimes lead to other behaviors that are the catalyst for divorce, such as money mismanagement, infidelity and abuse.
3. Commitment issues
A study by Couple Family Psychol found a “lack of commitment” to be the number one reason couples got divorced, with 75% of couples citing this as the reason for their relationship breakdown. In this context, “commitment” has two references: the first being intimacy and romantic feelings, the second involving willingness to build the relationship together.
In a 2020 study conducted by Finder, it was found that Americans were about four times more likely to cheat on their significant other than on their taxes. Roughly 8.8 million Americans admitted to cheating on their taxes versus the 34.1 million who admitted to cheating on their partner.
Domestic abuse can take many forms, from financial to emotional to physical to beyond. With the pandemic, domestic violence has been a rising global concern. For example, Google reported a 75% increase in searches related to domestic abuse support in Australia.
With resources limited due to social distancing and people being required to be confined or quarantined together for long periods, tensions can run high.
The abuse might not always be directed at the partner. Abuse toward children might also be a reason couples split. If you struggle with abuse, or have and believe you may relapse, call 800-662-4357 to reach the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s hotline.
6. Getting married too young
Getting married too young is one of the most commonly cited reasons for divorce. However, it will be interesting to see whether this continues to be one of the top reasons going forward, with the average age of marriage in the US continuing to increase. The average age of those getting married reached an all-time high in 2018 for both men (29.8 years old) and women (27.8 years old).
7. Health issues
When a spouse becomes their partner’s primary caregiver due to an illness, it can create a stressful environment for all. Beyond the financial demands, the time commitment for care and other sacrifices can wear down a relationship.
In a 2009 study on gender, illness and partner abandonment, it showed women are more likely to experience separation and divorce after experiencing a serious illness.
8. Lack of communication
While we have more ways of communicating now more than ever, it seems we still can’t get it right sometimes. Frustration and anger can reach a boiling point when constructive communication isn’t present in a relationship.
A 2013 survey claimed communication problems as a top reason leading to divorces, according to over 60% of 100 mental health experts. While counseling and mediation could be used to work through it, reconciliation isn’t guaranteed.
What role has the coronavirus pandemic played in the reasons couples are divorcing?
“2020 has been a universally difficult year for everyone,” attorney Lisa Bustos said. “New challenges, such as online learning decisions, spending an inordinate amount of time with family or unexpected unemployment.”
“However, almost every single new client who has come to me has been thinking of this prior to the pandemic. The problems in people’s marriages have often existed for years, but now people are inspired to make a change in their lives.
Jackets or blazers are more of a requirement during colder months for warmth going to and from home, not necessarily to wear in the office since this is business casual attire. But don’t think that means you can throw on that denim jacket and get away with it. You still need your outerwear to be professional-looking. (You never know when you might need to go to lunch with the boss or a client!)
To get the most bang for your buck, stick with neutral colors; black, charcoal, brown, and navy work best. If you want something a bit different, try a jewel tone, small pinstripe or herringbone pattern, very classic. The fit is a big issue with jackets and blazers. Nix the boxy blazer and stick to something that nips in at the waist. Make sure that the jacket doesn’t pull or gape when buttoned. As an alternative to a blazer, you can try a wool moto jacket.
I love to layer blazers over all my business casual outfits because you never know how cold an office or location will be. So instead of being cold, you are prepared and also look stylish. In the outfit below I cuffed my blazer sleeve to soften the look and show off the cute striped lining. In the business casual outfit below I layered the blazer over a forest green dress. Added a skinny belt to the dress to create some definition and added a pretty silk neck scarf to brighten up the outfit and also soften it.
BUSINESS CASUAL SKIRTS OR DRESSES
While pants might be your go-to business casual attire, don’t forget about skirts and dresses. The blouses that you wear with your pants will most likely pair well with a skirt. Try a pencil, A-line, or pleated skirt in a solid color or a pinstripe or herringbone pattern. If the skirt has a slit, make sure it is a modest one and appropriate when sitting. Try a variety of colors and prints to see which style you like best. Ann Taylor always has so many nice options to choose from.
Dresses are a natural choice for business casual attire. It’s one item on and off you go to work. With dresses, you don’t have to worry about what pants match which top or vice versa. They also work well with cardigans and blazers when the weather is chillier. Necklines and sleeves should follow the rules noted above for blouses. Hemlines for both skirts and dresses can range from a few inches above the knee to just below the knee. Minis, high-low, and asymmetrical hemlines are best left in the closet during the week.
1. Length The length of a dress or skirt should not be so short that you feel uncomfortable. Look for a skirt length that ends right above the knee or, if you are tall, a mid-thigh length. This length will make it easy to get up and down out of chairs and appropriately cover you if you are walking up stairs or on an escalator.
2. Neckline Necklines of both dresses and blouses need to be somewhat modest and not show too much—if any—cleavage. Leave the plunging V-necks and halters at home. Try a happy medium, wearing modest v-neck, round or scoop neck, boat neck, square, keyhole, or collared style. And also consider your body shape. If you have a larger chest avoid, high necklines, boat neck or keyhole, and opt for a v-neck or scoop neck. If you have a smaller chest, you can get away with wearing a boat neck and necklines such as the dress I’m wearing.
3. Sleeves Usually, offices are on the cold side, so for dresses opt for longer sleeves. You can go full-length with a cuff or try a three-quarter-length sleeve, which is said to be the most flattering. A three-quarter sleeve ends between your wrist and your elbow.
The lower the sleeve is on your forearm; the thinner your arm will appear. So a three-quarter sleeve length has many positives. It’s office-appropriate, it’s the most flattering, it hides your arms if you’re self-conscious about them, and you won’t be as cold. Layer with a cardigan or jacket like I did in this outfit if your office is on the colder side and you can easily remove the layer as needed.
4. Fit The fit of your dress is probably paramount. Fit = Appropriateness. Too tight is certainly frowned upon and looks unprofessional, while at the other end of the spectrum, baggy and ill-fitting clothes won’t do your figure any justice and tend to look sloppy. Look for dresses that are loose but accentuate the waist. You want the dress to be figure-flattering, but not just figure-focused. A-line, shift, sheath, and classic wrap dresses are all good choices.
5. Color or Print Your style will help dictate the color or print of your garment. When it comes to solid-colored dresses, you’ll want to wear colors that look best with your skin tone. Of course, you can also go with basic black or navy which will make everyone look nice, but dare to try a color like burgundy, midnight blue, red, or forest green. In addition to wearing colors that look good with your skin tone look for colors that go with the seasons.
And don’t be afraid of prints. Florals, pinstripe, windowpane, plaid, or houndstooth prints are all great.
BUSINESS CASUAL SHOES
When it comes to shoes, you’ve got a lot of great options. Flats, wedges, heels, boots, and certain sandals can be worn with your business casual outfits. Flats are a comfortable option, worn primarily with pants. Try a loafer or driving moc, round or pointed toe ballerina style, or even an oxford. Heels are more typical in a work environment, but keep them around 4 inches or less, to be both appropriate and more comfortable. You can slip your feet into pumps, slingbacks, T-straps, peep-toe or wedged heels. And if you are going to be walking around a lot or on your feet for most of the day either opt for flats or a very thick block heel. Skinny heels will get you tired quicker.
Color is excellent for both flats and heels, as is a subtle animal print. During the colder months, pull on a pair of booties or knee-high boots, either flat, heeled, or with a wedge. Boots should be leather (or vegan alternative) and in a neutral color without over-embellishment (multiple buckles, say). While nylons and stockings are not required with your shoes, they certainly can be worn, as can tights and socks with boots.
Summer presents some challenges for women when choosing business casual outfits. The heat or humidity in many locations warrants wearing as little as possible, which isn’t appropriate for the office. Instead, wear clothing made from breathable material (cotton, silk, linen) and lighter in color.
If pants are your average daily attire, go for lightweight cotton or linen in white, cream, or beige. Pair your pants with a wide-strapped tank in a pretty color or wear a slightly sheer blouse with a camisole that will help to wick away the moisture.
Better yet, switch to skirts and dresses. Both of these items allow air to circulate below the knee and, yes, up the skirt. Wear skirts and dresses that have some movement, rather than a pencil skirt that hugs the body. Pair skirts with tops that have short or cap sleeves or that wide-strap tank or semi-sheer blouse with a camisole, so you stay fresh throughout the day.
You can also opt for heeled sandals, rather than close-toed shoes. As with general casual shoes, the height should be around 4 inches or lower and can include a wedge. Try to avoid dressier sandals that have embellishments, lots of straps, or look like they belong at a club. And, sadly, flat sandals are really not appropriate for most business casual work environments.
WHAT IS NOT BUSINESS CASUAL FOR WOMEN?
While the business casual dress code for women isn’t written in stone, there are some hard and fast rules on what not to wear. Here is what you should avoid when the dress code for women is business casual. Remember you want to keep it classy.
No jeans or denim
No low-rise pants
No capri pants
No shorts or skorts
No sweatpants or yoga pants
No leather pants or skirts
No short/mini skirts or dresses
No body-con dresses
No ankle- or full-length dresses
No tops or dresses with a plunging neckline
No tops or dresses with skinny straps
No crop tops/halters/razorback/strapless
No sandals/flip flops
No baggy clothes
No super tight clothes
No bra showing
No clogs/stilettos/high-platform shoes
Nothing that looks like you’re hanging out with friends, going to a picnic, going to a party/club, or going on a date.
This “what not to wear” is not a comprehensive list, but it does give some key points on what you should not wear.
Article by What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (stylishlyme.com)
When you’re feeling worked up, it’s always better to take a pause in order to figure out what your body needs before you say or do something you’ll regret. (You’re never too old for a nap or a snack.) To do this efficiently, therapists often recommend the HALT method as an excellent way to tame emotions and create calmness by addressing basic human and bodily needs to prevent taking out your frustrations on someone else.
What Is the HALT Method?
HALT stands for:
The HALT method is based around the premise that you’re more likely to make poor, highly emotional decisions when hungry, angry, lonely or tired. “The purpose is to help us identify these experiences when we are tempted to engage in a negative behavior and to instead address the underlying issue,” says Kassondra Glenn, LMSW, a social worker and addiction specialist for Diamond Rehab.
The Purpose of the HALT Method
“The purpose of the HALT tool is to help us feel better when we are not feeling great emotionally, and it’s often used when we’re feeling upset or emotionally off-centered,” says physician and integrative medicine specialist Catherine Uram, MD.
Use it by asking yourself what seems “off” about your body and mindset, so if you notice you are not feeling like your usual self, you can go through the HALT acronym, questioning whether you’re hungry, angry, tired or feeling more isolated and alone, than usual.
1. How To Use the HALT Method When Hungry
When hungry, you tend to make hasty, emotional decisions, rather than use logic, as your body cries out for food and your stomach grumbles. “This is because our blood glucose (blood sugar) can be lower than usual, affecting our physiology, how we think, feel and therefore make decisions,” says Dr. Uram.
The best action plan is to identify hunger signals (rumbling stomachs, headaches, irritability, etc.) and find food as soon as possible. If hunger is the cause, it’s best to eat something light and nutritious, like vegetables, fruits, nuts, or seeds, which gradually brings physiology back to baseline
Then, later eat a meal, or add on to your snack, with slow speed and mindfulness to help you think more clearly and to feel calmer. “As your body and brain are coming back into homeostasis, you will think more clearly and feel calmer, avoiding hasty remarks and snappiness and alleviating uncomfortable moods,” says Glenn.
2. How To Use the HALT Method When Angry
Anger is a normal human emotion, but unless managed, it can lead to poor decision making in the moment. Use the HALT method by recognizing that you’re angry, and then choosing to use mindfulness to rest, with exercises that bring self-awareness, acknowledgement and a sense of calm. Glenn recommends deep breathing, sending energy into the feet, or touching fingertips together one-by-one as three simple techniques with potential to regulate anger quickly and with ease by bringing more attention to the present moment and anger.
Another way to use the HALT method is to target anger as the cause and then workout, which will release anger and stress. “Running, walking, or some other form of vigorous exercise can be helpful, because when we are angry, we have increased adrenaline and glucose (blood sugar), so intense exercise allows us to put it to good use physically, rather than keeping it all pent up inside, to then explode outwards,” says Dr. Uram.
3. How To Use the HALT Method When Lonely
People are wired to seek belonging, so when you’re feeling lonely, it may lead to depression and anxiety, as well as making decisions without connecting to yourself and your authenticity or power. There’s confusion on how to stay connected to yourself and to those around you. When depressed, HALT helps you handle emotions better and avoid taking them out on others.
Use the HALT method by reaching out to someone you feel you can be your authentic self with, and face-to-face, if possible, to reduce the loneliness you’re feeling. “Connection promotes nervous system co-regulation, which allows us to move from depressed/anxious back toward our baseline,” says Glenn. You might try yoga and meditation, exercising, reading a book, painting or doing any other hobby you love.
4. How To Use the HALT Method When Tired
Without physical energy, it’s hard to maintain enough mental energy and focus, as well as clarity with thinking and judgment. “Tiredness causes us to feel foggier and increases stress around making decisions, causing those decisions to be more rash,” says Glenn.
Use the HALT method by targeting the root cause (tiredness), and then prioritize tasks, to check off items accordingly, but also by prioritizing sleep, as well. A break might signify sleep, a vacation, a walk outside, an episode of your favorite television show or even simply sitting in silence for a brief pause, just for yourself.
When Is the HALT Method Most Useful?
The HALT method is a beneficial tool for people with anger management issues or chronic stress, for couples who are struggling to connect intimately or communicate well, and for those recovering from addiction and require greater self-awareness and ability to pause before doing things hastily to reflect and center themselves first.
“In general, HALT requires us to pause before choosing our next action and this pause creates space in which we can identify core emotions and choose a less harmful route,” says Glenn.
It’s important to remember that the HALT method is a tool for our toolbox, and it isn’t a cure-all or a technique for every scenario. It can be useful to talk to a professional in the area(s) in which you’re struggling to determine whether the HALT method can help with handling your emotions.
Trying to decipher what is business casual for women can be a little difficult in today’s work environment. A business casual dress code can vary depending on the company you work for, the work you do on a day-to-day basis, and the city you’re based in. As you know a business casual dress code is different depending on which cities, states, and parts of the world you’re in. Because dressing appropriately can often make or break a career, it’s wise to follow a few simple rules when it comes to business casual for women.
WHAT IS BUSINESS CASUAL FOR WOMEN?
The easiest way to think of business casual is a hybrid of business professional and casual wear. Business casual is not wearing a full-on suit, but a strapless sundress with flip-flops is not appropriate. It’s more about mixing elements of more formal business attire, like a blazer, suit skirt, or pants in neutral colors with more casual pieces like a patterned shell top or leopard print flats.
For the majority of companies, business casual is a daily requirement. So understanding how to put together stylish work outfits is essential if you don’t work from home.
It’s wise to have the majority of your main business clothing in neutral colors: black, gray, navy, brown, beige, and white. Starting with essential pieces in neutral colors and then adding pops of color not only allow you to bring some life and personality to your office outfits but you will also get a lot of use from your essential pieces. You could wear a pair of gray trousers two to three times a week and swap the top and accessories. If you get a pair of bright printed pants, you would only get away with wearing them once in a while as they would be very memorable.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN BUSINESS CASUAL ATTIRE
One of the most challenging aspects of dressing for work is finding the right business casual pieces. Shopping for business casual clothing is half of the challenge, then you have to put those items together in stylish and comfortable outfits for work.
In the following sections, I’ll share a few shopping tips when you’re looking to add business casual pants, tops and sweaters.
WOMEN’S BUSINESS CASUAL PANTS
Pants are an obvious choice and the first option for most women in the workplace. Make sure that they fit you well, are wrinkle-free, and without frayed hems or ripped seams. I like wool, cotton (including corduroy), linen and gabardine, and you can also add in polyester, which is easy to care for. There is also a nice selection of colored denim available these days, make sure the color is pure with no fading, and it’s good to have a bit of stretch in them to make them more comfortable for sitting for long periods.
Basic neutrals work best, as you can pair them with a lot of colored tops, but you can opt for colored pants in a dark muted color like burgundy or forest green. You can also try pinstripes or a small plaid. Mid- or high-rise both work, and the hems can be cuffed or uncuffed. I like wide-legged trousers, but you can also go with a straight leg, boot cut, or ankle-length.
You can also change up the style of your business casual pants during the seasons. During the fall and winter look for thicker fabrics in dark colors and patterns more synonymous with the season.
In the spring and summer look for lighter pants in fabric and color. You also have a lot more options during this time of year. Depending on your style you could even wear wide-leg cropped pants in white or blush.
BUSINESS CASUAL BLOUSES AND TOPS
To add a pop of color or pattern to an outfit, think blouses and tops. There are a lot of choices out there in pretty colors that will complement your skin tone, eyes, and hair color. Pastels, jewel tones, plaids, muted florals, and prints (paisley, geometric, polka dot, ikat) are all acceptable.
In colder months, stick with long or ¾ sleeves; for spring and summer, short or cap sleeves work well, and you can even wear a wide-strapped tank. In the warmer months look for light blouses with cap sleeves, sleeveless, and shell tops in silk, light cotton, or other light fabrics.
Keep your neckline somewhat modest with a collared, boat neck, square neck, or turtleneck. If you go with a scoop or V-neck, make sure that cleavage is not on display. Keep your shirt tucked in or, if worn out, make sure it covers your waistband by several inches. And it should go without saying that you must wear a bra, and a tank or camisole if your blouse is at all sheer.
SHOPPING FOR BUSINESS BLOUSES AND TOPS
Shirts and tops are a category where you have almost unlimited options. It’s easy to get carried away because of the variety and affordable options. You’ll invest more money in pants and blazers as those are the work essentials that you’ll wear over and over through the years. But with tops, you don’t need to invest so much in them as you’ll most likely want to add a few new business casual blouses every year.
In summer and spring look for shirts in bright colors and fun prints. Like polka dots, florals, lace, windowpane, stripes, leaf prints, and mixed prints. If you light colors on the lighter side, opt for blush, pale yellow, pink, baby blue, light gray, or cream. If you love brights, look for tops in pink, green, yellow, orange, red, and bright blue.
I know it can get cold in the office so even if you wear a sleeveless silk top you might want to layer with a blazer. In the business casual outfit below I paired a green silk polka dot top with a striped blazer. The two colors look great together and added neck detail on the shirt adds to the dimension and looks great against the straight-cut blazer. This is the variety and fun you can have with business casual
BUSINESS CASUAL SWEATERS
You can also wear sweaters in a variety of ways, either as a top or over a shirt if you want to layer, with pants or a skirt, or over a dress. The fit of the sweater is essential here, so try to stay away from anything too baggy or ill-fitted. Fine-gauge knits work best; bulky sweaters not so much.
Your basic cardigan is a staple in business casual attire, and it can be a simple waist-length cardigan or a longer boyfriend one. Your sweater can have buttons, no buttons, or have a draped front collar. With longer cardigans, you can even use a skinny belt to add some definition and a different look to an outfit.
My favorite types of sweaters to wear to the office is thin, v-neck, long sleeve sweaters, like the pink one I’m wearing below. I love business casual sweaters because you can layer a button-down shirt underneath and pop out the collar over the sweater like in the outfit example below. The bright pink sweater is a high contrast between the striped collard shirt and black bottoms.
Another business casual sweater that I believe is essential is the simple long black cardigan. You can see in the outfit below I paired it with the pink v-neck sweater, this is an excellent option for fall and the colder months. You can layer a long black cardigan over a variety of outfits, and it’s also very comfortable.
More business casual attire (Blazer’s, skirts, dresses and shoes) in tomorrow’s post.
Source: What is Business Casual for Women? [Your Definitive Guide] (stylishlyme.com)
Today, the term “blazer” and “sport coat” are often used interchangeably, but historically there’s a difference. Let’s first discuss what separates a blazer from a sport coat.
Blazer vs Sport Coat
A sport coat is inherently more casual than a blazer, making it the least formal of the 3 jacket types. They are typically made of visibly textured fabrics like tweed or corduroy, while a blazer can be made of those fabrics as well.
Another distinguishing feature of a sport coat is its bolder patterns and colors, but a blazer can be bold and in a variety of colors too. Historically speaking, the sport coat was worn during “sporting” activities, hence the name. But since there’s little actual difference between the two, I just naturally default to saying blazer.
Blazer vs Suit Jacket
A suit jacket should always be worn with the pants that it was meant to be paired with, as it’s a mistake to wear a suit jacket with chinos or jeans. A blazer can be worn as a separate, but not a suit jacket. And a blazer can also be worn with denim or chinos, but a suit jacket should not.
The suit jacket is dressier than a blazer and is made of finer woolen fabric, whereas the blazer is often made heavier weighted fabrics. One final differentiator is that traditionally, the navy blue blazer has gold buttons, while suit jacket does not.
The bottom line: Blazers/sport coats are more versatile than a suit jacket. Don’t make the mistake of wearing a suit jacket as a separate.
Design influencers share their best bets for turning your Instagram feed into an authoritative and authentic portfolio
If you’re running a business in this day and age, figuring out how to get more followers on Instagram and building a strong social media presence are must-haves, not niceties, for brand awareness and connecting with your future clients. But for content creators whose Instagram profiles haven’t already developed a multi-digit following, the prospect of how to get more followers can be daunting.
“If you’re Beyoncé, social is optional. If you’re not, you need to be on it,” asserts Justina Blakeney, designer and founder of the home-goods site Jungalow. “It’s the most powerful marketing tool we currently have at our disposal…and it’s free.”
Blakeney should know. Jungalow—a self-described “one-stop-shop for bohemian-modern home decor + all things all things colorful, patternful + jungalicious”—boasts metrics most bloggers and content creators would envy, with an Instagram follower count of 1.6 million. The designer herself has an audience of 528,000 on her own Instagram.
Patrick Janelle (follower count: 410,000), a creative director and entrepreneur behind the popular lifestyle site A Guy Named Patrick concurs. “It’s been hugely valuable,” he says. “I went from having a little freelance business to marketing myself as an authority in the lifestyle space.”
Of course, any emerging designer would relish the chance to get their name and work in front of thousands of potential new clients, but developing a solid content strategy and growing a robust social media following—that is, actually getting casual viewers to hit the follow button and remain engaged—take commitment. If you’re going to put in the work, do it right. We asked three social-savvy experts for their very best advice to help you harness the power of social media and see real-world results for your business’ bottom line—no bots or “like” farms required.
Just get started
Hashtags, photos, content calendars, bios, captions… The prospect of building a business profile and growing your Instagram follower count may seem overwhelming. But the most important thing, experts agree, is to just take that first step. “Not overthinking it is really important,” Blakeney explains. “You don’t get better from thinking about things, you get better by practicing. It’s exercise.” No excuses, Janelle says. You already have everything you need. “The barrier to entry is really low—anybody can do it,” he notes. Though Janelle himself often posts high-quality photos, he says it’s not a necessity, especially when you’re just starting out. “The images on social media don’t have to be glossy, professionally taken photos.”
Sure, putting Instagram posts out into the world can feel a little intimidating, but don’t let that fear keep you from reaping the benefits of social media marketing. Experiment and see what feels right. “If you post something and you’re cringing, delete it,” Blakeney says. “You have room to play.”
Think of your Instagram account as a new portfolio
For designers, Instagram is king. While most experts stay visible with accounts on other social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and increasingly, TikTok, they consider Instagram most essential, with Pinterest in a solid second place. Several designers mentioned using Pinterest as a mood board for their creative work, but Janelle says it’s also an often-overlooked way to drive traffic. “Create more visibility through having a following on Pinterest or…making sure things that appear on your website are being pinned to draw traffic back to your site.”
Write compelling Instagram captions and use hashtags
Don’t discount the power of captions to grab potential followers’ attention, Blakeney says. “There are so many ways to engage an audience and the picture is only half of it. The copy is extremely important in how you’re telling the story.” It’s about more than simply discussing each photo, Janelle says—captions are a great way to set yourself apart, draw in a new audience, and establish brand voice. “You may have beautiful images, but communicating and letting your personality show through is so important.”
For many visual people like designers, words just aren’t a default way to communicate ideas—they may think best in color and shapes—but it’s essential to consider how a post is going to be received by the audience, not only what’s easiest to create.
There’s more to this article by Jennifer Hunter. Click the link below to continue reading.
A good friendship works like a positive feedback loop: You feel warm and fuzzy in your friend’s presence, which encourages you to hang out with this person again and again. Before long, you’ve solidified your bond, which can act as a buffer against loneliness, reduce your stress levels, boost your mood, and according to a review of more than 148 studies, even help you live longer. But, turning your connections into longevity-boosting powerhouses requires time, effort, and, yes, socializing. If that word alone made you groan, do know that socializing for introverts is very possible—and even enjoyable—with a reframe of how and in what context you do it.
Though researchers are still figuring out exactly why maintaining social ties is so clearly linked to longevity, they’ve found that these connections need to be high quality and supportive (rather than straining) to have that effect. And that distinction actually works in favor of introverts, says clinical psychologist Laurie Helgoe, PhD, author of Introvert Power. “Because introverts are more easily drained socially, they tend to be picky about relationships. And being picky is a good thing, given that socializing with people who bring you down or who model unhealthy coping is not going to benefit your health or longevity,” she says.
5 ways introverts can still reap all the longevity-boosting benefits of socializing
1. Start by finding an alternative word for “socializing”
If the word itself is an instant turnoff for you, then turn off the word. “To many introverts, the word ‘socializing’ conjures images of dreaded small talk, fake laughter, and clinking glasses in an overcrowded room,” says Dr. Helgoe. “But, as an introvert, if I think of ‘relationships’ instead of ‘socializing,’ I imagine relaxed conversations, genuine laughter, and shared activities.”
So, “relationships” is a good swap-in—but the word you use can be anything that connotes real connections, whether that’s “bonding,” “partnerships,” or something else in that vein. “From there, the focus can be, ‘How can I foster and tend to the relationships [or connections or bonds] that I value and desire?’” says Dr. Helgoe.
2. Turn a personal passion into a social outlet
The quickest way to fast-track a total stranger into a meaningful friend (and skip all that surface-level chitchat) is to connect with them on a personal interest. So, if you’re looking to grow your social group as an introvert, consider “what you love most in your ‘introvert world,’ and then set out to find your people,” says Dr. Helgoe.
If your thing is movies, maybe you find a film class or volunteer to help plan a local film festival, she suggests. Or, if you love books, perhaps you find a book club to join, hang out at the library, or bring your reading to a coffee shop, where it’ll be a great conversation starter. “The idea is to make visible what’s inside of you, so you can connect meaningfully with others who share your passion,” says Dr. Helgoe.
3. Carve out time for deeper chats (not just catch-ups)
Socializing that takes the form of “life dumps”—where you fill in your friend on everything that’s been going on with you for the past few weeks or months, and then, they do the exact same—is not only draining for introverts, but also, it doesn’t leave any time for real intimacy. Instead, Dr. Helgoe suggests relying on low-lift forms of communication, like text messages or emails to stay in touch with a few good friends on the regular, so that when you’re meeting up in person, you can skip the basic catch-up and move right into the good stuff.
To that end, make sure you’re also setting aside enough time for hangouts with any close friend in order to allow for the kind of relational intimacy you desire and deserve. That could mean regular 30-minute coffees or more sporadic three-hour hangouts; but either way, it’s important to hit a critical mass of time, so to speak, to ensure you both have the space to feel truly seen and heard.
4. Plan and schedule in advance
Spur-of-the-moment social events? Not typically an introvert’s jam. “Introverts do not like interruptions, and happenstance meetings can feel like an intrusion on other activities,” says Dr. Helgoe. By contrast, having regular time on your calendar for meet-ups keeps that scenario out of the picture. “For example, knowing I’m going to meet my friend every Tuesday morning orients my mind to the meeting, so instead of feeling interrupted, I am geared up and excited,” she says.
5. Nurture your internal sense of connection
In the same way that you can feel lonely in a crowd, you can also feel a sense of connection to others in your life, even while spending time alone, according to Dr. Seppälä. “One of the most important ways to do that is to lower your stress levels,” she says, “because stress is linked with a focus on the self, and that can create a feeling of disconnection from others [regardless of how much or how little time you’re spending with them].”
In that vein, taking care of your personal well-being by getting frequent exposure to nature, meditating, and practicing other stress-relief measures can actually enhance your internal sense of belonging. And researchers have found that simply feeling that sense of belonging and connection to others—even when you aren’t often surrounded by friends—can have its own longevity-promoting upside.
Forget about delusions of grandeur — turns out many of us could be suffering from delusions of being interesting.
A new paper, “Boring People: Stereotype Characteristics, Interpersonal Attributions, and Social Reactions,” set about identifying what makes a person boring, and the results are pretty harsh.
Led by the University of Essex’s Wijnand Van Tilburg, researchers asked more than 500 people to rank the most boring characteristics, hobbies and jobs in other people. Here are some of the top results of those surveys. (Prepare to be offended.)
Boring personality traits:
No sense of humor
Actively disliking things
Banking and finance
What’s so bad about being boring?
While no one wants to see people stifling yawns whenever they start to speak, the study suggests that being boring can have a bigger negative impact on our lives than we think. Study subjects admitted to regarding boring people as a burden that they would rather avoid than suffer through in social and business settings. “Our research shows that people who possess stereotypically boring features are perceived as both less interpersonally warm and less competent, and they elicit social avoidance by others,” write the researchers.
How to not be boring
Does this mean you are doomed if you are an accountant who isn’t good at small talk and likes to knit on the weekends? Of course not. Psychology Today suggests these methods to keep yourself off the dull list:
1. Don’t complain to other people.
Friends are interested to know if something serious is happening in your life, but no one wants to hear you go on and on about a delayed flight.
2. Don’t talk about yourself — ask people questions about their lives.
And don’t just ask one question, follow up to get deeper. This isn’t being nosey, it is being interested.
3. Don’t be afraid to change the topic of conversation, even if it seems random.
People tend to perceive this as rude, but it is a surefire way to keep a conversation crackling.
4. Be present when someone is talking (i.e. don’t grunt while checking your phone).
Body language is just as important as what you say to show that you are engaged.
5. Told a story that got a good laugh? Remember and retell it at your next gathering.
Like a standup comedian, have a couple of reliable stories to fall back on. (Note: only do this if you’re not hanging out with the same people!)
Now, go forth and be the riveting friend and colleague you’re almost certain you are.