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Gut Check: Are You a Contemptible Person?

Are you really struggling in life? You can’t keep a job, can’t make friends, can’t find a significant other.  You know something is deeply wrong with your personality and/or behavior, but you can’t pinpoint or describe what it is. Or maybe you don’t think anything is wrong with you, and thus feel befuddled as to why nothing seems to be going your way and you aren’t making progress in life.  The diagnosis for what’s going on may be this: you’re a contemptible person . That might sur...
Tags: Life, Social Skills, John Gottman, Kohut, Relationships & Family, Matthew Kohut, John Neffinger, Neffinger, Robert Solomon, Contemptibles


24 Better Questions to Ask Kids About How Their Day Went

It used to be that when my kids would come home from school, I’d ask them the two questions parents have been asking their children since the dawn of mandatory education:  “What did you do in school today?” And: “How was your day today?” Their answers to these queries were as invariable as the rising and setting of the sun: “Nothing” and “Good.” I was bugged by those content-less replies, but I don’t know why I expected anything different. After all, that’s what I told my mom when I...
Tags: Life, Fatherhood, SNES, Relationships & Family, Better Questions


Podcast #550: How to Strengthen Your Marriage Against Divorce

While the divorce rate has fallen over the last several decades, plenty of couples still don’t pass the test of time. Fortunately, the odds as to whether or not you divorce are not a matter of pure chance, but something you can improve with intentionality.  My guest has some research-backed advice on how. His name is Scott Stanley, he’s a professor of psychology at the University of Denver and the co-author of the book Fighting for Your Marriage. We last had Scott on the show to talk about th...
Tags: Podcast, Marriage, Life, America, Michael Strahan, Jcpenney, Scott, University of Denver, Relationships & Family, MSX, Scott Stanley, Twitter Listen, Eli Finkel, Vanguard Click, Weekly Marriage Meeting Marriage


9 Reasons You Should Host a Dinner Party This Weekend

dinner parties . . . can serve as the very cornerstone of a healthy modern society. –Brunch Is Hell: How to Save the World by Throwing a Dinner Party Kate and I really love having dinner parties. In fact, hardly a month goes by that we don’t have friends over to sup with us at least once. From anecdotal observation, this proclivity of ours seems more unusual than usual. And research bears this out: according to Bureau of Labor statistics, since 2003 the amount of time Americans spend either at...
Tags: Life, Friendship, Travel & leisure, Food & Drink, Kate, Costco, Social Skills, Dinner Party, Brendan, Bureau of Labor, Relationships & Family, Gagliano, Rico Gagliano, Newnam, Brendan Francis Newnam


How to Test Your Relationship Without Moving In Together

Over the last few decades, it’s become more and more common for couples to move in together while they’re dating. They often opt for this living arrangement because it feels convenient, and also because they want to “test” the relationship before deciding whether or not to get married. Couples figure that by experiencing what it’s like to live in close proximity and do day-to-day routines together, they can make a better decision about their compatibility and long-term prospects, in order to a...
Tags: Life, Dating, Rob, University of Denver, Stanley, Relationships & Family, Scott Stanley


What Pattern Are You Setting in Your Family?

  When you’re making choices as a parent concerning your children and your family, it’s easy to choose whatever is most comfortable and convenient in the moment. But a friend of mine once gave me a much better criterion for making these decisions — asking yourself: “What pattern do I want to set for my family?” Let me give you a couple of examples of how we’ve used this advice. Have you ever been camping with small children? It’s a hassle and a half. There’s the packing and unpacking. The fact ...
Tags: Life, Honda, Fatherhood, Mom, Relationships & Family, McKays


Sunday Fireside: Beware of Emotional Contamination

If life came with warning labels, one should read: “Beware of emotional contamination.” Emotional contamination occurs when the feelings/mood that were created from one event “pollute” another. You think you don’t like the tone in which your wife asks you a question . . . when really you’re peeved from a bad day at work. You feel like you’re irritated by your kid’s too-loud hijinks . . . when really you’re still stewing from being snubbed on social media. You decide a certain job opportunity d...
Tags: Marriage, Life, Friendship, Communication, Dating, Relationships & Family, A Man's Life, Sunday Firesides


Advice to the Newly Married

Editor’s note: The following excerpt on “Advice to the Newly Married” comes from The Business of Life by Frank Crane, published in 1920. Now, young folks, you’re just fresh married, you’re as happy as June-bugs, life seems one infinite, rimless custard pie, and Messrs. Joy and Gladness, so to speak, seem to have moved in to stay, occupying the front room and being present at all meals. Hence open up your ears and hearken unto your Uncle Dudley while he exudes a few words of thee-star wisdom. I...
Tags: Marriage, Life, Dudley, Adam, Relationships & Family, Frank Crane, Messrs Joy


7 Romantic, Non-Lame, Can’t-Miss DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts for Your Gal

Valentine’s Day is in two weeks; have you thought about what you’re going to get for your lady love? Chocolates and flowers are pretty boring and cliche. Jewelry is expensive, and equally unoriginal. She might swear she wants “nothing,” but what she usually means is that she doesn’t want anything big. She’s probably still hoping for some small acknowledgment of the holiday, even just a card. And if she thinks she’s okay with your skipping even that, she’d still be thrilled — especially so give...
Tags: Marriage, Life, Dating, Jane Austen, Projects, Manly Skills, Relationships & Family, Primer Magazine


Vintage Secrets to Being a Good Conversationalist

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Our Deportment by John H. Young, an etiquette manual published in 1882. The character of a person is revealed by his conversation as much as by any one quality he possesses, for strive as he may he cannot always be acting. Importance of Conversing Well To be able to converse well is an attainment which should be cultivated by every intelligent man and woman. It is better to be a good talker than a good singer or musician, because the former is ...
Tags: Kentucky, Life, Etiquette, Communication, Social Skills, Thackeray, Henry Clay, Relationships & Family, John H Young, Confidence of Others Never


Surprisingly Relevant Rules From 1882 on Being a Good Houseguest (and Host)

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from Our Deportment by John H. Young, an etiquette manual published in 1882. Some of the social observances pertaining to visiting away from one’s own home, and accepting the hospitalities of friends, are here given and are applicable to ladies and gentlemen alike. General Invitations No one should accept a general invitation for a prolonged visit. “Do come and spend some time with me” may be said with all earnestness and cordiality, but to give the...
Tags: Life, Etiquette, Host, Relationships & Family, John H Young


How to Accept Your Partner’s Flaws

Once the heady chemicals of new love — which transform one’s sweetheart into the very picture of human perfection — wear off, each partner discovers that no matter how compatible they are, there is a least one thing, and sometimes several, that each dislikes in the other. Each possesses some habit, behavior, or personality quirk that annoys, infuriates, and/or disappoints the other person.   As the relationship goes on, the pair may remain very much in love, but their respective idiosyncrasies ...
Tags: Marriage, Life, Dating, Kate, Relationships & Family


4 Recommended Books for Soon-to-Be and New Dads

When Kate was pregnant with our first kiddo, I wanted to do the best I could to help her out during her pregnancy, as well as prepare for being a father to Gus when he finally arrived on the scene. So I did what any 21st century dad-to-be would do: I hopped on Amazon to see what books were out there on the subject. What I discovered was that there wasn’t much useful information available for soon-to-be-fathers and new dads. Most of the books out there for new dads were short on useful in...
Tags: Amazon, Life, Kate, Fatherhood, Carr, David Carr, Gus, Relationships & Family


Why Every Young Man Should Play a Team Sport

Some of my best memories from my childhood and teenage years involve my participation in team sports. I played baseball and basketball during elementary and middle school, and football all through high school. The funny thing is, the scenes that stick out to me the most from these experiences aren’t specific plays or key moments in a game (though I do have a few special memories of this type). Rather, I mainly think about the camaraderie and sense of belonging that being on a team gave me as a ...
Tags: Life, Sports, Kate, Fatherhood, Dad, Gus, Theodore Roosevelt, Health & Sports, Relationships & Family, Lionel Tiger, Jack Donovan, Intra Inter Competition A


How to Ask Better Questions on a First Date

Engaging in small talk with anyone can be a little nerve-racking — you’re on an improv stage for two, and have to think of things to say on the fly, avoid awkward silences, and come off as at least moderately charming to boot. Engaging in small talk on a first date can be especially anxiety-ridden. While unspoken, you’re being actively evaluated on your attractiveness (both in personality and looks). It’s like a “job” interview for the position of potential significant other. Ace it, and it cou...
Tags: Life, Dating, Relationships & Family


Talk WITH People, Not AT Them

One of the insidious things about trying to judge our own social skills, is that if an interaction went well for us, then we assume the other person thought it went well too. While you’ve probably never consciously thought about it, if you had a good time talking to someone, you think they felt the same. But this just isn’t the case. It’s very possible for you to walk away from an interaction feeling grand, while the other person walks away feeling annoyed, bored, or burdened.   What usually ha...
Tags: Life, Nba, White, Social Skills, Dole, Relationships & Family, Valerie White, Ann Demarais


Wise Parenting Dos and Don’ts From 1886

Editor’s note: The following excerpt comes from Hill’s Manual of Social and Business Forms by Thomas Edie Hill, which was published in 1886. What Parents Should Never Do Never speak harshly to a child. Never use disrespectful names. Never use profane or vulgar words in the presence of a child. Do not be so cold and austere as to drive your child from you. Never misrepresent. If you falsify the child will learn to deceive also. Never withhold praise when the child deserves it. Commendation is ...
Tags: Life, Fatherhood, Hill, Relationships & Family, Thomas Edie Hill


How to Share a Life of Outdoors Strenuosity With Your Son

Editor’s note: The following is an excerpt from “Father, Son and the Out-of-Doors,” included in Frank H. Cheley’s The Job of Being a Dad, a book published in 1923. It has been condensed from the original chapter. Today everything is so different. Unquestionably one of the great problems of the modern day is the tendency toward soft living; too much heat; too much dress-up clothes; soft, highly seasoned food to tease the appetite. The curse of modern city life for all of us is softness; soft lig...
Tags: Life, Fatherhood, Dad, Hunt, Relationships & Family, John Ballard, Frank Crane, Frank H Cheley


The Best Quotes on Fatherhood

Fathers tend to be taken for granted. We invariably make more of a fuss over Mom on Mother’s Day than Dad on Father’s Day, for one. Dads are like a steady but less sentimentalized institution — the sun in our familial sky that warms and gives life but isn’t much thought about unless he goes missing. Yet this belies the enormous impact fathers truly have on their children; while a dad’s nurturing may often take the form of playful roughhousing and silly jokes, his influence is quite serious and ...
Tags: Life, Mother, Peter Carey, Jonathan Safran Foer, George Bernard Shaw, Fatherhood, John Green, Sigmund Freud, Jackson Browne, John Marquand, Plato, Tom Perry, Billy Graham, John Steinbeck, Tom Wolfe, Howard W Hunter


The Ultimate Collection of Quotes About Fatherhood

Fathers tend to be taken for granted. We invariably make more of a fuss over Mom on Mother’s Day than Dad on Father’s Day, for one. Dads are like a steady but less sentimentalized institution — the sun in our familial sky that warms and gives life but isn’t much thought about unless he goes missing. Yet this belies the enormous impact fathers truly have on their children; while a dad’s nurturing may often take the form of playful roughhousing and silly jokes, his influence is quite serious and ...
Tags: Life, Mother, Peter Carey, Jonathan Safran Foer, George Bernard Shaw, Fatherhood, John Green, Sigmund Freud, Jackson Browne, John Marquand, Plato, Tom Perry, Billy Graham, John Steinbeck, Tom Wolfe, Howard W Hunter


The Character-Building School of Parenthood

Some people shy away from having kids because they worry that it won’t make them happy. Whether they’re right or wrong really depends on how you define happiness. If you define happiness in terms of fun and simple pleasure, then no, parenthood will indeed not make you happy. It adds a heaping helping of responsibility, stress, and friction to life. But, if you define happiness as the ancients did, as a state of eudemonia, or full human flourishing, in which you hone your capabilities and grow i...
Tags: Life, Marilynne Robinson, Fatherhood, Mom, Paul Kalanithi, Relationships & Family, John Ames, School of Parenthood


The Top 8 First Date Ideas

There are essentially two categories of first dates. There are first dates with people you’ve never seen in the flesh, nor probably talked to on the phone — those you met through an online dating service. The best first date for this scenario is the coffee date, which is something of a cliché, but for good reason: accordion-like in nature, you can cut things short after a 20-minute chat if the person’s looks or personality don’t match what you expected from their profile, or, if things go well,...
Tags: Life, Dating, Relationships & Family


The 8 Very Best First Date Ideas

There are essentially two categories of first dates. There are first dates with people you’ve never seen in the flesh, nor probably talked to on the phone — those you met through an online dating service. The best first date for this scenario is the coffee date, which is something of a cliché, but for good reason: accordion-like in nature, you can cut things short after a 20-minute chat if the person’s looks or personality don’t match what you expected from their profile, or, if things go well,...
Tags: Life, Dating, Relationships & Family


The Benefits of Reading Out Loud to Your Kids

“People would stand in line for days and pay hundreds of dollars if there were a pill that could do everything for a child that reading aloud does. It expands their interest in books, vocabulary, comprehension, grammar, and attention span. Simply put, it’s a free ‘oral vaccine’ for literacy.” —Jim Trelease, The Read-Aloud Handbook Are you looking for a way to help increase your child’s vocabulary? To instill moral values and lessons? To improve your conversations with them? Then look no fu...
Tags: Books, Life, Africa, Travel & leisure, Poland, Fatherhood, Dad, Lewis, MacKenzie, Relationships & Family, Sarah Mackenzie, Jim Trelease, Andrew Pudewa, Institute for Excellence in Writing, Teddy Roosevelt Louis L'Amour George S Patton, Emilie Buchwald


8 Favors Men Should Ask Their Neighbors

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Eric McCarty.  My neighbor, JT, is seven feet tall. Or close to it. His dog, Mia, is 10 inches high at the spikiest hair on her pointiest ear. Or close to it. JT and I have been neighbors for almost two decades. Telephone-pole JT and Mia the Mini stroll the streets every day on his lunch break. Quite a pair. Mia takes 47 steps for every Ent-like JT stride. A couple of years ago, I asked JT if I could borrow his ax and maul to split some wood. (See #4 bel...
Tags: Life, Pennsylvania, House, Mia, Nissan, Lowe, Franklin, Paul Bunyan, Lou Ferrigno, Relationships & Family, Marcus Brotherton, Eric McCarty, Mia the Mini, Benjamin Franklin Effect When Franklin


How to Make a Great Last Impression

Studies show that people remember the beginning of something, and the end of it, the best. The middle of it is recalled a little more hazily. Once a novel experience starts, your brain really starts focusing on what’s going on and quickly makes judgements about the new people you meet. And you clearly remember the last part of an experience, because it ends up being the freshest in your memory. Given this phenomenon, people understandably spend a lot of time thinking about how to make a great f...
Tags: Life, Yelp, Social Skills, Daniel Pink, Relationships & Family


10 Tips for Taking Your Kids Out to Eat

When you’re a busy parent, going out to eat can be a godsend. There are just some days when you don’t feel like cooking dinner, you don’t feel like cleaning up the subsequent mess, and you don’t even feel like getting take-out; after waiting on other people all day, you’d like to sit down and be waited on yourself. Going out to eat can be a nice way to kill some time with your kids and relax as a family. If, that is, your kids are well-behaved and everything goes smoothly at the restaurant. Oth...
Tags: Life, Fatherhood, Relationships & Family, Pei Wei, Chipotle Panera Zoës Kitchen Pei Wei


When Can Kids Start Lifting Weights?

Maybe you’ve been following a barbell training program for a while now. Maybe you do your workouts in a garage gym at home, and your curious kids have been hanging out with you while you exercise and cheering you on for getting swol. Maybe they’ve even wanted to imitate you, and would like to start lifting weights just like Dad. You start letting them hoist an empty bar a few times, and they feel like they’re ready for more. But your wife catches wind of what you and the gang have been up to an...
Tags: Fitness, Life, Fatherhood, Tanner, American College of Sports Medicine, Health & Sports, Relationships & Family, Chris Duffin, Feigenbaum, Jordan Feigenbaum, Baraki, Austin Baraki, Barbell Medicine, Tanner Puberty Scale When


When Can Children Start Lifting Weights?

Maybe you’ve been following a barbell training program for a while now. Maybe you do your workouts in a garage gym at home, and your curious kids have been hanging out with you while you exercise and cheering you on for getting swol. Maybe they’ve even wanted to imitate you, and would like to start lifting weights just like Dad. You start letting them hoist an empty bar a few times, and they feel like they’re ready for more. But your wife catches wind of what you and the gang have been up to an...
Tags: Fitness, Life, Fatherhood, Tanner, American College of Sports Medicine, Health & Sports, Relationships & Family, Chris Duffin, Feigenbaum, Jordan Feigenbaum, Baraki, Austin Baraki, Barbell Medicine, Tanner Puberty Scale When


Is It Safe for Kids to Lift Weights?

Maybe you’ve been following a barbell training program for a while now. Maybe you do your workouts in a garage gym at home, and your curious kids have been hanging out with you while you exercise and cheering you on for getting swol. Maybe they’ve even wanted to imitate you, and would like to start lifting weights just like Dad. You start letting them hoist an empty bar a few times, and they feel like they’re ready for more. But your wife catches wind of what you and the gang have been up to an...
Tags: Fitness, Life, Fatherhood, Tanner, American College of Sports Medicine, Health & Sports, Relationships & Family, Chris Duffin, Feigenbaum, Jordan Feigenbaum, Baraki, Austin Baraki, Barbell Medicine, Tanner Puberty Scale When



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