from the world's big
It turns out, letting your partner know you appreciate them leads to a stronger relationship. Who'd have thunk?
- A new study shows that people who express and receive gratitude from their partners are more motivated to meet their sexual needs.
- The effect was also seen with the mere perception of gratitude.
- As science is increasingly coming to understand, gratitude has many more benefits than this.
The study<p>One hundred eighteen couples were asked to record in a journal how much gratitude they expressed and received over three weeks. They were also asked to record their estimated level of sexual satisfaction. The researchers returned three months later and had the couples repeat this <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/social-instincts/202004/gratitude-enhances-our-desire-fulfill-others-sexual-needs" target="_blank">effort</a>. The authors found a positive connection between gratitude and "sexual communal strength," a trait used by researchers to measure how willing a partner is to meet their partner's sexual needs even if those needs differ from their preferences.</p><p>A second study looked at how the perception of gratitude influences sexual satisfaction. This involved the researchers asking test subjects to think of a recent time when they expressed or received appreciation from their romantic partner before filling out a questionnaire on their relationship and sexual satisfaction. A second group did the same, but their moment of gratitude did not involve their partner.</p><p>This half of the study found that just <em>thinking</em> of your partner this way improved the levels of self-reported satisfaction among the test subjects. </p>
How does this work? I’m asking for a friend.<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="K6O8C6S8" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="7acf56a6ba9c3d3812bc553bf3f33a1c"> <div id="botr_K6O8C6S8_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/K6O8C6S8-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/K6O8C6S8-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/K6O8C6S8-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>Recent studies have increasingly focused on a relationship trait dubbed "<a href="https://psychcentral.com/blog/the-one-trait-that-predicts-sexual-satisfaction-in-long-term-couples/" target="_blank">sexual communal strength</a>" or SCS. Sometimes defined as the "desire or willingness to meet a partner's sexual needs, even when different from your own preferences," it is <a href="https://www.in-mind.org/article/keeping-the-spark-alive-the-role-of-sexual-communal-motivation#:~:text=Sexual%20communal%20strength%20is%20the,Kogan%20%26%20Desmarais%2C%202013).&text=In%20one%20study%20(Muise%20%26%20Impett,meet%20their%20partner's%20sexual%20needs." target="_blank">increasingly considered</a> an essential element successful of<a href="http://www.amymuise.com/wp-content/themes/SHaRe/content/doc/Muise%20&%20Impett%20SPPC%20(2016).pdf" target="_blank"> long term relationship</a> satisfaction.</p><p>The specific factors that improve SCS have yet to be fully discovered, but this study shows that gratitude is one<a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples-57108?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples" target="_blank"></a>. This makes sense on an intuitive level and is supported by other studies showing how gratitude in relationships relates to <a href="https://content.apa.org/record/2012-13667-001" target="_blank">responsiveness and commitment</a> levels. </p><p>Lead author Professor Ashlyn Brady of North Carolina at Greensboro summarized the findings for <a href="https://www.psypost.org/2020/06/gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples-57108?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=gratitude-predicts-greater-sexual-communal-strength-in-romantic-couples" target="_blank">PsyPost</a>:</p><p>"Our results suggest that gratitude, an emotion that arises in response to the recognition that another person has been beneficial or valuable to us, is one factor that predicts greater sexual communal strength. Thus, simply experiencing gratitude toward, or receiving gratitude from, a romantic partner can increase your motivation to fulfill your partner's sexual needs and can help maintain this motivation over time."</p><p>She further explains that the study will lay the groundwork for further research into this phenomenon. Many questions remain, such as how long the effect lasts, if expressing gratitude for different things gives different results, or if expressing gratitude for the same thing repeatedly leads to a decline in the impact, for example. </p>
The various benefits of gratitude<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="xAL5TmI5" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="3659d790543f2edddf5aa27667d61b4b"> <div id="botr_xAL5TmI5_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/xAL5TmI5-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/xAL5TmI5-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/xAL5TmI5-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>The study also shows us yet another benefit of having gratitude. Over the past few years, a slew of reports, surveys, and articles discussing the positive effects gratitude can have on our emotional and physical health have come forth.</p><p>Studies suggest that practicing gratitude <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10902-020-00236-6" target="_blank">moderately improves depression and anxiety</a>. It is associated with a <a href="https://web.archive.org/web/20110928103847/http:/personalpages.manchester.ac.uk/staff/alex.wood/gratitude%20and%20psychological%20well-being.pdf" target="_blank">sense of purpose, control over your environment, self-acceptance, and personal growth</a>, alongside <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0092656607001286" target="_blank">lower stress levels</a>. Feeling gratitude can also make people more altruistic and is even associated with <a href="https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Gratitude-facilitates-healthy-eating-behavior-in-Fritz-Armenta/ecd23d7f7037b13fbbfded627c5650050e12a47f" target="_blank">eating better</a>. </p><p>One way to help take advantage of these effects is to keep a <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/gratitude-journal/" target="_blank">gratitude journal</a>. It can be a straightforward thing, just a list of things you're grateful for each day that you can look back on. Several studies on gratitude use journaling as a mechanism, so there is evidence associating journaling with the mentioned benefits. You can also try going a little out of your way to let people know you appreciate them and what they do. This has the added benefit of making their day. </p><p>Cicero said, "Gratitude is not only the greatest of the virtues but the parent of all others." While his statement might be a bit bold, it seems he was certainly onto something. So, say thank you a little more often- you'll thank yourself for it.</p>
Don't worry about grammar rules at first. They'll only trip you up.
- Learning a language can be a tricky process, but it's important to remember that it is a process.
- Having learned 20 languages so far, Canadian polyglot and LingQ founder Steve Kaufmann's advice is to not focus on the grammar. Constantly thinking about the rules while attempting to speak only makes it harder.
- Investing time (often several months) into listening, reading, and practicing words before trying to speak a language will help you feel more comfortable with it. You will make mistakes, but you will learn from them and people will be patient with you.
A good apology can do great things. A bad one can cause trouble. Know the difference.
- No one likes to admit they were wrong, but we still have social norms that suggest we all do it from time to time.
- A well done apology can show respect, build trust, save relationships, and maintain your self-esteem.
- Saying "I'm sorry you feel that way" does not count.
Saying you’re sorry, it’s not just for Canadians anymore!<p>According to psychotherapist and author <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-compassion-chronicles/202006/why-we-need-apologize" target="_blank">Dr. Beverly Engel</a>, an apology does more than just express politeness; it is "an important social ritual, a way of showing respect and empathy for the wronged person or persons."</p><p> When you've harmed someone, a genuine, well-given apology demonstrates that you care about them, validates their emotions, allows you to take responsibility for your actions, rebuilds trust, and prevents the further deterioration of relationships. It can also help you avoid the shame and guilt of wronging someone from eating away at your self-esteem.<br> <br> As Dr. Engel explains, "Apologizing to another person is one of the healthiest, most positive actions we can ever take—for ourselves, the other person, and the relationship.<strong></strong></p><p>Plenty of experts agree with her. Wellness coach <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/elizabeth-scott-m-s-3144382" target="_blank">Elizabeth Scott</a> argues that apologies let other people know that you understand what you did was wrong and helps everyone <a href="https://www.verywellmind.com/the-importance-of-apologizing-3144986#:~:text=Apologies%20re%2Destablish%20dignity%20for,comfortable%20with%20each%20other%20again." target="_blank">move forward after a conflict</a>. Dr. Denise Cummins highlights the <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/good-thinking/201304/are-you-big-enough-apologize" target="_blank">affirmation of humanity</a> present in apologies and points to data showing that the negative consequences of apologizing are often <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100602121158.htm" target="_blank">overstated</a>.</p><p>Professor <a href="http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/ps/faculty/node/25611" target="_blank">Allison Stanger </a>of Middlebury College agrees and reminds us in her <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2FgWw4KHpiA" target="_blank">Big Think interview</a> that a good apology creates suitable environments for learning and that needing to apologize for something doesn't make you a bad person:<br> </p><p><em>"Human beings have blind spots. They have implicit biases. This doesn't mean you're a bad person. We all have them. And I think it's an illusion to think we can eradicate them from human beings. And this relates to civil discourse because it's important that people be allowed to think out loud and make mistakes because, particularly in diverse work environments, diverse college classrooms, people are going to come from different backgrounds, and they will say things that may offend someone. And there, I think it's extraordinarily important that we tell our students, that this may happen, but it's immensely important that if you offend someone inadvertently that you apologize and say 'That was not my intention.' And then hopefully we can move on. </em></p><p><em>In my classroom, I do this, I say, I want you to speak freely. I don't want you to censor yourself. But if anybody feels offended, they should speak up because that's not a good classroom environment, and we apologize, and we move on. And I think this is a really simple truth that apologizing and moving on is a real foundation for moving forward."</em></p>
How should I apologize? Is saying “I’m sorry you feel that way,” enough?<div class="rm-shortcode" data-media_id="CPuEDXrz" data-player_id="FvQKszTI" data-rm-shortcode-id="30b01d19ea5107b651781281920e978d"> <div id="botr_CPuEDXrz_FvQKszTI_div" class="jwplayer-media" data-jwplayer-video-src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/CPuEDXrz-FvQKszTI.js"> <img src="https://cdn.jwplayer.com/thumbs/CPuEDXrz-1920.jpg" class="jwplayer-media-preview" /> </div> <script src="https://content.jwplatform.com/players/CPuEDXrz-FvQKszTI.js"></script> </div> <p>A proper apology should express your understanding that you've done something wrong. Telling someone "I'm sorry you feel that way" if they do indeed have a legitimate grievance is not merely an inadequate apology, but it is also patronizing. Furthermore, it is <a href="https://freakonomics.com/podcast/apologies/" target="_blank">an ineffective way to apologize</a>. You should also beware of over apologizing; it can have <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/16/saying-im-sorry-can-make-people-think-poorly-of-you-research-heres-what-successful-people-do-instead.html" target="_blank">negative effects too</a>. Try only to make an apology when the situation calls for one.</p><p> <br> As Rutgers professor <a href="https://sociology.rutgers.edu/people/faculty/menu-ii/147-cerulo-karen-a" target="_blank">Karen A. Cerulo</a> explained in an interview with <a href="https://freakonomics.com/podcast/apologies/" target="_blank">Freakonomics</a>, an effective apology has several elements:</p><p>"Number one: don't wait. Forget your ego, forget the advice of your handlers. Unless you're involved in a legal situation, where you're advised not to speak, you should make an apology right away. Second, don't apologize for what people thought. In other words, we've often heard people say, 'I'm sorry that people misunderstood me; I'm sorry that people misinterpreted or misread my actions.' Apologize for what you did — not for what other people might have thought about it."<br><br>The third and fourth elements, according to Cerulo, are to not provide context as a way of explaining away your behavior, and to identify victims up front so that you can express remorse and make restitution when possible. <em></em></p><p><a href="https://www.vassar.edu/faculty/beho/" target="_blank">Dr. Ben Ho,</a> an associate professor of economics at Vasser College, adds that people often want to see an apology that costs something. This cost doesn't have to be financial, though it can be, but can come in the form of admitting your incompetence in making the previous error or promising to do better in the future.</p><p>The results of a weak apology on the people you're apologizing to are easy to imagine. Try to recall how you felt the last time you saw somebody apologizing for getting caught rather than for what they did. It neither satisfies the offended party nor paves the way for personal growth on the part of the person who did something wrong. On an individual level, we all know the feeling of getting an insincere apology from somebody who promptly went back to the behaviors that they just "apologized" for; it reduces your respect for them and makes you feel rotten. <em></em></p><p>On the other hand, a sufficient apology can achieve great things. It can heal the harmed, change how we view somebody who did us wrong, create opportunities for forgiveness and growth, save relationships, and help us do better in the <a href="https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/forgiveness_the_impacts_of_an_apology#:~:text=By%20apologizing%20and%20taking%20responsibility,deep%20sense%20of%20self%2Drespect." target="_blank">future</a>. <br> <br> While the most effective apologies often incur a cost to our status or require us to be better in the future, these can often be minor compared to the benefits of a proper apology. </p><p>So, go ahead, apologize a little more often for the things worth apologizing for- but be sure you mean it. </p>
Researchers tracking the migration of words to digital spaces have uncovered some surprising facts.
- Beyond Zoom and email, channels like social chat and real-time gaming communities are surging.
- These days, brands don't wait for us to find them online – they're coming to us on social media.
- Switching to airplane mode and spending some time in the real world every now and then can be good for both body and mind.
1. Too much time online is bad for your health.<p>Whether we like it or not, most of us are addicted to our mobile devices, with the average American checking his or her phone <a href="https://www.asurion.com/connect/tech-tips/are-you-addicted-to-your-phone/" target="_blank">80 times a day</a>. About 63 percent take our phones into the bathroom, and 70 percent of people fall asleep each night with their phone in reach.</p><p>But your phone compulsion could be doing more damage than you think. From <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4734149/" target="_blank">causing sleep deprivation</a>, to "<a href="http://nextshark.com/holding-your-smartphone-like-this-could-lead-to-a-deformed-pinky-warns-cell-phone-company/" target="_blank">text claw</a>," researchers are uncovering <a href="https://www.pcmag.com/news/11-reasons-to-stop-looking-at-your-smartphone" target="_blank">myriad ways</a> that our phone addictions are bad for our health. Switching to airplane mode and spending some time in the real world every now and then can be good for both body and mind. <br></p>
2. You need to write shorter emails.<p>It's likely that the phone addiction is to blame, but studies have shown that humans have a<a href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/12/humans-have-shorter-attention-span-than-goldfish-thanks-to-smart/" target="_blank"> shorter attention span than goldfish</a>. Apparently, we can hold a thought for an average of just eight seconds.</p><p>So, if you're one of those people who has a tendency to write essays over email, the chances are that your recipient isn't reading all the way to the end. Experts <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/07/the-number-one-mistake-people-make-when-writing-work-emails.html" target="_blank">also suggest</a> that long emails send an unwritten message that you don't know your audience, or at least that you don't care so much about the recipient's time. </p>
3. Good grammar could help your love life.<p>Bad spelling and grammar are widely regarded as a professional no-no. But chances are, you never considered that it could be damaging other areas of your life. A <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0265407519878787" target="_blank">Dutch study</a> of online dating site users found that error-free language is generally linked to attractiveness, meaning that potential dates may find bad grammar off-putting before you ever get the opportunity to dazzle them in person.</p> <p>Online tools such as <a href="https://www.google.com/aclk?sa=l&ai=DChcSEwiArqrw1OXpAhVXhdUKHYIYCwsYABAAGgJ3cw&sig=AOD64_0bRYOnmDdJ2lyfncMh7J0C_J-Wog&q=&ved=2ahUKEwjWwaTw1OXpAhUKkxQKHUPXBxIQ0Qx6BAgcEAE&adurl=" target="_blank">Grammarly</a> can help polish up your written communications, and also integrate with your web browser along with word processing software. They'll help spot the kind of spelling and grammar mistakes that often slip through when you're multitasking and typing at speed, helping to polish your written communications. <br><br></p>
4. You probably communicate more with brands via social media than their own websites.<p>These days, brands don't wait for us to find them online – they're coming to us on social media. According to <a href="https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics" target="_blank">HubSpot</a>, Facebook is the primary content distribution channel for marketers in 2020, taking precedence even over their own websites. However, marketers are also maximizing their footprints across other channels, including Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat.</p><p>This isn't simply one-way communication, either. According to reports from Social Bakers, in April, PlayStation drew the <a href="https://www.socialbakers.com/resources/reports/united-states/2020/april" target="_blank">most interactions</a> of any brand on Twitter with 1.6 million, while Netflix took the top spot on Facebook with nearly 2.5 million likes, comments, and shares.</p>
5. Your emails might be more negative than you realize.<p>The "passive-aggressive" email trope has spawned <a href="https://www.boredpanda.com/passive-aggressive-email-phrases-meaning/" target="_blank">many a meme</a>. But as the old adage goes, it's funny because it's true. While the memes are amusing, the reality of receiving negative emails is less likely to make anyone laugh. In fact, <a href="https://www.biospace.com/article/negative-emails-at-work-could-be-seriously-affecting-your-personal-life/#:~:text=According%20to%20a%20new%20study,at%20home%20and%20at%20work." target="_blank">researchers have found</a> that email "incivility" is a cause of stress in the workplace that many people end up taking home with them, transferring it to their loved ones.</p> <p>AI can help. Tools such as <a href="https://www.boomeranggmail.com/insights/" target="_blank">Boomerang Insights</a> can scan your emails for tone, identifying positive and negative language and even drilling down into how you communicate with individual contacts.</p>
6. For online video presentations, desktop still trumps mobile.<p>From online courses and training sessions to product demonstrations and remote business meetings, webinars have proven to be a lifeline to many companies and employees affected by the pandemic.</p> <p>More than 8.5 million people attended some kind of webinar in 2019 on the ClickMeeting platform alone, <a href="https://blog.clickmeeting.com/webinar-report" target="_blank">according to the company</a>. Given the events of 2020, it's likely we'll see that number skyrocket this year. </p>
7. Slack could very well defeat work emails.<p>Slack just might end up being the work communication tool of choice that so many predicted back when it was first getting popular. Even before most of us had heard of it, Slack was the <a href="https://www.businessinsider.fr/us/fastest-companies-to-reach-a-2-billion-valuation-2015-5" target="_blank">fastest-growing</a> B2B company in history. By the time the company went public in 2019, it had over 10 million users sending more than <a href="https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1764925/000162828019007428/slacks-1a3.htm#sC9C346D78943772D97FB567D8BF6BBDD" target="_blank">a billion</a> messages each week.</p> <p>What's more, users of Slack are highly engaged. Slack's IPO papers filed with the SEC state that "paid customers averaged nine hours connected through at least one device and spent more than 90 minutes actively using Slack." </p> <p>Part of its popularity is the fact that Slack does away with the ceremony associated with email. This includes things like a formal greeting, or the expectation of a reply, which are a hangover from the days of letter-writing. In the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/mar/25/slack-butterfield-emoji-chat-nasa-harvard-silicon-valley" target="_blank">words</a> of Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield, "It's radical collaboration, a different way of working and thinking."</p>
8. WhatsApp is bigger than China.<p>If WhatsApp users were the population of a country, it would be <a href="https://news.canningspurple.com.au/dont-shoot-the-messenger-our-world-relies-on-it/#:~:text=The%20rise%20and%20rise%20of%20WhatsApp%20is%20representative%20of%20a,America%20and%20much%20of%20Africa." target="_blank">bigger than China</a>. We send <a href="https://www.oberlo.com/blog/whatsapp-statistics" target="_blank">60 billion messages</a> per day on the <a href="https://www.investopedia.com/articles/investing/071515/how-whatsapp-killing-sms-texting.asp" target="_blank">SMS-killer</a>. It's used for everything from organizing family gatherings to brand communications, to Netflix recommendations. </p>
9. Video chat is going through the roof in 2020.<p>Due to the coronavirus keeping office workers at home, it's perhaps unsurprising that video chat is having a moment. While there are plenty of platforms now offering this feature, including Skype, Google Hangouts, and text favorite WhatsApp, Zoom is the tool of choice among the American WFH set. The company grew to <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-zoom-video-commn-encryption/zoom-says-it-has-300-million-daily-meeting-participants-not-users-idUSKBN22C1T4" target="_blank">300 million meeting participants</a> in April, up from just <a href="https://venturebeat.com/2020/04/02/zooms-daily-active-users-jumped-from-10-million-to-over-200-million-in-3-months/" target="_blank">10 million</a> in December 2019.</p> <p>However, this growth hasn't been without controversy. Zoom has <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2020/4/1/21202584/zoom-security-privacy-issues-video-conferencing-software-coronavirus-demand-response" target="_blank">come under fire</a> from security and privacy advocates for failing to cover various vulnerabilities in its software. These include having default settings that don't include a password, and allowing any participant to share their screen, even if they've gatecrashed the meeting – a practice known as "<a href="https://www.howtogeek.com/667183/what-is-zoombombing-and-how-can-you-stop-it/" target="_blank">zoombombing</a>."</p>
10. You’re probably spending hours every day on chat apps.<p>We're spending an insane amount of time online these days – close to seven hours a day. Of that, we spend around <a href="https://wearesocial.com/blog/2020/01/digital-2020-3-8-billion-people-use-social-media" target="_blank">two hours</a> each day communicating via messaging and social apps on our phones. </p> <p>This means that these platforms account for the same time spent online on our phones as all other mobile activities combined.</p>
11. Social gaming has become a major force.<p>Online social gaming has become a massive industry, worth around <a href="https://www.statista.com/topics/2965/social-gaming/" target="_blank">$2.4 billion</a>. <a href="https://discord.com/company" target="_blank">Discord</a>, the messaging app that was designed for gamers, now handles around 963 million messages per day, with over 10 million players online at peak times. </p><p>Sure, that's a fraction of the message volume that WhatsApp sees in a day, but it's still eye-opening in terms of the power of the social, conversational layer to the gamer's experience.</p><p>Furthermore, the stereotypical gamers aren't kids in their bedrooms. According to the <a href="https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/06/3-surprising-facts-about-the-gaming-industry-and-why-you-should-start-paying-attention/" target="_blank">World Economic Forum</a>, the average U.S. gamer is 35 years old, with players over 50 accounting for 13 percent of the total in both male and female groups. With an audience of 665 million, more people watch video gameplay than major table networks and subscription TV services.</p>
Changing norms for communication<p>With social distancing likely to remain a norm for months, if not years, to come, online communication is only set to keep growing. Thankfully, the popularity of video and voice chat gives us a means of keeping human contact more present during these times.</p> <p>However, the question is, when things go back to normal, will physical face time (as opposed to FaceTime) ever hold the same value again? Only time will tell. </p>
It takes a special person with a special set of skills to reach students on an emotional level.
- Teachers have arguably the most important job on Earth. It's their responsibility to help shape who young people will become by inspiring them and connecting with them as human beings.
- Trust has to be earned before any meaningful learning can happen.
- The superpower that poet and children's fiction author Kwame Alexander learned from his mother is the ability to connect emotionally with his audience first so that they are open and interested in tackling heavier subjects and having challenging conversations.