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Know how to deliver bad news to people

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Couple

New York, Oct 8: Nobody wants to receive bad news, but when they must they prefer receiving it straight, without much buffer, suggests new research.

So when it comes to delivering bad news, one should speak direct and not beat around the bush – as most people prefer directness and candour when they must hear something unpleasant.

“If we’re negating physical facts, then there’s no buffer required or desired,” said Alan Manning, Professor at Brigham Young University in the US.

For example, “if your house is on fire, you just want to know that and get out. Or if you have cancer, you’d just like to know that. You don’t want the doctor to talk around it,” Manning said at the IEEE International Professional Communication Conference (ProComm 2017) in Madison, Wisconsin.

For the study, 145 study participants received a range of bad-news scenarios, and with each scenario they were given two potential deliveries.

For each received message, they ranked how clear, considerate, direct, efficient, honest, specific and reasonable they perceived it to be. They also ranked which of those characteristics they valued most.

The researchers found that if someone is delivering bad news about a social relationship – think “I’m breaking up with you” or “I’m sorry, you’re fired,” one might prefer they ease into it with the tiniest of buffers.

However, “an immediate ‘I’m breaking up with you’ might be too direct,” said Manning, adding, “all you need is a ‘we need to talk’ buffer — just a couple of seconds for the other person to process that bad news is coming.”

Participants, for the most part, valued clarity and directness over other characteristics, the researchers noted.

IANS

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Here’s how materialism may harm your married life

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Couple fight

New York, Feb 16: Do you often end up having heated discussions with your spouse over money matters? Beware, your fondness for material possessions may affect your love life and push your marriage towards an unhappy ending, says a new study.

The study found that when materialism — the pursuit of money and possessions — gets prioritised over other dimensions of life, it harms conjugal bonding.

Materialism crowds out other life priorities and creates a scarcity of time for other priorities such as communication, conflict resolution and intimacy.

It thus decreases the importance and sense of satisfaction in a marriage.

“Marriage dissatisfaction occurs because those who highly value money and possessions are less likely to value their marriage and are thus likely to be less satisfied in their relationship,” said lead author Ashley LeBaron, Professor at the Brigham Young University (BYU) in Ohio.

Further, materialism may also be associated with a possession-oriented rather than a relationship-oriented approach to happiness.

In other words, materialistic spouses may be seeking happiness in possessions, rather than people, which means they end up putting less time and energy into making their marriage a success, the researchers noted, in a paper published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Despite the findings, the researchers believe that changes can be made by couples to solve this issue.

“Many people are not fully aware of their materialism or the degree to which the pursuit of money is becoming an unbalanced priority in their life,” explained Jason Carroll, Professor at BYU.

“It is helpful for spouses to evaluate and openly discuss the time patterns in their lives and make sure they are devoting enough time to prioritize and strengthen their marriage relationship,” Carroll suggested.

For the study, the researchers asked 1,310 married individuals to fill a questionnaire in order to measure their materialism, perception of marriage importance and marital satisfaction.

IANS

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Ditch flowers, perfumes; gift your Valentine something different

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Valentines day date

New Delhi, Feb 14: Give chocolates, flowers and fragrances a miss, say experts who suggest a box-full of natural sanitary pads for your girlfriend and gift your man a coffee maker on Valentine’s Day, which is celebrated on February 14 every year.

Prem Dewan, Retail Head, OSL Luxury Collections Pvt Ltd at Corneliani; Ravi Saxena, Managing Director at Wonderchef; Tanvi Johri Co-founder at Carmesi and Yatin Hans, Co-founder at Bigsmall.in and Ute Pauline Wiemer, co-founder at Lovetreats, have listed a few quirky options:

* Cufflinks look small but do wonders to simple and boring outfits. There are number of designs and textures available that can bring instant fun to the look. Cufflinks with Aztec design works best for formal attires. Those imprinted in different motifs like skull, bear and bottles, can be gifted to someone who likes to keep it funky and hippie.

* Buy him/her a pair of footwear. A pair of white sneakers is not a desire but a need that will complement a casual styling.

* You could gift her diamonds or that gorgeous dress she mentioned a few days back, but you can also show that you care about her by getting her a chic black box that consists of natural sanitary pads. The top-layer of the pads is made with corn starch, the middle layer or the core is made of bamboo fiber, while the bottom is made with corn-based bioplastic.

The box has one-month pack of pads along with a tea box, a scented candle and essential oil. These will help make her hardest time of the month, a lot more bearable.

* If she loves her ice cream tub, get her a heart-shaped ice cream scoop and if she loves different glasses, how about getting her a heart-shaped glass in which she can sip her whiskey or hot chocolate.

* Your boyfriend/girlfriend loves coffee? Invest in a good duet coffee maker which can brew two cups of finely brewed coffee with one fill.

* For a special and intimate night on Valentine’s Day, be a bit more daring by gifting him or her a vibrating sex ring, pleasure sleeve for men, lucky ball masturbator or glow in the dark condoms.

IANS

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Most Indians consider Valentine’s Day as any other day: Survey

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Valentines Day

New Delhi, Feb 13: A lot of Indians don’t believe in celebrating Valentines Day, which falls on February 14, and think “the most romantic day of the year” should be treated like any other day, reveals a survey.

The survey was conducted online by www.shaadi.com, a matchmaking service, with over 8,200 responses from Indians (married/unmarried) aged between 20-35 years.

When men and women were asked “Which day do they look forward to the most”, 61 per cent said “Own birthday/anniversary”, followed by 36 per cent who said “New Year’s Day” and 3 per cent who said Valentine’s Day, read a statement.

When asked “Do you believe in celebrating Valentine’s Day?”, 68 per cent said “No” and 32 per cent said “Yes”.

To further understand the reason behind Valentine’s Day celebrations losing its charm, millennials were asked “Why do you not celebrate Valentine’s Day?” and 55 per cent said “It is over-hyped”, 28 per cent said “Every day is Valentine’s Day with my special someone”, 17 per cent said “Too crowded to step out”.

When asked “Do you think Valentnne’s Day should be treated like any other day?”, 67 per cent said “Yes” and 33 per cent said “No”. ”

“The way Valentine’s Day is celebrated has changed over the years. Especially in the recent times, it has become increasingly commercialised and hence, the charm is now lost for some people,” said Shaadi.com’s CEO Gourav Rakshit.

IANS

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