Life Advice

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Erika Ettin: The art of knowing your boundaries

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A friend of mine went on a date recently. It was her second date with the same guy. Both are professionals in their early 40s in a big U.S. city. He seemed accomplished, stable, and not to mention, very handsome. She was excited. However, she did notice that, over text, he said some things that gave her pause. He cursed a lot, which isn’t ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Money and your emotional well-being

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Money can be a triggering topic for many of us. These days, it’s hard to escape the impact of supply chain issues, inflation and talk of recession. It is hard to make sense of it all, but you can take some practical steps to save or make a little extra money, which will help you stay emotionally balanced. Here are some ideas.

1. Take on a ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Be the kind of person you'd want to date

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A major dating philosophy of mine (and I’ll admit I have many) is, “You have to hold yourself to the same standard as the person you’re looking for.”

I’ll give an example to illustrate what I mean by this. I was working with a client a few years ago — nice guy in his early 40s — and at one of our meetings, he expressed to me what ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Try a little contentment

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Contentment is different from happiness, and it's subtler. Contentment is a basic sense of satisfaction about your life and situation. While it can lead to a more constant flow of the happy vibe, contentment is also just a good place to be. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. No one can be happy all the time, so try settling for ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Dating in the time of flakes

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A former client sent me a screenshot of a conversation she had with a man who she had not yet met and asked for my advice. At 9 p.m. Thursday, he suggested a day (Saturday), time (3 p.m.) and location (cute coffee shop). All of the details were set! At 7 a.m. the next day, she replied with, “Perfect! I will see you then!”

But she didn’t ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: When a toxic narcissist finally leaves your life

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Getting rid of a toxic person in your life can be difficult and painful, but it’s well worth the effort. Most unfortunately and sadly, the person you would be better off staying away from may be a member of your own family or someone you live with.

The anxiety and depression that toxic narcissists project can be damaging to your psyche and ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: How to effectively take a pause on dating apps

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There are a million reasons why you might want to pause or take a break from dating apps: You’re traveling, you’re overwhelmed, you’ve met someone new. Personally, I love when my clients have to take a pause because they’ve met someone they’re interested in and want to pursue.

But a lot of pauses are just that — a pause. Deleting ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Recession discretion

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Everyone is cutting back. It’s the new thing to do. And it does make you feel good about yourself when you can save a few bucks or make a few hundred more than expected. Here are some ideas that may work for you.

— If you need help on rent or the mortgage, consider getting a roommate. Of course, you will need to make some compromises, ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: You can only handle so much disappointment

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I just had the biggest disappointment of this very tough year: My publisher is delaying the release of my latest book, “until market conditions change.” This is a biggie for me, and I am sharing it with you, because I want you to know that, even with all I have and all the humans I touch, it made me want to give up.

I like to think it’s ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Back to the basics - Profile Writing 101

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When I started my business back in 2011 (sometimes it feels like time has flown, and sometimes it feels like I’ve been doing this forever), the only online dating sites in existence were ones with long profiles that you can only check on your computer (Tinder didn’t come out until 2012). Now, people have options — paid vs. free sites, “...Read more

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How a single sentence -- and a tennis metaphor -- can save relationships from imploding

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If an argument were a tennis match, many of us would tear right through the net during a frenzy of back-and-forth spatting.

That’s a situation hundreds of Stanford students learned to avoid in one of the business school’s most popular electives for decades. Now the masterminds behind the course, David Bradford and Carole Robin, want ...Read more

Barton Goldsmith: How working and social relationships are changing

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The humanist psychologist Dr. Abraham Maslow developed the hierarchy of human needs. He determined that after the basics of food, water, shelter and your immediate safety needs are met, the next most important necessity is the feeling of love and belonging.

These past couple of years, I have been sustaining a feeling of belonging largely ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Objects in mirror are simpler than they appear

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This morning on Instagram, I posed a query to my followers: What questions do you have regarding planning a date?

The questions ran the gamut, but the general theme was that people seem to overthink everything. Now, I’m certainly not judging — I’ve been one to overthink situations myself — but as an unbiased third party, I can tell you ...Read more

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Inspired by a Simon & Garfunkel song, two old friends travel the world to sit on a bench together

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MINNEAPOLIS — Larry Bans and Tom Edelstein met crabby.

It was their first day of seventh grade, and the outgoing Edelstein turned around to introduce himself to Bans at the morning assembly at Highland Park Junior High in St. Paul.

"I know who you are," Bans whined, having done his intel.

It turns out that they were trying to date the same ...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Which came first, the chicken or the second date?

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I was on a Zoom call this morning with a client doing a coaching call (it was our third of three). In the first session, we went over his Hinge and Bumble profiles to make sure he was putting his best foot forward, both through the photos and the profile itself. In the second session, we talked about what kinds of messages to send to people in ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: Things you can do while you've got time on your hands

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Time is our most valuable asset, and wasting it is not good for your psyche. If you’re in line at the bank, stuck at the office or trapped at home hoping the plumber will arrive soon, you can do a number of things to enhance your life, and not just wait for the time to pass.

1. Get out your phone and do some work or play. You can listen to ...Read more

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'I decided I would be with her every day': 15-year friendship leads to caregiving for woman with cerebral palsy

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At the bowling alley, Julia Prendergast carefully worked the joystick on her friend’s wheelchair, positioning her perpendicular to the lane.

She brushed a wisp of hair off Tyme Fiedorczyk’s face and adjusted her glasses. Tyme has cerebral palsy, which impairs her muscle coordination; to talk, she must type into an electronic device; to move...Read more

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Erika Ettin: Let sleeping ghosts lie

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I have a former (male) client who has what I’ll call “a ghosting pattern.” He will text someone after a date he thinks went well to ask her out again. She doesn’t answer. He writes to her again. She doesn’t answer again. He writes again (maybe this time on Facebook and LinkedIn also) … you get it. While most of us can see she’s ...Read more

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Barton Goldsmith: When bullies do their thing

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Bullies are not just limited to the schoolyard. Workplace bullies are all too common, as are bullies at home. And of course, there is no shortage of social media bullies, or those who like to make their demands known publicly. We also have — and there are those who even applaud — a few celebrity bullies. Not exactly a good example to set for...Read more

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Setting good boundaries makes you a better friend. These 3 keys will get you started

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LOS ANGELES -- In the classic TV sitcom "Seinfeld," the boundary-violating friendship is played for laughs. When across-the-hall neighbor Kramer, practically the patron saint of overstepped boundaries, forages fridges, borrows clothes or barrels uninvited into Jerry's apartment, it's comedy gold. In real life, though, setting boundaries with ...Read more