Date Tags support

That number was famously set by British anthropologist Robin Dunbar (and the number of meaningful friends we can have has duly been named "Dunbar's number"). He came to this while studying how primates groom one another, extending to humans the hypothesis that the average size of a species' brain reflects the average size and complexity of the social group it lives within. For humans, Dunbar's math indicated that we could have between 100 and 200 people--so 150, on average--in our social group. This is the number of casual friends you can expect to retain before you start forgetting names or from where you know someone. The number 150 is not just a matter of speculation. Dunbar and his colleagues found evidence of it far and wide. In most armies, even ancient ones, company sizes have ranged between 130 and 150 people. Communities such as the Amish, Mennonites, and Hutterites generally number about 150 and split once they exceed that amount. In one experiment, the average number of Christmas cards a UK household sent out reached a total of about 150 people per person sending them. Even as social media has seen the number of "connections" grow into the thousands (more on that in Chapter 8), the number of substantive friendships we can handle remains surprisingly consistent. Be the example for how you want others to conduct themselves around you by how you treat them. Be the person others look up to and want to, eventually, become. A lot of us believe we don't have our act together or have the life we want because we're not "talented" and we weren't born with a set of special "gifts" that no one else has. "Skill" isn't something you're born with or you're not. Some people may have more appropriate body structure, height, and muscle response times for certain activities, but they've gone from being good at what they do to "great" by beating on their craft day in and day out, being obsessed with what they do, and spending more hours practicing than any of us would be willing to. They've turned something they were kind of good at, a talent, into a sharpened skill. Anyone can become talented, they just have to pour time and effort into what they want to become better at. Many of the most "talented" people in the world were horrible when they began and they gained "talent" and skill through constant dedication to getting better at it. If you just beat on your craft day in and day out, you will develop skill and talent. If you think everyone around you is "better" at something than you are, you can EASILY pass them up if you put in more time and effort than they are to getting better at it.

You can surpass their level of "skill" by just practicing and working on it day in and day out. If someone seems "talented" but they don't work on improving it as much as you do, you'll become better than them. Will Smith says, "The separation of talent and skill is one of the greatest misunderstood concepts for people who are trying to excel, who have dreams, who want to do things. Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating on your craft." Every day you wake up, the battle will be at your doorstep and you will, in a lot of cases, fight the same battle every single day for weeks and months. You will be faced with difficult decisions from the second you open your eyes until you lay your head on your pillow to go to sleep. In every situation, battles will take place in your mind and you will be forced to draw a line in the sand and pick a side - the side where you continue being sloppy, lazy, and having a screwed up life or the side where you make progress, improve, and move in the right direction. Those who can't handle the daily battles never get their act together and live the rest of their lives hoping, wishing, and saying, "I should have." Categorizing them into the different mood disorders became a useful tool when I worked with patients. "Do you know what tennis player Serena Williams, actress Delta Burke, singer Eric Clapton, and author J. K. Rowlings have in common? They live with depression," I'd say. "Many admire Frank Lloyd Wright for his architecture, Florence Nightingale for her dedication as a nurse, and Alvin Ailey for his choreography, but did you know they lived with bipolar disorder?" Beyond honesty, trust is built on a sense that you and the other person would mutually sacrifice anything to help each other. That means you need to lose any selfish tendencies. For example, in conversation, when someone starts to tell you about their problems or even just their day, be careful not to interrupt, change the subject or go into "me too" mode. Always Direct Criticism Toward Someone - If you have a problem with someone, direct your criticism toward them. Don't discuss their issues behind their back or avoid discussing it. Even if it is an attempt to spare their feelings it can generate feelings of distrust. Be upfront and clear with everything you need to tell them.

Avoid Gossip and Rumors - Don't gossip about people you know, hold secrets or talk about others behind their backs. If it gets out, it can be a serious blow to the trust you've developed with them. No Exclusions for How You Treat People - Don't treat one friend or co-worker different from how you treat another. You may like someone more, but if you consciously treat them differently, It will create a divide among you, especially with friends or coworkers. Provide Equal Attention - Provide equal attention to everyone in a group. This goes double for employees or coworkers who can misinterpret the imbalance of as them being pushed out of the decision making process. Conflict Resolution - If there is a conflict, resolve it like an adult. Discuss the problem, don't be confrontational or point fingers. Be willing to accept blame but also ask questions so both parties know where they stand. This goes for all conflicts - from your love life to your friends. When it comes to developing and maintaining trust, you need to be honest in every way. Intentions are not enough - you need to show that you consider their feelings and concerns before you act or speak. Do this and you will become a trustworthy friend for many people. Exercises and Questions This chapter, I want to keep things simple. I don't have any specific exercises for you. Instead, I want you to record the last time you did any of the things in this chapter and what the result was. Now, work toward finding new opportunities to throw yourself into those situations. Now, I want you to make a commitment to attempt at least one of each of these in the next 6 weeks. Record the results in a separate notebook so that you can follow exactly how you perform. Note: things like dating should be done more than once every 6 weeks or so.

Aim to interact with people as often as possible, not just when a book tells you to. Being nice to people is one thing, but what about making friends and keeping them after the initial conversation? Quite simply, functional activities may feel uncomfortable. Let's say you were asked to speak at a work event. You dreaded preparing, you didn't enjoy standing in front of everyone, and you felt HN throughout. But after the presentation, you feel proud of yourself for taking a risk consistent with your goal of professional development. In this type of situation, focusing on how an activity affects your view of yourself can help you evaluate whether to repeat that behavior. Consider a second example. Imagine that a friend was sick, and when you visited them you felt sad and LN. But it was meaningful to share those feelings of sadness together, so after you returned home you also felt good. Your behavior supported your values in friendship: to show up, be present, and listen. You view yourself positively because you acted in a way that is consistent with what's important to you. In this way, to determine whether an activity is worth it, you can focus on how you view yourself rather than your emotional experience during the activity. Does the Activity Impact How You View Others or Your World? When you're feeling depressed, you not only view yourself negatively, you also tend to view your surroundings negatively. This makes the future seem bleak. Pay close attention to whether your behavioral choices confirm that negative worldview and future or, alternately, whether your behavioral choices help you view others, your world, and the future as calming, kind, uplifting, or hopeful. Consider this scenario. You receive an invitation to the ubiquitous Fourth of July barbeque. You have an urge to stay home, but your partner cajoles you to join the neighbors in the celebration.

While apprehensive, you show up. The conversation is pretty lame and the host overcooks the meat on the grill. But then you start talking to someone who just moved to town, and you find yourself chuckling as you share the quirks of the place. Then, one of the neighborhood adolescents does something surprisingly sweet for his parents and you keep smiling about it. By the time you leave, you feel a little more connected socially and a little less alone, and you consider the possibility that the world may not be entirely full of a generation of kids who don't respect their elders. When you get home, you're feeling a little more open to new social connections and even a bit hopeful about the next generation. This example shows how it can be helpful to notice that an activity makes you feel more connected (versus isolated) and more hopeful (versus hopeless, pessimistic) about the world at large. This question can also be applied to behavior in close relationships. Let's say you are feeling vulnerable and want to withdraw into yourself. When your cell phone rings, you pick it up despite your urge to hit "Ignore" and talk to a friend, family member, or romantic partner about what's troubling you. You feel sad while discussing what is making you sad. Maybe you still can't shake feeling bad about your life. Yet maybe the sharing does make you feel close and connected to that other person. That could be a very valuable outcome in and of itself, as it intensifies your bond and teaches you that when you are in distress in a future moment, you have a safe place to turn. How do you stand out so much that someone will want to know you for the foreseeable future and better yet, spend time with you? There are a lot of factors at work here. People are not selfish by nature, but they also have only so much time in the day and need to know that when they spend time with someone it will not be a drain on their resources. What do you bring to a friendship that will encourage a long term relationship? All these factors, when combined, will make up a lot of how you approach the people you meet and how you generate interest from a new friend or better yet, romantic interest. From a marketing standpoint, the prominence of high-profile individuals sharing personal stories of mental illness certainly sells.