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Oprah & Gayle King Tackle Cheating, Relationships & More

On "The OG Chronicles," the media mogul and the "CBS This Morning" host share advice on what to do if a friend's partner is cheating and more. "LFE" weighs in.
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Inside Demi Lovato’s Support System: How Her Closest Relationships Have Held Her Up and Knocked Her Down Over the Years

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The Fundamental Truth About Relationships

Lately I’ve been hearing a lot of complaints from my coaching clients and friends about their partners. The summary? They’re finding fault — many faults — in them.

They gripe about the partner that isn’t very verbally expressive, the one that is moody, the one that chews loudly, the one that bangs around in the morning despite knowing it’ll wake his partner up — and that she won’t be able to fall back asleep.

These are the same partners that show up with flowers, that are remarkably reliable, that make breakfast every morning, that will drive – in terrible traffic – to pick their partner up from the airport so as to not waste a minute of togetherness upon their partner’s arrival home from a trip.

And yet.

The list of annoyances and shortcomings trail far out the door.

Not long ago my partner told me that, on a regular basis, I interrupt myself to share a different thought than the one I had been in the middle of sharing. This happens when, in mid-sentence, I see something I want to comment on or am simply reminded of something else that now seems even more compelling to share.

I didn’t even know I was doing it.

Oh but he did. And apparently he’s not a fan.

It stung a bit when he told me. I’m sensitive, and like most, pretty allergic to criticism.

But to be honest, it’s highly unlikely that I’ll change much in this category. I am excitable and expressive and classically extroverted in my incessant practice of thinking out loud. I’ll probably continue to trip on my thoughts to get to new ones and speak a lot of unfinished sentences and share a lot of half-stories. I am who I am.

Which brings me to a point. Which is not a new one, but it’s worth remembering, day in and day out, if we want ease-filled, peaceful relationships, and if we want to be our most gracious, loving selves.

It’s our job to practice acceptance of our partners.

Should we be respectful of each other and mindful of one another’s needs? Of course. My friend’s boyfriend has agreed to try harder to be quiet in the mornings and I have agreed to finish my stories, even if I take a commercial break to share something else.

But at the heart of all of this is just the simple and basic acknowledgment that we are all human. And in relationships, particularly if you’re living together and especially if you have kids, there will be a million teeny things that happen throughout the day — a bad mood, a towel on the floor — that can unravel a connection or can simply be a bad mood or a towel on the floor.

I read in an Oprah magazine article once that when we pick a partner we pick a set of faults. Can you live with his set of faults? The article prompted. I remember disliking the sentiment but agreeing with the premise.

Because the truth is that we all have flaws and shortcomings but it’s what we do about them that changes our love and our lives.

There is an ancient Japanese aesthetic philosophy, rooted in Zen Buddhism, called wabi sabi, in which imperfection is actually prized. Irregularly shaped, unevenly glazed bowls full of cracks are considered beautiful because of their imperfection, not in spite of it.

What if we could look at our partners in a wabi sabi sort of way? Not just accept their flaws but love our partners because of them?

We might see quirks as more lovable, forgetfulness as adorable. On the spectrum of endearing to annoying we would lean heavily towards the former.

Imagine how close we could feel to our partners if we loved each other with genuine, whole-hearted acceptance? How would it feel to be seen, flaws and all, and adored and appreciated—full stop?

This is beyond acceptance. This is the conscious intention to see the beauty in our partner’s humanity. And to hope they see the same in ours.

Thich Nhat Hanh wrote that if you “pour a handful of salt into a cup of water, the water becomes undrinkable. But if you pour the salt into a river, people can continue to draw the water to cook, wash, and drink. The river is immense,” he writes, “and it has the capacity to receive, embrace, and transform.”

“When our hearts are small,” he continues, our understanding and compassion are limited, and we suffer. We can’t accept or tolerate others and their shortcomings, and we demand that they change. But when our hearts expand, these same things don’t make us suffer anymore.”

Every moment is a chance to open your heart big like the river — to fully love, and to see the beauty in the messy imperfection that is our partners, our relationships, and ourselves. And to love them all not in spite of it but because of it.

Listen in as Alexis picks the brains of her favorite love, wellness, and personal growth experts on her free interview series, Wisdom Wednesdays. Click here for instant access to some of her favorite transformational interviews.

If you want some support in enhancing your relationship, click here to connect with Alexis.

Follow Alexis on Instagram by clicking here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Hearing Loss Is The Silent Killer Of Relationships

My recently deceased husband wore hearing aids in both ears. I’m serious when I say they likely saved our marriage. And to be honest, since he lost both of them in the nursing home where he spent his final few weeks, I can’t even be sure he heard me when I told him that I loved him for the last time.

Hearing loss is a big, big deal. And the fact that the population is aging and the number of people living with impaired hearing is projected to jump considerably means it’s about to become an even bigger deal, according to a study published online this week by JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery.

Almost 25 percent of those ages 65 to 74, and 50 percent of those 75 and older, have a disabling hearing loss, according to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Let me paint a picture for you of what that looks like when you are married to someone who can’t hear well:

Conversation, as you know it, gradually comes to a complete halt. Communication is reduced to a series of nouns shouted out. Restaurants will be picked based not on the quality of the food, but on their acoustics. Going to parties becomes a whole lot less fun because of the noise level of the room; you will eventually resort to taking separate cars so that the person with hearing loss can leave early. The television volume will become a point of contention, as will the distraction caused by closed captions.

Actually, many things become contentious. When people can’t hear well, they frequently interrupt other speakers. They mishear words and jump into conversations inappropriately. And denial of hearing loss is a real thing. “You’re mumbling,” my husband always said in frustration, deflecting his inability to hear.

“Hearing loss is a major public health issue,” said study author Adele M. Goman of Johns Hopkins University.

The study reported that the number of adults in the U.S. aged 20 or older with hearing loss is expected to gradually increase from 44 million in 2020 (15 percent of all adults), to 74 million by 2060 (23 percent), based on population projections, according to a press release. 

The biggest increase will be among older adults, Goman told HuffPost. She urged that attention be paid now to prevention strategies. Better to preserve our hearing than deal with its loss.

Hearing loss can be caused by any number of things, including loud blasts of noise, music played at excessive volume, sudden changes in pressure, poking your eardrum with an object, and plain old ear-wax buildup. And yes, of course, aging. The degeneration of delicate inner-ear structures occurs over time. Even medications, such as the antibiotic gentamacin and certain chemotherapy drugs, can damage the inner ear. Diseases or illnesses that come with a high fever, such as meningitis, may harm the cochlea.

According to a survey by the British firm HearingDirect.com ― yes, they sell hearing aids and related products ― ongoing deafness can promote marital breakdown to the point of divorce. The site surveyed about 1,000 people over age 40 who had worsening hearing loss and found that 33 percent said it led to arguments with their spouse. Taking things one step farther, the site noted in an unpublished paper that the divorce rate among couples with one partner suffering from mild hearing loss was similar to current population norms. But marriages where one partner had severe hearing loss ended in divorce at four times the rate of the population norm. Unscientific, for sure, but it fits with my own anecdotal evidence.

I still recall the straw that broke my back when my late husband’s hearing had degenerated to the point I just couldn’t stand it any longer. We were on vacation in Kauai and eager to try a highly recommended new restaurant. The place was so popular that we waited an hour for our table, despite having a reservation. Once seated, the problem became immediately apparent. The sleek new eatery was minimalistic in design: High ceilings and nothing on the walls to absorb the sounds of a bustling eatery. Between the clanking of dishes, the ambience music and the surrounding conversations amplified as people shouted to be heard, it was pure chaos for anyone who, like my husband, suffered hearing loss. His face said it all. We left without ordering, both of us feeling deflated.

I told him that night that I couldn’t continue our lives like this. He got hearing aids in both ears as soon as we got home, and the improvement was astounding.

But there’s something that still needs to change: Medicare should cover hearing exams and hearing aids for those who need them, and currently it doesn’t, with a few exceptions. This safety net that provides medical coverage to those 65 and older omits the things that, arguably, seniors need the most: vision coverage, dental coverage and the ability to correct hearing loss.

The reality is that our increasing longevity is nice and all. But we still need to hear. And for too many of us, that won’t be possible.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Relationships That Have Roots are the Anchors in Our Lives

By Carolyn Massiah
UCF Forum columnist

The view in my backyard is a conservation area full of various types of trees. As the seasons pass, the trees lose their leaves and even some of their branches, but the trees remain in large part due to their sturdy roots.

To the side of my house is a concrete light pole. It doesn’t have any leaves and branches, obviously, but it is more susceptible to being blown down during a violent storm because it lacks the strong roots that mature trees have to anchor them through a storm.

When I compare and contrast the tree and the pole, I know I would much rather be a tree.

Both trees and light poles stand above the blanket of shrubs and bushes below. However, this is where the similarities end.

Many light poles are inorganic entities of concrete or metal, created through some form of human intervention. The shape and size in which these poles are created will forever be their shape and size as inorganic entities will not change during their existence unless there is additional intervention.

Trees, on the other hand, are organic. They are living organisms that continually change. They will lose and gain leaves and branches but they will also grow and mature throughout their existence. Continual growth and development is what I want for my own life. This is why I would rather be a tree than a light pole.

Unfortunately, positive growth sometimes must come from negative changes. Each year trees weather the change of seasons. With those changes in season, leaves come and they go and sometimes there may be seasons when the trees may not have any leaves at all on their branches.

The same can be said for our own lives. There are people that become attached to you as much as leaves are attached to branches. However, as the seasons change in our lives those people may disappear. Sometimes it seems several disappear at once and you are left bare much like trees in winter. For whatever reasons, those individuals were only meant to be in your life for a season. Yes, it hurts when those who you thought were going to stay forever leave your life before you are ready, but it is the nature of our organic lives.

Unfortunately, you never know how strong any branch will be until it is tested in the most violent of storms. Some branches appear thick and sturdy while they may actually be hollow or rotten to the core. If you step out on the branch for support because of its sturdy appearance, you might be disappointed and shocked when that branch does not support you but breaks and hurts you instead.

The same can be said for our own lives. There are people that we have relied upon and with whom we have built a long-term relationship. We have truly let them into our lives. However, as the weight of whatever burden you need bared by them increases, that friend gives under the load and breaks away from you in a permanent and irrevocable manner. Yes, it hurts but just as leaves come for a reason during a season, branches are there for those life-long lessons that we will take with us long after the branches have broken and been swept away. That is the nature of our organic lives.

So based on this, you might now be wondering why I would choose to be a tree instead of a pole. One word: roots!

Because trees are organic living creatures their roots continue to grow and strengthen as the tree grows and matures. When a storm comes, the roots anchor trees and allow trees to bend but not break in the storm.

Poles do not have that same anchor support. That is why we see more poles than trees down after severe hurricanes.

The same can be said for our own lives. Think about those individuals in your life that have been your anchor and support through the good and the bad. Often, much like a tree’s roots, those individuals do all of their work out of the view of others with no need of public acknowledgement. They are the blessings that we cannot overlook in our lives.

After comparing and contrasting the two, if I had to choose I would rather be a tree if it means that I will continue to have the blessings of roots just waiting to support me and feed me as I work to develop and mature throughout my existence.

Dr. Carolyn A. Massiah is an associate lecturer in the UCF College of Business. She can be reached at Carolyn.Massiah@ucf.edu.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Here’s One Way Smartphones Are Sabotaging Our Relationships

Great.

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Long Term Relationships Aren’t Exactly Good for Sexual Satisfaction, Apparently

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Every Meal Has a Silver Lining: Developing Long-term Relationships Over Food and Drink

Every Meal Has a Silver Lining: Developing Long-term Relationships Over Food and Drink


Are you experiencing a tempestuous, relational impasse at work or a critical business deal you felt was going to sink you? Every Meal Has a Silver Lining: Developing Long-term Relationships Over Food and Drink by new author Douglas A. Avery navigates those stormy waters with twelve chapters designed to hone your relational-building skills over breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even drinks. How do you discreetly celebrate the personal, nutritional, or religious uniquenesses of others around the table with you? What conversations are appropriate and which ones do you avoid? How do you make your guest feel at ease or how do you make your host/hostess feel appreciated? What about follow up? Because communal dining in every culture carries with it specific psychological and emotional implications, Every Meal Has a Silver Lining analyzes these expectations through the use of personal and professional stories. Each chapter is short, easy to read, and designed to be comprehended independently of the others. While not a twelve-step book, Every Meal Has a Silver Lining uncovers unique principles that, combined with the intelligence of the reader, is certain to set you on the right path to developing positive, long-term relationships that go well beyond your work space.

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Ending Toxic Relationships

2015-09-23-1442967068-3152713-ScreenShot20150922at5.06.02PM.png

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me decree: The age where you stop putting up with people’s bullshit is 36. It may come well before then, but I know for sure the beaten, bloody corpse of giving-a-damn breathes its last miserable breath on your 36th day of birth.

Too dramatic? You’re right. I’m an artist. I get emotional sometimes. Let me try this again.

This year on my 36th birthday, I received a phone call from someone purporting to wish me well; but I was instead met with an out-of-nowhere onslaught of anger, bitterness and passive-aggressive insults. I tried desperately to save the conversation, to walk away from the call with some sense of positivity, but the wounds were too deep and the history between us too complicated.

Which is when I came to a necessary but painful realization: the relationship needed to end immediately. I wished the person well and hung up the phone. I will probably never speak to them again.

Put very simply, if a relationship (whether it be a friend, a family member or a significant other) makes you feel bad, you shouldn’t be in it.

That’s not to say that relationships aren’t complex and multifaceted, and not every interaction will be sunshine and rainbows. It’s simply to say that too often we tend not to take care of ourselves for the sake of a friendship. Too often we feel like it’s our price of admission, that in order to get the few moments of good, we have to put up with the long hours of bad. But I’ve come to realize that this way of thinking ultimately is a disservice to both sides.

Many toxic relationships have a destructive push/pull dynamic. Call it a form of co-dependency. One person needs to feel like the caring one, the other needs to feel like the destructive one, and both sides are miserable. It’s human nature, but it’s ultimately an unhealthy cycle because it creates a relationship without stability.

It used to be that I’d try to approach every toxic relationship as a puzzle that hadn’t yet been solved. It was a game I played with myself on the road to trying to be a good person; maybe if I look at the relationship in ANOTHER way it will change, maybe I’m not being patient enough, maybe I need to choose my words more carefully. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But that’s when I discovered that I was, myself, contributing to the push/pull dynamic. My previous thinking always assumed the other person was the destructive one; but in reality I was being equally destructive. In my subconscious effort to not feel bad while being in a relationship, I did the unfair thing of pulling them closer while simultaneously pushing them away.

In a toxic relationship, each party continues to inflict their own negative behaviors upon the other person, which ultimately makes both people feel worse. There are indeed one-sided toxic relationships, where one party exclusively subjects the other to their bad behavior, but the mere fact that the “innocent” side keeps the cycle going means there is some equal amount of responsibility for its toxicity.

In short — we do it to each other.

And that is the single most important thing to understand when you break off a toxic relationship. Ending it doesn’t mean the other person is “bad” and you shouldn’t look to assign blame. There are no winners, and there are no losers. Sometimes, two people just aren’t good for each other. It’s as simple as that.

Ending something so familiar can be tricky. Sometimes its a matter of ripping the band-aid off, sometimes its a matter of quietly slipping away. No matter the method, remember to be kind to yourself and to the other person. Be sure to leave open the idea that there may come a time where your paths could cross again under happier circumstances. Allow them to go off and find what makes them happy just as you need to find what makes you happy.

When it comes down to brass tacks, every relationship that you have in life should make you a better person, just as you should contribute positively in return. We somehow tend to forget that along the way, when, in fact, our personal fulfillment should never be up for negotiation.

Episode 3 of my web series Keith Broke His Leg is a humorous take on toxic relationships; and shows a rather… unsanitary… way of ending the cycle. Take a look:

Keith Powell is an actor, writer, and director. He is most known for his role as Toofer on 30 Rock. He has had recurring roles on About A Boy and The Newsroom, and created, wrote, and directed the original web series Keith Broke His Leg (www.GetBroken.com).

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Ending Toxic Relationships

2015-09-23-1442967068-3152713-ScreenShot20150922at5.06.02PM.png

Ladies and Gentlemen, let me decree: The age where you stop putting up with people’s bullshit is 36. It may come well before then, but I know for sure the beaten, bloody corpse of giving-a-damn breathes its last miserable breath on your 36th day of birth.

Too dramatic? You’re right. I’m an artist. I get emotional sometimes. Let me try this again.

This year on my 36th birthday, I received a phone call from someone purporting to wish me well; but I was instead met with an out-of-nowhere onslaught of anger, bitterness and passive-aggressive insults. I tried desperately to save the conversation, to walk away from the call with some sense of positivity, but the wounds were too deep and the history between us too complicated.

Which is when I came to a necessary but painful realization: the relationship needed to end immediately. I wished the person well and hung up the phone. I will probably never speak to them again.

Put very simply, if a relationship (whether it be a friend, a family member or a significant other) makes you feel bad, you shouldn’t be in it.

That’s not to say that relationships aren’t complex and multifaceted, and not every interaction will be sunshine and rainbows. It’s simply to say that too often we tend not to take care of ourselves for the sake of a friendship. Too often we feel like it’s our price of admission, that in order to get the few moments of good, we have to put up with the long hours of bad. But I’ve come to realize that this way of thinking ultimately is a disservice to both sides.

Many toxic relationships have a destructive push/pull dynamic. Call it a form of co-dependency. One person needs to feel like the caring one, the other needs to feel like the destructive one, and both sides are miserable. It’s human nature, but it’s ultimately an unhealthy cycle because it creates a relationship without stability.

It used to be that I’d try to approach every toxic relationship as a puzzle that hadn’t yet been solved. It was a game I played with myself on the road to trying to be a good person; maybe if I look at the relationship in ANOTHER way it will change, maybe I’m not being patient enough, maybe I need to choose my words more carefully. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

But that’s when I discovered that I was, myself, contributing to the push/pull dynamic. My previous thinking always assumed the other person was the destructive one; but in reality I was being equally destructive. In my subconscious effort to not feel bad while being in a relationship, I did the unfair thing of pulling them closer while simultaneously pushing them away.

In a toxic relationship, each party continues to inflict their own negative behaviors upon the other person, which ultimately makes both people feel worse. There are indeed one-sided toxic relationships, where one party exclusively subjects the other to their bad behavior, but the mere fact that the “innocent” side keeps the cycle going means there is some equal amount of responsibility for its toxicity.

In short — we do it to each other.

And that is the single most important thing to understand when you break off a toxic relationship. Ending it doesn’t mean the other person is “bad” and you shouldn’t look to assign blame. There are no winners, and there are no losers. Sometimes, two people just aren’t good for each other. It’s as simple as that.

Ending something so familiar can be tricky. Sometimes its a matter of ripping the band-aid off, sometimes its a matter of quietly slipping away. No matter the method, remember to be kind to yourself and to the other person. Be sure to leave open the idea that there may come a time where your paths could cross again under happier circumstances. Allow them to go off and find what makes them happy just as you need to find what makes you happy.

When it comes down to brass tacks, every relationship that you have in life should make you a better person, just as you should contribute positively in return. We somehow tend to forget that along the way, when, in fact, our personal fulfillment should never be up for negotiation.

Episode 3 of my web series Keith Broke His Leg is a humorous take on toxic relationships; and shows a rather… unsanitary… way of ending the cycle. Take a look:

Keith Powell is an actor, writer, and director. He is most known for his role as Toofer on 30 Rock. He has had recurring roles on About A Boy and The Newsroom, and created, wrote, and directed the original web series Keith Broke His Leg (www.GetBroken.com).

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.




Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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6 Things No One Tells You About Long-Distance Relationships

The story never gets old: A girl meets a boy. They fall head over heels in love to realize later on one is bound to leave somewhere far.

My story, however, comes with a little twist. I traveled nearly 6,000 miles from home to get lost in thick Indonesian jungles with a person living in my hometown. Yet, moving to France in just a month after we return from the trip.

While I desperately wished to quit my job, pack my bags I couldn’t. Saying immediate good-bye forever at that point would have torn my heart apart as well. So I opted for that type of relationships I never believed could work — long-distance relationship (LDR).

Two years fast-forward, we are still together. We are still in love and I now have two homes in two different countries where I spend equal amount of time.

There’s one important most thing I need to tell you upfront: Long-distance relationships suck. You may eventually discover some positive aspects, but on your “bad days” you will curse each mile separating you.

Yet, if you ask me, “Is it actually worth to get into LDR?

Absolutely. Every. Single. (Pun intended). Minute.

If you found yourself at the point when you need to decide whether love on the distance is possible for you, here are some important things I have learned the hard way.

1. You got a free ticket for an emotional non-stop roller-coaster ride.

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I have always thought of myself as a big girl who doesn’t cry. The first month of LDR turned me into a total weepie.

It’s not that we weren’t doing “good”. It’s just due to complete novelty of the situation; I have experienced a vast variety of feelings from deep, depressive sadness to anger, joy, anxiety, enthusiasm and everything in between.

If you think it gets better in time, sorry, it doesn’t.

You will still have “good days” when you do your daily chores, feel excited about something, have fun times with friends. And there would be bad days. Terribly wrong days full of self-pity, heart-wrenching loneliness and drilling pain.

When you are together, your joy and happiness can’t be tamed. When you are apart, your sadness grows to the size of your personal universe.

2. You will become really creative in filling up your time.

To avoid the sadness consuming me, I started to get creative with keeping my brains occupied most of the day. I took language classes, learnt to cook a few dozens of new dishes, started biking regularly into the countryside, worked long hours, started a blog, revived some long-forgotten friendships, de-cluttered my flat, gave away my clothes and did some charity projects.

My partner started learning to play the guitar, learned to skate, became a pro-chess player, continued to study another language and make new friends and useful professional connections in his new home country.

Now you get the point, you will have a lot of “waiting” time you will need to productively waste unless you don’t want to be a sad girl all the time.

3. You will have a lot of tough choices to make.

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Let’s start with some relatively simple questions both of you will need to answer honestly: “Where is this all heading?” and “What’s next?”; “How do you see our future together?” and “How can we close the distance?”

Add to the above developing the ultimate visiting schedule, shared expenses and financial planning, plus questions from all sort of random folks asking when/why don’t you get married or dump him.

4. Your friends’ may not be as supportive as you think.

If they are not in LDR as well, they won’t get all of your woes and complains 75 percent of the times. They will sound as sympathetic and compassionate as they can, but deep down inside you know they don’t understand your feelings.

Some would be much worse, asking seemingly hilarious questions like: “Does your boyfriend even exist?”, “How do you cope with the physical aspect of being in relationships?” and “Maybe you should date someone else?”.

Right. And than a cat becomes a dog.

5. In time, you develop an odd feeling of sureness.

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Your relationships are definitely not about sex. You are rather friends without benefits when you are not together. If that’s not true love, why would each if you bother to sustain this whole thing?

You are very honest with your partner and can share anything in person or online — fears, dreams, hopes, pain, insecurities. Suddenly, “jealousy” becomes an empty word for you as you grow a thousand per cent sure in your partner.

6. You will make it till the end.

I have never believed long-distance relationships work. I was proved wrong.

You will make it through. You can be a happy couple even if you don’t share one zip code.

If it is your person, you will survive everything together and make it through all the future couple struggles and life difficulties.

You can read more stories of life and travel at Elena’s blog or check out the latest pictures at @elenastravelgram

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Weddings – The Huffington Post
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Nintendo Will Allow Same-Sex Relationships In New ‘Fire Emblem’ Game

At last, the powerful warriors and wizards in Nintendo’s “Fire Emblem” franchise can be gay.

Gaming site Polygon reported Tuesday that players will be able to have same-sex relationships in the upcoming “Fire Emblem Fates,” a new entry in the strategy role-playing franchise that made its debut on the original Nintendo Entertainment System in 1990. A Nintendo spokesman confirmed this information to The Huffington Post.

“Fates” will be be released in two separate versions, “Conquest” and “Birthright.” Nintendo told HuffPost that each will feature a different same-sex coupling — male in one game and female in the other.

“In the Conquest edition of the game, there is a male character that the game’s player may have his/her male main character marry after they bond in battle. Similarly, the Birthright edition features a female character that a female main character may marry after bonding in battle,” a Nintendo spokesman told HuffPost, echoing the statement given to Polygon.

Having both same-sex relationships in the same game may eventually be possible, since Nintendo says there will be a downloadable component that opens up the content that both versions of the game lack.

For the uninitiated, relationships often play a central role in “Fire Emblem” games. Your characters can make friends and, in the case of the recent “Fire Emblem: Awakening,” hook up with characters of the opposite gender and make beautiful warrior children who travel through time and space to assist you in battle. (There will be procreation in “Fates,” but it’s unclear how this will pertain to the same-sex couples.)

In “Awakening,” you completely customize the main character — named Robin by default — by selecting physical build, facial features, hairstyle, hair color, voice and, of course, gender. Because Nintendo specifically references player-created characters in “Fates,” it seems likely that a similar setup will exist in the new game.


Character creation in “Fire Emblem: Awakening.” (Source)

That lends a bit more weight to the romantic relationships. If you’re playing as a female character, maybe you end up crushing on the blue-haired Chrom — which might feel a bit more personal than having two non-customizable characters get groovy together:


A romantic conversation in “Fire Emblem: Awakening” between a player-created character and a default, Nintendo-made one. (Source)

However, if you’re playing “Awakening” as a female character, you can’t become romantically involved with another female character. Romantic pairings are exclusively heterosexual in releases prior to “Fates.”

There are many other characters running around in the new “Fire Emblem” who could potentially pair off; but it’s unclear if two of the same gender who are built into the story by Nintendo could get together, or if that’s an option only if one of the characters is the one you create for yourself.

In recent years, video games have gotten better about depicting characters who don’t fit a heteronormative mold. The “Mass Effect” series, for example, has allowed characters to pursue fairly in-depth same-sex relationships. Nintendo’s “Fire Emblem” series is generally more kid-friendly than that, which suggests that — when “Fates” hits next year — younger people may have access to a video game that understands them just a bit better than before.

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Entertainment – The Huffington Post
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Why Low Self-Esteem People Become Frozen In Bad Relationships

Much of my clinical work over the years has been with individuals and couples who experience a diminished sense of self-worth; low self-esteem. When they find that their relationships have entered the dead zone, they often feel stuck within them — troubled and frustrated. They’re unable to push for revitalizing them, if that’s possible, or leaving, if that would be healthier. And even as they uncover the roots of their low self-worth through therapy, they often remain frozen in a bad, even destructive relationship.

Some recent research provides some empirical confirmation and information about that clinical picture. It found that the partner with diminished self-esteem tends to avoid confronting problems or conflicts to begin with. That avoidance often reflects feelings of insecurity about the partner’s feelings for them. That, in turn, leads to hunkering down and withdrawing from the conflict, which might be resolved through more open, transparent communication.

The research, conducted by the University of Waterloo, confirmed in essence that partners with low self-esteem tend not to voice relationship complaints with their partner because they fear rejection. “There is a perception that people with low self-esteem tend to be more negative and complain a lot more,” says Megan McCarthy, the study’s lead author. “While that may be the case in some social situations, our study suggests that in romantic relationships, the partner with low self-esteem resists addressing problems.”

And, “If your significant other is not engaging in open and honest conversation about the relationship,” says McCarthy, “it may not be that they don’t care, but rather that they feel insecure and are afraid of being hurt. We’ve found that people with a more negative self-concept often have doubts and anxieties about the extent to which other people care about them,” she says. “This can drive low self-esteem people toward defensive, self-protective behavior, such as avoiding confrontation.”

A summary of the research also points out that people with low self-esteem’s resistance to address concerns may stem from a fear of negative outcomes. That is, they may believe that if they speak up and confront what troubles them, they risk rejection from their partner; and that, in turn, will damage their relationship. Consequently, that tends to lead to greater mutual dissatisfaction in the relationship.

“We may think that staying quiet, in a ‘forgive and forget’ kind of way, is constructive, and certainly it can be when we feel minor annoyances,” says McCarthy. “But when we have a serious issue in a relationship, failing to address those issues directly can actually be destructive.”

It’s good to see empirical support for familiar patterns that men and women often bring to psychotherapy. This can help them clarify how and why they perpetuate the negative relationships that they hope to heal; and what they need to deal with to bring about some positive movement.

dlabier@CenterProgressive.org Douglas LaBier, Ph.D., is director of the Center for Progressive Development, and writes its blog, Progressive Impact. For more about him on The Huffington Post, click here.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

GPS for the Soul – The Huffington Post
Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Singer-Songwriter Matt Gold Releases ‘Low’ Video Inspired By His Personal Relationships

Indiana-based singer-songwriter Matt Gold says the video for his new track, “Low,” is inspired from “having been broken down” in his relationships.

The song, which was released in April, melds Gold’s haunting melodies with personal lyrics. The out musician, who has developed a cult following with performances on college campuses and in intimate venues across the nation, hopes the tune once again expresses “the overall human experience” as opposed to anything specifically gay or queer.

“While a pat on the back or a hug can ease your pain for a second, no one really knows what is going on inside,” Gold told The Huffington Post in an interview. “They can say they relate, but can they really?”

In a music scene that has embraced openly gay performers like Sam Smith and Adam Lambert, Gold says he is ultimately happy to be “making music that is authentic to who I am” and “grateful for anyone, gay or straight, who understands my message.”

“Everybody has something to bring to the table, and hopefully I am something you come back for,” he added.

Hear more of Matt Gold’s music on his website here, or check him out on Facebook and Twitter.

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

Arts – The Huffington Post
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6 Ways to Cultivate Better Relationships for More Happiness

Happiness is an elusive topic that has been studied and contemplated by many throughout history. While there are many theories and ideas of what it means to be happy, I decided to focus on the relational aspect of happiness in this blog. As an Imago relationship therapist and someone who specializes in helping my clients achieve happy and healthy relationships I have come to view much of happiness through a relational lens.

It is no coincidence that online dating and the wedding industry are extremely successful businesses. Human beings seek and crave close and intimate relationships. When we feel loved and connected we feel “whole.” However, romantic relationships are not the only or even primary source of relational happiness. Friendships and family relationships can be just as important. When someone in therapy is going through a difficult time a psychotherapist may often ask, “who is your support network?” This is an important question because the stronger the support network, the easier the recovery. Feeling loved and supported by a “tribe” is often essential to how happy we are. In fact, research even shows the mental and physical benefits of friendship.

Of course on the opposite end of the spectrum, relationships also have the power to make us extremely unhappy. Being in the wrong relationship or being surrounded by people who don’t make us feel good or take advantage of us can feel awful and drain us emotionally. Positive relationships enhance our happiness but negative relationships have the power to make us unhappy. Because relationships are so powerful it is important to know how to cultivate fulfilling relationships. Throughout our lives no one teaches us how to be in relationships. There are no classes in school that tell us how to have healthy and happy relationships. We are often just navigating them on our own and learning as we go.

Given that we are often uneducated on healthy relationships, what are some things one can do to cultivate better relationships with others? Here are a few tips:

1. Empathy: The most successful relationship dynamics are when each person involved in the relationship has a strong sense of empathy. Empathy basically means that you are consciously thinking about how another person might feel and acting respectfully and thoughtfully accordingly. I’ve seen a lot of relationships end because of the narcissism, selfishness or entitlement of one person. If you want to develop a real sense of intimacy and closeness with another person you have to be able to put yourself in their shoes. I believe that empathy is the foundation and core of any successful relationship.

2. Thoughtfulness and Generosity: When I use the word “generosity” I don’t mean that you should be buying your friends and family expensive gifts (or gifts at all). Generosity is emotional generosity. My grandfather died recently and some friends of mine wrote me really thoughtful cards which meant the world to me and made me feel really lucky. Even just checking in with someone on a regular basis to show you care is a sign of thoughtfulness and generosity. Showing appreciation through words, gift giving, verbal appreciation or any thoughtful gesture that shows someone you are thinking of them is also a form of thoughtfulness and generosity.

3. Consistency and Follow Through: I was raised with the mantra: “If you tell someone you’re going to do something, you do it” (thanks, dad!). Nobody likes someone who constantly bails, doesn’t follow through, or makes empty promises. You can only get away with flaky behavior for so long before people stop putting up with it.

4. Compromise and Fairness: All relationships should have some feeling of reciprocity. This doesn’t mean tit for tat but it means both parties in the relationship do not feel like the relationship is one sided or uneven. All strong relationships require a degree of compromise and fairness. People who consistently take from others and expect people to give and bend over backwards for them without lifting a finger are people who don’t have many friends or any friendships of real substance. They are users.

5. Don’t Ask People For Things Only When You Need Something: This was another childhood message I received that I am incredibly grateful for. Isn’t it the most infuriating thing when someone calls you only when they need something from you? All positive and healthy relationships should stem from something beyond just selfish needs. People are more inclined to want to do nice things for you when they feel like you really like them for who they are and not what you can do for them.

6. Boundaries: If you find yourself in a friendship/relationship with someone who has little or no empathy, is not thoughtful or emotionally generous, is flaky, does not compromise, or only asks for things of you when they need something from you, put up a boundary and either distance yourself from the person or end the relationship entirely. There is no point in having relationships that make you feel bad, drain you and leave you resentful.

This article was originally published on Lena’s blog at the Imago Center in Washington D.C. website

— This feed and its contents are the property of The Huffington Post, and use is subject to our terms. It may be used for personal consumption, but may not be distributed on a website.

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Special News Bulletin-http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

Restoring Primary Care: Reframing Relationships and Redesigning Practice

Restoring Primary Care: Reframing Relationships and Redesigning Practice


To many practitioners, managers and patients, US primary care is in crisis. Primary care physicians are often overworked and undervalued, and both patients and care providers can feel locked into structures that lack compassion and are unfit for their intended purposes. Healthcare reforms aim to resolve the situation, but changes may take years to deliver and are contingent on numerous outside factors. What steps are within care providers'' power to take now? This book lays out a course to deliver compassionate care, quality, and efficiency that – unlike many current patient-centred medical home initiatives in the US – does not require outside funding. After reflecting on avoidable problems and harms in primary care, the book offers stories of hope from innovative clinicians across the US before presenting ten practical, deliverable steps to lift primary care provision from poor'' or mediocre'' to great''. This book will be of interest to practicing family physicians and general internists, but will also be useful reading for health system leaders, healthcare insurance purchasers and insurance company executives.
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Proof Positive That It Takes Great Vendor Relationships to Avoid Wedding Disasters

You can be the best wedding planner in the world, or the most effective and organized Do-It-Yourself bride and groom in the world, but if you don’t have good relationships with your vendors, you’re going to have problems pulling off a flawless wedding.

Let me be clear – no wedding is perfect. There are ALWAYS problems. But most of the time, the things that go wrong behind-the-scenes can be fixed before my clients even know about it. That’s the critical time when it’s up to the planner and the vendor to work together in a perfect duet in order to create things that don’t exist and make other things appear out of thin air. Without a TEAM of people working together to make sure an event comes together and runs smoothly, you’re looking at a potential nightmare.

However, if you have good vendor relationships, almost any problem can be solved. And as a planner, I can promise you that one of your vendors will save your butt in a big way – whether you’re a professional planner or it’s your own wedding. That’s the number one reason to spent time vetting and selecting the very best vendors.

But remember, you don’t build relationships with vendors overnight. And if you’ve been rude or nasty or dismissive of your vendor’s concerns prior to the wedding, it’s tough for them to be the best troubleshooters they can be when you call in a panic at the 11th hour. Treat them with professionalism and respect from the very beginning.

Last week, my company planned a fabulous wedding for a Broadway actress and her Dutch businessman fiancé on Vieques Island. They were fun to plan with, but the bride had a very specific vision in her head of what her wedding would look like – most especially the flowers. Her bouquet, in particular. As the planner, I had it all under control – at least the parts I could control. Being located on a small island located off the coast of Puerto Rico, sometimes there are a few things out of our control. Most commonly, the flowers.

I became a florist under duress. I had opened Weddings in Vieques on the tiny island off the coast of Puerto Rico, and the one and only florist on the island was infuriating my brides. He couldn’t just look at a picture and copy what they wanted – he had to “interpret” it “creatively.” Let me assure you that interpretations of creativity can vary dramatically. The thing about living in such an isolated place is that we didn’t have any other vendor options. I followed the theory that if you want to have it done right, sometimes the only option is to do it yourself. That was seven years ago.

When I first started looking for a flower supplier in Puerto Rico, I got seriously frustrated. They don’t have elaborate websites – or any website at all – for the most case. My Spanish, while passable, is a challenge on the telephone where I sometimes can’t understand the rapid fire Puerto Rican dialect (even after living here for more than seven years).

What was worse was that when I did get some suppliers (I finally flew over to the big island and spent a day meeting with them in person to get all my questions answered), I quickly learned the hard way that my newness to the industry was getting me taken advantage of – they’d sell me anything expensive, even if it was something too delicate to actually work in this tropical environment.

Let me assure you that on an island off an island, you cannot use peonies, tulips, ranunculus, poppies, anemones, and a host of other really delicate flowers. Especially for outdoor weddings and events. It just doesn’t work. But nobody told me that – they just sold me flowers and then laughed at my horror stories of making them work the first few months. I learned to order safe backups in the same colors as the new flowers I was working with just in case. Flowers didn’t become profitable for my company for a long time.

And then I met Randall Franklin. He’s a sales rep at a company called Potomac Floral Wholesale in Silver Spring, Maryland – next to DC, my hometown. And I learned quickly that their company could send me just about anything that could be sent from the big island and get them here just as quickly. The difference was, Randall wouldn’t sell me things that wouldn’t survive the trip, or work in the Caribbean. He gave me excellent guidance.

He was a godsend and he talked me through hand-wiring orchids and sent me the supplies I needed. He held my hand through arrangements that looked so complicated to me that I wanted to scream, looking at the pictures and telling me exactly how it had been done and what I needed to use. I did my own homework too and taught myself everything I needed to learn along the way, but if not for the hand-holding of this flower guy back in the states, I would have had some legitimate disasters.

All along, I’ve continued to buy about half of my flowers from local San Juan suppliers. But the thing is that the flowers aren’t “local” even if they’re tropical – Puerto Rican suppliers are getting the vast majority of their flowers from the same place as any big supplier up in the states. Most roses come from Latin America and most of the world’s commercial orchid population comes from Thailand (a hot mess for weddings worldwide when political problems shut down their airport a few years ago). I buy from Puerto Rico when I can because of the shipping costs. But if I have something special or urgent, I call Potomac Floral Wholesale. Every time.

As my skills as a florist improved, we opened Flowers in Vieques to offer floral services to brides and grooms who weren’t my wedding planning clients. There are some beautiful hotels on this island and not everybody uses a wedding planner nowadays. DIY is big, even if destination-DIY is tricky. All of a sudden we were getting more unusual requests and needing more flowers more frequently.

The thing is, getting flowers only begins by ordering them. It’s actually having them arrive ALIVE and on time that’s nearly impossible down here. And we’ve had some close calls. Boxes of flowers stuck in customs for a couple of days and things like that. But Randall spent a LOT of time with me on the phone with UPS getting boxes grabbed and held in cold storage in San Juan while I put somebody on an airplane to the big island to get them. When you’re that far behind, you can’t wait for the one and only UPS guy to arrive on a ferry at almost 11 pm to deliver them to you the night before the wedding. Even if your company loses money, it’s better to personally retrieve them and have them in your hands as early as possible. What if the weather gets bad and the ferry doesn’t make its trip? I’d be screwed. I can’t take that risk – there’s only one strike in weddings.

At some point a few years ago, Potomac switched to FedEx. Nothing’s different about the delivery – the one and only FedEx guy comes and finds me wherever I am (at a wedding welcome party in a bar one night) at 10 or 11 pm when the last ferry finally arrives and he unloads the FedEx cargo. But he’s a nice guy and always texts me to let me know when he’ll be getting here and if he’s got my boxes. Sometimes, he doesn’t.

Enter the vendor-love-of-my-life, Andy Pagan – the general manager of Potomac Floral Wholesale. Randall was gone for the night when I realized we had a shipping problem and called for help. Our flowers were stuck in San Juan on a Friday night and wouldn’t be shipped til Monday. And we knew they’d be dead by then. Andy returned my urgent call and it turns out, he’s Puerto Rican. That’s key when you need to get through the automated phone system to contact the actual counter of the FedEx office by the airport in San Juan. He got them to put our flowers into cold storage and we had someone waiting at the back door of the FedEx building at 8 am the next morning to retrieve them. Disaster averted. 2014-12-14-DianeandRogierwelcomesign2.jpg

Last week, I had a similar problem. I couldn’t order my flowers down here for Diane Phelan and Rogier de Boer’s wedding because the garden roses she desperately wanted wouldn’t be on the big island early enough for a Thursday wedding. I’d planned ahead, carefully coordinating with Andy, and I thought for sure we’d have them Tuesday night, based on our last few shipments. But it was not to be. When I called my FedEx guy (how jealous are you that I KNOW who should have my flowers on the way to me) and he didn’t have them, I flat-out panicked. Diane was going down the aisle on Thursday at 3:30 pm. Best chance of delivery had become 11 pm on Tuesday night. And having been out of water so long, they’d need a good soak before we could start working with them to create décor and bouquets. If they weren’t dead.

I texted Andy in a panic and he contacted his rep immediately. At midnight, we were still on the phone sorting things out but Andy got FedEx to find the flowers (somehow mysteriously stuck in Memphis since 2:30 am the prior morning – see I told you they should have gotten here). Because of the GM’s persistence, FedEx found the box in Memphis and got it on an airplane to Puerto Rico. One of my employees flew to the big island, retrieved it as soon as it arrived on the 10 am flight (not without incident and holdups at Agricultura on the way in) and hand-carried those flowers back to Vieques on the next flight. 2014-12-14-DianeandRogierbridalbouquet.JPG

Not every vendor would have done that for just any customer. It takes relationship-building from the first moment you start planning weddings, even if it’s your own special day. Over the years, caterers have found unusual last-minute signature drink ingredients, even when they had to be brought in from St. Croix. And my cake lady has come through spectacularly even after a bride changed the cake flavor three times in the last week prior to her wedding. They didn’t have to do those things but they did – because I asked nicely and explained the predicament and didn’t yell or scream or make demands.
2014-12-14-DianeandRogierscake.JPG

A little bit of sugar goes a long way in wedding planning. The way you treat your vendors will be reflected in their performance at the wedding events. Being organized, keeping them in the loop, ALWAYS paying on time and thanking them for tremendous efforts is the way to make sure that when something goes wrong, you have a whole team behind you to help fix the problem. If your vendors won’t help you in a crisis, you’re working with the wrong vendors.

Until next time, happy wedding planning from Weddings in Vieques and Sandy Malone Weddings & Events!
Weddings – The Huffington Post
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You Cant Lead With Your Feet On The Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, And Delivering Profits

You Cant Lead With Your Feet On The Desk: Building Relationships, Breaking Down Barriers, And Delivering Profits


You can''t lead with your feet on the desk . . . or your brain on hold. Ed Fuller brings experience, intelligence, and heart to this inspiring guide to building relationships and the good things that follow when you do. The message is delivered in an engaging style that keeps you entertained and leaves you with lasting wisdom.—MICHAEL V. DRAKE, MD, Chancellor, University of California, IrvineThe world of tourism, hospitality, and hotels has become a very global, complex, and diverse industry. No one knows this better than Ed Fuller. In this thoughtfully written text, Ed is speaking to business students, managers, and executives of all industries through his rich experience in the global hotel industry. We have found many great examples within these pages of how we can conduct business better, and I would suggest that they are not only relevant in the United States but throughout the world.—ANDREW H. FEINSTEIN, James A. Collins Distinguished Chair and Dean, The Collins College of Hospitality Management, Cal Poly PomonaThe World Travel & Tourism Council services six continents. Ed''s book will empower you to apply many of the principles that we employ globally, whether it''s in Denver, Dubai, or Düsseldorf. These principles will give you a competitive edge in your markets immediately.—JEAN-CLAUDE BAUMGARTEN, President, World Travel & Tourism CouncilEd Fuller''s generous layers of personal experiences and his crisp narrative make his stern message easy to understand. Take my advice, read his book before you take another plane on a foreign business trip. It will change the way you behave.—GEOFFREY KENT, founder and Executive Chairman, Abercrombie & KentLet me tell you what Ed''s book isn''t: it''s not a primer on how to shake hands or fold your napkin in another country. It''s an incredibly rich insight into leadership through well-earned personal relationships and experiences that American business executives need to embrace to succeed in the global economy.—ROGER DOW, President and CEO, U.S. Travel AssociationEd''s book gives the student, manager, and executive practical experience in dealing with unique situations, new relationships, and creative problem-solving approaches that are broadly applicable in the business world, no matter where you live or whom you deal with. The insights will prove valuable to your personal growth.—ANDY POLICANO, Dean, The Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine
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Exorcising Your Ex: How to Get Rid of the Demons of Relationships Past

Exorcising Your Ex: How to Get Rid of the Demons of Relationships Past


Are you hurting from a recent breakup? Still pining for a guy you dated ten years ago? Here are surefire ways to demolish those demons of loves past — and still maintain your dignity and sense of humor. This hilarious and eminently helpful collection of real-life tricks and techniques is like no other book of its kind. With cutting-edge wit. Elizabeth Kuster presents tried-and-true solutions from dozens of women who have survived the trauma of breaking up — clever (or desperate) methods for getting over guys who, for some silly reason, think they can live without you. In this book, you’ll find “An exclusive equation to help you recalculate your post-breakup recovery time. How not to make your current boyfriend pay for what your ex did to you. What to do with the ratty bathrobe your ex left hanging in your closet. On-target lists of movies, books, and songs appropriate for each phase. Quick fixes, harmless revenge tactics, and much, much more ” These sassy tales from the trenches will help you get over nagging negative memories quickly, effectively, painlessly. And failing that, they’ll give you a few cheap laughs.

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The State of Copyright: The Complex Relationships of Cultural Creation in a Globalized World

The State of Copyright: The Complex Relationships of Cultural Creation in a Globalized World


This book seeks to make an intervention into the ongoing debate about the scope and intensity of global copyright laws. While mapping out the primary actors in the context of globalization and the modern political economy of information ownership, the argument is made that alternatives to further expansion of copyright are necessary. By examining the multiple and competing interests in creating the legal regime of copyright law, this books attempts to map the political economy of copyright in the information age, critique the concentration of ownership that is intrinsic in the status quo, and provide an assessment of the state of the contemporary global copyright landscape and its futures. It draws upon the current narratives of copyright as produced by corporate, government, and political actors and frames these narratives as language games within a global political project to define how information and culture will be shared and exchanged in the future. The text problematizes the relationship of the state to culture, comments on the global flows of culture, and critiques the regulatory apparatus that is in place to commodify culture and align it with the contemporary nation-state. In the end, the possibility of non-commodified and more open futures are explored. The State of Copyright will be of particular interest for students and scholars of international political economy, law, political science, anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, library sciences, and communication studies. It also will appeal to a growing popular audience that has taken an interest in the issues of copyright.

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