Are You A Giver, Taker Or Matcher? Adam Grant Shares How It Could Affect Your Success

According to Adam Grant, author of "Give and Take" and a professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, there are three kinds of people. There are the takers, those who are always trying to get as much as possible from others. There are the matchers, those who, if they did you a favor, would expect one back (and vice versa). And then there are the givers -- those who go out of their way to support and help you, with no strings attached.

If you're being honest with yourself, which one are you? And how does being a giver -- or a taker, or a matcher -- affect success?

Grant shared the answer during his talk at Thrive, The Huffington Post's second Third Metric conference on redefining success beyond the two metrics of money and power.

Turns out, the people who seem to be the least successful in life -- the least productive engineers, the medical students with the poorest grades, the salespeople with the lowest revenue -- are the givers. Takers aren't the best performers, either, thanks to matchers.

"If you are a matcher, you believe that what goes around, comes around," Grant said in his talk. If you're a matcher, "there's nothing you hate more than seeing a taker take and get away with it. That's why matchers in the room, you feel like it's your mission in life, if you encounter a taker, to just punish the hell out of that person."

So does that make matchers the highest performers?

Surprisingly, no, Grant says. Even though givers are the worst performers, they are also the best performers.

"Givers are overrepresented at both extremes," Grant said. "It can either sink your career, or it can accelerate it."

So how do you become a giver who is successful, instead of a giver who just can't perform as well as everyone else? Grant said the first step is to spot the takers in your midst -- and not to be fooled by agreeableness (takers can be agreeable too!).

Another tip is to specialize in what are called "five-minute favors": things that bring high value to other people's lives, but at a relatively low cost.

The philosophy is, "I'm going to microloan my time and my skills to help others without sacrificing myself," Grant explained.

The third step is to not restrict your interactions to just givers.

"A lot of givers will say, 'I'm so afraid of takers, so I'll just focus on people who are generous like me,'" Grant said. But really, matchers are the people who keep score and want to settle favors by paying it forward.

"Givers have a reservoir of good will," Grant added. "If you only help givers, you will never get those benefits from matchers."

Headspace Founder Andy Puddicombe On How Meditation Can Make Us Kinder — To Ourselves

How many of us have tried meditation, but given up because we thought we were no good at it? Judging by the cheers elicited from Andy Puddicombe's keynote address at Thrive, The Huffington Post's second Third Metric conference on redefining success beyond the two metrics of money and power, quite a few of us.

"It's a common thing," he said, which comes from misconceptions and preconceptions of meditation, many of which he says he used to have himself.

Puddicombe's introduction to meditation came early, at around age 10, he said. It had a profound effect from the get-go, leading to his decision to become a monk in his early 20s.

Even though he's no longer a monk, Puddicombe strives to bring meditation to the masses through his app, Headspace, which is used by over a million people, from Olympians to doctors to entire corporations.

"The wonderful thing about meditation is people are starting to find what it means to them," he said. "Meditation is not for me to define -- you define it by how you choose to use it."

"Meditation is an experience," he continued. "If you don't do it, you won't experience it."

Luckily, for those of us who have tried, and given up, "there is no such thing as good meditation or bad meditation," Puddicombe said. "There is only awareness or non-awareness, distraction or non-distraction." Like any skill, he said, the more we practice, the more "stability of awareness" we'll find.

In the video above, Puddicombe explains just how much time we spend distracted by the little things and life, and how, tragically, that causes us to miss out on crucial opportunities for connection and compassion. Through meditation, he said, "we become kinder not only to those around us, but also to ourselves."

Millennials and Retirement Readiness: Reframing the Conversation

Famed investor Warren Buffett once said, "The best investment you can make is in yourself." This statement holds great promise in helping to advance the state of retirement readiness for many Americans, especially today's 77 million millennials born between 1980 and 2000 -- most of whom are just embarking on their professional lives.

As the parent of two millennial children, I can say with first-hand experience that they are not that much different than previous generations -- with maybe a few prominent exceptions. They network constantly, tend to seek more immediate gratification and bring new meaning to the concept of a mobile society.

Growing up in an age with such services as instant messaging and On-Demand TV, millennials have been conditioned to expect and insist on immediate results, making retirement planning easier said than done. But as young adults, they often lack the proper focus to think about their retirement. And who can blame them? It's certainly not an immediate concern, like rent, car payments, student loans or their weekend entertainment budget. A critical factor in achieving retirement readiness for millennials is to first frame the issue of saving and investing in a way that is relevant and meaningful to them.

That means instead of imagining themselves 30 or 40 years down the road, they should focus on today and how they can become the living, breathing conduit to their future financial success by recognizing and taking stock of their human capital.

The Millennial Asset Class: Human Capital

Investing for retirement typically involves a discussion about the value of balancing risk and reward through proper diversification between assets classes. The discussion however, rarely involves the value of investing in a different type of asset class -- yourself. And for the "instant gratification and mobile generation," a focus on bettering yourself for your future earnings -- or growing your human capital -- is a more immediate, engaging prospect.

Simply put, human capital is the ability to make money by applying knowledge, skills and labor in the workforce. Anything you do to increase your ability to earn higher future wages is typically an investment in your human capital. This includes earning an advanced degree, on-the-job training and honing your skills, networking and etiquette in the workplace. Millennial's can maximize their human capital through education, work experience, or by optimizing their digital strength in social and professional networking.

A rough measure of human capital is your expected remaining lifetime earnings. As a basic example, if you worked for forty years at an average annual salary of $50,000, your human capital would be $2 million. This is important because it helps determine the amount of investment risk you might consider taking today based on age and number of years remaining in the workforce. Time plus your earning potential would overcome any dips you might encounter from more aggressive investments or market downturn.

Millennial's will never have more human capital than they do as young working adults. As the value of their human capital increases, it will produce more financial capital that can then apply to longer-term savings.

Prioritizing Payments: Pay Yourself First

My daughter is lightning-fast with her mobile phone to make a reservation, get the best price on new shoes or network on the hot topic of the moment. Retirement savings is not one of those hot topics. She, like many millennials, struggle with competing financial priorities -- a mortgage or rent, a car payment, groceries and student loans -- making saving for the long-term seem impossible. There is often times little, if anything, left at the end of the month to set aside in savings.

To balance these competing financial priorities, millennial's need to think about Buffet's advice -- "invest in yourself" and use their growing human capital to pay themselves first. This means that the first payment each month should be directed towards savings -- before paying monthly living expenses and making discretionary purchases. But how does one save for tomorrow when that money is needed to buy food to live today? Start by automatically setting aside a small amount from each paycheck -- at the time it is received -- to a savings account. This process provides the instant gratification millennials expect and removes the risk that funds will be spent before the contribution has been made. Even if only $20 of each paycheck goes into savings, it's a solid foundation that can help set good budgeting habits and will grow over time. As their human capital improves it will generate financial capital that they can apply to retirement savings.

Having access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan can help make the process even easier -- especially if the company offers the added benefit of a match. Matched contributions are like free money and are critically important to not only accumulating savings, but setting millennial's up on the right path to get not only to but through retirement. I recommend saving at or above the company match if one is available. As human capital grows for Millennials, they can allocate higher levels of income to grow their financial capital for retirement.

When millennials pay themselves first, they are making a conscious investment in both their human and financial capital. They are building human capital by giving themselves more financial flexibility and freedom to grow. They are building their financial capital by automatically and regularly contributing to their future retirement readiness.

The Bottom Line

People are living longer today than ever before and millennials will experience even longer lifespans. This digitally-connected generation, like the Baby Boomers before them (of which I include myself), have an opportunity to reframe the conversation of retirement. But the secret to having the financial freedom to enjoy that longevity gift is investing in yourself early in your career and making savings part of your lifestyle today so that you can be retirement ready. After all, Buffet didn't become the most successful investor of the 20th century by ignoring his own advice.


Patrick Kennedy is senior vice president for Voya Financial Retirement Solutions (formerly ING U.S.), a strategic business segment focused on guiding Americans on their journey to greater retirement readiness through employer-sponsored, tax-deferred savings plans, as well as through holistic advice, financial planning and a broad range of retail product solutions for customers nearing or in their retirement.

These 22 Wedding Fails Are Pretty Much The Worst

Some people say that your wedding day is supposed to be the happiest day of your life. It turns out, the "Big Day" falls short of expectations for many couples.

We were reminded of this once again on Wednesday when Jimmy Fallon shared a wedding disaster he witnessed firsthand using the hashtag #weddingfail and got the topic trending on Twitter.

At friend's wedding they announced bridal party in a dramatic cloud of smoke & my mom wandered through looking for a bathroom. #WeddingFail

— jimmy fallon (@jimmyfallon) April 23, 2014

Classic. Below, we've rounded up some more of these so-awful-that-they're-actually-amazing wedding stories for your amusement.

The awkward name fail:

@jimmyfallon At my sister's wedding the minister asked the groom "do you take Randy..." - her name is Sandy. #WeddingFail

— christyjcollins (@christyjcollins) April 23, 2014

The inappropriately sexual music fail:

During our Father/Daughter dance our DJ screwed up and played Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On." #WeddingFail

— Larry Kruger (@Krug_Dog) April 24, 2014

The horny pet fail:

Bride and groom's dogs were flower girl and ringer bearer. 1/2 way down the aisle they consummated their own relationship #weddingfail

— Matt Edmunds (@TeXEdMuNdS) April 23, 2014

The inability to STFU fail:

Bridesmaid mentioned our pregnancy during her speech. Only a few of the 200 guests knew & everyone started whispering like mad #WeddingFail

— Kristy♣JF (@slurpee_queen) April 23, 2014

The naked grandpa fail:

My grandpa got really drunk and started stripping on stage... He's 87 #weddingfail

— Dane Halunen (@Dane_Halunen) April 23, 2014

The "we should have hired a professional" fail:

My dad didn't hire a photographer but used a disposable camera himself. You could hear him winding it all through the ceremony #WeddingFail

— dirtyflowergirl (@dirtyflowergirl) April 24, 2014

The timing fail:

My mom decided to have her dog in the wedding and as the priest asked if anyone objected he started crying and howling #WeddingFail

— Brittney Gilman (@B_Gilly89) April 24, 2014

The food safety fail:

Leaned over to admire friends wedding cake and accidentally sneezed on it. No one saw me and everyone ate some #shame #sorry #WEDDINGFAIL

— Kolette (@urm0msh0us3) April 24, 2014

The entertaining-for-everyone-else fail:

The Groom had a bad back and couldn't bend over, Bride was too short, Pastor had to put her on his shoulder so they could kiss #WeddingFail

— Micah Coleman (@DeaconKirby) April 24, 2014

Check out the slideshow below for even more eep-inducing #weddingfails:

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Weddings on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Sign up for our newsletter here.

Arianna: ‘If We Define Success By Money And Power, It’s Like Sitting On A Two-Legged Stool’

It's time to start truly living life and defining success beyond the metrics of money and power -- and it's never too late to start, no matter your age or circumstances.

Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group, and Mika Brzezinski, co-host of MSNBC's Morning Joe, opened the Thrive conference in New York City on Thursday, April 24, with the message that it's time for people to start redefining success beyond money and power.

"If we define success by money and power, it's like sitting on a two-legged stool -- you'll topple over," Arianna said. "And more and more people are toppling over."

The Thrive conference is built around conversations on how to redefine success to include a third metric of success -- based on the four pillars of well-being, wisdom, wonder and giving, Arianna said.

Arianna shared her own wake-up call -- when she collapsed in 2007 from sleep deprivation and burnout, breaking her cheekbone in the process. "That was the beginning of my re-evaluating my life," she said. "By any sane definition of success, if you're lying in a pool of blood in your office --"

"That's a bad sign," Mika chimed in.

Mika shared her own story, including her reliance on pills to get sleep here and there. She said she had had enough when she realized how unsustainable her life was becoming -- and Arianna approached her about it.

"It was lonely, and it wasn't a healthy way to live," Mika said. "It was beginning to impact my health on the outside as well ... I was trying to be all things to all people, but I was burning out fast. And Arianna told me, in her accent, that it was time to pause. So we paused."

The Thrive conference, held at the New York City Center in Manhattan, grew out of last year's women's conference, which had a more intimate setting -- Arianna's apartment. At that event, titled "The Third Metric: Redefining Success Beyond Money & Power," hundreds of influencers in media, entertainment, business and politics gathered to discuss how to redefine success beyond money and power. Also co-hosted by Arianna and Mika, the 2013 conference featured speakers including Jill Abramson, Katie Couric, Adrian Grenier, John Mackey, Joe Scarborough, Valerie Jarrett, Erica Hill, and George Stephanopoulos.

"The way we define success isn’t working," Arianna said at last year's conference, as reported in the New York Times. "More, bigger, better -- we can’t do that anymore."

FDA Approves DNA HPV Test As Primary Cervical Cancer Screening Tool

The FDA approved today (April 24) the first HPV DNA test for cervical cancer screening, for use by women ages 25 and older.

The test, called the cobs HPV Test, works by detecting DNA from 14 types of HPV that are known to be associated with high risk of cervical cancer, including specific identification of HPV 16 and HPV 18 strains (which are responsible for about 70 percent of cervical cancers). While not all HPV infections lead to cancer, about one in 10 women will have a high-risk HPV infection that will lead to cancer; cervical cancer is almost exclusively caused by HPV infections.

If a woman tests positive for HPV 16 or HPV 18, she should then go on to receive a colposcopy in order for a doctor to examine her cervical cells. If she tests positive for one of the other 14 strains, she should undergo a Pap test to determine if a colposcopy is needed, the FDA said.

The test can be used alone by women, or with assistance from a health care professional.

"Today's approval offers women and physicians a new option for cervical cancer screening," Alberto Gutierrez, Ph.D., director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a statement. "Roche Diagnostics conducted a well-designed study that provided the FDA with a reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness when used as a primary screening tool for cervical cancer."

The FDA's approval means that the cobs HPV test can be used as a primary screening tool for cervical cancer. Previously, the test was approved in 2011 to be able to be used in conjunction, or follow-up to a Pap test. Pap tests are cervical cancer screening tests, and involve looking at cervical cell samples under a microscope.

Gabby Giffords Writes Moving Tribute To Malala For Time Magazine Influencers List

Malala Yousafzai and Gabrielle Giffords both know bravery and perseverance.

So it's only fitting that the former congresswoman was chosen to profile the Pakistani teen activist, named one of Time magazine's "100 Most Influential People in the World" Wednesday.

Giffords wrote for Time that she, like many people, draws inspiration and strength from Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban in 2012.

"Malala is a testament that women everywhere will not be intimidated into silence."

Giffords, who was shot in the head in Tuscon, Ariz. in 2011, also wrote that Yousafzai's courage is rare, comparing her to military members or global leaders:

"I have seen courage in many places…but Malala’s courage is uncommon," Giffords wrote.

Yousafzai advocates for young people worldwide through the Malala Fund, an organization that partners with local nonprofits to educate youth. She highlights the fact that is much at stake in providing education. UNESCO reports, for example, that a child born to a mother who can read is 50 percent more likely to live past age 5.

The young education advocate spoke at the UN this past July and reminded viewers that everyone's voice matters in the fight for education:

"One child, one teacher, one pen and one book can change the world," said Yousafzai, who told CNN that she wants to become prime minister of Pakistan one day.

The teen activist, who published her first book "I Am Malala" in October, was also nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize last year year.

The Time 100 issue goes on sale Friday, April 25.

T Magazine: The Insider | Advice From, and For, First-Time Filmmakers

Fifteen talents making their directorial debuts at the Tribeca Film Festival share tips and tales from the front lines.

Greek Houses At American University Call For Action Against ‘Rapey’ Underground Frat

Controversies over disturbing fraternity behavior are nothing new, but few have ever grown as intense as the one now brewing at American University, where student activists and an entire Greek system are calling for the swift punishment of one house.

At least 70 pages of emails and text messages from an unsanctioned fraternity called Epsilon Iota leaked to students late last week. Immediately, the messages, which date from 2012 to as recently as last month and contain rape jokes, references to the physical assault of women and threats of further assaults, drew outrage from students and administrators, leading to promises that punishment would come.

An online petition and a group of students marching on AU’s main quad Thursday afternoon have called for the university to eliminate EI from the campus. They've been joined by members of Greek life, the students in actual fraternities and sororities.

"No one wants to associate themselves with the group or those emails," Windy Aldeborough, an AU senior and member of Alpha Phi Omega, told The Huffington Post.

Epsilon Iota is not an official fraternity. It has had no national organization since being expelled by Alpha Tau Omega in 2001 following a series of incidents involving hazing and alcohol abuse. American University does not recognize EI, and members of Greek life are pressured not to collaborate with the group on social events. If nothing else, students in Greek life are keen to emphasize that EI does not represent them in any way, and they object to the group even being called a fraternity.

"I really want all the various news outlets to stop calling it a 'Secret Fraternity,'" one AU student wrote on Facebook. "Everyone at AU knows about EI. While we may not have known about some of the despicable brothers in it, seriously it wasn't like this was a secret organization."

Other students took to Facebook to complain that they now feel judged by others simply for being in a fraternity. Still others dismissed the leaked messages, and the behavior described in them, as "just EI being EI."

One junior, who was not authorized by her sorority to speak on the record, told HuffPost, "Each fraternity is different. You can't lump them all into the same rapey, roofie-ing group."

The junior added: "When I was a freshman, I was told EI was the 'rapey frat.' We all giggled at the word 'rapey,' since this was before two of us were sexually assaulted at AU and we still thought rape jokes were funny. Then we started to hear rumors about roofies, then about physical assault."

The Interfraternity Council issued a statement this week saying it "vehemently condemns" the emails and the behavior described therein.

"Make no mistake, [EI] are not an IFC recognized fraternity, nor are they in any way associated with fraternity and sorority life at American University," the statement reads.

Accounts of troubling behavior associated with the group continue to pile up. The AU student newspaper, The Eagle, reported Wednesday that two EI members were arrested this month for allegedly attempting to hit a student with their car, while shouting "We're gonna kill you, you [anti-gay slur]. You f***ing bitch, you're dead."

HuffPost attempted to contact seven of the students whose emails were displayed in the leaked messages. Three email addresses had been closed, while the owners of the other four did not respond. Some members of EI have also deleted their Facebook accounts, according to students who know them.

Some undergrads at AU have expressed concern about the EI members named in the emails, who are allegedly receiving threats. One member of the group is apparently suicidal, according to the Tumblr that distributed redacted versions of the leaked messages.

IFC placed some of the blame for the current situation with the AU administration. In its statement, IFC faulted the university for "failing to effectively intervene over the past 13 years," referring to the period since EI lost its charter and university recognition.

The university, however, says it has made efforts in the past to police EI's behavior.

"Reports are incorrect that the university has done nothing to curtail the activities of the group of individuals that pose as a 'brotherhood' and mask themselves in the rituals and social benefits of a fraternity, but uphold none of the traditions of scholarship, leadership, and service," Gail Short Hanson, vice president of campus life, said in a statement Thursday.

"The university started by deploying all of the tools it has available to hold a group accountable," Hanson went on. "The details of the university's 2001 sanctions and withdrawal of the group's recognition are well known and outlined on our website and in mass mailings. For years, the university has warned students to avoid joining or engaging with this group and also warned parents in orientations and in writing."

It's not clear whether the university intends to redouble its efforts to eliminate EI, or how the school would go about doing so.

Hanson said that the university is undergoing an "intense investigation," working with law enforcement to look into any potentially illegal activities on EI's part and reviewing comments in the leaked messages that, while lawful, may violate the student code of conduct.

25 Ways You Can Raise Awareness

One in 8 couples struggle to have children and build their families due to the disease of infertility. This statistic represents a colleague, a friend in your book club, a couple at your Thanksgiving dinner table. Having infertility can feel embarrassing and isolating, but you can help your friends feel less misunderstood and alone by resolving to know more about infertility this week, April 20-26, during National Infertility Awareness Week.

Be part of the infertility movement! Any way you can raise awareness will help increase public understanding about the disease of infertility.

Increase your knowledge:
Learn more about infertility. Knowledge is power.
Sign up for RESOLVE's quarterly newsletter to receive important information on the disease of infertility from noted professionals in the field and from women and men just like you.

Be social and share:
Share information on social media.
Begin a blog about your infertility journey.
Share your infertility story. RESOLVE wants to recognize the 25th Anniversary of National Infertility Awareness Week and share 25 inspirational stories from people who raised awareness about infertility.
Let people know that infertility is a disease by using the phrase, "the disease of infertility" whenever you write or talk about infertility.
Share RESOLVE's list of "25 Things To Say (and Not To Say)" to someone with infertility.
Help people understand more about their reproductive health.
Spread the word about personal assessment tools.
Share information about all the family building options.
Honor someone diagnosed with infertility.

Get political:
Become a Grassroots Advocate. Every year RESOLVE fights anti-family bills in more and more states. We need you to help build our state advocacy infrastructure so that we are prepared to fight back in all 50 states at any time.
Share these top current federal legislative issues.
Share information about legislation in your state.
Share your state's fertility score.
Advocate to your state's Members of Congress in person at RESOLVE's Advocacy Day on May 7th in Washington, D.C.

Get involved in person:
Volunteer to represent and support the infertility community.
Participate in an event.
Hold an event. Right in your community is the perfect place to start raising awareness. No effort is too small. The infertility community is building a strong grassroots movement all over the country. Take a moment to think about what being part of this movement means to you.
Start a RESOLVE support group.

Support RESOLVE:
Become a RESOLVE sponsor to promote RESOLVE's efforts to provide support, education, advocacy, and research.
Become a RESOLVE professional member to reach those looking for local services from trusted professionals.
Get your employer involved in workplace giving.
Share RESOLVE's list of "25 Reasons to Support the Infertility Movement" to explain why charitable giving matters.

What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. One third (30 percent) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one third (30 percent) can be attributed to female factors. In about 20 percent of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10 percent of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. If you are over the age of 35, the time of trying to conceive is reduced to 6 months. It is important to see a specialist, or a reproductive endocrinologist, or in some cases your OB/GYN or urologist for a complete fertility work-up and diagnosis.

Join the movement! Learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week.

The First Thing You Should Do After a Job Rejection

Rats! You've received the dreaded "thank you for your interest but..." letter, and you really thought you were going to get that job. Maybe you were the number 2 or number 3 candidate.

Close, but no cigar. Dang!

What now? Move on to the next opportunity, right? Of course. But first...

Try turning that rejection letter on its head! Convert it into an opportunity. Maybe.

Send a Thank You Note!

Hopefully you wrote thank you notes to the interviewers after the job interviews. (Right?) So, if you really liked the people and the organization and would want to be considered when another opportunity opens there, send a nice thank you note to the hiring manager, the recruiter, and everyone else who was in the interview process.

A Thank You Note? For a Rejection? Really? Yes!

At this point, what do you really have to lose?

They've already offered the job to someone else and probably gotten an acceptance. But that person may change their mind and never start the job. Or that person may take the job but prove to be unsatisfactory. It happens more often than you think.

So, what does the employer do when they face this situation? They groan, roll their eyes, and take another look at the applicants who almost got the job. Why? Because they really don't want to start from scratch, post the job, review the resumes, schedule interviews, spend time in meetings discussing the job and the candidates, etc.

Filling a job takes an employer a lot of time and energy. Staff time for interviews plus the cost of posting the job, etc. is expensive for most employers. So, if the new employee failed quickly, they may reach back to the almost-hired list to see who is available. If the new employee stayed a while before they failed (or left), a new job may be posted, but you might have an "inside track" IF you made a positive impression on them.

What to Write

This is where your thank you notes come in handy. It reminds them of you (nicely) because you included the following elements in your note:

Thank you for letting you know the outcome of the search, even though they didn't choose you.
Thank you for the time, courtesy, and consideration shown you during the interview process. (Hopefully true!)
Express your disappointment in not getting the job.
Express your appreciation for the opportunity to learn about the organization and meet the people working there.
Reiterate of your continued interest in working in their organization.
Request that they get in touch with you for the next time a job is opened.

Thank you notes are rare. And, a thank you for a rejection is so unusual that they can be very effective, possibly bumping you up from number two or number three to number one on the almost-hired list.

Don't try to fake enthusiasm you don't feel -- it will be visible. If you really didn't like the people you met and don't want to work there, don't bother with writing this note.

Bottom Line

A sincere thank you note after a rejection will really stand out. The probability that it will pay off may be less than 5 percent, but that probability may show a higher return on the investment of your time than any other job search action you take that day, and it won't take long to do.

Follow me on Google Plus for more job search tips!

Susan P. Joyce is president of NETability, Inc. and the editor and chief technology writer for and This article was first published on

Do You Owe Your Body an Apology?

I do my best work, some of my deepest thinking, in the shower. This is where I figure out why I ignored that perfectly nice boy I worked with at Barnes and Noble who crushed on me to instead date the chronically unstable bass player I met at a club. This is where I compose emails, where I pick at relationship knots, where I internally conduct an entirely believable and hilariously brilliant interview with Stephen Colbert. The soaping, scrubbing, shaving and sloughing are their own circadian rhythm that unshackles the mind. I am at my least self-conscious in the shower.

But I surprised myself the other day when I broke whatever ruminations were tripping through my brain and impulsively grabbed the tummy pudge that I had just been soaping, the one I have had in various incarnations since I was 12, to utter a disgusted, Uggh.

And then just as quickly, I gasped and whispered, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry," smoothing my slippery hands over the modest hill of skin and muscle the way a mother soothes her fussy child. I meant it. In some ways, it felt worse than the time in elementary school when I regrettably joined in with a group of girls to tease one of our class outcasts, Ellie Swett (three guesses what rhymes with Ellie? Admittedly not my finest moment).

This was my body I was offending. It gives me life and strength. It is the most sophisticated operating system on the planet gifted to us, no money down, no strings attached. It expects so little in return other than the basic sustenance to keep the gears clicking, the motor humming. My body carries me when my spirit is unwilling as if to say, "I got this. I'll take care of things until the rest of you is ready to show up." How could I be so insensitive?

But we are, aren't we? We administer a thousand mental and verbal paper cuts to our bodies every day. Most of the time, we're not even wholly conscious of what we're saying, slipping into the same kind of autopilot that takes over in the shower. Phrases like "bat wings" and "thunder thighs" invade and retreat with clockwork reliability so that we hardly notice the scars they leave behind. When you insult another person to their face the effect is immediate, swift and devastating. Why should we think of what we say to and about our bodies any differently?

I'm grateful for Lorde, who recently posted untouched photos of herself on Twitter. I'm thankful for Mindy Kaling putting it out there that she has no desire to take on the skinny label, that she acknowledges and celebrates her own always-evolving journey of self-improvement. I'm mad about the organization I work with, I AM THAT GIRL, and what we're doing to help girls discover, love and BE their authentic selves. But I am impatient, and I'm not waiting or counting on industry to catch up to the rest of us who are thirsty for meaningful change, and who are brave enough to do the work of healing, of repair, of taking responsibility for your words and actions. Our bodies don't ask for our love, but they deserve it, and it's up to us and only us to give it.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," I said again, pressing my hand to my stomach as if to shield her from further injury, as a way of sealing a silent pledge to do better, to do right by her as she has always done by me.

This post originally appeared on I AM THAT GIRL

Study Says Forgiveness Matters Most When Overcoming Infidelity

Infidelity is one of the biggest obstacles a relationship may face, but new research suggests there is a way to move on from it and create an even stronger bond with your partner -- finding forgiveness.

According to a new study from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, couples who experienced infidelity were able to save their relationships when the partner who was wronged truly forgave their significant other. In fact, when true forgiveness occurred, the relationship became stronger, achieving what is known as post-traumatic growth (PTG).

PTG is defined by the researchers as "a result of intrapersonal struggle to find benefit and meaning in life after a traumatic experience.”

Researchers studied 587 participants -- 86 percent of whom were women -- who were currently involved in committed relationships in which their partner had cheated (93.5 percent were married). One requirement was that the infidelity occurred at least six months prior to the study.

Through questionnaires, the researchers analyzed the context of the affair, the time since the affair, the level of trauma experienced, relationship commitment, relationship satisfaction, and the participants' current stage of forgiveness.

At the end of the study, researchers determined that working towards and reaching forgiveness played the largest role in overcoming the pain and hurt associated with cheating. Forgiveness mattered more than time, commitment, and relationship satisfaction.

"Forgiveness trumps all in terms of PTG,“ the researchers write. "Those who were more able to forgive their partners for the infidelity also experienced more growth after the event."

The takeaway, according to the researchers, is that in the event of infidelity, it is possible to recover and to even become stronger as a couple. But in order to reach that goal, forgiveness must be achieved. They encourage couples who are recovering from infidelity to become educated on and focus on forgiveness in couples therapy or while working through their problems.

Keep in touch! Check out HuffPost Divorce on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for our newsletter here.

T Magazine: Feeling For | In Madrid, An All-Organic Menu Meets Striking, Surrealist Design

Mama Campo, a restaurant and market in the old neighborhood of Plaza de Olavide, boasts pieces by 40 designers, including Tom Dixon and Patricia Urquiola.

The Contraceptive Mandate Finally Leads America Out of the Victorian Era

This post is co-authored by Andrea Flynn, Next New Deal

The Affordable Care Act demonstrates an affirmative, proactive step from government for women's access to reproductive health care, but conservatives are bent on moving backwards.

Contraception should be understood as a fundamental right of American women and a necessary foundation of human security. If that seems controversial, consider this: 99 percent of American women approve of birth control and the vast majority use it over many years of their lives. These women deserve and must continue to demand insurance coverage for the method of their choice, without qualification. That's why the contraceptive mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is so important and potentially transformative. For the first time ever, all health insurance plans, whether paid for privately or with public subsidies, are required to cover all FDA approved contraceptives at no additional cost.

Family planning is essential to securing the health and rights of women, but it is also the foundation of sound economic and social policy. Tragically, however, U.S. subsidized family planning programs currently serve just over half of those in need.

The stakes are especially high for poor women, who cannot afford the high costs of the most reliable and desirable methods and experience much higher rates of early and unwanted pregnancy as a result. Single women in poverty head a growing percentage of U.S. households. In "Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Expanding Access to Family Planning," a new white paper released today by the Roosevelt Institute, we argue that addressing their needs, and opening up opportunities to them and their children, will require multiple policy interventions, but none can work if women are denied the right and the agency to make, and act on, well-informed decisions about their own bodies.

Decades of social science research demonstrate that access to reliable and affordable family planning methods promotes responsible decision-making and reduces unwanted pregnancy and abortion. It allows women to pursue educational and employment opportunities that strengthen their families and their communities. A majority of women who participated in a recent study by the Guttmacher Institute, for example, report that birth control enables them to support themselves financially, complete their education, and get or keep a job. Other recent studies also show that providing family planning services at no cost results in more effective contraceptive use, decreased rates of unintended pregnancy, and dramatic declines in abortion rates.

Many American conservatives, however, reject these claims. They blame single mothers for America's rising tide of poverty and inequality, not the other way around. They insist that access to sexual and reproductive health information and services exacerbates social problems by promoting promiscuity and unintended pregnancy, when in fact, the exact opposite is true. They promote abstinence-education and marriage promotion programs that have been tried before and been discredited, because they simply do not work.

This conflict was front and center last week as the U.S. Supreme Court heard 90 riveting minutes of argument in Sebelius v Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v Sebelius, a pair of cases brought by two privately held corporations owned by Christian conservatives. The owners claim that the ACA violates the religious freedom of employers forced to cover the costs of contraception. Much of the testimony turned on technical questions of whether corporations, as opposed to the individuals who own them, legitimately have rights to assert in this instance, and whether they may impose those rights on employees who don't share their views. There were also important matters of scientific integrity at stake, with the plaintiffs claiming that Intrauterine Devices (IUDs) and morning-after pills constitute methods of abortion, despite overwhelming medical agreement and numerous reputable scientific studies showing that, like everyday birth control pills, they only act to prevent conception.

All but lost in the court's conversation were larger concerns about the health and well-being of women and families -- and of our society as a whole. The Supreme Court hearing comes in the wake of more than three years of persistent attacks by extreme conservative lawmakers who have already decimated publicly subsidized services in states across the country and left many low-income women without access to basic family planning and to other critical reproductive and maternal health care services.

As legal scholar and policy analyst Dorothy Roberts observed, "when access to health care is denied, it's the most marginalized women in this country and around the world who suffer the most -- women of color, poor and low-wage workers, lesbian and trans women, women with disabilities... And this case has far-reaching consequences for their equal rights. Birth control is good health care, period."

Today, by government estimates, more than 27 million American women already benefit from the ACA's contraceptive mandate, and 20 million more will enjoy expanded coverage when the law is fully implemented. Yet even by these optimistic assessments, many low-income women will continue to fall through insurance gaps, partly thanks to a 2012 Supreme Court ruling that enables states to opt-out of Medicaid expansion mandated by the ACA. More than 3.5 million -- two-thirds of poor black and single mothers, and more than half of low-wage workers -- will be left without insurance in those states.

Conservative opposition to contraception is not new. As we observe in our paper, the U.S. controversy over family planning dates back to Victorian-era laws that first defined contraception as obscene and outlawed its use. Those laws carried the name of Anthony Comstock, an evangelical Christian who led a nearly 50-year crusade to root out sin and rid the country of pornography, contraceptives, and other allegedly "vile" materials that he believed promoted immorality. Sound familiar?

It took nearly a century for the U.S. Supreme Court to reverse course and guarantee American women the right to use contraception under the constitutional doctrine of privacy first enunciated in 1965. The ACA promises us even more. It places an affirmative, positive obligation on government to provide women the resources to realize our rights. The question before us is simple: Do we turn back the clock and allow a new Comstockery to prevail, or do we move ahead into the 21st century by defending the full promise of the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate?

Read Ellen and Andrea's paper, "Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Expanding Access to Family Planning," here.

Andrea Flynn is a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute. She researches and writes about access to reproductive health care in the United States. You can follow her on Twitter @dreaflynn.

Diane Keaton Wishes She Were Married, Says She Tried To Make Al Pacino Her Main Man

Diane Keaton has been romantically linked to Warren Beatty, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino and Sam Shepard in her long and prosperous life, but she has never married. At 68, she tells People magazine, she kind of wishes she had.

"It's not the worst tragedy. But I really wish I had bought myself a man! A good man who would be a great father, I really do. I think it's a better way to go," the Oscar-winning actress told the magazine. Pondering why she never settled down, Keaton said, "I think I was not practical. I had some insane idea that I had to be 'in love.' Now I see what it really takes: real consideration that you're a good team together."

The mother of two (Keaton has a daughter, 18, and a son, 13) made similar comments to More in her May cover story. "I told myself I wanted to, but I didn’t really want a man that I could have. I wanted the dream," she said of marriage.

But to People magazine, Keaton admits there was one man whom she considered tying the knot with: Al Pacino. "He was even less inclined to be realistic than me," she explained as to why that never worked out. "And I was on the cusp of being very old. So that poor guy. I don't think he was really that interested. And I don't think a long-term happy marriage would be easy for him."

Though she's currently making the media circuit to promote her new book "Let's Just Say It Wasn't Pretty," out April 29, this isn't the first time Keaton has voiced her desire for a life partner.

In in interview with AARP in 2012, Keaton spoke about being a single mother. "As a parent I provide all I can," she said, "but I think in the best possible scenario you need to have a man."

"Relationships are hard. You’re lucky if you find someone," she added, according to the Daily Mail.

Fugs and Fabs: The America’s Got Talent Judges

Nick Cannon

Top Life Lessons for Modern Professional Women From Two Superstars: How to Thrive While Striving

As a young woman on the brink of entering the professional world, figuring out what to do with my life, from the grand scheme to the daily routine, is a common topic of discussion and musing.

Arianna Huffington's Thrive book tour made a stop at Yale Law School last week. Along with about fifty other students, I had the pleasure of hearing Huffington and Amy Chua have a conversation on Monday, April 14, 2014. Chua, along with Jed Rubenfeld, her husband and fellow professor at Yale Law School, recently published The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America. Two successful women who have both careers and families (and before feminists tear my head off, let me acknowledge that these two are not everyone's goals, but they happen to be mine) talking about life -- what better advisers could I have? The two spoke about redefining success and what it takes to get there.
Huffington emphasized the four pillars that make up her conception of the Third Metric, namely wellbeing, wisdom, wonder, and giving. Together they decrease stress, make our lives more pleasant, and thus allow us to be more efficient, productive, and purposeful.

We should take care of our minds and bodies by getting enough sleep, eating well, meditating and breathing, walking and other exercise, making sure to swap autopilot for mindfulness, and routinely unplugging from technology.

Wisdom takes the form of being aware of how we think and react. There is no magic bullet that imparts wisdom. Huffington urges us to evaluate our lives and our thoughts, emphasizing that sometimes the appropriate response is a stoic "so what?" and that we should be afraid of trusting our intuitions. We should be thankful and positive, and this outlook on life will ease the daily grind.

Huffington urges us to hang on to our child-like sense of wonder. She points to nature and art. Appreciate the beauty around you.

Compassion and empathy lead to Huffington's last theme: giving and volunteering. We can better our lives by helping others.

Living life as it should be lived, however, requires a great deal of discipline--akin to the impulse control trait that Chua believes is one of three that explain why some cultural groups do better than others in America. Huffington highlights obvious things that make our lives more satisfying; the difficult part is making them a part of our day. Huffington peppers Thrive with inspiring quotes and ends each chapter with a list of "baby steps" we can take to meet our goals. Bad habits have to be replaced by good ones.

Another point of commonality that Huffington and Chua discussed was self-criticism. For Huffington, it is "the obnoxious roommate" in her head who is always putting her down. Chua identifies insecurity as a third of what creates drive in some people, but is also careful to note that this trait has a dark underside. Both women agreed that there is a healthy level of self-criticism: that "the obnoxious roommate" must be controlled, but not necessarily silenced.
In some sense, even though Chua's The Triple Package is about the success of cultural groups based on, she openly admits, the superficial measures of wealth and power, it dovetails with Huffington's Thrive. Huffington's conception of the Third Metric in Thrive complements the three qualities of the Triple Package (superiority, insecurity, impulse control). The Triple Package offers an account of how some groups have climbed the ladder of conventional success. Thrive is the next step; the kicking away of the ladder to redefine what your life will mean.

Two images, one from each of their books, illustrate this point. Huffington contrasts a resume with a eulogy (Huffington page 15). When people die, their lives are remembered in a specific way. People do not speak of company profits and hours billed, but of relationships and spirit. The Triple Package explains our resume while the Third Metric advises us on living a life that makes for a good eulogy.

Chua quotes from James Truslow Adams to distinguish the issues: "There are obviously two educations. One should teach us how to make a living and the other how to live" (Chua page 18). The Triple Package reveals qualities that may explain drive and conventional success while the Third Metric asks about living a balanced life and personal satisfaction.

The Third Metric is an addendum to the Triple Package. As the term implies, it does not totally replace other measures of success; it adds to them. The Third Metric complicates the story of success and perhaps phrases the question in terms of happiness rather than just achievement.

The Third Metric can be thought of as the culmination of the Triple Package arc. As careers solidify, as people get older, people begin to question their lives and break free of conventional measures of achievement. But Huffington is probably right to say that we can achieve greater success and happiness earlier on, all the while building up our careers and lives. By being balanced individuals, we can actually achieve more.

Listening to Huffington and Chua grapple with questions about the meaning of success and fulfillment both validated the quest, something forgotten when mainstream American society focuses on wealth and power as the only measures of achievement, and helped me refine my own views.

It was and is an important conversation to have.

Motherlode Blog: The Dumb Jock Stereotype Can Be a Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Thinking about the stereotypes about “dumb jocks” and academics may cause student-athletes to underperform on tests.

Pink Fugday: Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj

Modern Love: My Illness, the Third Partner in Our Relationship

Her curiosity was piqued; she became a voyeur, wanting to know where the scar would be.

T Magazine: Viewfinder | A Photographer’s Tender Exploration of Fatherhood

In this installment of a new series from the photo editors of T, we gather a group of never-before-seen images from Jesse Burke’s new “Wild and Precious” project, another body of work from the photographer that centers on masculinity.

Social Q’s: Dial Down Your Anger

Questions of etiquette in difficult situations.

Fug or Fab: Estelle


Victoria’s Secret sues local shop for 5m yuan

Shanghai Daily - Found 3 hours ago
LINGERIE brand Victoria’s Secret is suing a local investment management company for the unlicensed use of its trademark in a city center retail

Dreamfugs: Jennifer Hudson in Agent Provocateur

Jennifer Hudson

How I Fugged Your Father: Greta Gerwig in Chanel

Greta Gerwig

T Magazine: Happenings | Designer Miles Redd Channels Matisse for a Worthy Cause

At Design on a Dime, the nonprofit organization Housing Works’ annual benefit for people who have H.I.V./AIDS, the designer has created a room that is inspired by the work of the French artist.

Fugs and Fabs: The Vanity Fair Tribeca Film Festival Party

Lake Bell

Motherlode Blog: Looking for Stories of Non-College-Bound Kids

We’re looking for stories from parents of children who aren’t interested in college (or the “children” themselves).

T Magazine: Art Matters | An L.A. Fair Explores the Possibilities of Photography

In only its second year, Paris Photo Los Angeles, opening this weekend, has become a must-see for its extensive array of photographic work — and has already inspired an alternative fair, Photo Independent.

Fug or Fab: Claire Danes in Prada

Claire Danes

The Problem With Slut-Shaming Comments

You probably read yesterday, on R29 or elsewhere, about Lindsay Lohan's TV confession that she had had a miscarriage. Despite LiLo's record of drama, discord, and general hot-messery, we would expect the same sympathetic and compassionate response a trauma of this all-too-familiar nature evokes among friends. Instead, though, the comments were shockingly vitriolic and hateful. They read more along the lines of "a drugged up slut getting knocked up and having a miscarriage is shocking? Lol ok." Some came to Lohan's defense, others agreed. This Facebook post — and the extensive discussion beneath it — reached over 340,000 eyes.

As someone who reads, moderates, and interacts with a large number of comments every single day, I know that it might be a futile endeavor to attempt to enforce a reasonable level of courtesy on what is currently an anonymous, Internet-wide cesspool of rage. However, I like to think that our readers are smart, and kind, and generally not trolls. Which makes me wonder: What is it about LL that makes regular people respond with such aggressive, pervasive hatred? She's been through hard times, some of which have been her own doing. But, for every tragic story of addiction and mental illness in Hollywood, there's also a story about a star whose triumph and subsequent career rebirth served as an inspiration for all (and a tribute to the fact that the life of an addict is not a worthless life by default). Maybe the problem is that we've been burned before, and because LiLo so often claims a comeback, we're reluctant to believe her in this case. We're too used to bashing her for being sloppy and sad, and apparently, we've become so jaded that a miscarriage is nothing more than just punishment (an experience that is pretty much universally traumatic and fraught with emotion, not to mention the intense hormonal upset and numerous physical issues that come with it).

Motherlode Blog: Thinking of Requesting a Specific Teacher for Your Child? Think Twice

A parent asks, “How hard should I push to get my daughter the teachers I think will best fit with her learning style?”

Ladies, Let 1970 Cosmo Tell You ‘Things To Do With Your Hands That Men Like’

In January 1970, the feminist movement had already begun to drum up support for an Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. No-fault divorce laws were beginning to sweep across the states. U.S. Senate hearings parading male doctor after male doctor across the dais to explain risks of "the Pill" -- and infuriate women in the audience -- sparked government regulations to ensure informed consent. And Cosmopolitan magazine published a listicle on using our dainty lady digits in stupidly bizarre sultry and sexy ways.

Behold, "Things To Do With Your Hands That Men Like." Published in the magazine's January 1970 issue, this is undoubtedly one of the greatest (and most hilarious) gifts the publication has bestowed upon the fairer sex. Wanna bring all the boys to the yard? Apparently all you need to do is offer them free egg shampoos as you brush their faces with your face-blusher brush and, afterward, make a manwich out of them with two pillows. Or any combination of these other things on Cosmo's list:

things to do with your hands 2

BRB, we'll just be awaiting nightfall so we can crawl through our man's window and plant a perfumed scarf under his pillow so he dreams nicely-scented dreams of our life together -- until he wakes up and "direct-dials" the police.

23 Ways Feminists Have Made The World Better for Women

"We're gathered to celebrate Women's History Month, but I don't celebrate Women's History Month," announced writer Mona Charen, one of the panelists at the Heritage Foundation's recent panel on feminism and happiness. "It doesn't interest me whether a person who happens to share my chromosomes sits in the Oval Office. It doesn't interest me how many women members of the Senate there are." No, Charen continued, one of the things that interests her the most about Women's History Month is how "feminism has done so much damage to happiness."

It was a bold statement, and one that set the tone for the conservative foundation's panel discussion among a group of conservative writers and academics addressing an audience of mostly male interns. During the meeting, the attendees waxed poetic about the failures of the "project" known as feminism, spending hours decrying the perceived failures of the women's movement in America.

Suffragettes Who Sucked: White Supremacy And Women’s Rights

Suffragette: Susan B. Anthony, 1820-1906 (Social reformer, member of the Anti-Slavery Society, president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association)

Hooray: “I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet.”

Wait, What: “Mr. Douglass talks about the wrongs of the Negro; but with all the outrages that he to-day suffers, he would not exchange his sex and take the place of Elizabeth Cady Stanton.”

Lupita Nyong’o's Next Film Will Likely Be ‘The Jungle Book’

Almost two months after she won the Oscar for "12 Years a Slave," Lupita Nyong'o's name is still on everyone's mind, mainly in form of a question: When will she solidify her next movie role?

We may finally have an answer, as reports indicate Nyong'o is in final negotiations to join the cast of Jon Favreau's "Jungle Book" update. If she signs on, she'll play Rakcha, a mother wolf who adopts Mowgli, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "The Jungle Book" would mark Nyongo's third feature film. In addition to "12 Years a Slave," she had a small role in the February action-thriller "Non-Stop."

Nyong'o, who this week was crowned People's Most Beautiful Person, may find company in Scarlett Johansson. The actress is in earlier stages of talks to join the "Jungle Book" cast, voicing the villainous python Kaa. If Johansson signs on, it'll mark another collaboration with Favreau, who previously directed "Iron Man 2" and next month's "Chef."

Nyong'o and Johansson join Idris Elbra, who is already set to voice Shere Khan, the man-eating tiger. Disney's live-action/CGI hybrid is set to open Oct. 9, 2015.

25 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Living With Infertility

Did you know that 1 in 8 couples struggle to have children and build their families due to the disease of infertility? This statistic represents a colleague, a friend in your book club, a couple at your Thanksgiving dinner table. Having infertility can feel embarrassing and isolating, but you can help your friends feel less misunderstood and alone by resolving to know more about infertility this week, April 20-26, during National Infertility Awareness Week.

Learn how to be there for your family and friends with this list of 25 things to say (and not to say) to someone with infertility.

To Say:

Let them know that you care. The best thing you can do is let your infertile friends know that you care.

Do your research. Read up about infertility, and possibly treatments or other family building options your friend is considering, so that you are informed when your friend needs to talk.

Act interested. Some people don't want to talk about infertility, but some do. Let them know you're available if they want to talk.

Ask them what they need. They may also appreciate if you ask them what the most helpful things to say are.

Provide extra outreach to your male friends. Infertility is not a woman's-centric issue; your male friends are most likely grieving silently. Don't push, but let them know you're available.

When appropriate, encourage therapy. If you feel your friend could benefit from talking to a professional to handle his or her grief, suggest therapy gently. If you go to therapy regularly, or ever have, share your personal story.

Support their decision to stop treatment. No couple can endure infertility treatments forever. At some point, they will stop. This is an agonizing decision to make, and it involves even more grief.

Remember them on Mother's and Father's Day. With all of the activity on Mother's Day and Father's Day, people tend to forget about those who cannot become mothers and fathers. Remember your infertile friends on these days; they will appreciate knowing that you haven't forgotten them.

Attend difficult appointments with them. You can offer to stay in the waiting room or come into the appointment with them. But the offer lets them know how committed you are to supporting them.

Watch their older kids. Attending appointments may be difficult if they have older kids at home.

Offer to be an exercise buddy. Sometimes losing weight is necessary to make treatments more effective. If you know they are trying to lose weight, you could offer to join them because it would help you achieve your personal fitness goals as well.

Let them know about your pregnancy. But deliver the news in a way that lets them handle their initial reaction privately -- email is best.

Not To Say:

Don't tell them to relax. Comments such as "just relax" create even more stress for the infertile couple, particularly the woman. The woman feels like she is doing something wrong when, in fact, there is a good chance that there is a physical problem preventing her from becoming pregnant.

Don't minimize the problem. Failure to conceive a baby is a very painful journey. Comments like, "Just enjoy being able to sleep late... travel... etc.," do not offer comfort. Instead, these comments make infertile people feel like you are minimizing their pain.

Don't say there are worse things that could happen. Who is the final authority on what is the "worst" thing that could happen to someone? Different people react to different life experiences in different ways.

Don't say they are not meant to be parents. "One of the cruelest things anyone ever said to me is, 'Maybe God doesn't intend for you to be a mother.'" Infertility is a medical condition, not a punishment from God or Mother Nature.

Don't ask why they are not trying IVF. Because most insurance plans do not cover IVF treatment, many are unable to pay for the out-of-pocket expenses. Infertility stress is physical, emotional, and financial.

Don't push adoption or another solution. So often infertile couples are asked, "Why don't you just adopt?" The couple needs to work through many issues before they will be ready to make an adoption decision or chose another family building option.

Don't say, "You're young, you have plenty of time to get pregnant." Know the facts. It's recommended that women under 35 see a fertility specialist after being unable to conceive for one year. Being young increases your chance of fertility treatments working, but it does not guarantee success.

Don't gossip about your friend's condition. For some, infertility treatments are a very private matter, which is why you should respect your friend's privacy.

Don't be crude. Don't make crude jokes about your friend's vulnerable position. Crude comments like, "I'll donate the sperm" or "Make sure the doctor uses your sperm for the insemination" are not funny, and they only irritate your friends.

Don't complain about your pregnancy. For many facing infertility, it can be hard to be around other women who are pregnant. Seeing your belly grow is a constant reminder of what your infertile friend cannot have. Not complaining can make things a little easier for your friend.

Don't question their sadness about being unable to conceive a second child. Having one child does not mean a couple feels they have completed their family. Also, a couple may have had their first child naturally and easily but are now experiencing secondary infertility -- infertility that comes after you've already had a child.

Don't ask whose "fault" it is. Male or female factor. Just because a friend has told you he or she is experiencing infertility as a couple, does not mean he or she wants to discuss the details.

On the other hand, don't assume the infertility is female factor. 1/3 of infertility is female factor, 1/3 is male factor, and 1/3 is unexplained.

What is infertility?
Infertility is a disease of the reproductive system. One third (30 percent) of infertility can be attributed to male factors, and about one third (30 percent) can be attributed to female factors. In about 20 percent of cases infertility is unexplained, and the remaining 10 percent of infertility is caused by a combination of problems in both partners.

Infertility is defined as the inability to conceive or carry a pregnancy to term after 12 months of trying to conceive. If you are over the age of 35, the time of trying to conceive is reduced to 6 months. It is important to see a specialist, or a reproductive endocrinologist, or in some cases your OB/GYN or urologist for a complete fertility work-up and diagnosis.

Join the movement! Learn more about National Infertility Awareness Week.

Time’s Most Influential Celebrities Of 2014 Include Beyonce, Pharrell And Miley Cyrus

TIME magazine released its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World on Thursday, April 24, and some A-list celebrities made the rankings.

Beyonce, Pharrell and Serena Williams were named "Titans" alongside figures like Pony Ma and Hillary Clinton while stars including Benedict Cumberbatch, Kerry Washington, Amy Adams and Miley Cyrus were listed under "Artists." And rightfully so, Robert Redford, Christy Turlington Burns and Carrie Underwood were given the title of "Icons."

Here is the full list of celebrities who made TIME 100 list:

The TIME 100 issue goes on sale Friday, April 25.

Rachel Maddow’s Retreat Has An Unusual Feature (Just Don’t Call It An Outhouse)

When MSNBC's Rachel Maddow needs a break from the daily grind, she heads up to her pre-Civil War vacation home in Western Massachusetts. The farmhouse offers a handsome place to unplug (there's no TV!), but the house's single bathroom posed a problem. "In order to reach it, you have to climb up a very steep staircase,” Maddow explained to New York magazine.

Just behind that home, however, is a solution -- an interesting structure designed specifically for Maddow. "I can seal myself in the bathhouse and watch football really loudly without bothering anybody," she says.

Yes, a bathhouse.

Designed by architect Nicole Migeon, primarily as a second bathroom for Maddow and her partner Susan Mikula's weekend getaway, the outhouse-like structure is what Maddow calls a "retreat within a retreat," and the one place on the property where she actually can watch TV.

According to New York magazine's Wendy Goodman, the simple pitched-roof ­structure features vertical wood slats (made from sustainably grown cedar) that reference the design of old tobacco-drying barns in the area and reclaimed-maple cabinets that hide Maddow's cherished entertainment center.

rachel maddow design hunting

rachel maddow design hunting

Check out more of this incredible one-room bathhouse in the April 21 issue of New York magazine.. And for more great decor stories, visit's Design page.

All photos via New York Magazine.

It’s Barbra Streisand’s Birthday! The Icon Turns 72 Today

A great big Mazel Tov goes out to Barbra Streisand who celebrates her 72nd birthday today, April 24.

A native New Yorker, the multi-talented EGOT winner got her big break in 1962 in the Broadway show "I Can Get It For You Wholesale." She went on to memorably appear on stage in "Funny Girl" (only to reprise the role later on the silver screen), as well as "Yentl," "The Way We Were," "A Star Is Born" and many, many more.

The "actress who sings," as Streisand once termed herself, has collected ample awards in all fields of performance arts, in various media, for over four decades.

A rare live performer, she recently appeared on stage at the 2013 Oscars, singing "The Way We Were" during the In Memoriam segment.

Below, watch Streisand circa 1973 perform "Crying Time" with Ray Charles, from her album "Barbra Streisand ... And Other Musical Instruments."

Blind People Describe Beauty As ‘Joy,’ ‘Truth,’ And ‘Feeling Alive’ In This Profound Video

Listening to the birds chirping outside, enjoying the smell of freshly baked cookies, experiencing the sensation of grass caressing the bottoms of your feet: These perceptions, say people who can't use their sight to experience the world around them, are the things that make life beautiful.

In an inspiring video created by Buzzfeed, a group of blind men and women describe how they experience beauty.

"Losing my sight has been a blessing," one man says, a smile spreading on his face. "I don't care what nationality somebody is, I don't care how tall somebody is, I don't care how big or small they are. A person is beautiful because they are true to themselves."

The video, which went viral this week, has struck a chord with many viewers.

"This video is beautiful," wrote one YouTuber on Wednesday.

"I feel so bad I take this kind of stuff for granted, I'm gonna turn off my phone and the TV and go outside and look," wrote another.

This isn't the first time that our perceptions have been challenged by someone without sight. Tommy Edison, a popular radio personality and film critic who's been blind since birth, has uplifted and inspired us many times over with his astounding YouTube videos about his life as a blind person.

In 2012, for instance, Edison released an awesome video about the perks of being blind. He also made a wonderful clip last year about how blind people experience intangible concepts, like space, the sun and the sky.

"The sky to me is really just this big wide open thing with nothing in your way at all; as long as you're above all the trees and buildings and stuff, there's nothing blocking you," Edison muses in the video. "You can just go and go and go and go. It'd be fun. I need a place like that on Earth!"

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Beyoncé’s TIME 100 Title Solidifies Her As Pop Music’s Reigning Queen

Beyoncé landed at the top of the TIME 100, TIME Magazine's annual list most influential people. Hailed as the first "Titan" mentioned and the issue's cover star, Beyoncé was lauded for breaking all the rules in the music biz and championing women's rights to lead.

In keeping with TIME's tradition of casting cultural icons to write affectionate blurbs about the honorees, founder Sheryl Sandberg wrote the ode to Beyoncé. "Beyoncé doesn’t just sit at the table. She builds a better one," she wrote.

Beyoncé's whirlwind 2013 centered around dropping her self-titled LP in complete secrecy in December. She ran a sold out Mrs. Carter Show world tour, was a full-time mom and became the leading voice in support of women in pop culture and music. "Her answer to the question, What would you do if you weren’t afraid? appears to be 'Watch me. I’m about to do it,'" Sandberg wrote. "Then she adds, 'You can, too.'"

Her husband Jay Z was labeled a "Titan" last year and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg sang his praises, adding, "He even put a ring on Beyoncé." The couple is set to continue music domination and will embark on a major summer tour together, the Mr. And Mrs. Carter Tour.

Bey also nabbed a spot on the list last year, where she was then labeled as an "Icon." In the article written by director Baz Lurhmann, he complimented her work ethic and warmth. "When Beyoncé does an album, when Beyoncé sings a song, when Beyoncé does anything, it’s an event, and it’s broadly influential," he wrote. "Right now, she is the heir-­apparent diva of the USA -- the reigning national voice."

Only a year later and Beyoncé is no one's heir-apparent. She's pop music's queen.

beyonce time cover

Cops: Victoria’s Secret flasher spit on clothes

South Florida Sun-Sentinel - Found 10 hours ago
... identified as Sean Maize, 27, of Royal Palm Beach, is accused of exposing his junk to a Victoria's Secret worker and spitting on clothes in...
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