Fight the Good Fight

Have you ever gotten into a fight, and then wondered whether it was worth the bother? Being an adult means choosing your battles carefully. One of the hardest aspects of maintaining healthy relationships is deciding when to fight about something and when to simply let things go.

There are many times that letting go of something is the right thing to do— for everyone involved. However, if someone is violating your space or assaulting your integrity, you need to defend your territory. Listen to your anger without giving in to it. Psychotherapist Paula Hall gives these tips
on the BBC website for keeping the peace and fighting fairly:

• Develop your self-awareness. Be ready to assume responsibility for that which is rightfully yours. Check your conscience for reasons you might be fighting and be honest with yourself. Make sure you’re just not protecting your pride.

• Believe the best about the other person… until you have a real reason not to. Giving your opponent the benefit of the doubt is the right thing to do.

• Consider the effect of other influences. Are you stressed, tired, sick, or hungry? How much do you believe these factors have to do with the fight?

• Stay calm. Don’t fall into the trap of sulking, blaming, or being overly critical.
• Truly listen to what the other person is saying. Admit when the other person has a valid point.

Be Your Own Friend

Callie Khouri, the screenwriter of the classic hit film Thelma and Louise, suggests this reality check to see if you are being too hard on yourself.

In a commencement speech she gave at Sweet Briar College, she had this to say: “Would you say to a friend the kind of things that you say to yourself? For instance, let’s say you, like I, perpetually misplace your keys… Do you, when looking for your keys, find yourself saying things to yourself like, ‘Why can’t you just figure out how to put them in one place? I can’t believe how STUPID you are!’

Or do you say, ‘Now, let’s see, where would someone who’s really got something important on her mind leave her keys?’

See what I’m getting at? Don’t listen to things from yourself that you wouldn’t accept from a friend. You wouldn’t want a friend who wasn’t supportive, so don’t accept any less from yourself. You’re only human, so learn to forgive yourself the little things, and do the best you can on the big things. No one is perfect, and expecting perfection from yourself or anyone else is a waste of time.”

International Beans

Planning on giving your sweetie a box of chocolates for Valentine’s Day? According to

thechocolatewebsite, there is international history in that box!

In roughly 1527, Spanish explorer Cortès brought cacao beans, equipment, and recipes for preparing chocolate from Mexico to the Spanish court of King Charles V. It made a profitable industry for Spain, which planted cocoa trees in its overseas colonies. Conveniently, the Spanish had taken over many Caribbean islands, and on those islands was sugar.

Over the next 60 years, small but noticable changes were made in how chocolate was prepared. Spanish nuns in Oaxaca, Mexico were the first to sweeten chocolate with honey, cinnamon and cane sugar, making the drink popular with colonials. For many Europeans, drinking chocolate was an acquired taste.

Around 1641, cocoa was introduced to Germany by a German scientist named Johann Georg Voldkammer, who discovered it in Naples, Italy. The Germans instituted the habit of a cup of hot chocolate before bedtime. By 1657, the first chocolate house was opened in London…by a Frenchman! Coffee houses were already popular; now one could go to a chocolate house to have a drink and talk over cards. Eventually, the chocolate drinks began to include milk and cinnamon.

By the turn of the 18th century, chocolate had made its way back to the Americas. In little more than a decade, Massachusetts sea captains were bringing back cargoes of cocoa beans. Boston apothecary shops were advertising and selling chocolate imported from Europe. In 1861, Richard Cadbury created the first known heart-shaped candy box for Valentine’s Day.

Chores Work

Kids usually hate doing chores, but it’s an important part of growing up. That’s what Julie Lythcott-Haims, author of How to Raise an Adult and former dean of freshmen at Stanford University, said in an interview that was reviewed on the People magazine website.

Tech Insider also says that children who do chores grow up to be more independent at work. In particular, they’re good at spotting when their co-workers are dealing with tasks that are challenging.

“By making them do chores— taking out the garbage, doing their own laundry— they realize ‘I have to do the work of life in order to be part of life,’ ” Lythcott-Haims says.

“If kids aren’t doing the dishes, it means someone else is doing that for them,” says Lythcott-Haims. “…they’re absolved of not only the work, but of learning that work has to be done and that each one of us must contribute for the sake of the whole.”

Complimentary Colors

February 6th is international Pay-a-Compliment day! Sure, it can be embarrassing for some to openly talk to a stranger, but if you think about the extra bounce you feel in your step when someone pays you a compliment, it might give you the motivation to glance around for someone who could use a bit of recognition.

Look for the most introverted person in the room and see how fast you can make them smile. After all, kindness is free, and you can change someone’s entire day just by reaching out to them.

Are you the sort of person who walks right up and talks to anyone? Try to double your kind comments today and hand out a few compliments to people who might not normally be on your list for small talk. Or, hang on to this idea and try to give out a compliment every day in February.