Be More Empathetic in 3 Steps

image

For me, empathy is one of the most endearing qualities a human being can exude. Don’t you think? Easier said than done, I know, but here are some simple ways I try to practice and improve my empathy.

1. Watch the news

Open your eyes to what’s going on in the world around you. It’s so easy to limit your worldview, but it’s equally as easy to expand it. Watching, reading, or following various news sources will help you better understand the lives of other people.

2. Active listening

Have you ever been in a conversation and you catch yourself just waiting for a pause so you can say what you think? While this doesn’t condemn you to an identity as a narcissist, it’s not the best way to be a good friend and practice empathy. Instead of thinking how someone’s story relates to you, try making it completely about them. Ask follow up questions, show you’re listening (no scrolling allowed), and really invest in what they’re taking the time to tell you.

3. Practice taking on different perspectives

This is huge for me. If you are facing a difficult decision or situation try to keep everything in perspective. If someone is rude to you, try to remove yourself from the scenario and understand where they are coming from. I truly believe people are naturally good, it’s just sometimes their actions are taken without thinking about their motivations behind them.

 

I know this post is a bit out of context here. But my life isn’t one dimensional, so I don’t think this blog should be either.

Do you have any tips on practicing empathy?

 

Baby Steps to Happiness

Although I’ve consistently been posting outfits, and weekend recaps, I feel like my longer form essay writing has fell by the wayside. In line with the millennial stereotype, I have a lot of feelings and I want to share those thoughts and feelings with people. And you, my tiny group of followers, are my people. So here we go.

stepssSHAN

Sometimes I struggle with positivity. I would classify myself as a realist, which in the eyes of any optimist makes me a pessimist. Can any of you relate to this sentiment? There is a burden that comes with being a realist. And that burden sometimes means finding happiness in the everyday is a challenge. Which brings us to this list. A small compilation of tiny tricks to happiness.

  • Listening to your favorite song on repeat for a minimum of 30 minutes. This can be executed in the comfort of your home, or via ear buds in your cubicle. You do you.
  • A good or bad workout. Either way you’ll be better for it, and reap the rewards of endorphins.
  • Wear your favorite outfit. Whether it’s the pair of pants that fit your body perfectly, the shirt that instantly makes you feel like a celebrity ready for the paparazzi , or the perfect pair of shoes that give you confidence.
  • Pet/play/gawk at a furry critter. Popular options include, but are not limited to: cats, dogs, ferrets? Don’t own one of the above? Try going for a walk and pet a stranger’s pup (permission is required).
  • Talk to your best bud. Like literally speak to them with your voice, no texting or snapping allowed.
  • Give someone else a compliment
  • Get dolled up: no reason necessary
  • Make something with your own two hands! Bake a cake, learn to crochet, create art, anything is acceptable.

Do you ever struggle to find happiness? What are your go-to remedies?

Happy Birthday to Me: 23!

sillycake

truluv

bwblurry

caKE

I’ve mentioned it a few times on here, but I am lucky enough to call myself a twin. There are a lot of perks to having a person who shares your DNA, your face, and YOUR BIRTHDAY! I don’t know if you all have realized it, but no one is quite as excited to celebrate your birthday as you (duh). BUT when you have a twin, they are equally as excited as you! Double the birthday, double the fun – ya know?! For this post I want to do some reflecting, and give you 23 life lessons I’ve learned in my lifetime.

  1. Stop comparing yourself to other people.
  2. Appreciate the things people do for you. 
  3. Make new friends.
  4. Put an effort to keep in contact with the people you enjoy being around. It’s worth it.
  5. Try really hard to be optimistic. (forever working on this)
  6. Radiate good vibes and positive energy. ~channelling inner flower child~
  7. Take pleasure in little moments.
  8. Be silly.
  9. Learn constantly, about lots of things. 
  10. Have an opinion.
  11. Speak your mind (but don’t be an asshole about it).
  12. Stop worrying about how much you weigh.
  13. But take care of your body. Run around, eat some veggies, and call it a day.
  14. Be nice.
  15. Keep problems in perspective. Lots of things aren’t as bad as they initially seem.
  16. Stop worrying, no one really has their shit figured out.
  17. Social media is a highlights reel. 
  18. Take candid pictures.
  19. Clothing: invest in staples, bargain shop for trends.
  20. Don’t apologize for liking the things you like.
  21. Be open to new things.
  22. Go on adventures: big & small.
  23. Remember that relationships are the most important things of the human experience. 

I hope this list can inspire you, if even just a little tiny bit. And I’m going to do my best to take my own advice. 🙂

Here’s to another great year!

What It Feels Like to be an “Introvert”

introverttt

I remember when I learned about introversion and extroversion in my college psych class, and it felt like a wave of relief to me. Growing up in the U.S. is basically like living in the extroversion olympics (events include: speed friending, joking 101, conversation starters on crack, and how fast you can fill a moment of silence). What’s up with that?

It’s not just the education system that celebrates these social butterflies, but the trend continues well into adulthood and the workplace. I’ve noticed the celebratory atmosphere that surrounds people who can easily network, say every opinion they have in meetings, and spend 45 minutes talking about every minute detail of their weekend is still ever-present .

I don’t mean to hate on extroverts, but it’s necessary to celebrate the quiet and calculated introverts that make up 50% of our society.

So what exactly is does it feel like to be an introvert? Obviously these are all based on my own opinions.

I like being around people, but it’s also really draining

introvert

Just because I consider myself an introvert doesn’t mean I hate people. I actually have quite a few close friends that I really enjoy spending time with *call CNN*. I like going to parties with lots of people, but afterwards I definitely need some alone time.

I realllyyyyy enjoy my alone time

netflix

 

 

Reading, writing, tumbling, watching 10 hours of Netflix, whatever the alone activity is I really enjoy doing it on my own.

All I need is me, myself, and I

pepsi

I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T, do you know what that means?! I think one of the best things about being an introvert is the fierce independence that goes along with it. I know a lot of people who need to do things with other people all. the. time. And these extroverts usually find things like seeing a movie alone, or eating by yourself really daunting – but not I!

Introverts need less stimulation than extroverts 

overwhelmed

So this is one of the reasons introverts find parties, networking events, or big groups draining. Because they need less stimulation than extroverts. So when your at a place/event with lots of shit going on, it’s kind of overwhelming, and you’ll definitely need some quality internet alone time post-event.

5 Life Lessons I Learned in College

ShannyKaylaGrad copy

I graduated from college a year ago. Wait, what? Yeah. After three wonderful years in Wisconsin, it was time for me to leave the beautiful dairy state with two-degrees in hand and big plans for the future! College didn’t just teach me about advertising and psychology (my two majors), it taught me about life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to get a higher education, and here are 5 lessons I learned from my time as a Warhawk.

1. There are a lot of different kinds of people, and they’re all great

IV copy

College really opened my eyes to all the different kinds of people there are in this crazy, cool world. I grew up in a large suburb of Chicago, so my school was pretty diverse, but honestly, I was ignorant. I didn’t know much about other ethnicities, genders, or sexualities. My all time favorite college class wassociology of gender where we openly discussed the  problems behind a binary gender system, and the importance of acknowledging and accepting people who don’t fall into this weirdo binary system we have. I didn’t know much about transgendered, intersexuals, or any other variant before this course and it really opened my eyes. I also met a ton of people that had such varied backgrounds, it really helped me understand and appreciate other people.

John Green *the best author/vlogger ever* does a way better job at summing up this point here 

2. Failing is actually ok, and probably better in the long run

Frisbee copyMe and two other girls who were on the Ultimate team my freshman year (I wasn’t good)

I’m not talking about failing classes, because that’s definitely not better as you’ll be stuck at college for 100 years if you do that. I’ve always been a big goal setter, and it wasn’t until I went to school that I started failing at goals I set for myself. I had my heart set on being an RA after my freshman year, but didn’t get it. I wasn’t good at ultimate frisbee. I didn’t get the first internship I applied to. And I didn’t make 1 million BFFs. BUT THAT’S OKAY. Even though I failed at a lot of things, I still graduated as a happy, healthy, employed 21-year old! I learned a lot from those failures, and they ultimately shaped me into the positive go-getter I am today.

3. Stop comparing yourself to other people

RALook how glam my RA staff looks, you should’ve seen us during hall closing

Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram make it super simple to make you feel like you’re a loser by comparing yourself to your friends. Wake up buddy, you aren’t a loser. It’s easy for people to portray their lives as fabulous, but it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows for them either (they get pimples, gain weight, and get stressed out too). Think about how you portray yourself online, and realize how glamorous your life appears to outsiders.

My problem was that I always compared people’s social lives with mine. I realized I was an introvert after one of my first psychology classes, and it all made sense to me. I have amazingly strong, and wonderful relationships with BFF #1 and BFF #2 (Kayla and Logan). I don’t think anyone else can really compare when it comes to those two people, and that’s okay. I don’t need a lot of social stimulation to be happy, and college taught me to be okay with chilling in my room alone, watching Netflix, and texting Kayla non-stop. That’s just my thing.

4. Stand on your own two feet

RUNEmily is the best example of someone who does new and exciting things all on her own

Every year of college was really different for me. For example: my first year I was a part of my university’s Ultimate Frisbee Club Team, my second year I was the event planner for my dorm’s Leadership Involvement team first semester, and I was hired as an RA second semester. My third, and final, year was spent as an RA, and a social media intern. I took all of these positions on my own and without having guaranteed friendships on the other end. I remember walking up to the first ultimate frisbee practice all by my lonesome not knowing anyone. It was terrifying, but also super liberating! All of those experiences taught me l could be outgoing with people I had never met *small victories, people*!

It’s so so so important to be able to motivate yourself, and not be dependent on other people. So stand tall and do something crazy all by yourself.

5. Be willing to change 

ShannyWristband

If you ask me, “high school you” and “college you” should be totally different people. College should question your beliefs, values, and ideations. It should challenge you to think about life, people, and experiences in a totally new and exciting way. It’s so important to be open to learning about other ways of living! Try a new food, switch up your style, or befriend someone who’s totally different than you. At 18, you are way too young to be set in your ways, so stop being a stubborn teenager and open your eyes to all of the possibilities your life has to offer!

Although I’m done learning vocabulary and theories, I’ll keep these lessons I’ve learned near and dear to my heart for the rest of my life. Cheers to constantly learning, changing, and evolving.

Stages of a Job Interview

Pre-Interview

Stage 1: Disbelief

disbelief

Holy sh*t someone actually called me back for a job interview. Pinch me, pinch me! I must be dreaming.

Stage 2: Ridiculously Excited

excited

YAYAYAYAY I’m going in, I’m gunna own this, I AM A BEAUTIFUL ANIMAL.

Stage 3: Panic Panic Panic

panic

Oh my god, I have to talk to people about the things I’ve done and experienced?! But what if they don’t like me?! What if I trip on my way to the interview room?! What if I accidentally swear?!

During the Interview

Stage 4: Rockstar Extrovert

rockstar

Wowwww talking about myself is actually super easy. I’m so awesome. Listen to all my cool stories and gaze in amazement at my glory!

Stage 5: Exhaustion

tired

1 hour down, 1 hour to go. This is so exhausting. I don’t know if I can keep up my rockstar extrovert personality for much longer.

Stage 6: Relief

relief

I’ve done it! Go me! Also, the interviewers were so nice & personable. I can do anything! The world is my f*cking oyster.

Post Interview

Stage 7: Desperation Station

love me

HIREEEEEEEEEEEE MEEEEEEEEE!!!! I LOVEEEEEEEE YOU!!!!

Best of luck to my fellow interviewees.

Hey, hi, howdy internet!

waving

Let’s get to know one another.

The name is Shannon. I’m a  20 something, Midwest native, looking to enhance my story telling game. What better way to get better at writing and telling you about my meanderings through life than a good old fashioned blog?

I’ve had a few blogs in the past, but they’ve served very specific purposes. So this one is for me and telling the story of my life (TBD on that front).