All Articles Tagged "social"

Stopping To Smell The Roses: What I Learned When I Became Anti-Social

January 5th, 2016 - By Deja Jones
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

I lived independently in the city of Newark after graduating from college. In those years, I managed to build a life full of freedom, fun and established a name for myself in the city. Like most of us in our 20s, we reach a point of either social burnout or a financial burnout. Three months ago, I was hit with both, which forced me back to the other side of Jersey with my parents. After establishing a life where I was, I fought hard to maintain it from a distance, which meant weekend trips up north to party with friends between Newark, Jersey City, and New York City. But when funds started to dry up, I knew I had to cool it. So I slowly became a social hermit. During my period of isolation, I began to slow down and really smell the roses. In that time, I learned a lot about myself.

The Word “Friend” Shouldn’t Be Used Loosely

When I lived in Newark, my social hotline was always blinging. Monday through Sunday there was always a “wave,” whether it was a happy hour in the downtown area, coming home at the crack of dawn after a fun-filled weekend partying in New York City, or finding an art opening, brunch, dinner or house party because I knew the right people. But when the train rides became exhausting and I started to say no and decline invitations, phone calls started to come few and far between. There were no texts to check on me to see how I was handling the transition, no “Hey, how are you” messages. Nothing. That’s not to say my social circle was filled with shady people, but I have learned that outside of the social scene, we really didn’t have anything else in common that is beneficial.

Less Time Out Allows You To Focus On What’s Important

I didn’t realize how much my social life was a distraction to my work. When I had nowhere to go, I suddenly became more focused on my work. My productivity increased, and I accomplished a lot more in the day. When I became less social, I became more financially responsible and cautious of my spending. I was also able to hit the reset button and brainstorm how I was going to gain my independence again, from obtaining an affordable apartment to more writing opportunities and just knowing how I was going to do things differently.

You Need To Make Time To Rest 

Being away from all the hustle and bustle of the young, wild and free, and worrying less about trying to keep up, I found myself experiencing brighter mornings and less tiring evenings due to a night of staying in rather than staying out late after work. When you have a reputation for being a social butterfly, it can be hard at times (especially on your mind and body) to live up to that.

I Learned To Appreciate The Company Of My Family

Living in Newark, I was always too busy to catch the train to Trenton to visit my family. It was too much of a hassle for me. I missed birthdays, dinners and family gatherings, and for a time, it didn’t really bother me. I’ve become a better daughter, cousin and more to my family now that I am back home with them and focused less on my social life. I’ve even learned how to look beyond the differences in lifestyles between myself and my cousins, and invite them to hang with me sometimes, accepting them for who they are.

As I slowly transition myself back into the social scene, I have a plethora of lessons to take with me. Most important of them all, everything has a balance, but sometimes you have to play both sides of the scale in order to find that equilibrium.

All I Want For Christmas Is For It To Be Over: An Introvert’s Tale

December 18th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Shutterstock

For a lot of people, the holiday season is all about faith, joy, love, family, good meals and presents. I love the core of the holidays: family, faith, and love, but all the added social situations leave me tired and ready to retreat. For me, the holidays are a time of high anxiety because I am an introvert. Introverts are people who thrive best when they are alone. We are often called shy, thoughtful, quiet or even reserved. Unlike extroverts, who come alive when surrounded by tons of people, introverts love their solitude. And this is precisely why the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is too much for me.

From Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, the streets, malls and coffee shops are filled to the brim with more people than any time during the rest of the year. No place is safe from the throngs of eager shoppers or people on their way to holiday parties and dinners. Anarchy much?

And the holiday social gatherings can be a bit of a nightmare for us introverts. I shudder at the thought of being forced to attend the mandatory holiday office parties where you are forced into cramped environments with drunken co-workers and bosses. Everything is loud and close and emotionally chaotic. Most people can get through the office holiday party because there’s usually an open bar and free food, but for me, nothing free is worth the amount of time it will take to recuperate from the frenetic atmosphere.

After a major Saturday night holiday function, I have to be sure to free up my Sunday so that I can sleep and regain my energy. The morning after a big soiree or extreme social outing, I always experience an emotional hangover. It’s important that I have time to get myself right before delving into more social situations, if I can help it. My favorite sound during the holiday season is that of my front door lock clicking into place and the exhale I take after plopping down on the couch to Netflix and chill–by myself. (An ideal activity for both introversion and flirty nights.)

To make matters worse, my birthday is in December. As an adult, I have taken it upon myself to organize situations where small groups of friends can hang out at my house to celebrate. The normal inclination for a youngin’ is to have a night out on the town, but since it’s my birthday, I choose not to put myself in any anxious situations. I sometimes wonder what it’s like to be an extrovert or to just be able to enjoy fully a big social encounter and go on about your day, but I recognize that I’m just not one of those people. And I’ve tried. Believe me, I have. But at the end of the day, I am just a run of the mill wallflower.

In the last three weeks, I’ve had to attend six social events and there’s still two more to go until Christmas Day. Thankfully, I have a small family so I don’t have to deal with the insanity of Christmas Day gatherings. But I have to remind myself that I’m almost at the finish line to retain my composure. It’s important for me to keep the finish line in sight and it’s an extremely helpful exercise for me to count down the days until my major social obligations are over. For me, Christmas is just about getting out on the other side so that I can fall back into my quiet routine. So know that as you’re dabbing your way through your Christmas party this weekend, I’ll be at an Ugly Christmas sweater party dreaming about Netflix and chilling on January 2, 2016.

It’s Too Cold To Do A Damn Thing: Ways To Avoid Anti-Social Winter Behavior And Have Fun Even When It’s Freezing Out

February 7th, 2013 - By Nicole Akoukou Thompson
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Like the song, “Let It Snow” mentions, “the weather outside is frightful.” And, while there hasn’t been much snow as of late, the air outside is still rather frigid. This chilly weather keeps some of us in our apartments, and a good number of us stay tucked away in our beds, even during waking hours. This lack of motivation to get up and do things keeps us from being productive, making it easy for us to be anti-social and keeping us from enjoying the many events and attractions that the world around us has to offer. So it’s time for us to strap on some boots, put on some layers, and put the anti-social and anti-active behavior to bed.

Incentives: Steering clear of friends is one thing when its cold outside, but steering clear of other important responsibilities like going to the gym is simply that much easier. And we all know that when you miss one trip to the gym, it’s easy to fall off the wagon. The key here is bating yourself out the house, and this can be done by making yourself small promises. If you go to the gym or go far to visit a good friend, then you should reward yourself with a micro-shopping spree or a treat from your favorite bakery or confectionery spot.

Search: Don’t settle for places to go. Do some Internet research and find somewhere you’d REALLY like to be –otherwise you will bail and stay home. Check to see who has upcoming performances at big venues or smaller concert halls, search Groupon or similar sites for deals on events, and find out where folks are going and hitch your wagon onto the most interesting plans for the evening. Try to make a game out of seeing how many fun places you find to enjoy.

Small Soiree or House Party: You’re sick of not seeing people because you don’t want to leave your house? Natural solution: invite people over. It’s simple nowadays, you just send out a quick Facebook message or a text, and you can plan an evening in with friends. It must be kept in mind, however, there are a few downfalls to having people in your home, mainly that as the host you’re normally the one footing the bill for food and libations and cleaning things up. But well-planned potlucks and BYOB invitations are always a good idea as well. And if you want to avoid too much noise or mess, simple movie nights with a bowl of popcorn, some other small snacks and wine will do too.

Loiter: There are plenty of warm, interesting public places where you can visit for free and hang around for hours while being entertained or mentally stimulated. These places include, but are not limited to art galleries, museums, libraries, coffee shops (take a friend and catch up!) and more. In fact, you can often find free classes, free attractions, free club nights, free museums and free festivals that are available to all, especially if you’re living in a big city like New York.

 

Work It!: 2013’s Top 10 Areas For Innovation

January 16th, 2013 - By C. Cleveland
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Shutterstock

I’m so excited to launch the newest business column on Madame Noire: “Work It!” Every month we’ll dive into emerging trends, the future of work, and the innovative ways businesswomen are updating how they do business. The nature of work is changing at a rapid pace. Follow “Work It” to get a head start on what the future holds and shake up business as usual to take on this new era.

To establish the “Work It” circle of trust, I’m giving up one my most guarded, secret business weapons: JWTIntelligence. The think tank of one the world’s best-known marketing communications brands, JWTIntelligence’s gift for predicting trends would make Dionne’s psychic friends gag with envy. JWT has released 100 things to watch in 2013. We’re counting down the top ten trends you should be thinking about.

An Awkward Black Girl’s Office Survival Guide

October 16th, 2012 - By C. Cleveland
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Source: The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl

In the first episode of the web series “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl,” creator Issa Rae’s character claims that the worse thing anyone can be is black and awkward, simultaneously. Whether that’s true or not is up for debate. But, if Rae’s YouTube views are any indication, awkward Blackness is a more common condition than once thought.

Any awkward girl can tell you, the workplace is ripe with opportunity for the condition to make itself known. Cringe-worthy moments are waiting around every cubicle corner. Fear not. Just because you’re awkward, doesn’t mean your coworkers have to know. Master the scenarios below and you’ll maneuver through the office like a social butterfly.

Scenario #1 – Unexpected Alone Time

You call yourself being a good employee and busting down hundreds of years of stereotypes when you stroll into the conference room on time for your meeting. You find only one other strange soul shares your punctuality. Your thirstiness has been rewarded with being forced to fill silence with a person you never intended to say more than hello to.

Luckily, being a good conversationalist requires good listening skills more than anything. “Most socially confident people deliberately learn specific skills, like understanding the predictable format of a conversation with new people, and focusing on the topic rather than on how one is being perceived,” according to Erika Casriel, writing in Psychology Today. Put the pressure of being entertaining on the other person. Focus on being interested (or feigning interest) in what the other person is saying.

Scenario #2 – Attack of the Personal Space Invaders

You feel like your coworker is getting a little too close for comfort. Or maybe, your boss routinely mistakes your hair for a Shih Tzu that welcomes petting from strangers. We all want to be friendly, but we also all have boundaries that we prefer not be crossed. For your own peace of mind, learn how to put people in their place, nicely.

The key to maintaining personal space is making sure everyone knows where boundaries begin and end. None of your coworkers are mind readers, so bring unacceptable behavior to their attention and let them know why you are asking them to adjust. The trick is to pull off your truth telling pleasantly and firmly. It’s a balance that may take some practice, but a smile goes a long way.

Scenario #3 – Odd Girl Out

You thought you left cliques behind in high school, but your office culture has an established hierarchy, and you are peasant status. Cliques form for a variety of reasons and most of the time they are not malicious. People with similar interests and personalities and those that work in close proximity gravitate toward each other. Don’t take it personally.

One way to penetrate a clique is to take up an interest common to the group. If company kickball isn’t your style, try a one-on-one approach. “If a group of people [isn’t] including you, try to develop a relationship with each person individually,” said Julie Jansen, author of You Want Me To Work With Who?. Jansen says people are more open to new friendships when you approach them individually. Instead of tagging along with the group, ask one person to grab coffee with you.

Scenario #4 – F.M.L.

You managed to make it from home to the office without noticing the toilet paper stuck on the back of your pants. Or your boss randomly chooses you as the object of his displaced divorce rage. A truly awkward individual knows that social situations are not always to blame for life’s cringe-worthy moments. Sometimes life conspires against you. When life hands you lemons, make f*** it lemonade.

Humans have a knack for making situations worse by forcing themselves to relive an embarrassing moment over and over. The sooner you let it go and laugh about it, the sooner everyone will move on. Even better, being embarrassed can make people like you more. Researchers at UC Berkeley have discovered that being embarrassed—or even just acting embarrassed—convinces others that you’re more trustworthy.

C. Cleveland is a freelance writer and content strategist in New York City, perfecting living the fierce life at The Red Read. She is at your service on Twitter @CleveInTheCity.

 

 

Staying Safe While Being Social and Single in the City

December 2nd, 2011 - By MN Editor
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"black woman on a date"

It’s a jungle out here. If you’re not careful out here these days, being a single, Hot lady in the city could get you attacked. In an area in Brooklyn called Park Slope, there have been a spree of sexual assaults on young women walking home after dark, with the assailants being different men of different backgrounds (aka, hard to catch). Things like this have young women out here on edge. While you never necessarily think getting attacked, raped, or robbed can’t happen to you, know that folks out here are CRAZY, and it never hurts to be prepared for anything. Get too comfortable and you could get caught up. So here are some tips to help you stay safe while being social and single in the city.

Combine Social Media and E-Mail Marketing

June 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneur) —Right now online, your customers, clients, members and prospects are chatting up a storm. Whether they’re tweeting on Twitter, posting on Facebook, forwarding YouTube videos or commenting on blogs, they’re out there engaging in conversations and sharing information that’s relevant to your business or cause. Are you a part of that conversation?

Read More…

Combine Social Media and E-Mail Marketing

June 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneur) —Right now online, your customers, clients, members and prospects are chatting up a storm. Whether they’re tweeting on Twitter, posting on Facebook, forwarding YouTube videos or commenting on blogs, they’re out there engaging in conversations and sharing information that’s relevant to your business or cause. Are you a part of that conversation?

Read More…

Best Business Social Scenes

June 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneurs) — “I hate the office,” growls Doug Ellin, the creator and executive producer of the hit HBO series Entourage. “I’d much rather do meetings in a great bar, where people aren’t nervous and you can relax and be more creative.” Even on the show, Ellin rarely allows his achingly suave characters–Hollywood actors, agents, producers and directors–to broker a deal in a boardroom.  Dark bars, pulsating nightclubs and old-school lounges that serve epiphany-causing martinis are the settings for onscreen business maneuvers. “You just need to find the right place and become a regular,” says Ellin, who personally favors a sleek sports bar called Goal in Los Angeles. “I do my meetings there, back to back.”

Read More…

Best Business Social Scenes

June 23rd, 2010 - By TheEditor
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(Entrepreneurs) — “I hate the office,” growls Doug Ellin, the creator and executive producer of the hit HBO series Entourage. “I’d much rather do meetings in a great bar, where people aren’t nervous and you can relax and be more creative.” Even on the show, Ellin rarely allows his achingly suave characters–Hollywood actors, agents, producers and directors–to broker a deal in a boardroom.  Dark bars, pulsating nightclubs and old-school lounges that serve epiphany-causing martinis are the settings for onscreen business maneuvers. “You just need to find the right place and become a regular,” says Ellin, who personally favors a sleek sports bar called Goal in Los Angeles. “I do my meetings there, back to back.”

Read More…