Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Love~? Are you sure about the terms?

Love comes as it is, neutral, pure and true, and becomes solace to people who owns it. It takes two people actually have the same feeling, or should I say simultaneously occur in two individuals emotion.

I wonder what is going on this month….. As I posted up in my Facebook profile, “Now it’s like a season of break-ups, separation and divorce amongst people around me. What’s going on & WTF, people…? Haven’t you got any balls to be a little bolder & wiser in your own relationship? Or you just think all these are just games to you? Is this what you call being an adult? Not patient enough to keep everything together? (24th July 2011)”, I’m wondering what is going on here? I understand that most of you have problems and all, but it doesn’t hurt to at least spend 5 minutes to talk and try work things out… If you let your emotions run wild, then you are no better than the person who became the reason you two broke up.

If you want to play the victim, go ahead, but at the end of the day, you know that you’ve done the most regretful thing and feeling remorseful of how the relationship ends. Try to be more grateful of what you have since you have one to keep. I know as you aged, the market goes down (I’m talking about the women)… and it goes up for the men because most eligible bachelors are to die for. They have their charms and wisdom and sweet talks, those single ladies will be mesmerized and fall to their laps instantly.

I’ve gone through a few relationships, myself, and I can say it is not as easy as it seems… It is easy to fall in love, it is easy to get into a relationship, but it is hard to keep one and sustaining it for the rest of your life. It is much harder to call it all off as it takes up a lot in you; mind, spirit and soul. There are a lot of lesson about yourself to be learned as your go through in the relationship you are in. It can either be a mirror to you or it can set differences to keep the both of you being together.

Who doesn’t want a perfect relationship? It’s ok to have arguments, silence and little foul-play. Tolerance is highly recommendable and patience is something to keep the relationship. Argument is for acknowledging each other on things needed to be improved and communication is merely a bridge on for these two individuals on have the utmost miracle thing that connects them.

Then people, whomever who has the idea of letting go a relationship, please sit down and give a deep thought…. If nothing matters, then think deeper… If you know that your relationship would not work out by the end of the day, don’t ever get into a relationship in the first place. Human hearts ~ feeling are easy to be played with, tampered and broken over and over again. Emotions are way too fragile to carry the burden of sorrows. Don’t ever give any foolish reasons for all hell to break loose.

I’m not encouraging for all of you to reconsider on all possibilities to break up with your partner, but in enduring the possibilities to end it up horribly. But if you do have to end it up, don’t ever use a pretty lame excuse of, “I can never learn to love anymore since I let him/her go; or he/she left me”, or “My parents have arranged me to be wed to… ”, or “I love you both, but I love him/her more than I love you”… Those are not a good reason to get off a relationship.
Be yourself and tell the person you are with the actual truth. “I maybe falling out of love with you, we do need time to re-evaluate our stands” are most common ice-breaker on telling the truth about how you feel. Think about it, aight……

Song from a Secret Garden

Sunday, 24 July 2011


by Syira Myra on Tuesday, April 12, 2011 at 7:47pm
Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila seorang perempuan jatuh cinta, lelaki itu tidak semestinya punya segalanya tetapi lelaki itu adalah segalanya di hatinya.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila seorang perempuan itu mengalirkan air mata, itu bukan bermakna dia lemah, tetapi dia sedang mencari kekuatan untuk terus tabah menyintai lelaki itu.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila seorang perempuan marah, memang dia tidak mampu mengawal perasaannya tapi percayalah, itulah maknanya dia sangat mengambil berat dan menyayangi lelaki itu. Lihat saja pasangan yang baru bercinta, mereka jarang bergaduh. Tetapi percayalah semakin bertambah sayang mereka pada seseorang, semakin pula banyak pertelingkahan yang berlaku.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan bercakap banyak, dia tidak pernah bermaksud untuk membuat anda rimas, tapi dia mahu lelaki mengenalinya dengan lebih dekat.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan berkata dia mahu anda berubah, itu bukan bermakna dia tidak mahu menerima anda seadanya, tetapi dia mahu menjadikan anda lebih baik, bukan untuk dirinya, tetapi untuk masa depan anda.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan cemburu dan tidak percayakan anda, bukan bermakna dia tidak sayang.. tetapi dia terlalu sayangkan anda dan masih mengangap anda anak kecil yang masih memerlukan sepenuh perhatian. Kadang2 dia terlalu risau sekiranya terlalu percaya, anda akan mengkhianati kepercayaan yang diberi. Naluri keibuannya sangat kuat. Dia hanya mahukan yang terbaik untuk anda.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan merajuk, jangan kata dia mengada-ngada. Dia bukannya mahu dipujuk dengan wang ringgit atau hadiah sedozen, tetapi cukup dengan perhatian yang boleh buat perempuan rasa dihargai.

Sam Tsui & Christina Grimmie - Just A Dream

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan jarang mengatakan ‘i love u’, itu tidak bermaksud dia tidak menyintai tetapi dia mahu lelaki itu merasai sendiri cintanya, bukan hanya hadir dari kata-kata tetapi juga melalui bahasa tubuhnya.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan kata dia rindu sama kamu, dia benar-benar maksudkannya. Apabila berjauhan, bayanganmu akan sentiasa bermain di mata.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan selalu bertanya adakah kamu rindu dan sayang sama dia, waktu itu dia benar-benar merindui dan menyayangi kamu.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan kata lelaki lain itu lebih baik dari kamu, jangan percaya kata-katanya kerana dia hanya mahu menguji kamu. Dia mahu melihat sejauh mana kamu sanggup menjadi yang terbaik di matanya. Walaupun sebenarnya memang kamulah yang terbaik di hatinya. Selagi dia dengan kamu, percayalah, walaupun perempuan menganggap masih ramai lagi yang lebih baik di matanya tetapi di hatinya, kamu tetap yang terbaik.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan menjadi degil, dia bukan bermaksud untuk menjadi degil tapi dia mahu melihat sejauh mana lelaki itu mampu bersabar dengan kerenahnya. Percayalah, hati perempuan itu sangat lembut. Andai kena caranya, jangan terkejut kalau akhirnya dia menukar fikirannya dalam masa sesaat.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Apabila perempuan berkata, “tolong tinggalkan saya!”, dia tidak bermaksud menyuruh anda pergi selamanya. Dia hanya mahu menenangkan fikirannya sebentar saja. Apabila dia kembali tenang, percayalah dia akan mencari anda semula. Itu tandanya dia benar-benar menyintai anda. Perempuan sukar untuk mengawal perasaan. Dia terlalu emosional. Tapi dialah yang paling menyayangi anda dan sangat sensitif dengan perubahan pada diri anda.

Andainya lelaki tahu.. Sememangnya Allah menciptakan lelaki dan perempuan itu dengan perbezaan yang tersendiri. Tetapi sekiranya mereka saling memahami, mereka akan saling melengkapi dan menyempurnakan . Perempuan itu diciptakan oleh Allah indah sekali. Di sebalik air matanya, tersimpan seribu satu kekuatan yang bakal menjadikan seorang lelaki itu merasa selamat bersamanya. Biarpun zahirnya perempuan itu tampak lemah tapi dia punya kekuatan tersendiri yang bisa menggoncang dunia dan mungkin bisa pula membuat lelaki menjadi lemah kerananya. Jadi hargailah kehadiran seorang perempuan dalam hidup anda kerana dia didatangkan bukan dengan kelemahan sahaja tetapi dia juga ada kekuatan untuk menyongkong anda dan membuatkan hidup anda lebih sempurna. Dialah yang bakal menjadi perempuan bekerjaya, isteri juga ibu yang terbaik untuk anak2 anda.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

5 cues that separate the dating duds from your dream dude

Finding it hard to get past your first date? Discover key elements to help you influence the chemistry that exists during this pivotal moment.

So here’s the scenario:
You’re out on a date with this guy; he’s cute, funny, charming and quite the conversationalist. At this point, you’ve also deemed him Mr. Almost Perfect because he has somehow met the requirements of your mental checklist for the ideal guy. It just can’t get better than this; the dinner setting is oh-so romantic, the music is subtle and inviting, the lighting is just right…heck, even crappy food taste great when you’re with him. You’re just too gooey-eyed to notice that for the past hour or so, your dream guy has been going on and on about how his ex left him. The fact that he even mentioned about his ex during YOUR date is a testament to this: he’s just not that into you.

1. Your date is constantly looking at his cell phone or answering text messages every few minutes or so.
Unless he is expecting a call from his parole officer, psychiatrist or mother reminding him about his curfew or to take his prescribed meds, his main focus should be on YOU and YOUR conversation. Text messages from his gaming buddies and especially his exes can certainly wait.

2. When asked questions, he gets more and more disinterested or agitated.
Have you noticed that every time you direct a question at him, his response never exceeds one or two words, or that he often responds to you with arms folded firmly across his chest, jaws clenched, nostrils flaring, eyes rolling or a sigh escaping? Well, there’s a huge chance he just wants you to shut up! Guys can be generally insensitive, but this kind of behaviour goes overboard.

3. Your date is constantly getting up from his seat.
Unless he has A.D.D., irritable bowel syndrome or red ants in his pants, there shouldn’t be so many excuses for him to get up from his seat. Visiting the men’s room is certainly excusable, but taking his cell phone in every time he visits and spending a good amount of time in there as opposed to spending that time with you is questionable. And unless your date has double-parked his car, there shouldn’t be a reason for him to get up ‘abruptly’ more than twice to spend time at the parking lot. In that case, he should have just brought you to a fast food drive-thru for dinner!

4. His eyes keep wondering about and they never settle on you. You’re probably wondering whether your date has loose eye muscles or a looser behaviour because his eyes are constantly darting about the room; staring at a group of beauties who have just walked in, or at the next table and their fabulous food. Either way, they seem to be more interesting to him than you. So don’t waste your time with this one… move on to a yummier and more deserving male-dish. NEXT!

5. He compliments you… and then compares you with his ex. Every girl loves a compliment… but not when that compliment is served with a comparison to an ex! You should be his MAIN DISH and current squeeze. You shouldn’t be reduced to a side-dish and have to compete with yesterday’s news. There’s a good reason why she is his ex. And for whatever those reasons may be, you certainly don’t want to be compared with those negative traits. It’s just degrading!

So, read between the lines, honey…and make a beeline for the nearest exit! Dating a dud is not worth your time. You’re much better than that!

Gracefully Deal with Uncomfortable Questions

Handle personal inquiries from family members with ease
By Jennifer Tzeses Posted November 30, 2009 from WomansDay.com

When the neighborhood coffee shop starts featuring its annual peppermint latte and your favorite radio station switches its playlist to include yuletide ditties, you know the holiday season is here. But why is it that every year, instead of rejoicing about upcoming family festivities, you break out in a cold sweat? Maybe it’s because these annual gatherings bring relatives out of the woodwork who assault you with a barrage of cringe-worthy questions.
“Family members are so comfortable with one another these days, they’re no longer considerate,” says Anna Post, etiquette expert for the Emily Post Institute. “And when we let our guard down, sometimes boundaries get swept away with formalities,” she says. “When you go to family gatherings, have some small talk prepared in advance,” says Jodi R. R. Smith, owner of Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting in Massachusetts and author of From Clueless to Class Act. “This way, when your cousin asks how you are, you won’t give her an opening to default into topics that are too personal,” she adds. Here, see how to survive the seasonal inquisition with your dukes down and your dignity intact.

1. “When are you going to get remarried?”
As if it isn’t hard enough to find a date who’ll commit, the last thing you need is to feel pressure from your family. Refrain from running straight for the exit. In this scenario, a dose of humor can help deflect the question, says Post. Say something like, “I don’t know, my crystal ball’s kind of cloudy.” This will get your point across without attacking and you’ll be diplomatic for the sake of the rest of the table. “Remove your feelings of judgment and find out why the person is asking,” says Smith. “Most likely, you’ll find he or she is just concerned about you,” she says. Instead of getting upset, ask if the person has anyone to set you up with, or if they could put out the word that you are looking.

2. “Do you really need that second slice of pie?”
Nothing kills a craving like being reminded that the treat you’re about to eat will go straight to your thighs. Little does your uncle know you’ve sworn off sweets for the past month in preparation for your grandma’s apple crumb pie. “Toss off the comment in a way that shows him he isn’t getting the best of you, says Cheryl Dellasega, PhD, author of Forced to Be Family: A Guide for Living with Sinister Sisters, Drama Mamas, and Infuriating In-Laws. Say, “Today’s my splurge day and I’m going to have seconds.” Humor can also be a good way to mask your hurt feelings, says Smith. You might respond with, “Well, there will just be more of me to love!” If you don’t want to dignify your uncle with a response, say nothing and look at him with a raised brow; hopefully your message will come across loud and clear, says Smith.

3. “Are you planning on having kids anytime soon?”
Whether your aunt is asking out of curiosity or concern, it’s still none of her business. One great way to shut her down is to change the topic and immediately ask someone else at the table a question. “Hey, cousin Kat, didn’t you go to Jane’s baby shower recently?” This makes it clear that the topic is off limits. Or you could give her a “right back at ya” response, like, “Why do you ask?” says Post. “This will call her out in a polite way while still protecting yourself,” she says. Not to mention you’ll expose her motives for asking in the first place. Let your facial expressions do all the talking; you’re basically giving her a yellow warning card so hopefully she’ll know not to go there again. Again, humor can be a great tool for deflection, says Smith. Say something like, “We’ll let you know, but in the meantime, we’re having fun trying.”

4. “When will your husband get a better job?”
This one just defies all levels of politeness, so the best way to defuse the situation is with a laugh, says Dr. Dellasega. Respond with, “How about it, honey, when will you be promoted to CEO?” Or turn the question around on your relative with a, “Why, are you hiring?” A lighthearted response shows you aren’t taking the question too seriously, says Dr. Dellasega. If instead, your relative asks you when you’re entering the workforce again, you can say, “This isn’t something I’m talking about right now.” It’s a factual response and cuts right to the chase. If she keeps pushing, get up and leave the table and she’ll get the message.

5. “Will you ever get your kids to behave?”
Leave it to grouchy Grandpa to criticize your parenting skills. First take a deep breath and repeat, “serenity now, serenity now,” a few times in your head. Then calmly ask Gramps if he has any parenting advice for you, says Dr. Dellasega. Try not to make a scene; otherwise, it’ll start to go downhill from there. You might involve him in the solution, says Smith. For instance, ask him if he’d like to take your kids over to the couch and read them a story. This will make him feel important and will likely get your kids to settle down, too.
If you know your family’s communication style, (Grandpa always has something critical to say), prepare yourself in advance, says Dr. Dellasega. Sit as far away from him as possible, so you’re not in firing range. Another way to handle the situation is to call ahead and ask your host the agenda for the meal, what’s on the menu, what time you’ll be eating and if there is a room where your child can take a nap, says Smith. “A little pre-emptive etiquette will help you create an environment in which your child has the opportunity to succeed, not fail,” she says. For example, if your daughter’s nap time conflicts with the starting time of the get-together, you can plan to arrive a little later, just before the meal, to let her sleep so she won’t be cranky at the table.

6. “How much did your new house cost?”
Unless you’re on the witness stand, you don’t have to answer anyone’s questions if you don’t want to, says Smith. This one is no exception—you’re surely not going to announce the amount you paid for your home in front of a table full of people. If you feel comfortable, be direct and say, “This isn’t something we’re discussing publicly.” When done right, a dose of directness can be effective for giving the person a clear social cue, and he or she may respect you more for being honest, says Post. You might give the benefit of the doubt and say, “Why, are you in the market for a new home?” If the person is actually looking, you can easily transition to a related topic, says Smith. When you’ve tried everything and your nosy relative just keeps pushing for an answer, say, “I’m not sure what the final price was, but if you really want to know, you can go down to the courthouse and look up the deed.”

7. “What did your daughter get on her SATs?”
If it’s not the SATs, you can expect your cousin to compare report cards, gymnastics tournaments or birthday party venues. Respond in a light way with something like, “That’s a secret in our house,” says Dr. Dellasega. Know that your cousin is competitive because she probably feels envious of you in some way. So be the bigger person and don’t indulge her. You could also answer with a diplomatic, “We’re really proud of her, she did better than she even expected,” then change the subject, says Post. Or, if you don’t care, and your daughter feels comfortable talking about her scores, then be proud to reveal them, she says.

8. “Wow, you look really different than you did last year, what changed?”
If you know your sister-in-law has a track record of doling out backhanded comments, rather than yelling something nasty back to her, say, “Oh, I changed my shade of lipstick, do you like it?” You may have gained 10 pounds, but the last thing you want or need to do is acknowledge her snide remark, says Smith. “Any spark of anger on your part only rewards her bad behavior,” she says. Enlist the help of a trusted relative (ahead of time) to step in and save you when the tirade begins. “You can tell her to steer the conversation toward another topic, like books, movies or sports—anything that won’t elicit a personal attack,” says Post. Or you can call her out with a response that puts her on the spot, like “I don’t know, what do you think is different?” “Most likely she’ll realize you’ve called her bluff and change the subject,” says Post.

Related Link:http://www.womansday.com/Articles/Life/Etiquette/Gracefully-Deal-with-Uncomfortable-Questions.html

How to Deal with Annoying People

Learn strategies for coping with eight of the most grating personalities
By Petra Guglielmetti Posted January 27, 2010 from WomansDay.com
Ever feel like you have to bite your tongue, smile and nod just to get though your day? We asked etiquette experts for their best tips on how to deal with eight irksome personalities you’re bound to encounter often, whether on the job, in your family or out on the town.

The Close Talker
As portrayed in a memorable episode of Seinfeld, the close talker positions her face mere millimeters from yours, making it exceedingly difficult to carry on a conversation (you’re too focused on dodging spittle and avoiding direct inhalation of funky breath smells). When taking two steps back feels rude and obvious, here’s an alternative: “What I tend to do is take one leg and pivot it to the side so my body is no longer directly facing the person,” says Palm Beach–based etiquette expert Jacqueline Whitmore. If you’re at a crowded party, you can also hold your cocktail out from your body to encourage the space between you to gradually widen. Keep in mind that the close talker might simply be hard of hearing or from a different cultural background, notes San Antonio, Texas–based etiquette expert Diane Gottsman. “The norm in the U.S. is to speak at approximately arm’s length, or the distance of a handshake, but the definition of personal space varies among different cultures,” she says.

The Excessive Toucher
Whether she’s ducking in for an overly familiar hug too early in your relationship or distractingly stroking or jabbing your upper arm during conversation, this personality type also lacks a sense of personal boundaries. If you’re uncomfortable simply saying you’re not much of a touchy-feely type, the easiest way to dodge contact is to use props whenever possible, says Marblehead, Massachusetts–based etiquette expert Jodi R. R. Smith. “Try to sit down at a table opposite her, or hold something—a plate of food, even a child—to create a barrier between you and the other person.”

Debbie Downer
Saturday Night Live based an ongoing sketch on this familiar character, who possesses an uncanny knack for putting a negative spin on just about anything. To avoid letting her glass-half-empty outlook deflate your mood, pose questions in a strategic manner. “Instead of ‘How was your vacation?’ ask, ‘What was the best part of your vacation?’” Smith suggests. “And when the person is telling a tale of woe, listen, then ask, ‘So what did you learn from that?’” Whatever you do, resist the temptation to join her for an occasional group therapy session about office politics. “Complaining often begets complaining, so be sure not to chime in—not even a little!” Gottsman adds. Instead, she suggests saying that for 2010 you’ve decided to start looking on the bright side of things and that it feels great, so maybe she should join you.

Ms. Me, Me, Me
This personality type quickly steers any conversation back to her own ongoing personal dramas. Not only is this habit annoying, it breaks a basic rule of etiquette. “Being a good conversationalist really is all about asking the other person things about him or herself,” Whitmore notes. However, in this case, you should probably suspend that rule of thumb and cease asking questions about the other person once the conversation starts to feel boringly one-sided. “If you’re really good friends, you can steal a line from Bette Midler and jokingly say, ‘Enough about you. Let’s talk about me!’” Gottsman says. With others, you might try, “Nice chatting with you—next time remind me to fill you in on some of the things I’ve been up to!”

The Oversharer
This is the person in whose honor the popular term “T.M.I.” (too much information) was coined, so feel free to use it when the oversharer begins to reveal the gory details of her sex life, health issues and/or most recent dramatic bathroom episodes. Smith’s other suggestion: “Shh! Someone might overhear you!” Gottsman likes, “Sorry, this is a topic I wouldn’t even discuss with my own mother!”

The Constant Competitor
Making one-upmanship into an art form, this type reflexively negates even your most innocuous social updates with braggy accounts of her own (apparently much more impressive) accomplishments, purchases, travels and children. “This person probably acts this way because she is seeking attention and wants to feel important and included,” Whitmore says. Of course, that doesn’t make the behavior any less of a turnoff. Rather than feed into back-and-forth competition, let her next one-up put an end to your conversation. If, as you mention your trip to Napa Valley, she cuts in with a tale of Sicilian vineyards, say, “Oh, that’s nice,” and let the conversation awkwardly end. Maybe she’ll take a hint.

The Small-Talker
With this type, it’s exceedingly difficult to progress the conversation much past “How are you today?” She may make only generic comments about the weather or the nice house where the party is being held. A chronic small-talker remains firmly in that mode, even when you’ve known her for quite a while. “You can get real with this person if you know the right questions to ask,” Whitmore says. “Rather than simply ask what profession she is in, ask what the biggest challenge she’s having at work these days is.” Or, ask how she got into the profession in the first place and whether it’s what she always wanted to do. Or bring up a hobby of your own and ask what her recreational interests are.

The Smack Talker
There’s harmless gossip and then there’s the relentless, mean-spirited stream of misinformation that comes from this acquaintance’s lips. It’s better to avoid this person or risk being associated with her—especially in work situations. “You could say, ‘I don’t think it’s fair to talk about Missy without her here to give us her side of the story. Shall we call her?’” Gottsman says. “Most people don’t gossip to be mean but to make conversation,” Whitmore notes. “Why not politely help that person understand that her words could be hurtful or destructive in the current setting? You could always turn the tables and ask how she’d feel if someone was saying that about her.”

Mind Your Email Manners

Get expert etiquette tips on using BCC, mass messages, forwards and more

By Beth Levine Posted July 27, 2010 from Woman's Day September 2010

You already know that if you type in all capitals in an email, it looks like YOU ARE SHOUTING. (If you didn’t, see what I mean?) And do I even have to discuss those sickly sweet chain letters to be instantly forwarded to 25 friends or else you’ll have bad luck? (Note to self: Always delete!) But even though we know some of these things, email still feels a little like the Wild West when it comes to manners. It’s time to zoom in on some fine points of how to communicate electronically with grace and style.

The Well-Crafted Email
Email isn’t the place for a 2,000-word opus. If you’re writing to a close friend you haven’t seen in a while, it’s one thing (but really, if you have that much to say, why not pick up the phone?). For most emails, keep the message as brief as possible, with the most important part at the top, says Judith Kallos, founder of NetManners.com, a website dedicated to helping people write courteous emails. Large blocks of type are difficult to read onscreen—especially if the recipient is trying to read your message on her BlackBerry or iPhone. And though you may not be likely to use bullets in personal emails, bullet points can be your friends if you’ve got a lot to write for a work email. “Visually they don’t look like too much to tackle, and subconsciously the recipient thinks she can acquire your points in little tidbits, making her more likely to read your whole email,” says Kallos.

Another thought: Leave the IMHO (“In my honest opinion”), RUUP4IT (“Are you up for it?”) and other acronyms to the teens. “Type like a grade-schooler with poor grammar, typos, juvenile jargon and incomplete sentences, and chances are your point will be lost,” says Kallos. Remember, in an email, text is all the recipient has to go by to decipher your intentions and meaning.

Once you’ve written your email, give it the TMI (Too Much Information) test. Ask yourself: What would happen if my boss saw this? My husband? My children? “Oversharing can come back to haunt you in the most embarrassing ways,” says Sue Fox, author of Business Etiquette for Dummies.

And while you’re at it, think twice before pressing Send on anything written in anger. Then sleep on it. It often comes off much harsher than intended, and once it’s out there, there’s no taking it back. Ask yourself if you would ever say this to the person’s face or on the phone. No? Then don’t send it.

The Well-Crafted Response
Respond within 48 hours. If you can’t get to it within a day or two, email back promptly and tell the sender when he can expect your reply. If you are the sender, wait the same amount of time before following up. “We’re all doing a million things, so let’s give each other a break,” says Chris Brogan, president of Human Business Works and coauthor of Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation and Earn Trust. “Yes, the Web moves at warp speed, but not every email can be answered immediately, especially if you want to give or receive a well-thought-out answer.” (If your message is urgent, use the phone or mark the email as priority.)
Some other things to keep in mind: Go easy on the Reply All. When you receive a group email, respond to the sender only, unless it affects everyone involved. Most people don’t like their mailboxes to get jammed up with multiple responses. Once you respond, no need to respond again…and again. “Thanks for lunch.” “Enjoyed it, let’s do it again.” “Yes, let’s. I appreciated it.” “I’m so glad.” If you’ve said thank you or you’re welcome, it’s enough. Chitchat gets annoying fast.

The 411 On…

Emailing thank-you notes. If you’re just thanking someone for picking up your kids, email is fine—although a phone call would be better, says Kallos. (It shows you made an effort and aren’t just taking her for granted.) Other times, only a handwritten card will do. Thank-yous for gifts or for extraordinary acts of kindness need to be handwritten. “Would an email reflect my sincere gratitude as much as taking the time to purchase the card, write my note and address the envelope, pay the postage and send it off? No, it wouldn’t,” she says.

Sending personal email (or surfing the Web) at work. Don’t expect privacy. A 2006 study by the American Management Association and The ePolicy Institute found that 76 percent of American businesses monitor workers’ online activities. Therefore, ixnay on bidding on eBay or sending personal email via the company’s server. (Plus, there’s always the chance an email can go astray.) As for sending email from your personal account while at work, you know your company’s vibe best, but “in general, the equipment and Internet time belong to your company, so using them for personal purposes probably violates company policy,” says Fox. While most companies cannot read your personal account (such as Gmail or Hotmail), some companies have invested in technology that records every keystroke that leaves the building, says Brogan. It’s best to check the company’s employee handbook to see how your company handles personal use of its computers.

Forwarding chain letters and jokes. We’re all overwhelmed by the amount of email we have to wade through. Don’t add to the misery unless you are really, really sure the recipient would get a kick out of it. And if someone asks you to cease and desist, please comply. (Note to my old high school buddy with the trigger finger on all things adorable: I am on my knees begging you to stop.)

Using the BCC. If you’re sending out a mass email to people who don’t know each other, respect their privacy by hiding their email addresses. Put your name in the “To” box and everyone else’s in the quaintly named “blind carbon copy” (BCC) slot. Visibly listing their email address in with a group of strangers will make the recipients wonder what other privacy issues you may not respect or understand. This is the only time you should use the BCC. Any other time, it’s a blatant betrayal of confidences. It’s not OK to secretly include someone on an email that is clearly none of her business, especially if it contains private information.

Sticky Situations—Solved

“A friend of mine emails every day. It’s too much. How can I make her stop?”
“Take your time responding. Make your comments brief and polite, but don’t encourage her by asking questions that she could answer. If she still doesn’t get the message, say, ‘Thank you for your note. Glad all is well, but I’m overwhelmed right now with work and family so I don’t get much time to chat. I appreciate your thinking of me!’” says Fox.

“When I get a phone message, I answer with an email. Is that OK?”
You’re being lazy. If you can take the time to email, you can take the time to pick up the phone. Email is not an excuse to avoid human interaction—that is, if you are serious about forming solid relationships. When you simply can’t talk, it is acceptable to email back to tell the caller you got her message, and specify a time when you will phone her back.

“Friends forward me ‘must read’ messages. How do I know if they’re true?”
Whether it’s that chopsticks contain carcinogens or opening an online greeting card will then send one to everyone in your address book, alarming messages abound. Look them up on Snopes.com, a site devoted to proving and disproving urban legends. (For the record, the government is not going to start charging for every email sent, nor is Bill Gates going to give us $250 if we forward the message.)

Five Non-negotiables: Never…

1. Check email when you’re with other people. Or text, IM or check your PDA . Unless it’s your kid letting you know something is wrong, when you choose technology over your companions, you’re telling them they aren’t important to you. And that’s just plain rude.

2. Email a condolence note or a group thank-you note. Some things will always call for individual, heartfelt attention that shows some effort.

3. Forward political or religious rants. Unless it’s the focus of the conversation at hand or you are sure the recipient is interested, don’t send it. No one was ever converted by forwarded proselytizing. In fact, it’s a great way to lose friends and not influence them.

4. Snoop through your loved one’s email. “Reading your husband’s or kids’ emails without their permission is a major breach of trust,” says Chris Brogan. “If you have trust issues, sit down and talk with them— don’t sneak around behind their backs.” The only time you can check out your kid’s correspondence is if you believe she’s in imminent danger of some sort, such as communicating with someone she doesn’t know.

5. Send anything racy on your business account. Off-color messages can be construed as creating a hostile work environment, and open you to dismissal. (You may want to think twice about sending “adult content” through your personal account, too. You just never know.)

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10 Office Etiquette Rules

Learn the dos and don'ts of professionally navigating the workplace

By Kimberly Fusaro Posted November 17, 2010 from WomansDay.com

Even if you think you have office politics down pat, it can never hurt to brush up on your workplace etiquette—especially now, when jobs are still scarce. Below are our top 10 rules for professionals, accompanied by real-life examples of coworkers behaving badly. Learn from their mistakes before your own missteps damage your professional reputation, or worse, cost you your job.

Rule #1: Think before you speak.
Sure, your close friends “get” your dry sense of humor and blasé attitude, but you should keep personality quirks in check when dealing with coworkers. Tina, an office worker from Pennsylvania, tells the story of a boss who could never quite phrase a compliment nicely. "A woman on her team who was getting married came to work the day after her wedding hair trial with her hair still blown out instead of its usual all-business bun,” says Tina. “The boss said, ‘Wow! I’ve never seen your hair look nice! What did you do?’ She didn’t come out and say, ‘Your hair usually looks totally boring,’ but it’s what we all heard.”

Rule #2: Be a team player.
Lots of companies are short-staffed, which means many employees are shouldering a bigger workload. Make a point not to overburden your coworkers by shirking your responsibilities. Jeanine from Vermont worked with a woman who clocked out at 4:30 every day while everyone else stayed until 7. “She’d make a big show of hauling a massive pile of work with her,” says Jeanine, “only to haul it back untouched the next day. Her inability to do a full day’s work slowed down our entire department.”

Rule #3: Respect a closed door.
If a coworker has shut her office door, stay out––even if she doesn’t look busy. Says Renee from New Orleans: “I kept a big bowl of candy on my office desk. Most of the day, my office door was closed, but I always opened it around 4 and people would stop by for candy and a chat. Except for one coworker, who would knock on my door all day long. ‘Excuse me,’ she’d say. ‘Chocolate craving! Sorry to interrupt!’” When you really need a sugar fix and the candy dish is with a colleague who’s holed up in her office, head to the vending machine instead.

Rule #4: Skip the childish pranks.
Any joke made at your coworker’s expense—or worse, a customer’s—probably isn’t all that funny. Flight attendant Betty from California, author of Betty in the Sky with a Suitcase, spent a plane ride with two coworkers who went way too far. “It’s common for flight attendants to take empty passenger seats, but obviously customers get first dibs,” says Betty. “Well, two fellow flight attendants were unhappy when a couple took over a row of seats they had their eye on, so they stole the couple’s shoes and left them in a trash bag in the galley.” Sure, there might be someone out there who will laugh at your antics, but they’re best saved for your time off.

Rule #5: Take a breath before you hit "Send."
The easiest way to confront a coworker is often via email—you get to have your say without any ugly face-to-face drama. But remember that once you hit "Send" from an office computer (or to or from a work email account), your words are now company property. Sarah from New York tells the story of Ralph, a mailroom worker who fired off an angry missive when someone swiped his lunch from the office refrigerator. “The email was long, angry and childish,” she says. “And he sent it to the entire company.” Ralph didn’t lose his job, but his account was modified so that he could no longer send company-wide emails.

Rule #6: Keep your personal matters and opinions at home.
It’s OK to have strong views, but it’s not OK to push those views on your coworkers or pick fights with them when they do something you don’t approve of. Mark from Iowa works in an advertising office by day and writes horror stories by night. When a coworker found out about his nighttime gig, which earned him a nomination for a national book award, she chastised him for “glamorizing Satan,” he says. “The funny thing is, it was clear from her rant that she hadn’t even read the book, in which the forces of good win in the end.”

Rule #7: Consider your coworkers when you pack your lunch.
Sure, last night’s delicious cod dish would make a delightful lunch—but it’s not nice to make coworkers suffer through your smelly meal. Cindy from Indiana worked with “a woman who claimed that, because of her diabetes, she needed to heat up a pungent meat or fish dish every single day.” If your meal will stink when it’s reheated, save it for home. Also skip smelly foods when you’re ordering takeout.

Rule #8: Watch your language, even when you're away from your desk.
Anything you do during the day—even while you’re on break—is a reflection of your professional self. Especially when a client might witness or hear your bad behavior. Blythe from North Carolina worked in a call center, which meant most people in the office were on the phone for most of the day. One coworker was 100 percent polite while dealing with customers one-on-one, but after he hung up the phone, “he’d stand by the water cooler and curse—loudly!—like it was going out of style,” she says. “Anyone who was still on the phone with a client would have to raise his or her voice to keep the caller from hearing Mr. Pottymouth’s tirades.”

Rule #9: If problems arise, handle them privately.
If clients see you clash with a coworker, you’ll both come off as unprofessional. Treat your colleagues with respect and hopefully they’ll follow your lead. Caitlyn in New York worked in clothing retail for two years and often butted heads with a particularly snippy coworker. “Any time I asked for help, like during a holiday rush, she’d say over her shoulder—and in front of a line of customers—‘Not my problem.’” Whether a colleague seems to be extra-needy or entirely incompetent, wait to deal with the situation (probably by having a private conversation with your boss) once you’re out of customers’ earshot.

Rule #10: Respect company property.
That means no lifting sticky notes from the supply closet or taking a company car to run personal errands—illegal or otherwise. Carl from Colorado, who works in construction, knows of two coworkers who lost their jobs after misusing company vehicles. One repairman drove the company van to a well-known drug house in the middle of the day; he was busted when the boss drove by on his way home for lunch. A second coworker was fired after getting a DUI while driving a company car. Even if your misdeeds are seemingly more innocent—say, mailing your grandma a care package from the office mailroom using the company's account number—remember that anything that might be considered stealing is grounds for dismissal.

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How to Say “No” Gracefully

Learn how to politely decline time commitments without the guilt
By Beth Levine Posted December 15, 2010 from Woman's Day; January 1, 2011
No. It’s one of the shortest words in the English vocabulary, but it’s also one of the most difficult for many of us to say.
We all know that setting limits will lower our stress level and save our sanity, but sometimes we are caught off guard by people who simply won’t take no for an answer. Read on to learn how to put your foot down with these master manipulators.

The Flatterer
Whether it’s the friend who tells you how smart you are and how much she’d appreciate your help on a volunteer project she’s working on, or the school mom who insists that the students will be so disappointed if you don’t make your special cupcakes for the class holiday party, the flatterer plays to your vanity by making you feel indispensable.

Reality check: If you want to help out because it gives you pleasure, fine, but no one is irreplaceable. “If it’s not brain surgery, others can do it—maybe not with your pizzazz, but it will get done and the cosmos will not explode in the process,” says Susan Newman, PhD, author of The Book of No: 250 Ways to Say It—and Mean It and Stop People- Pleasing Forever.

Your response: Turn the tables—flattery goes both ways. Instead of giving in, put the ball in the flatterer’s court. Say something like, “You’re such a fabulous baker—I could give you the recipe! Why don’t you try your hand at it; I’m sure the kids would love it.”

The Guiltmeister
Your mother insists that you never call—never meaning your three calls a week aren’t enough. Or your friend sighs that you seem to have time for everyone but her—and does it while the two of you are together having lunch.

Reality check: Step back and get perspective. If it were a perfect stranger in your position, what would you think? If your grown kids behaved this way toward you, how would you feel? Ask a friend for some insight. If it seems like a bigger minefield than you know how to handle, consider talking to a psychotherapist to help you sort it out. (Find one at locator.apa.org.)

Your response: “You can’t do enough for some people, so don’t try,” says Dr. Newman. Arguing is futile—you’ll never win—so just calmly tell the other person how it’s going to be. “Mom, I’d rather we didn’t have this same argument over and over. If we can’t talk about something else, let’s hang up and call back when we can.” Or tell your “neglected” friend, “I’m sorry you feel this way, but I try to see you as much as I can.”

The Saboteur
You’re committed to losing those excess pounds, but every time you go out with a certain friend, she tries to get you to order dessert. “Just this one time can’t hurt!” she says. “But you can’t come and not have the chocolate cake !” The saboteur tries to validate her choices by making you behave as she does.

Reality check: Be a leader, not a follower, and think about how angry you’ll be when the number on the scale climbs after all that hard work. “Saying no is not about selfishness but about self-respect. You’re standing up for what is right for you,” says William Ury, PhD, cofounder of Harvard University’s Program on Negotiation and author of The Power of a Positive No: How to Say No & Still Get to Yes.

Your response: Stand firm, and then redirect the conversation. You don’t need a lot of excuses or explanations. “No, thank you. Tea is just fine for me. Are you going to watch American Idol this season? I wonder how the new hosts will be.” the whiner Every time your coworker receives a difficult assignment, she starts in on how unfair it all is, that she’s the one who always gets the hard stuff. She keeps going until you finally offer to help just to make her stop complaining.

The Whiner
Every time your coworker receives a difficult assignment, she starts in on how unfair it all is, that she’s the one who always gets the hard stuff. She keeps going until you finally offer to help just to make her stop complaining.

Reality check: Even if she has a point—your boss does give her more difficult work—this has nothing to do with you. It’s between her and the boss, and it’s up to her to deal with it.

Your response: Cut her off at the pass before she really gets rolling. “You know, you may have a point. This does seem to be a pattern. Why don’t you set up a meeting with the department head to see if you can sort this out?”

The Bully
Bullying among grownups is more common than you may think. A 2007 study of nearly 8,000 working adults conducted by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 37 percent of workers had been bullied. Adult bullying can take many forms, but the bully always uses his anger and intimidating demeanor to get you to do more than you want.

Reality check: No matter what you have done or not done, no one deserves to be treated disrespectfully or in a threatening manner.

Your response: A bully wants to get under your skin , so don’t let him see you sweat. Don’t respond in anger (he feeds on negative emotions) and don’t allow yourself to be browbeaten into doing something you don’t want to do. “A calm, quiet, firm, neutral voice is more powerful than a loud no. It conveys more self-control and strength,” says Dr. Ury. “Speak assertively and be very clear about what you want to happen. Say, ‘I don’t appreciate being treated this way. Come back when you calm down,’ or ‘I think I’ve made myself clear—I won’t discuss it anymore.’”