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10 Ways You Can Save Money While Still Having A Social Life

But the good news is you can still have a social life and save money at the same time… if you really try. Sure, you might not be able to attend the swankiest clubs and order tequila shots and double vodka cokes, but you can still enjoy a boogie and the odd drink or two if you incorporate some of these saving tips into your life.

Here are 10 ways you can do this.

1. Drink before you go out

Remember those legendary college dorm parties? The parties that cost you $7 because you’d buy a six pack of Bud and spend the rest of the night off your face, giddy in the knowledge that you were having a good time despite being broke.

Of course, being broke as a young graduate doesn’t have the same gloss, but the world isn’t doing young people any favors at this moment in time, so don’t let expensive drinks in bars and clubs wipe away your bank balance. Drink before you go out, and you’ll remain a social butterfly without succumbing to $12 tequila shots.

2. Avoid places with entry frees

It’s easy to start out the night with the intention of only drinking in places that don’t require an entry fee, but once midnight comes along, you’ll always have a friend who wants to pay a $20 entry fee for a nearby club.

But don’t be swayed! While you may have to end your night at 12 instead of 4, you’ll soon realize that completing a night at 12 as opposed to 4 isn’t the worst thing in the world because by going to a club and paying an entry fee, you’re more likely to want to get your money’s worth and drink more, which will lead to a crippling bank balance the following morning.

3. Walk more

Unless you happen to have the good fortune of living in proximity to your workplace, you probably have to pay a lot of money just to travel to work each month, so with that in mind, why would you want to continue paying loads of money for transport on the weekends?

Unless it’s rainy and cold, you should get in the habit of walking more, and if you’re going out, make sure the venues are local so you don’t have to fork out loads on transport.

4. Make sure you’re in charge of reservations

It may be a bit sneaky and selfish, but by being the one in charge of dinner dates with friends and family, you can choose the cheapest places that you know are affordable and don’t require hefty service fees.

Or, if you have a friend who really wants to go to an expensive restaurant try and steer them to a cheaper place that you know won’t cost you a week’s wages for a bowl of spaghetti.

5. Avoid festivals

We know, we know. We’re massive killjoys and may as well call ourselves Buzz Killington, but if you want to be serious about saving money, you won’t be doing yourself any favors by attending Glasto for the 10th consecutive year. Not only do tickets for major festivals cost upwards of $150, but you also have to factor in the over-inflated price of food and drink.

However, if you really want to attend at least one, then it’s best to be frugal, and limit yourself to home snacks and drinks.

6. Don’t be afraid to become a bargain hunter

We all like a good deal now and then, but if you want to save and still enjoy some remnants of a social life, then you need to be on the lookout for good deals continually.

In fact, there are many websites, such as bargaincrazy.com and makeuseof.com that have countless deals and discount codes that you can apply online as well as leading coupon websites like groupon.com, so make the most of them.

7. Stop buying overpriced coffee

Millenials are obsessed with coffee. They won’t pay $2 for a newspaper, or even $5 for a book, but they’ll happily spend the same or even more on a large-sized latte from Starbucks. And yes, you’re probably guilty of this too.

But don’t let your caffeine habit waste away your wages. If you really can’t live without it, brew it at home instead, and bring it into work in a flask. You’ll save around $20 a week if you do this, money which could go towards your next night out.

8. Scout the web and local community boards for free events

If you live in a big city, there’s always going to be something to do, and that includes free events and openings. There could be a free music event taking place in a nearby park, or an underground art gallery hosting a free exhibition.

Community boards in your local area are also likely to advertise these kinds of events, so why not make one of them your next social outing?

9. Throw house /dinner parties instead of going out

While you can save money by drinking at your house and then going out after, it can sometimes be more comfortable to stay in and throw a house party instead!

Yes, it means you have to undertake a massive cleanup the following morning, but if you have a trusted group of friends, then it can make for a nicer evening. You can drink in the comfort and safety or your own home, have more meaningful conversations as opposed to shouting in someone’s ear in a loud club and also invest in some nibbles and snacks rather than queuing at 4 am for an overpriced kebab.

You could even keep it classy and host a dinner party.

10. Become a freegan

A  portmanteau of the word “free” and “vegan”, freegans have built up a reputation over the years for eating the food big multi-national companies throw away after the sell-by date has expired.

It’s important to note that a sell-by date and an expiry date are different. An expiry date warns us when we can and can’t eat the food, while a sell-by date is intended for vendors and shop owners, namely multinationals, who can afford to throw away perfectly edible food to abide by food trading standards.

But instead of denoting it to the homeless, most dispose of it, so if you want to go to the extremes of a freegan, then you might find yourself with an entirely edible, free meal most nights, which in the grander scheme of things, will mean more money for that boozy night out. But yeah, you’ve got to really like your drink to go to these lengths.

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5 Tools To Help You Learn A Language Quicker!

1. Podcasts

Understanding the sounds of letters and words in any given language is vital to imprinting it on your own memory and getting to grips with the pronunciation. Often there are tapes and recordings that can sound overtly formal and strained in regular conversation or lack any sort of entertainment value that would help you remember what was being said.

Podcasts are a fun way of supplementing these tapes as they often offer up more informal conversation in a fun and easy to listen to manner. It is even better if you listen to podcasts specifically aimed at language learners and there are plenty of them out there.

 

2. Text To Speech Software

Another great tool for helping to be able to nail pronunciation is text to speech software. This allows you to write your own words, phrases, and conversations down and hear them pronounced properly.

There are a few of this software out there so make sure to make an informed decision before purchasing but they can be absolutely vital in learning to write and speak a language.

 

3. Music

We all know an irritatingly catchy tune that gets stuck in our head or a classic song that we love and know every word to and this is because the rhythm and beat of the music can hammer home what is being sung. Apply this to learning a language and it can help words and phrases stick in the memory. Find yourself a type of music you enjoy and start listening to artists who record in that language.

You can often find music videos with the lyrics online making reading along whilst you listen a great thing to do as well. You may even discover your new favorite band.

 

4. Learner Community Websites

Websites that gather people learning the same thing together can be vital because it offers the extra support of knowing you’re not the only person struggling with a certain thing. It also means that you can turn to others to find out their methods and ways of learning.

These sites often have their own tools and resources which you can use to further your knowledge and you can interact with real people through natural conversation.

 

5. Online Newspapers

The web is a great source for news in any language and almost every paper in the world has its own website or online presence so you shouldn’t have too much trouble trying to find one that’s right for you. By reading the paper and news in any given language you learn what words and phrases are being used at present.

It will improve your reading skills in that language and you can start out with photo captions and ads and then work your way up to short and then longer articles.

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10 Ways You Can Overcome Unrequited Love

Well, more often than not, it’s because, love, amidst all the horrors and injustices in the world, is something that stays constant. It has allowed humans to navigate their way through life knowing they have someone there for them but when the love isn’t mutual it can feel like your world has fallen in on you.

But don’t let your dejection drown you in your own tears. Instead, let us take you through 10 ways you can overcome that dreaded feeling of unrequited love.

1. Unattainable Dreams Never Come True

Unrequited love is often discovered pretty early on in the initial do they, don’t they phase? In these cases, the game is almost alway up yet we like to believe what we want which gives us a lifeline of optimism that can keep us up all night and throw our concentration out of the window.

So what can be done? Well, it’s simple. If the person you like exhibits no signs of wanting to be involved in anything romantic, then it’s likely that they are being nice and not wanting to hurt your feelings.

But if you need the answer set out in stone, then be honest and ask them if they feel the same way. In most cases, you’ll find they won’t.

2. How Well Do You know Them?

More often than not, we’re in love with the idea of being in love, and as a consequence paint a perfect picture of that person that probably isn’t doing the real them justice, so you need to ask yourself what is it you like about them.

Is it their looks? Their comforting nature? Their career? It may even be their laugh. Whatever it is, you need to be sure. In most cases, you’ll be too busy painting a perfect picture of them that you’ll overlook bad habits and differences that further down the line could ruin the relationship.

3. Keep Yourself Busy

We know, we know. Easier said than done, right? Yes, when we like or love someone and realize the feeling isn’t mutual we have a tendency to feel sorry for ourselves and put everything to one side.

In fact, we usually wonder what it would be like to have the privilege of calling them our partner, and envy those who are fortunate enough to have found romantic love. Blissful imaginations, however, serve only one purpose: heartache. So don’t let one person dictate and control your life.

Instead, fill the void with hobbies and interests. Better yet, if you’re a fan of fitness get yourself in the gym. Not only will you be receiving your fair share of endorphins but you’ll also be keeping yourself in tip-top shape and reminding yourself that you’re a catch and that some day you’re going to make another person incredibly lucky.

4. Date and Enjoy Being Single

The joys of dating are endless, and if you live in a big city, it’s even better. Of course, you can be spoiled for choice considering the recent proliferation of dating apps, and it can sometimes promote a culture where the grass will always be greener.

What it does do better than anything else, however, is add authenticity to the truism that there is someone out there for everybody. You may not find that perfect match straight away, but if you have fun and meet an array of interesting people you’ll quickly relish your independence.

5. Focus on Yourself

Our goals can often be our driving force in life. Without them, we have little fuel to move forward. Said fuel can also be used up in a relationship. Why? Because we can get content, and that’s not always good. So if you are still feeling the burn of not being loved back then see it as a blessing in disguise and one where you can focus on being anything you want to be without having to be dependent on another person’s love.

Admittedly, you can still focus on yourself and be in a relationship, but it’s much harder. So don’t be too down in the dumps if they didn’t want the same thing. Be happy that you can get back to the drawing board and continue on an upward trajectory where all your dreams have the potential of coming true.

6. Learn to Love Unconditionally

In extreme cases, the love people have for another is so strong that it goes beyond a mere fondness or infatuation and if you feel compelled to love this person regardless of his/her wants, then you may want to love them unconditionally.

It may sound sad, but more often than not we discount our love for someone the moment it isn’t mutual and try our best to shake it, and if you know you will never stop loving them then you should learn to feel happy for them no matter who they are or aren’t with.

That way, there’s no sense of loss as you can move on knowing that they are happy with their decision and that one day they’ll make someone else the luckiest person in the world.

7. Respect The Reasons Behind The Person’s Decision 

Everyone has a life they must lead, and to accommodate someone else isn’t easy. Think about it. How big a commitment would it be to allow anyone into your life when you haven’t time? Or if you’ve only just broken up with someone else? Or, if you simply don’t feel strongly enough to have romantic feelings towards them?

In short, what goes around comes around, and there have probably been times when you’ve had to brush aside someone else’s attraction as you didn’t feel the same. You can’t always have it your way, so take account of their feelings and respect their decision.

8. Your Happiness Shouldn’t Be Dependent On Someone Else 

No matter how many times people tell you this, there’s a reason: it’s true. How many times have we fallen in love only to realize that the time invested in the relationship ended in nothing but sorrow and heartbreak?

We know the feeling of love is arguably the greatest feeling of all, but like with anything in life, the euphoria will eventually fade and get replaced with contentment, and if you weren’t already confident in your skin, you certainly wouldn’t be further down the relationship.

Not even a dream guy/girl can make you love yourself; it has to come from within. So get acquainted with the things that make you wonderful. Celebrate yourself and learn to be in a relationship with all things good about you and only you. You don’t need to turn into a narcissist, but a little bit of self-confidence never hurt anyone.

9. Allow Yourself To Grieve 

Grieve all you want. In fact, grieve until your tears become nothing but dry smudges on your skin. Just don’t force yourself to continue being depressed and aimless. It’s hard, we know.  You finally found someone who makes even the most prepossessing of supermodels appear average and you’re now contemplating having to feel depressed for the next few months.

What’s more, every potential dating prospect will probably fall short. And you’ll likely keep imaging a life with them instead of the person across the table from you- no matter how well-suited you are to them. So give it time. In many ways, the only thing to fill the void left from such a situation is time itself. Just don’t let your grief swallow you up before it’s too late.

10. Romantic Media Never Fills The Void

Even if you’re a guy, it’s tempting to aid your self-loathing by listening to sad songs or watching a romantic movie due to 21-st century media’s fascination with romantic love. Yet many things in life are equally as important. Like friendship, careers, passions, kindness, laughter and still, we forget about this stuff because we think that having a partner is the best thing in the world.

So avoid the next rom-com at all costs. Watch something uplifting instead. You may even find yourself smiling; even if it is an Adam Sandler movie you’re watching.

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What Women Want: 10 Things Every Man Should Know But Doesn’t

What you need to do is be more in-tune with their wants and requirements. It sounds relatively simple and highly cliched, but as a recent Gallup poll showed, 68% of American men are still single. And even in an age of Tinder and online dating, those are the kind of statistics that would leave even the most ardent of Leonardo DiCaprio-wannabe womanizers worried.

So without further ado, and to hopefully put an end to such miserable statistics, we at Lifehack Lane thought we’d scour the minds of millions of women across the web and offer 10 simple tips that could help you in your quest for love.

1. Chivalry isn’t dead

Whatever you think about feminism and its role in modern-day society, opening the door for your lady friend doesn’t mean you’re going against the notion of female empowerment- far from it. In fact, chivalrous gestures will make you appear respectful, even if you do feel like you’re re-enacting scenes from a Jane Austin novel.

2. Taking care of your appearance isn’t a bad thing

While many guys live their lives in the gym and go home to protein shakes besides their beds telling them how beautiful they are, many men are put off by that image and refuse to be anything but clean-cut. And that’s a great shame as most women will tell you that you don’t need to be a chiselled beefcake to win their hearts. All you need to do is to put in a little bit of effort- and that includes dressing up.

3. Compassion goes a long way

Nobody likes someone who has a heart of stone. Sure, they may at first come across as mysterious and even slightly cool, but if you aren’t willing to sympathise with others you’ll come across as nasty and perhaps even a tad evil.

4. Confidence can be a deal-breaker

Confidence is everything. And if a guy has it in abundance, he’s likely to get a whole lot more attention- regardless of how he looks. And just knowing a woman has someone masculine and confident by her side can make her feel significantly safer.

Still, confidence can quickly turn into arrogance, and that’s what men need to realise. Be proud of your achievements and unwavering ability to converse with all kinds of woman; just don’t start showboating about how great you are in bed.

5. Listen

Admittedly, everyone has heard this before. Listening is everything and blah blah blah. But you’d be lying if you said you’ve listened to every word your ex-partners or one-night stands have said. It can be so easy to be caught up in our minds that we so often pretend to listen when in reality the woman will know right away if you’re taking everything in..

6. Romance is never outdated

Like with chivalry, writing a love letter or doing something sweet and heartfelt will never hurt. Sure, your friends might make fun of you while others may even call you a sentimental human stack of cheese that even Nicholas Sparks wouldn’t touch. But hey, when you really like someone guys, woman want to know that.

7. The little things count

Forgetting birthdays, anniversaries and even their cat’s name can spell trouble. It may sound over-the-top, but these things matter A LOT.

8. Always offer to pay on a first date

If you’ve only just met her, and you decide to go for a meal, then it might be a good idea if you offer to pay. Notice the word ‘offer’. By offering, you’re also giving the woman an opportunity to pay, which is just as important in the long run. If they offer to pay great, then you know they’re a keeper, but still, collect the bill. No matter what modern-day values dictate, it’s been ingrained into our consciences that man must pay, and there’s no point dispelling that myth.

9. Prioritise

All great love requires great sacrifice, and prioritising certain events for your love interest/ admirer is one of the best ways to show you’re serious about them. You might feel guilty for telling the guys you can’t catch the game, but remember the reason for saying no. You have a lovely person in your life, and if they were in your position they would probably do the same. Woman prioritise just as much, and if you aren’t prepared to follow suit, they’ll probably lose interest.

10. Keep it real

If you think you’re into someone, how do you know if it’s love or merely infatuation? Do you want to be in bed with them when you could be out with your friends talking to every Christina and Mary in the state? If you know, then the woman will notice, just like if you’re unsure. So ask yourself this: If I see this woman more than once, will I still want to see other people? If the answer is yes, then there’s no point wasting your time, let alone theirs.

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10 Things You Should Never do After Turning 25

Well, while there are no rules for adulthood, most twenty-somethings have found the transition harder in recent years, but by making a few changes to your life, it needn’t be so bad. So stick around and let Lifehack Lane take you through ten things every quarter centurion should stop doing.

1. Not caring about your appearance

When you’re in High School and College, you practically have free reign to wear whatever feels most comfortable. If you want to wear a bright red shirt with various curse words printed on the front, then you’ll probably get away with it and be deemed, “cool” and “out there”.

But if you’re still going weeks without shaving, and haven’t bothered to shower in the last week, then you’ll find it harder than others to get employed. You don’t have to become a vain and ardent gym goer, but knowing when to look clean and presentable every once in a while is a skill many young people struggle with.

2. Blaming your parents for everything 

Increasing numbers of young people are now moving in with their parents after college. Or in Lena Dunham’s case in the much-loved HBO series, ‘Girls’, living off the bank of mum and dad. So you might be forgiven for blaming your plight on your parent/s. It could be resentment at the fact that your generation has it much harder than there’s, or that your life could have been so much better if they invested more money in your private tennis lessons.

However, look at yourself, and question what it is that you could do to move your life forward.

3. Waking up late

We all love a good lie in and having to wake up a 7 AM every morning can feel akin to being doused in buckets of cold water. But what can you do about it? Well, it’s simple… Get yourself a better nighttime routine. Do you really need to watch that late night movie that goes until 2.30 AM?

Are you really going to benefit from rushing out the door each morning with unkempt hair instead of waking up an hour earlier and giving yourself a bit of time to prepare for the morning ahead? These are small but simple adjustments, and with time, you’ll get used to it.

4. Wasting time on your phone and laptop

Look up, instead of down. There’s a whole world out there! You’re allowed to have a social media presence and swipe right on Tinder once in a while, but doing it every waking second and not being able to do anything else will do your development no good.

Your attention span will reduce, and you’ll struggle to sit still. So learn to be without technology for a good few hours each day. That way, you’ll see the importance of being productive and not wasting away your hours on a plethora of pixels.

5. Being a lazy slob

This can encompass a wide variety of traits. For some, it might be applied in the literal sense. However, many forms of laziness go undetected.

For some, that might be doing everything last minute. For others, you might go to the gym or clean the house in the knowledge that you’ll have little time to pursue that dream you’ve always wanted to be realised because you’re not confident enough in your ability to make it come true. So rid putting important tasks and dreams off and instead tackle them head on and you might find yourself feeling more fulfilled.

6. Pleasing others all the time

This isn’t the worse thing in the world. If anything, people pleasing is a sign of a caring and thoughtful person. However, it can lead to feelings of insecurity over whether you said the right thing or not. The solution? Let go of others’ happiness.

You’re a nice person, and all you can do is be yourself so don’t go out of your way to show people that. They’ll see it instantly, and you’ll feel less stressed knowing that making others happy doesn’t need to come from any outlandish gesture.

7. Caring what others think

Like people pleasing, valuing your life in terms of the other peoples’ opinions is often the result of underlying insecurities and fears. Where you bullied at school because of your appearance? Are you someone who needs the vindication and attraction from others to feel pretty?

These are common reasons, and while those may not directly apply to you, they can leave us feeling pretty drained and tired from trying all the time. So learn to let go, and love yourself rather than waiting to hear it from others.

8. Dating unsuitable people

It’s no laughing matter, and while you may laugh at the crazy nights and drunken antics shared with previous girlfriends/boyfriends, you can easily forget the times they broke your heart. Or the arguments that took centre stage, because aside from the intimacy and gushing at their desirable looks, you probably had little in common.

So put your dating priorities into more important traits and you’ll find yourself ending up with someone a lot more suitable.

9. Overusing slang

Idiomatic language can be cool and endearing and is often used when in the company of close friends and family. Still, if you continue to use said language, it will creep into all situations- including professional ones.

After all, the last thing you want to say in an interview is, “This job opportunity is sick”….

10. Complaining about life

Life isn’t a montage of roses and petals. It’s hard, and whether you’re living in a beachside villa or a block of high-rise flats, the same problems will still arise.

Family bereavement. Personal and professional rejection. Self-doubt. It’s a standard life cycle, but one which can be made a whole lot worse if you take what you have for granted.

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5 Life Lessons Everyone Should Be Taught

With that in mind, here are 5 simple life lessons that can bring about a sound and healthy mind.

1. You are never too old

When we age, we tend to prioritise the needs of others, whether that be our children, parents, marriage etc.

But while these things are all crucial to living a happy life, it can often mean letting go of your hobbies and dreams. So don’t let commitments stifle your dreams.

Whether you’re an 80-year old who always dreamed of writing a novel, or a 30-year old mother wishing to go back to school, it is never too late.

2. Nothing is impossible

Your thoughts create realities. And that’s a proven fact. Why? Because at one time or other, all these multi-national companies, all-star athletes and inspiring political leaders had nothing but their imagination. And within that imagination came a dream they went out and achieved. It would be wrong, of course, to suggests that all dreams come true, but that’s not to say that your goals won’t.

You may never play alongside Kevin Durant in the NBA, but you could still achieve your dream of becoming a coder for Facebook. After all, if you don’t try, you’ll never get it. Being level-headed is essential, but having no dreams at all can be soul-destroying.

3. Help yourself by helping others

It’s easy to get wrapped up in our own problems. Few have it easy, and chances are you’ll feel that giving your time to someone else sounds overwhelming.

But even taking half an hour out of your day- or even week- to do a good deed, whether that’s volunteering at a soup kitchen or playing games with the elderly at the nearby care home can do wonders to not just them but you too. You’ll see people who are vulnerable, and your empathy will take effect, making you realise that life is short and precious.

4. Not everyone will like you

It’s a truth that even the most likeable people will encounter. People are different, and no matter how gentle and humble you are, others may look at you in a different light. And that’s okay. So long as you believe in yourself and are happy with who you are, then that should be enough.

Nobody’s perfect, but everyone can be kind, which leads nicely onto our final point.

5. Nobody is perfect, but that doesn’t mean you can’t try and be the best possible version of yourself

We focus less on ourselves and more on those who we believe are more desirable. We get intimidated and allow self-doubt to tell us that we should leave our dreams to those more likely to succeed. “Who am I kidding?” many a person has probably bellowed.

So until you realise no dream is stupid, or no part of you is ugly or inadequate, then you’ll never feel satisfied. You’ll never attain perfection, but if you learn to love yourself and go for every opportunity, you’ll feel amazing inside, and your life will open up in ways you never thought possible.

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9 Of The Best Compliments You Could Ever Give Someone

But while being on the receiving end of a compliment can make our day and make us feel beautiful and unique, complimenting others can be just as rewarding. So whether it’s that stressed waiter or a friend in need of a bit of love, here are nine simple but powerful compliments that can brighten anybody’s day.

1. You have amazing eyes

Eyes are seen as the gateway to the soul and having a pair of prepossessing eyes is quite the physical attribute.

Thus, if you see someone with eyes that set the room alight in a dazzling glow of wonder, then tell them just that! Chances are they’ll look themselves in the mirror after you’ve said that and smile.

2. You’re so talented 

If your boyfriend is a gifted writer, who has dreams of being published, tell him he writes well, and that he must never give up.

Or if your girlfriend is a dancer, make sure you tell her that her performance ‘took your breath away,’ or that she’s ‘destined for the top.’ Sometimes, with a celebratory and jovial tone, the compliment can sound more sincere and genuine. So say it like you mean it!

3. You work harder than anyone I know

This compliment should be given with enthusiasm and pure sincerity. After all, it’s a cliched praise, but when used correctly, it can be one of the most satisfying things you’ll hear all day.

For instance, if a cleaner is working overtime and mopping the floors like her life depended on it, tell her to take a quick break, place your arm on their shoulder and say, ‘Yoy work harder than anyone I know.’ It can be applied to any job or discipline, or to any friend/lover/family member working their butt off to succeed.

4. You’re the nicest person I know 

Being told you’re ‘nice’ isn’t always deemed as a compliment, but worded correctly, and it can be one of the most genuine compliments about somebody’s character.

‘You’re the nicest person I’ve ever met’ or ‘You’re full of kindness” are just some of many compliments about someone’s character that can make them feel a million bucks.

5. Where did you get those shoes?

This applies to men as well as women. Why? Because shoes are usually the first piece of clothing apparel we notice, and if we like what we see, then we should tell them that their choice to purchase x item was the right one as they look fabulous.

Or if you’re a guy, tell your friend their new sneakers are cool. It’s a simple compliment, but one which makes us feel secure in our appearance.

6. You look incredibly striking

As humans, we get judged on our appearance almost every day. So what better way to ease someone’s insecurities than by complimenting their looks? As a rule of thumb, avoid adjectives like beautiful, pretty and handsome.

They can be cliched, and their usage can be underwhelming. Instead, opt for other words that you wouldn’t say every day. Striking, modelesque and stunning are just some of the many alternatives.

7. You would make a great father/mother

Couples in a relationship often say this to one another in the faith and acknowledgement that they can see each other raising children in a safe environment. But even if you’re out with your friends, it’s worth telling them that they would make a great parent.

After all, being a father/mother is one of the best things you can be in life, so to have someone tell you’re up for the job is a positive affirmation that every kind person should be told.

8. You make me want to be a better person

Telling someone you admire that their way of doing things has made you want to better yourself will reinforce that what they’ve been doing has been worth it and hasn’t gone unnoticed.

It’s a compliment that affirms someone’s goodness, and one that can radically change someone’s opinion of themselves forever.

9 Others could learn from you

We all like being valued and respected, and if you notice that someone has raised the bar in what they do, then tell them! It shows you recognize their dedication and talent, and that you respect the work they are doing.

They’ll feel ten times better for hearing a compliment of that magnitude, and it will hopefully motivate them to spur on others.

 

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10 Habits That Can Make You Unlikable

Likeability, is, after all, an incredibly popular adjective, and a trait we all look for in human beings, so when people’s bad habits slip into their daily routine, it can get on many people’s nerves. Here are 10 habits that can make you unlikeable.

1. Talking about yourself

Self-indulgence is a trait no one wants to come across because it takes away any value you might have and is placed in the hands of someone who thinks their life is more worthy than yours.

However, that person might actually be you. And while we are by no means dismissing your right to talk, if you don’t let anyone else speak, and aren’t prepared to show much interest in the person you are projecting your feelings and problems onto, it’s unlikely they are going to appreciate what you have to say.

2. Being too serious

While people are drawn to the passionate, creative and ambitious, it can be a bit jarring if they only talk about their work and refuse to have fun and entertain doing anything non-work related.

Life is too short to simply focus on your work and nothing else. Falling in love, forging great friendships, and enjoying being alive, are, in the grander scheme of things, far more important.

3. Always being late

Being late is something we’re all guilty of at times, but those who are late on a daily basis become incredibly irritating to the people kept waiting. It is inconsiderate and rude to agree on a time and then turn up 30 minutes later.

Tardiness just isn’t attractive, least of all to employers, so unless you’re a rock star, it’s better to keep a better track of time if you want to keep friends on your side and remain in a job.

4. Bragging

When we achieve something we’re proud of, it can be natural for us to become braggadocious and air our accomplishments on social media, even if our intentions are good-willed.

Masking your attributes and talents by downplaying them and fishing for compliments is equally as nauseating and an insult to people’s intelligence. In fact, they will see right through you, and instead of letting the accomplishments speak for themselves, they will go off that person and see them as a narcissist and bragger instead of a successful person.

5. Always being on your phone 

Smartphones are a prevalent part society, so much so that you’ll see at least a dozen people looking down at their phones rather than at their natural surroundings. While this is somewhat acceptable when alone, staring at your phone with other people is incredibly rude, and can make that person feel as though they are not worthy of your attention.

It’s immature and rude, and if you still find yourself scrolling through your Instagram feed when you’re at dinner with a friend or partner, then you should really try and get out of this habit before your friends start to lose their cool with you.

6. Name-dropping

Telling people you know a famous face or two is fine, but if the name-dropping persists, it can show an evident lack of insecurity on the part of the name-dropper that they are not comfortable enough with their own life and accomplishments.

People instantly recognize those who are begging for attention, and while it may be innate in you to whittle off dozens of stories about the time you teed off with Tom Brady, it’s best not to overindulge people in stories that merely involved a famous name.

7. Gossipping 

Despite gossiping being a habit we generally consider to take place in the school playground, adults are just as guilty of it, and many aren’t afraid to bitch about their colleagues to fellow workers and friends.

While it may seem harmless, it can highlight the insincere nature of the individual doing the gossiping. Even those partaking in the gossip will realize this and be afraid to confide in that person for fear of having their confidential conversation compromised. If you’ve become a bit of a gossip yourself, learn to take the moral high ground and stop doing it altogether. You’re not 12-years-old anymore.

8. Being an oversharer

It’s good to confide in people you trust and let them know about the issues bothering you. After all, we are human beings and should learn to show compassion to those in need and who want to vent their feelings to others. However, if the person makes a habit of oversharing every detail of their life, it can become draining for those expected to listen, and in time, they may be less inclined to help that person.

It sounds harsh, but some people are often unaware that other people have problems too, and to continually air them to the world can come across as slightly self-absorbed.

9. Closing yourself off from others

Many of us do this when life gets too much. We might even suffer from anxiety or become so stressed with our work and personal life that we corner ourselves off from most people just to get through the day.

This isn’t something to be ashamed of by any means, but it does pose a problem further down the line when others become increasingly annoyed at your inability to be a team player in the office or reply to social invitations. People who stick to themselves can also tend to think only for themselves, and not entertain the opinions of others.

10. Being negative

Negativity can manifest itself into a state of perpetual misery not just for the person airing their grievances, but also those around them. We all have bad days and are allowed to feel down in the dumps, but if you are always in a constant state of doom and gloom and get off on being a bit of a masochist, then you should at least keep your negativity to yourself.

If you don’t, others around you will grow resentful, and invitations to social events and networking meetings will wane.

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13 Women’s Hairstyles That Will Knock Years Off Your Appearance

However, for those that are unsure about what works best, or for those simply wanting a change, then read on as we take you through 13 hairstyles that will leave you looking glamorous, stylish, and 10 years younger.

1. Chic Bob Cut

A timeless classic, a Bob-cut complements most facial structures. And for those wishing for a similar style but wanting to maintain a bit of length, then go with a shoulder-length/ chin-length cut.

This hairstyle is a safe bet to look good for any time of year and occasion and is style often favored by the beautiful Taylor Swift.

2. Pixie

Simple, yet highly risky, women who choose this cut often have the confidence to get away with it.

For those that do ask for a pixie cut, hairdressers will often mess it up a bit to give the style a chic and youthful image that can quite quickly knock off years on your appearance.

3. Side-Swept Bangs

An excellent side-swept bangs haircut can easily conceal unwanted crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles.

Without such a style, your appearance will often be reminiscent of your actual age. Having blunt bangs, for instance, can even make many women seem old. So play it safe and go for side-swept bangs.

4. Short, Wavy Hair

For those with natural curls, then leave them as they are because they’re now in vogue. But you don’t want to be using curling irons or professional treatments every day to maintain it.

The key is in the length. Too short and curly and your hair will pout up while long strands of hair can make it look like a birds nest so make sure the cut is a medium-length so that you have enough volume.

5. Long Layers 

For those with long layers, highlighting them every once in a while can quite easily give you a youthful radiance.

Without highlighting every root, target only the parts most likely to be exposed from the sun. Just look at 58-year-old Michelle Pfeiffer. Yes, she’s 58. Not 38. 58…..

6. Side Part

While parting hair can add slimness to a face, mature women should choose a side part which forms a flattering hairline around the face.

A perfect example to follow is Jennifer Aniston, whose signature hairstyle always appears to make her look like a woman in her early 30s when she’s actually 48!

7. Short and Textured

This is a great style for those seeking more volume.

Short and easy to manage, spruce the style up with a bit of hairspray to create a youthful look.

8. Bold Colour 

A bright colour is a perfect way to dazzle and achieve a youthful glow without doing anything to your face. A fiery red always looks good, while a velvety black can be just as prepossessing.

To be on the safe side, consult your hairdresser and ask which colour is most likely to complement your skin tone.

9. Bun

While man-buns have taken centre stage in recent years, the benefits of a female bun shouldn’t be forgotten. Not only is this style quick and easy to attain, but it also tightens your skin by reducing the appearance of wrinkles which in turn does a good job of showcasing your cheekbones.

For those with an enviable bone structure, this style is a must.

10. Braid

Braids aren’t only the preserve of young women. Done right, anyone can pull it off.

For mature women, it’s best to go with a side-swept braid with hair strands that rest slightly below your mid-drift. Not only does it look terrific, but it also adds a cool urban subtlety.

11. Accessories

For those who can’t part ways with their regular haircut, try sprucing things up by adding a few subtle yet stylish accessories!

Even the tiniest of accessories can give your hair that extra bit of shine that can’t always be achieved by a fresh haircut.

12. Warm Hair

While your natural skin tone depletes with age, donning warming and glowing hair colours can give your skin a coruscating glow.

It’s best to use subtle highlights colours like the dimming-bronze sported by the beautiful model Chrissy Teigen in the picture above.

13. Mid-Length Hair

For those unsure about what best suits their facial structure, then playing it safe with a mid-cut allows you to chop-and-change with a number of different hairstyles.

Easy to maintain, mid-length hair still gives off a glamorous look without looking like you’re trying to claw back lost years

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How Literature Killed The American Dream

However, as the 21st-century ploughs onward in a period of fewer jobs, less security and greater uncertainty, we look at how great literature took the very notion of ‘The American Dream’ and showed its decay and death to us in gory and painful scenes. Here we look at 15 books that killed the American Dream.

 

1. Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk

Despondent, listless and stuck in a rut where he is surrounded only by the mod cons and stylish objects he buys, the protagonist of this novel lacks meaning or direction until he meets a stranger who shakes up his world and shows him he can find meaning in fighting other men like himself.

This soon morphs into an organisation of angry individuals who want to feel something and are prepared to do anything to attain that. Vicious and sinister, it is a dark look at generation X and where the world has left them as the are inundated with consumerism that gives them something to reach for but never purpose.

 

2. Death of A Salesman by Arthur Miller

A classic play that follows a salesman who is so desperate to succeed professionally that he marginalises his family and prioritizes his work only to find he is soon left with nothing when he fails in business as well.

Critical of the pursuit of wealth and the expectations of capitalist society, it reads as a sadsack playbook of how life can destroy you.

 

3. The Great Gatsby by F Scott Fitzgerald

Many underrate this novel for what it is, having been forced to read it at school, considering it too short or simply misreading it as a love story gone awry and all too often it takes non-Americans to see its true magnificence but does it show “the picture of the ordinary emotions and manners of American existence”?

Many would argue that it portrays the lives of the rich during the roaring 20s, a time of excess and economic wellbeing, but look at the language and how ordinary American speech is elevated to a point of poetry, and you’ll see this novel is far more than what it is on the surface. Gatsby himself has climbed to his position from ordinary origins and shows who Americans want to be as much as who they are.

 

4.The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

A memoir that reads, in parts, like a wistful fairy tale as the author recalls her childhood with warmth about her father teaching her and her sister and recounting grand dreams and ideas to them.

However, it soon emerges as a story of a dysfunctional family filled with broken promises and lack of structure that means that the children must rely solely on their own successes in life.

 

5. American Psycho by Brett Easton Ellis

Can something that arose from a specific period and a specific profession ever be described as something that reflects the psyche of a nation? An anarchic, depiction of corporate America in the early 90s, it shows the decaying state of capitalism in America and the consumerist obsession that seeps through the echelons of society.

Sick and twisted, it  filled with brand names and sex and social anxiety and points a grubby finger at America shouting “this is what you wanted!”

 

6. Bonfire of The Vanities by Tom Wolfe

A go-getting, high-flying Wall Street trader has it all, with wealth, a mistress, power, and respect but he soon loses all of that through one wrong turn, and he is then plunged into the dark and seedy underbelly of New York City, a side of it he has never seen before.

Showing up the fissures between races and ethnic groups in post-modern Manhattan as well as what excess brings people to do.

 

7. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

The true genius of this novel is that it is many things to many people raging through psychological portrait of racial identity, racism, history, politics, manhood, and conflicted personal growth all the while with a nameless narrator that allows it to revel in the substance of the riffs it pulls upon and layers up and up and up.

Despite not being visible the narrator has a face, and as an African-American, they are rendered invisible by society. By viewing America from a position of such lack of privilege the book twists and turns its way through the notion of the nation.

 

8. American Pastoral

In an elegy for all the twentieth century’s promises of prosperity, civic order, and domestic bliss, SwedeLevov has it all after working in his father’s glove factory as a young man, which he gave up on his sporting dreams for, he now runs it as a multi-million dollar company, with a happy marriage and a beautiful daughter, he just wants to pass everything on to.

However, as she grows older and becomes disillusioned with the status quo of the country, she is soon accused of domestic terrorism and what everything Swede has aimed for now seems so fleeting and pointless. Raging and sorrowful the novel picks apart the notion of American luck and lays tragedy at the door of someone who once embodied that very ideal.

 

9. Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas – Hunter S. Thompson

Hunter S. Thompson became infamous for his gonzo journalism in which he would turn up to places and go on a bender fuelled by a cocktail of drugs and then document what he saw through the prism of this chemical haze. A divisive figure in his writing because of this, some people love him others cannot stand the writing it produces.

Fear & Loathing In Las Vegas is the quintessential example of this where he hires a car and drives out to Las Vegas to write about a racing event which he soon ditches to whirl around the city of sin fleeing from killer bats and human eating lizard people that his tripping mind is visualising. Scary in the sense of what drugs can do to a person and darkly comic in how he reacts, it can also be seen as a satire on the American dream. It was turned into a cult film starring Johnny Depp.

 

10. Revolutionary Road

Succeed in a career in order to buy a big house and marry a beautiful wife, and all will be well. Surely these are the ideals of the American dream and Frank and April Wheeler seem to get to the very core of that as they move into the suburbs during the hopeful 1950s believing greatness to be just around the corner.

Soon they betray themselves and each other though as these dreams never quite come to fruition and what they’ve been told they should want doesn’t ever seem to be all that.

 

11. Watchmen

Arguably the graphic novel that redefined the genre as a serious arena for adult readers and truly gripping writing, Watchmen took all the typical tropes of comic book superheroes and turned them on their heads. Playing on cold war tensions, this masterpiece sees legendary creators Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons turn once infallible superheroes into psychotic, jealous human beings who struggle with the ignominy of middle age and obscurity. Each character has their own social and political leanings that sees them used as pawns in a game of power and greed. It also avoids any cliched endings with the superhero being used as a mirror to the nature of humanity itself as each ‘hero’ discovers they are just as flawed as the villains they once faced.

Turned into a critically acclaimed film in 2009, it is well worth giving the book a spin regardless of views on the movie as it stands as something delightfully unique in its own right. So much so, that it remains the only graphic novel to be included in Time Magazine’s 100 Best Novels.

 

12. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Covering a dark part of America’s history in its dustbowl, it is just about average Americans “just trying to get along without shoving anybody” and that is it. That is what makes such a strong contender for the title of ‘Great American Novel’ as it does not trouble itself with lofty ideals but rather just how one can live a reasonable life.

It shows something lesser than the American dream and carves out a new one, that being just the search for land, dignity, and a future.

 

13. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Sprawling, idiosyncratic, and wrenching, this novel is about comic books and the people who make them. That may sound flippant, as does the title, but it brings in the themes of cultural assimilation and the search for an emotional and moral identity amongst the general public and how pop-culture can affect that.

Comic books are one of the truly American art forms, and by setting the novel in this world, it gives rise to some truly American themes.

 

14. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

A vast and wide-ranging novel that discusses the effect of a mutated gene on several generations of a family, it follows an intersex protagonist delve through the novel’s main themes like nature versus nurture, rebirth, and the differing experiences of what society constructs as polar opposites.

Also looking at the American dream, gender identity and politics, this won the Pulitzer Prize for its epic scope.

 

15. Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

A story of the ‘immigration experience’ this book is an epic that spans from a Nigeria under dictatorship right through to post 9/11 America that sees the struggles with leaving your homeland, racism, diaspora and identity all come to the fore in this expansive and touching booking that also includes a magnificently woven love story into the narrative.

With a notable range across different societies and reflections of global tensions, this book is a modern story of the world we live in.