As subtle as a flying brick.

Posts tagged “Health

The Little Prince – A photo series by Matej Peljhan

Muscular dystrophy is a disorder that weakens a person’s muscles over time. Those who have the disease gradually lose the ability to do things people normally take for granted—such as walking, playing basketball, dancing and even swimming.

A photographer based in Slovenia named Matej Peljhan took photos of a  12-year-named Luka who suffers from muscular dystrophy depicting the child doing things he’s unable to because of his condition. After talking to Luka about his wish to do activities boys his age enjoy like skateboarding and swimming, the photographer created the non-digitally manipulated series which both show sense of humor and an undying spirit. Rather than use some type of digital trickery to make this dream a reality, Peljhan decided to simply use a different perspective.

Created by laying cloth and everyday objects on the ground, and photography trickery, Peljhan helped Luka turn his dreams (and drawings from a notebook) into reality.

These poignant pictures also send a message about the disorder, and remind viewers to appreciate life and live it to the fullest.

You can find larger versions of these photographs in this online gallery.

Hey Cancer…

Hey Cancer. Fuck You.

So, been kinda quiet about this, but here’s some good news. I don’t have cancer.

For the past 2 months the Dr. was 95% sure I had a rather aggressive form of cancer, but the biopsy came back yesterday, and I’m cancer free !

Still gotta have my thyroid out, but who cares?

Fuck you cancer. Fuck you.

Update: It was cancer. It was the aggressive kind. But I caught it so early that it came out quick and clean and I’m fine 🙂

How to Take Constructive Criticism Like a Champ

I’ve always envied people who can graciously accept constructive criticism. It seems I was not born with that trait, and throughout my career I’ve struggled with receiving feedback, even when it was entirely accurate. At the moment I hear the words of critique, my heartbeat quickens and my mind begins to race—first in search of an explanation for this assault on my person and then for a retort to rationalize whatever actions are in question.

And I’m not alone. Unfortunately, in the heat of the moment, many of us react with defensiveness and anger or—even worse—attack the person giving us feedback. But the truth is, we need to get over it. We know there’s value in constructive criticism—how else would we identify weaknesses and areas of improvement? Being able to handle it calmly and professionally will only help us maintain relationships and be more successful in everything we do.

So how do you learn to back off the defensive? The next time you receive constructive criticism from your manager or a peer, use this six-step process to handle the encounter with tact and grace.

Stop Your First Reaction

At the first sign of criticism, before you do anything—stop. Really. Try not to react at all! You will have at least one second to stop your reaction. While one second seems insignificant in real life, it’s ample time for your brain to process a situation. And in that moment, you can halt a dismissive facial expression or reactive quip and remind yourself to stay calm.

Remember the Benefit of Getting Feedback

Now, you have a few seconds to quickly remind yourself of the benefits of receiving constructive criticism—namely, to improve your skills, work product, and relationships, and to help you meet the expectations that your manager and others have of you.

You should also try to curtail any reaction you’re having to the person who is delivering the feedback. It can be challenging to receive criticism from a co-worker, a peer, or someone that you don’t fully respect, but remember, accurate and constructive feedback comes even from flawed sources.

Listen for Understanding

You’ve avoided your typical reaction, your brain is working, and you’ve recalled all the benefits of feedback—high-five! Now, you’re ready to engage in a productive dialogue as your competent, thoughtful self (as opposed to your combative, Mean Girls self).

As the person shares feedback with you, listen closely. Allow the person to share his or her complete thoughts, without interruption. When he or she is done, repeat back what you heard. For example, “I hear you saying that you want me to provide more detailed weekly reports, is that right?” At this point, avoid analyzing or questioning the person’s assessment; instead, just focus on understanding his or her comments and perspective. And give the benefit of the doubt here—hey, it’s difficult to give feedback to another person. Recognize that the person giving you feedback may be nervous or may not express his or her ideas perfectly.

Say Thank You

Next (and this is a hard part, I know), look the person in the eyes and thank him or her for sharing feedback with you. Don’t gloss over this—be deliberate, and say, “I really appreciate you taking the time to talk about this with me.” Expressing appreciation doesn’t have to mean you’re agreeing with the assessment, but it does show that you’re acknowledging the effort your colleague took to evaluate you and share his or her thoughts.

Ask Questions to Deconstruct the Feedback

Now it’s time to process the feedback—you’ll probably want to get more clarity at this point and share your perspective. Avoid engaging in a debate; instead, ask questions to get to the root of the actual issues being raised and possible solutions for addressing them. For example, if a colleague tells you that you got a little heated in a meeting, here are a few ways to deconstruct the feedback:

  • Seek specific examples to help you understand the issue: “I was a little frustrated, but can you share when in the meeting you thought I got heated?”
  • Acknowledge the feedback that is not in dispute: “You’re right that I did cut him off while he was talking, and I later apologized for that.”
  • Try to understand whether this is an isolated issue (e.g., a mistake you made once): “Have you noticed me getting heated in other meetings?”
  • Seek specific solutions to address the feedback: “I’d love to hear your ideas on how I might handle this differently in the future.”

Request Time to Follow Up

Hopefully, by this point in the conversation, you can agree on the issues that were raised. Once you articulate what you will do going forward, and thank the person again for the feedback, you can close the conversation and move on.

That said, if it’s a larger issue, or something presented by your boss, you may want to ask for a follow-up meeting to ask more questions and get agreement on next steps. And that’s OK—it’ll give you time to process the feedback, seek advice from others, and think about solutions.

Constructive criticism is often the only way we learn about our weaknesses—without it we can’t improve. When we’re defensive, instead of accepting and gracious, we run the risk of missing out on this important insight. Remember, feedback is not easy to give and it’s certainly not easy to receive, but it will help us now and in the long run.

Taking Constructive Criticism Like a Champ | The Daily Muse

Nicole Lindsay is a career development expert and working on her first book about women and business school. She lives in Connecticut with your husband, who is the coolest guy in the world, and loves traveling to new places on planes, trains and automobiles. Connect with her at DiversityMBAPrep.comor @MBAMinority.

Check out more advice at the Daily Muse:

3 Ways to Battle the Office Backstabber
A Coworker Got the Promotion I Wanted—Now What?

Image by Lorelyn Medina (Shutterstock).


Why Does My Child Have No Friends?

There are many reasons why a child at school may lack friends. A child who has just moved to a new school district may simply need time in order to establish a social base. However, other things can also get in the way of a child making friends. Extreme shyness and low self-esteem, high intelligence, poor social skills, notable differences between the child and his peer group, and learning disabilities can all make establishing friendships challenging.

Some children suffer from painful shyness. Even around children they know fairly well, they may hesitate to comment or participate. Teachers can help the shy child by praising the child when he or she does choose to participate. Parents can also help by establishing play dates in a neutral setting with one other child. Alternately, the child may feel more confident on his or her home turf, and a play date in your home may offer a less crowded way to get to know other children.

Highly intelligent children may also have difficulty making friends. Their intelligence, especially in verbal language may make it difficult for other children to understand them. However, there is usually more than one child in a classroom with high intelligence. Pairing two very verbal children together can be an excellent way of helping children establish friends. Teaching them social skills, like actually listening to another’s reactions, and responding appropriately, can also help the very verbal child more easily make friends.

Sometimes children are behind in social development, and merely lack the skills required to make friends. Learning how to be a friend, and learning skills like listening, sharing, and cooperating can help the child without friends. However, sometimes these children may take some time to learn and develop social skills.

Peers become important in middle childhood and...

Peers become important in middle childhood and have an influence distinct from that of parents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Pairing them with a younger classmate, or with a student from a grade or two below the student may help the child gain confidence and be better prepared to make friends with children of his or her own age. Schools often assist children who lack social skills by forming friendship groups. Participation in these groups, especially with other children, can be an excellent way to enhance social development.

A child with distinct physical differences may also have no friends. Other kids may think of children with significant health impairments that limit their participation in school activities, as “weird” or “different.” A child with a facial disfigurement might also be seen as an outsider. Kids do tend to gravitate toward other children who are like them. It can be helpful to look for the kids in school who are particularly sensitive and least likely to discriminate based on looks or ability. These children may make the best potential friends for a child who faces the challenges of being “different.”

Learning disabilities also may mark out a child as different. A child whose hyperactive behavior frequently gets him or her in trouble may be seen as having limited friend-making potential. Children who struggle in school and show emotional responses like crying, especially when they are male, may also have limited access to friends due to their behavior. Teaching social skills to these children is again important, and matching them with other students with less social panache may also be helpful.

Especially in elementary schools, students spend much of their time socially engaging with each other. The child without friends can feel distanced, lonely and apart from the crowd when no friends exist to include him or her. This can manifest in depression at home, disinterest in school, and lack of desire to learn. Thus the child without friends needs help from parents and the school. Even one friend to see when one gets to school can significantly impact the way a child views education, and the way a child develops socially into an adult.

Choose Your Path

This should be reversed.  Fatty should take the stairs.  Lose some weight.

If you’re skinny, you’ve earned the escalator.