Relationships

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How being friends with someone who has dementia can be good for you both

<p>Each year, in the final few hours of the last day of December, many people all across North America gather with friends to raise a glass and sing Robert Burns’ famous ballad, “<a href="http://www.scotland.org/features/the-history-and-words-of-auld-lang-syne">Auld Lang Syne</a>.” Standing at the brink of a New Year, arms around each other, they ask: “Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”</p> <p>The question is meant to be rhetorical, of course – the answer is “No.” The years may pass, but we should hold on to our friends.</p> <p>For many older adults, however, this question takes on a different meaning, as they confront the onset of dementia in a friend. Dementia, which <a href="http://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/109998">afflicts an estimated 3.8 million people</a> in the U.S. alone, affects cognitive abilities <a href="https://www.alz.org/documents_custom/2017-facts-and-figures.pdf">such as language and memory</a> that are often understood as the necessary foundation for individual identity and human personhood.</p> <p>As such, dementia raises questions about what are the boundaries of the human, what is required to have meaningful social relationships and more generally what makes life worth living (or no longer worth living).</p> <p>Research has long shown that <a href="http://jnnp.bmj.com/content/85/2/135.long">feelings of loneliness accompany the onset of dementia</a>. And research has suggested that <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2424087/">social interaction is beneficial for the person with dementia</a>.</p> <p>I recently conducted research that took these findings a step further. It appears that the opportunities for personal growth exist not only for the people with dementia but also for their friends.</p> <p><strong>A dreaded illness, worsened by loneliness</strong></p> <p>In the U.S., <a href="https://doi.org/10.1017/S0144686X10000693">people with dementia are often rhetorically and metaphorically likened to zombies</a>, and dementia is often described as a condition ambiguously positioned between life and death.</p> <p>Such ideas contribute greatly to the stigma, fear and shame that commonly attend a diagnosis of dementia.</p> <p>And if dementia is one of the most dreaded forms of decline associated with aging, it is also one of the most common. The condition affects about 14 percent of people over age 71. The <a href="http://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/109998">prevalence of dementia</a> increases with age, rising from about 5 percent among people in their 70s to 24 percent of those in their 80s – and of those who reach age 90, approximately 40 percent are affected.</p> <p>What is it like for people to experience the onset of dementia in a friend, and how do they respond? Close family members are often expected to step up to meet the challenges of dementia, and many try to do so. It is less clear, however, what role friends can or should play. Little research has addressed the topic.</p> <p>I recently published <a href="http://rdcu.be/tFtH">an article</a> and <a href="https://www.rutgersuniversitypress.org/successful-aging-as-a-contemporary-obsession/9780813585338">a book chapter</a> based on interviews with individuals who self-identify as friends of someone with dementia (as well as some health care providers and family members).</p> <p>The basic idea behind this research is that there may be lessons to learn from those who have found both reasons and ways to maintain relations of friendship after the onset of dementia – lessons that could be shared with others who find themselves confronting similar situations. The friend who remains in a relationship with a friend who has dementia may gain knowledge about the illness and grow in unexpected ways.</p> <p>The research documents how some people find value, interest, meaning and pleasure in friendships with people who are living with dementia. Among the findings, several stand out.</p> <ul> <li> <p>Through experience, people gain specific forms of knowledge about how to interact well with the person who has dementia. How the condition affects people can vary enormously, and there is no instruction manual for interacting well with people who have dementia. Still, some of the techniques and approaches that these friends have developed may be worth trying for others, as well.</p> </li> <li> <p>Talking about dementia – in other words, making this sometimes difficult and uncomfortable topic “speakable” – can be a critical first step toward approaching it collectively, as something for a community to deal with instead of only as an individual problem.</p> </li> <li> <p>People I interviewed describe friendship with the person who has dementia as a relationship that is capable of changing, rather than simply enduring.</p> </li> <li> <p>People who have remained engaged as friends after the onset of symptoms describe dementia as an impetus for personal and interpersonal transformations that can involve learning, growth and unexpected gifts – as well as sadness and loss.</p> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Friends play important role in wider support circle</strong></p> <p>How friends respond to dementia is important for a number of reasons.</p> <p>First and foremost, friendships matter to older adults with dementia for all the same reasons that friendships matter to anyone: They are sources of pleasure, support and social identity.</p> <p>Second, the difficulties and burdens faced by informal, unpaid caregivers of people with dementia (mostly female relatives) <a href="https://www.nap.edu/catalog/23606/families-caring-for-an-aging-america">might be less overwhelming</a> if friends and other social connections remained more present in the lives of people with dementia.</p> <p>Third, there is a large and growing number of older adults with dementia who – due to changing patterns of marriage, childbirth, longevity, living arrangements and geographic mobility – simply <a href="https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/law_aging/2003_Unbefriended_Elderly_Health_Care_Descision-Making7-11-03.authcheckdam.pdf">do not have family members available and willing</a> to <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/jgs.14586/full">make medical decisions</a> or step into caregiver roles. For them, how friends, neighbors, co-workers and others respond can be <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2015/09/29/health/near-the-end-its-best-to-be-friended.html?_r=0">a matter of life-and-death</a>.</p> <p><strong>Light in the darkness</strong></p> <p>Dementia can seem like a frightening and depressing topic, but this research gives reasons to feel hopeful. While medicine has at present no cure and <a href="https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/All-Disorders/Dementia-Information-Page">few effective treatments</a> to offer, that does not mean that there is nothing we can do.</p> <p>There is a lot we can do to make life better for older adults with dementia. And we ought to do what we can – not only because people with dementia are fellow members of our human community, but also because any one of us might find ourselves affected in the future.</p> <p>One of the verses of <a href="http://www.scotland.org/features/the-history-and-words-of-auld-lang-syne">“Auld Lang Syne”</a> that is less often sung by New Year’s revelers includes the line: “We’ll take a cup of kindness yet, for Auld Lang Syne.” Helping people faced with the onset of dementia in a friend learn from others how to fill, share and take sustenance from that “cup of kindness” is one of the ways that anthropological research strives to make the world a bit better place.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/76750/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Janelle Taylor, Professor, Medical Anthropology, University of Washington</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/how-being-friends-with-someone-who-has-dementia-can-be-good-for-you-both-76750" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

Relationships

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The beautiful ways Bindi Irwin will honour dad Steve Irwin on her wedding day

<p>Bindi Irwin is set to wed Chandler Powell next year at Australia Zoo and now Bindi Irwin has revealed she will honour her late father, the iconic Steve Irwin, at the ceremony. </p> <p>The conservationist and animal expert has been carrying out the Crocodile hunter’s legacy since he passed away in 2006 alongside her family, revealed that her brother and mother will become an important part of the special day. </p> <p>“I really want to include Dad on the day and make sure that he is with us in some way,” Bindi told<span> </span>People.</p> <p>“Just little bits of Dad that will make it feel like he’s there with us.”</p> <p>Bindi says her and Chandler will hold a candle lighting ceremony for Steve. </p> <p>“So we’ll be able to all get up as a little family and light a candle in his honour and share a few words on what an amazing dad he was and still is.”</p> <p>Bindi announced her engagement to Chandler on her 21st birthday in July, after the couple had been dating for over six years. </p> <p>Steve irwin passed away on the documentary series<span> </span>Ocean’s Deadliest<span> </span>when he was attacked by a stingray off the coast of the Great Barrier Reef on September 4, 2006. He was 44. </p> <p>“Out of everyone in our family, Dad would always get the most emotional out of everyone,” Bindi said. </p> <p>“We’re all very emotional people, but Dad, anytime we would achieve anything as kids, he would just start crying. </p> <p>“I remember the first time I ever filmed with little ants on camera, I was telling the camera that these little ants are so important to protect and he just started crying.”</p> <p>“It was really special that he was the one that was so excited about the big moments in our lives and there isn’t a bigger moment that I can think of than getting married to Chandler,” she added. </p> <p>“It’s going to be a really special day.”</p>

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King Carl of Sweden strips five grandchildren of royal status

<p>The King of Sweden has stripped five of his grandchildren of their royal status as the monarchy faces increasing amounts of pressure to cut back on annual bills.</p> <p>The children, aged between one and five, are the offspring of two of King Carl XVI Gustaf’s younger children – Prince Carl and his wife Sofia, and US-based Princess Madeleine and her husband Christopher O’Neill.</p> <p>The children will still be a part of the royal family, but will be forced to drop their titles of His and Her Royal Highness. They will also not be able to use taxpayer’s money.</p> <p>Princess Madeleine said that the change “has been planned for a long time” and it would allow her three children a “greater opportunity to shape their own lives”.</p> <p>Carl and Sofia were also thrilled with the decision, saying: “We see this as positive as Alexander and Gabriel will have freer choices in life”.</p> <p>The family has come under fire as of late after their expenditure was reaching enormous amounts.</p> <p>Currently, taxpayers are forking out $21 million annually to help the monarchy fund their lifestyles.</p> <p>According to the Swedish royal court’s top official, Frederik Wersall, the royal family understood and had accepted the need for change.</p> <p>“We have a large royal family. If you include the next generation, there are currently 10 people in the line of succession,” he told Swedish media.</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Sweden’s royal family.</p>

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Inside the love story of Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco

<p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Over the years, it has become a captivating, thrilling and devastating romance that has cemented itself as a story for the ages: the love affair between Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">All across the globe, newspapers and magazines spun the story of a match made in  heaven: A stunning, sultry movie star with a playboy prince of a small European principality. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The televised wedding is still a heavy contender for one of the most splendid and beautiful of all time and it reports said at the time of Duchess Kate creating her own breathtaking gown, she asked designers to use Grace’s iconic wedding dress as inspiration.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3M_sj0oO64/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B3M_sj0oO64/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Grace of Monaco (@princessgracetribute)</a> on Oct 4, 2019 at 9:30am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While it is a fairytale for the ages, it did not begin this way. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Grace met her soon-to-be husband when she was 26 and recognised as Hollywood’s next big star, after starring in </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Country Girl</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (winning an Oscar for best actress in 1954), </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">High Society</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and Alfred Hitchcock's classics </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Dial M for Murder</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">, </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rear Window</span><span style="font-weight: 400;"> and </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">To Catch a Thief</span><span style="font-weight: 400;">.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Not many people could have predicted the highly acclaimed actress who went on to star in </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">To Catch a Thief </span><span style="font-weight: 400;">in 1955, would be acting for only a very short time just as her career was skyrocketing into something unbelievably iconic. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">With a hardworking nature, pure beauty and an obvious talent that guaranteed a limitless number of characters, Kelly was in hot demand. </span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2XyHbbHgKj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2XyHbbHgKj/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Grace of Monaco (@princessgracetribute)</a> on Sep 13, 2019 at 5:31pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">However, it was while on set to film her second last film ever in the south of Paris, where she met the charming young Prince Rainier III. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the prince had become “besotted” by the young and gorgeous actress, Grace herself was polite but “stand-offish” as she was dating French actor and war hero Jean-Pierre Aumont. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">To say the attraction was one-sided would be an understatement, but the Prince became relentless in winning Kelly’s affection. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Eventually she succumbed after countless letters and a number of wildly costly gifts. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The royal had the opportunity to court the future princess of Monaco, and they quickly became engaged a short time later. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In order for the marriage to work, Grace would have to give up her US citizenship and never return to her Hollywood career. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">It was not particularly fitting for an upstanding royal to have anything to do with Hollywood, so Kelly never filmed another movie again until the day she passed. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Monaco wedding was one of the most stunning weddings the world had ever seen and was commended for its visual beauty. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The couple wed on April 18, 1956 and the nuptials were split in two parts: a civil ceremony with over 3,000 guests and an intimate religious ceremony for which Princess Grace wore her iconic gowns. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The service dubbed the royal as a “princess bride” and as broadcast around the world, over 30 million people tuned in. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Princess Grace’s dress had a high neckline, several petticoats, antique Brussels lace of hundreds upon hundreds of tiny pearls – all in all it took 30 seamstresses and six weeks to make the gown. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While the marriage between the royal couple has not been perfect, the couple shared 26 years of marriage together and three children: Caroline, Albert and Stephanie. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Biographer Wendy Leigh wrote that Prince Rainier had at least three mistresses within months of the wedding, and that Grace was allegedly "humiliated".</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2D-_4Zn4z2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2D-_4Zn4z2/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Princess Grace of Monaco (@princessgracetribute)</a> on Sep 6, 2019 at 12:59am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Tragically, Grace's life ended at the age of 52, in September 1982 when she was involved in a horrific car accident. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">While mystery still surrounds what exactly happened, it is believed the royal lost control of the vehicle she was driving while her 17-year-old daughter Princess Stephanie was in the car with her. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The </span><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/1982/09/15/world/princess-grace-is-dead-after-riviera-car-crash.html?pagewanted=all&amp;mcubz=0"><span style="font-weight: 400;">New York Times</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> reported at the time her car burst into flames and Princess Grace suffered multiple fractures, including a broken thighbone, collarbone and ribs. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Kelly and Prince Rainier’s youngest daughter, Stephanie suffered a concussion and fractured vertebra.</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The loss of their mother and and Rainier’s wife left a lasting impact on the family and Caroline was forced to step into her mother’s shoes. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Rainier never remarried. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Scroll through the gallery above to see Princess Grace’s life before and after marriage. </span></p>

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“Petty and immature”: Would you do this? Bride unleashes on guest

<p>An anonymous bride took to social media platform Reddit to share a disastrous experience that came to a head on her wedding day. </p> <p>The bride said she found a photo of the gown her sister-in-law planned to wear on her mother-in-law’s phone - an outfit which was kept hidden from her until it was accidentally discovered. </p> <p>“I don’t know what it is but it looks like they’re either jealous or just sabotaging the wedding,” the bride wrote.</p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7831528/train-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/ae7b2e4278c74cd18318face947bb3a7" /></p> <p>“We’ve had no problems in the past...This is just a tiny part of a long list [of issues]. Wearing white with lace is just an a-hole move.”</p> <p>The upset bride explained she wanted to overlook her SIL’s inappropriate choice of attire but felt the colour choice was an “intentional” jab. </p> <p>“Even if it’s just a white cocktail dress I wouldn’t mind. It’s the combination of white and lace...If she wore the dress in blush I really wouldn’t care,” she added.</p> <p>The anonymous bride shared a picture of the dress to the forum prior to the wedding and went on to post an update of the outfit after the big day. </p> <p><img style="width: 500px; height: 281.25px;" src="/media/7831526/train-1.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1b7ac5e7b92a40fc8ac57ecb50947c44" /></p> <p>The post which has since gained hundreds of comments and reactions has been labelled by many as “petty and immature.”</p> <p>"You don't outclass the bride. It's her day," one user wrote. </p> <p>"The fact that she’s not showing you the picture means she knows what she’s doing is wrong," another commented. </p> <p>Wedding blog<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://ivorytribe.com.au/" target="_blank">Ivory Tribe</a><span> </span>told<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://10daily.com.au/lifestyle/style/a191001uwoqk/a-bride-is-furious-that-her-sister-in-law-wore-a-white-dress-to-her-wedding-20191001" target="_blank">10 daily<span> </span></a>it comes down to the couple’s decision about whether or not it is suitable to wear white to a wedding. </p> <p>"The couple might not give a damn, but traditionally speaking -- its polite to leave wearing white to the bride," they said.</p> <p>"Except on the occasion that the bride and groom request that their guests adhere to their all-white dress code, showing up in the shade is generally frowned up."</p> <p>The blog advises wedding attendees to check with the bride and groom first if they have their eye on an outfit they are unsure about.</p>

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Why a problem shared can be a problem doubled

<p>People discuss their problems with friends in the hope that they’ll gain some insight into how to solve them. And even if they don’t find a way to solve their problems, it feels good to let off some steam. Indeed, having close friends to confide in is a good buffer against poor mental health. How problems are discussed, though, can be the difference between halving a problem or doubling it.</p> <p>The term psychologists use for negative problem sharing is “<a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12487497">co-rumination</a>”. Co-rumination is the mutual encouragement to discuss problems excessively, repeatedly going over the same problems, anticipating future problems and focusing on negative feelings. It is more about dwelling on problems than solving them.</p> <p>Research shows that co-rumination is a double-edged sword. In a <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3382075/">study</a> involving children aged seven to 15 years of age, researchers found that co-rumination in both boys and girls is associated with “high-quality” and close friendships. However, in girls, it was also associated with anxiety and depression (the same association was not found with the boys).</p> <p>And studies suggest that co-rumination isn’t just a problem for girls. Co-rumination with work colleagues can increase the risk of <a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0893318913509283">stress and burn out</a>, one study suggests. Maybe it’s not always helpful to have a good moan with a colleague.</p> <p>How you co-ruminate matters too. In a <a href="http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/16506073.2016.1201848?needAccess=true">group of adults</a>, the effects of co-rumination was compared between face-to-face contact, telephone contact, texting and social media. The positive effects of co-rumination (closer friendships) was found in face-to-face contact, telephone contact and texting, but not in social media. The negative aspects of co-rumination (anxiety) was found in face-to-face communication and telephone contact, but not texting or social media.</p> <p>Verbal forms of communication seem to enhance both the positive and negative aspects of co-rumination more than non-verbal communication.</p> <p><strong>Why we co-ruminate</strong></p> <p>If we look at the theory behind why individuals ruminate, it may shed some light on why friends co-ruminate. According to a <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/9780470713853.ch7/summary">leading theory</a> on rumination, people believe that it will help them find answers and make them feel better. So if two people believe rumination is beneficial, then working together to co-ruminate to find answers may seem like a useful thing to do, as two heads may appear better than one. But focusing on problems and negative emotion together can increase negative beliefs and moods – and result in a greater need to co-ruminate.</p> <p>Traditionally, therapy has not prioritised tackling rumination or co-rumination directly as maintaining factors in psychological distress. Instead, approaches such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) have aimed to challenge only the content of rumination. Humanistic approaches (such as counselling) have provided conditions to potentially ruminate on the content of problems. And psychodynamic approaches (such as psychoanalysis) have aimed to analyse the content of rumination.</p> <p>Focusing on the content of rumination, as all three approaches do, runs the risk of fostering co-rumination between client and therapist. If this occurs in therapy, a strong therapeutic relationship may well be a positive outcome of co-rumination – regardless of whether the client’s symptoms improve or not.</p> <p>More <a href="http://mct-institute.co.uk/metacognitive-therapy">modern treatments</a>, such as meta-cognitive therapy, developed by Adrian Wells at the University of Manchester, specifically target beliefs about rumination. It is designed to help people understand the negative effects of rumination, its ineffectiveness as a coping strategy and as something people have control over. Results indicate the superior effectiveness of this approach in tackling anxiety and depression <a href="http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/da.22273/full">compared with CBT</a>.</p> <p>And, on the social side, discussing problems with friends doesn’t always have to lead to worsening mental health, as long as the discussion involves finding solutions and the person with the problem acts on those solutions. Then, relationships can be positive and beneficial to both parties, and a problem shared can really be a problem halved.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/87650/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Robin Bailey, Senior Lecturer in Psychological Therapies, University of Central Lancashire</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/when-it-comes-to-mental-health-a-problem-shared-can-be-a-problem-doubled-87650" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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What makes a good friend?

<p>Good friendships seem worth celebrating. But for many of us, tensions can appear from time to time between being a good friend and doing “the right thing.” When faced with, for example, a situation where it’s tempting to lie to cover for a friend, it can seem as though friendship and morality are on a collision course.</p> <p>I am an <a href="https://www.routledge.com/Friendship-Robots-and-Social-Media-False-Friends-and-Second-Selves/Elder/p/book/9781138065666">ethicist who works on issues involving friendship</a>, so this tension is of great interest to me.</p> <p>It can be tempting to say that bad people are likely to treat their friends badly: For example, they could lie, cheat or steal from their friends. But it seems logically possible for a person to be bad to some people but good to others.</p> <p>So are there other, more fundamental reasons to think being a good person is necessary for a good friendship?</p> <p><strong>Problems for friendship and morality</strong></p> <p>Let’s begin by looking at cases where morality and the demands of friendship are in conflict.</p> <p>Friendship seems to require that we be open to our friends’ ways of seeing things, even when they differ from our own. It also seems to require that we be concerned for our friends’ well-being. It’s not just that we desire good things for them. We also want to be involved ourselves in providing at least some of those goods.</p> <p>This is one thing that distinguishes the care of friends from that of mere well-wishers.</p> <p>But we also need to remain open to our friends’ beliefs about what is good for them: Blithely acting on what we think is best for our friends, when the friend disagrees, seems paternalistic. In some circumstances, like hiding a friend’s keys when he’s been drinking, a little paternalism might be permitted. But it seems a poor general feature of friendship.</p> <p>Some theorists argue that it is this openness to friends’ perspectives that introduces moral danger. For example, friendship with a person who has different values <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9264.2010.00287.x">can gradually change your own</a>, including for the worse. This is especially true when the relationship makes you inclined to take their point of view seriously.</p> <p>Other scholars argue that it is the combination of the desire to help friends with this openness to their point of view that <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2678396">poses the biggest problem</a>. In making this argument, scholars <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=p5UGlmUAAAAJ&amp;hl=en">Dean Cocking</a> and <a href="https://researchers.mq.edu.au/en/persons/jeanette-kennett">Jeanette Kennett</a> <a href="http://www.pemberley.com/etext/PandP/chapter10.htm">quote a line</a> from Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” In this line, the protagonist Elizabeth Bennett tells the cold and inflexible Mr. Darcy that “A regard for the requester would often make one yield readily to a request, without waiting for arguments to reason one into it.”</p> <p>In other words, if your friend asks you to tell the boss she’s sick, not hung over, you should do it, just because she asked.</p> <p><strong>Aristotle on virtue in friendship</strong></p> <p>In order to respond to these concerns, it is helpful to review what Aristotle says about friendship and being a good person.</p> <p>For Aristotle, there are <a href="http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.8.viii.html#173">three main kinds of friendships</a>. One, friendships of utility: as, for example, between friendly co-workers. Two, friendships of pleasure: for example, between members of a trivia team. And, three, friendships among those who find each other good and valuable for their own sakes. This last one he calls friendships of virtue, the <a href="http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.8.viii.html#232">best and fullest form</a> of friendship.</p> <p>It seems reasonably clear then why valuing someone for their virtues is characteristic of good friendship. Unlike the other forms of friendship, it involves valuing friends for themselves, not just for what they can do for you. Furthermore, it involves thinking their character and values have worth.</p> <p>Some might worry that this sets the standard too high: Requiring that good friends be perfectly good would make good friendship impossibly rare. But Aristotelian scholar <a href="https://scholar.princeton.edu/johncoop/home">John Cooper</a> argues that we can just take this to mean that the quality of a friendship <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/20126987?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">varies with the quality of the friends’ characters</a>.</p> <p>Mediocre people will tend to have mediocre friendships, while better people will have better friendships, all else being equal.</p> <p><strong>What is virtue?</strong></p> <p>This might all seem hopelessly subjective, if we leave “good person” undefined, or think it is relative to a person’s individual values. But Aristotle also offers an <a href="https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/aristotle-ethics/#HumaGoodFuncArgu">objective account of what it takes to be a good person</a>.</p> <p>A good person, he says, is someone who possesses the virtues. Virtues, like courage, justice and moderation, are individual qualities of character that help us live good human lives, alone and together.</p> <p>Aristotle argues that just as sharpness is a quality that helps a good knife perform its function well, we function better as human beings when we can protect what we value, work well with others and enjoy pleasures in moderation.</p> <p>He defines bad qualities, or vices, as those qualities that make it harder to live a good life. For example, cowards have trouble protecting what matters, gluttons don’t know when to stop consuming and unjust people exhibit what he calls “graspingness,” grabbing for more than their share. So, they have trouble working well with others, which can be a major impediment for a social species.</p> <p>Lastly, and crucially, he says that we build up these qualities, both good and bad, through repeated practice: We become good by repeatedly doing good, and bad by the reverse.</p> <p><strong>Connecting virtue and friendship</strong></p> <p>How then can this help us understand the relationship between being a good person and being a good friend?</p> <p>I have already said that friendship involves both openness to friends’ perspectives and helping them out. Assuming Aristotle is right about the relationship between good character and ability to live well, it is not good to enable a friend who acts badly, because doing so will make it harder for that friend to live a good life.</p> <p>But friendship is also not served by riding roughshod over the friend’s own beliefs about what he or she needs, even if those beliefs are mistaken. So the only people we can consistently do well by as friends are those who have reasonably good character.</p> <p>We can, of course, change our own values and reactions to better match our friends. Much of this can happen unconsciously, and some such change might even be healthy. But when this change is for the worse (for example, becoming cowardly or unjust), we seem to be harmed by the association.</p> <p>If time spent with my lazy friend tends to make me less motivated when it comes to my own life, I arguably am worse off. This can make such friends bad to us, even if unintentionally.</p> <p>Really good friendship, it turns out, isn’t even possible unless both friends are reasonably good.</p> <p>The apparent tension between friendship and morality turns out to be just an illusion that results from failing to think carefully and clearly about the relationship between openness to our friends’ perspectives and our interest in helping our friends.</p> <p>As <a href="http://classics.mit.edu/Aristotle/nicomachaen.9.ix.html#670">Aristotle put it</a>,</p> <blockquote> <p>“The friendship of bad men turns out an evil thing (for because of their instability they unite in bad pursuits, and besides they become evil by becoming like each other), while the friendship of good men is good, being augmented by their companionship; and they are thought to become better too by their activities and by improving each other; for from each other they take the mould of the characteristics they approve.”<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/99727/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> </blockquote> <p><span><em>Written by Alexis Elder, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, University of Minnesota Duluth. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/what-makes-a-good-friend-99727" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></span></p>

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Hillary Clinton says the gutsiest thing she ever did was stay with Bill after Monica Lewinsky scandal

<p>Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has revealed that continuing her marriage with her husband Bill Clinton after his affair was the “gutsiest” thing she’s ever done.</p> <p>Clinton made the candid statement during an appearance on<span> </span><em>Good Morning America</em>, where she sat alongside her daughter Chelsea to promote their new book<span> </span><em>The Book of Gutsy Women: Favourite Stories of Courage and Resilience</em>.</p> <p>When asked about her own “gutsy moments” throughout her career, Clinton didn’t hold back saying that it was standing by her husband after the 1998 cheating scandal that she considers her most courageous moment.</p> <p>“I think the gutsiest thing I’ve ever done – well, personally – was make the decision to stay in my marriage,” she said.</p> <p>Chelsea was taken aback by her mother’s comments, telling hosts: “I think I’m so overwhelmed by my mother’s answer that I’m a bit out of words. I’m so proud to be her daughter.”</p> <p>In 1988 a scandal broke out after it was revealed that the then US President Bill Clinton took part in a sexual relationship with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky, who was only 22 at the time.</p> <p>The news came as a shock to the First Lady and the American public, who were disgusted that the leader of the free world was sleeping with an employee almost 30 years his junior.</p> <p>Despite the betrayal, Hillary decided to stick by Bill’s side even as he went through multiple trials and faced major public scrutiny.</p> <p>He was later acquitted and allowed to remain in office, but the incident took a toll on both their personal and political lives.</p>

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On the ending of a friendship

<p>About eight years ago, I went to dinner with a dear friend I had known for more than 40 years. It would be the last time we would see each other and by the end of that evening I was deeply shaken. But more lasting and more unsettling than this has been the feeling of loss without his friendship. It was a sudden ending but it was also an ending that lasted for me well beyond that evening. I have worried since then at what kind of friend I am to my friends, and why a friendship can suddenly self-destruct while others can so unexpectedly bloom.</p> <p>My friend and I were used to going to dinner together, though it had become an increasingly tricky matter for us. We had been seeing each other more infrequently, and our conversations had been tending towards repetition. I still enjoyed his passion for talk, his willingness to be puzzled by life’s events, our comically growing list of minor ailments as we entered our sixties, and the old stories he fell back on — usually stories of his minor triumphs, such as the time his car burst into fire, was declared a write-off by insurance, and ended in an auction house where he bought it back with part of the insurance payout and only minor repairs to be made. There were stories of his time as a barman in one of Melbourne’s roughest pubs. I suppose in a lot of long-lasting friendships it is these repeated stories of the past that can fill the present so richly.</p> <p>Nevertheless, both his opinions and mine seemed to have become too predictable. Even his desire to come up with the most unpredictable viewpoint on any problem was a routine I expected from him. Each of us knew the weaknesses in the other’s thinking, and we had learned not to go too far with some topics, which were of course the most interesting and important ones.</p> <p>He knew how politically correct I could be, and shrewdly enough he had no time for my self-righteousness, the predictability of my views on gender, race and climate. I understood this. He knew too that his fiercely independent thinking was often just the usual rant against greenies or lefties. Something had begun to fail in our friendship, but I could not properly perceive this or speak of it.</p> <p>We were a contrasting pair. He was a big man with an aggressive edge to his gregarious nature, while I was lean, short and physically slight next to him, a much more reserved person altogether. I liked his size because big men have been protective figures in my life. At times when I felt threatened I would ask him to come with me to a meeting or a transaction, and just stand next to me in his big way. During one long period of trouble with our neighbours he would visit when the tension was high to show his formidable presence and his solidarity with us.</p> <p>I was always reading and knew how to talk books, while he was too restless to read much. He knew how to sing, bursting into song occasionally when we were together. He had been unable to work professionally since a breakdown that was both physical and mental. By contrast, I was working steadily, never quite as free with my time as he was.</p> <p>Nearly two years before our last dinner together his wife had suddenly left him. As it turned out, she had been planning her departure for some time, but when she went he was taken by surprise. I saw a more confused and fragile side of him during those months when we would meet and talk through how he was dealing with their counselling sessions, and then how the negotiations were proceeding over belongings and finally the family house. He was learning to live alone for the first time since he had been a young man, and was exploring what it might be like to seek out new relationships.</p> <p><strong>A safe haven</strong></p> <p>We had met when I was a first-year university student boarding at my grandmother’s home in an inner Melbourne suburb. I was studying for a Bachelor of Arts, staying up through the nights, discovering literature, music, history, cask wine, dope, girls and ideas.</p> <p>He lived in a flat a few doors away in a street behind my grandmother’s place, and I remember it was the local parish youth group, or the remnants of one, that used to meet in his flat. In my friend’s flat we would lie around the floor, half a dozen of us, drinking, flirting, arguing about religion or politics until the night was strung out in our heads, tight and thin and vibrating with possibilities. I loved that sudden intimate and intellectually rich contact with people my own age.</p> <p>My friend and I started up a coffee lounge in an old disused shopfront as a meeting place for youth who would otherwise be on the street. I was the one who became immersed in the chaotic life of the place as students, musicians, misfits, hopeful poets and petty criminals floated through the shop, while my friend kept his eye on the broader picture that involved real estate agents, local councils, supplies of coffee, income and expenditure.</p> <p>Perhaps the experience helped delay my own adulthood, allowing me time to try out a bohemian, communal alternative lifestyle that was so important to some of us in the early 1970s. My friend, though, was soon married. It was as if he had been living a parallel life outside our friendship, outside the youth group, coffee shop, jug band, drugs and misadventures of our project.</p> <p>This did not break us up, and in fact after his marriage he became another kind of friend. I was at times struggling to find some steady sense of myself. Sometimes in those years I would not be able to talk or even be near others, and I remember once when I felt like this I went to my newly married friend’s home, and asked if I could lie on the floor in the corner of their lounge room for a few days until I felt better.</p> <p>They indulged me. I felt it was this haven that saved me then, giving me the time to recoup and giving me a sense that there was somewhere I could go where the world was safe and neutral.</p> <p>In time, and more bumpily and uncertainly than my friend, I was with a partner raising a family. He was often involved in our children’s birthdays, other celebrations, our house-moving, and just dropping in on family meals. It worked for us. I remember him lifting our cast iron wood-burning stove into its place in our first renovated Brunswick cottage. He lived in a more sprawling home near bushland on the edge of Melbourne, so one of my pleasures became the long cycling trips out to see him.</p> <p>My partner and I were embraced by a local community thanks to the childcare centre, kinders, schools and sport. Lasting friendships (for us and for our children) grew in the tentative, open-ended, slightly blindly feeling way of friendships. Through this decade and a half though, the particular friendship with my songful friend held, perhaps to the surprise of both of us.</p> <p><strong>‘Tolerating much, for the sake of best intentions’</strong></p> <p>In his thoroughly likeable <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/8345504-friendship">1993 book on friendship</a>, the political scientist Graham Little wrote under the bright light of writings by Aristotle and Freud, that the purest kind of friendship “welcomes the different ways people are alive to life and tolerates much in a friend for the sake of best intentions”.</p> <p>Here perhaps is the closest I have seen to a definition of friendship at its best: a stance imbued with sympathy, interest and excitement directed at another despite all that otherwise shows we are flawed and dangerous creatures.</p> <p>On that evening, the evening of the last time we went out to dinner together, I did push my friend towards one of the topics we usually avoided. I had been wanting him to acknowledge and even apologise for his behaviour towards some young women he had spoken to, I thought, lewdly and insultingly nearly a year before in my home at a party. The women and those of us who had witnessed his behaviour felt continuing tension over his refusal to discuss the fact that he had wanted to speak so insultingly to them and then had done it in our home in front of us. For me, there was some element of betrayal, not only in the way he had behaved but in his continued refusal to discuss what had happened.</p> <p>The women were drunk, he said, just as he had said the last time I tried to talk to him about this. They were wearing almost nothing, he said, and what he’d said to them was no more than they were expecting. My friend and I were sitting in a popular Thai restaurant on Sydney Road: metal chairs, plastic tables, concrete floor. It was noisy, packed with students, young couples and groups out for a cheap and tasty meal. A waitress had put menus, water and beer on our table while she waited for us to decide on our meals. Wanting to push finally past this impasse, I pointed out to him that the women had not insulted him, he had insulted them.</p> <p>If that’s the way you want it, he replied, and placed his hands on each side of the table, hurling it into the air and walking out of the restaurant as table, bottles, glasses, water and beer came clattering and smashing down around me. The whole restaurant fell silent. I could not move for some time. The waitress began mopping up the floor around me. Someone called out, “Hey, are you all right?”</p> <p>This was the last time I saw or heard from him. For many months, I thought of him every day, then slowly I thought of him less often, until now I can think of him more or less at will, and not find myself ashamed of the way I went for him in a conversation where I should have been perhaps more alive to whatever was troubling him.</p> <p><strong>Improvised, tentative</strong></p> <p>For some years after this, I felt I had to learn how to be myself without him. I have read articles and essays since then about how pitiful men can be at friendship. We are apparently too competitive, we base our friendships on common activities, which means we can avoid talking openly about our feelings and thoughts. I don’t know about this “male deficit model”, as some sociologists call it, but I do know that the loss of this friendship took with it a big part of my shared personal history at that time. It dented my confidence in ever having properly known this man or understood our friendship — or in knowing how secure any friendship might be.</p> <p>I was drawn to read and re-read Michel de Montaigne’s gentle and strangely extreme <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/865876.On_Friendship?from_search=true">essay on friendship</a> where he was so certain that he knew with perfection what his friend would think and say and value. He wrote of his friend, Etienne de Boëtie, “Not only did I know his mind as well as I knew my own but I would have entrusted myself to him with greater assurance than to myself.”</p> <p>Against this perfection of understanding between friends, there is George Eliot’s odd excursion into science fiction in her 1859 novel, <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/223222.The_Lifted_Veil?from_search=true">The Lifted Veil</a>. Her narrator, Latimer, finds he can perceive perfectly clearly the thoughts of all the people around him. He becomes disgusted and deeply disturbed by the petty self-interest he apparently discovers within everyone.</p> <p>After 40 years of shared history, there was not the disgust Eliot writes of, nor Montaigne’s perfect union of mind and trust between me and my burly friend, but there was, I had thought, a foundation of knowledge whereby we took each other’s differences into ourselves, as well as our common histories of the cafe we had run, and as it happened our common serving of time in semi-monastic seminaries before we’d met — differences and similarities that had given us, I thought, ways of being in sympathy with each other while allowing for each other.</p> <p> </p> <p>Montaigne’s dearest friend, Etienne, had died, and his essay was as much about the meaning of this loss as about friendship. His big idea was loyalty, and I think I understand that, though not in the absolute way Montaigne wrote of it.</p> <p>Loyalty is only real if it is constantly renewed. I worry that I have not worked enough at some friendships that have come into my life, but have let them happen more passively than the women I know who spend such time, and such complicated time, exploring and testing friendships. The sudden disappearance of my friend left me with an awareness of how patched-together, how improvised, clumsy and tentative even the most secure-seeming friendship can be.</p> <p>When the philosopher and brilliant essayist, Simone Weil wrote shortly before she died in 1943,</p> <blockquote> <p>I may lose, at any moment, through the play of circumstances over which I have no control, anything whatsoever that I possess, including things that are so intimately mine that I consider them as myself. There is nothing that I might not lose. It could happen at any moment ….</p> </blockquote> <p>she seemed to be touching on the difficult truth that we run on luck and hope and chance much of the time. Why haven’t I worked harder at friendships, when I know that they provide the real meaning in my life?</p> <p>Some years ago, when I was told by a medical specialist that I had a 30% chance of having cancer, as I waited for the results of a biopsy, I remember that in response to these dismal odds I had no desire to go back to work, no desire to even read — all I wanted to do was spend time with friends.</p> <p><strong>Inner worlds laid waste</strong></p> <p>To know what it is we care about, this is a gift. It should be straightforward to know this and keep it present in our lives, but it can prove to be difficult. Being the reader that I am, I have always turned to literature and fiction for answers or insights into those questions that seem to need answering.</p> <p>I realised some time after the ending of my friendship that I had been reading novels dealing with friendship, and was not even sure how consciously I had chosen them.</p> <p>For instance, I read <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20697435-the-book-of-strange-new-things?from_search=true"><em>The Book of Strange New Things</em></a> by Michel Faber, a novel about a Christian preacher, Peter Leigh, sent to convert aliens in a galaxy ludicrously far from earth on a planet with an equally unlikely atmosphere benign to its human colonisers.</p> <p>It is a novel about whether Leigh can be any kind of adequate friend to his wife left behind on Earth, and whether his new feelings for these aliens amounts to friendship. Though my suspension of disbelief was precarious, I found myself caring about these characters and their relationships, even the grotesquely shapeless aliens. Partly I cared about them because the book read like an essay testing ideas of friendship and loyalty that were important and urgent to the writer.</p> <p>I also read at that time Haruki Murakami’s novel, <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41022133-colorless-tsukuru-tazaki-and-his-years-of-pilgrimage?from_search=true"><em>Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage</em></a>, a book that came with a little game of coloured cards and stickers, and I found that I cared about Tsukuru Tazaki too, for I felt all along that Murakami’s character was a thin and endearing disguise for himself (what a beautiful word that is, “en-dearing”).</p> <p>The novel centred on lost friendships. I heard a tone in its voice that was the oddly flat, persistent, vulnerable and sincere searching of a man for connection with others. If Murakami’s novel has a proposition it wishes to test it would be that we only know ourselves in what images of ourselves we receive back from our friends. Without our friends we become invisible, lost.</p> <p>In both those novels, the friendships are crashing to pieces in slow motion in front of the reader’s helpless eyes. I wanted to shake those characters, tell them to stop and think about what they were doing, but at the same time I saw in them mirrors of myself and my experiences.</p> <p>I <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/470185.About_Looking?from_search=true">read John Berger too</a>, on the way a human looks across an abyss of incomprehension when looking at another animal. Though language seems to connect us, it might be that language also distracts us from the actual abyss of ignorance and fear between all of us as we look, across, at each other. In his <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/782026.The_Savage_Mind?ac=1&amp;from_search=true">book on the savage mind</a>, Lévi-Strauss quotes a study of Canadian Carrier Indians living on the Bulkley River who were able to cross that abyss between species, believing they knew what animals did and what their needs were because their men had been married to the salmon, the beaver and the bear.</p> <p>I have read <a href="https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/7475690-how-many-friends-does-one-person-need?from_search=true">essays by Robin Dunbar on the evolutionary limits to our circles of intimacy</a>, where he suggests that for most of us there needs to be three or maybe five truly close friends. These are the ones we lean towards with tenderness and open ourselves to with endless curiosity — those in whom we seek only the good.</p> <p>My partner can name quickly four friends who qualify for her as part of this necessary circle. I find I can name two (and she is one of them), then a constellation of individual friends whose closeness to me I can’t easily measure. It is this constellation that sustains me.</p> <p>Recently I was away from home for three months. After two weeks away I wrote a list in the back of my diary of the friends I was missing. A little more than a dozen of these were the friends, men and women, with whom I need contact, and with whom conversations are always open-ended, surprising, intellectually stimulating, sometimes intimate, and often fun. With each of them I explore a slightly different but always essential version of myself. Graham Little wrote that “ideal soulmates are friends who are fully aware that each has himself as his main life project”.</p> <p>To live this takes some effort of imagination, and with my friend at dinner that night I might in myself have been refusing to make this effort.</p> <p>There are also, it occurs to me, the friends who came as couples, with whom my partner and I share time as couples. This is itself another manifestation of friendship, one that crosses over into community, tribe and family — and no less precious than the individual intimacy of a personal friendship. For reasons I can’t properly fathom, the importance of this kind of time with coupled friends has deepened as I have grown through the decades of my fifties and sixties.</p> <p>Perhaps it is that the dance of conversation and ideas is so much more complex and pleasurable when there are four or more contributing. It could be too that I am absolved from the responsibility of really working at these friendships in the way one must when there are two of us. Or it might be the pang and stimulus of the knowledge that opportunities to be together are brutally diminishing as we grow older.</p> <p>But to lose an individual friend from one’s closest circle is to have large tracts of one’s inner world laid waste for a time. My feelings over the end of this particular friendship were a kind of grief mixed with bewilderment.</p> <p>It was not that the friendship was necessary to my existence, but that perhaps through habit and sympathy it had become a fixed part of my identity. Robin Dunbar would say that by stepping away from this friendship I had made room for someone else to slip in to my circle of most intimate friends, but isn’t it the point of such close friends that they are in some important sense irreplaceable? This is the source of much of our distress when such friendships end.</p> <p><strong>Still learning</strong></p> <p>When I told people about what had happened in the restaurant that night, they would say, reasonably, “Why don’t you patch things up and resume your friendship?”</p> <p>As I imagined how a conversation might go if I did meet my friend again, I came to understand that I had been a provocation to him. I had ceased to be the friend he needed, wanted or imagined.</p> <p>What he did was dramatic. He might have called it merely dramatic. I felt it as threatening. Though I cannot help but think I provoked him. And if we had “patched” a friendship back together, on whose terms would this have been conducted? Would it always be that I would have to agree not to press him on questions that might lead him to throw over some table between us again?</p> <p>Or worse, would I have to witness his apology, forgive him myself, and put him on his best behaviour for the rest of our friendship?</p> <p>Neither of those outcomes would have patched much together. I had been hurting too over what I saw as his lack of willingness or interest to understand the situation from my point of view. And so it went inside me as the table and the water and the beer and the glasses came crashing down around me. I had been, in a way, married to my friend, even if he was a salmon or a bear — a creature across an abyss from me. Perhaps this was the only way out of that marriage. Perhaps he had been preparing for (moving towards?) this moment more consciously than I had been.</p> <p>The ending of this friendship, it is clear, left me looking for its story. It was as if all along there must have been a narrative with a trajectory carrying us in this direction. A story is of course a way of testing whether an experience can take on a shape. Murakami’s and Faber’s novels are not themselves full-blown stories, for there is almost no plot, no shape, to their stumbling episodic structures, and oddly enough in both books the self-doubting lovers might or might not find that close communion with another somewhere well beyond the last page of each novel.</p> <p>These novels cohere round a series of questions rather than events: what do we know and what can we know about others, what is the nature of the distance that separates one person from another, how provisional is it to know someone anyway, and what does it mean to care about someone, even someone who is a character in a novel?</p> <p>When an Indian says he is married to a salmon, this can be no stranger than me saying I spent a couple of weeks on a humid planet in another galaxy with an astronaut who is a Christian preacher and an inept husband, or I spent last night in Tokyo with an engineer who builds railway stations and believes himself to be colourless, though at least two women have told him he is full of colour. But do I go to this story-making as a way of keeping my experiences less personal and more cerebral?</p> <p>When I got home that night eight years ago, I sat at my kitchen table, shaking, hugging myself, talking to my grown-up children about what happened. It was the talking that helped — a narrative taking shape.</p> <p>Dunbar, like me, like all of us, worries at the question of what makes life so richly present to us, and why friendships seem to be at the core of this meaningfulness. He has been surveying Americans with questions about friendship for several decades, and he concludes that for many of us the small circle of intimate friendships we experience is reducing.</p> <p>We are apparently lucky now, on average, if there are two people in our lives we can approach with tenderness and curiosity, with that assumption that time will not matter as we talk in a low, murmuring, hive-warm way to a close friend.</p> <p>My friend cannot be replaced, and it might be that we did not in the end imagine each other fully enough or accurately enough as we approached that last encounter. I don’t know precisely what our failure was. The shock of what happened and the shock of the friendship ending has over the time since that dinner become a part of my history in which I remember feeling grief but am no longer caught in confused anger or guilt over it. The story of it might not have ended but it has subsided.</p> <p>Perhaps in all friendships we are not only, at our best, agreeing to encountering the unique and endlessly absorbing presence of another person, but unknown to us we’re learning something about how to approach the next friendship in our lives. There is something comically inept and endearing about the possibility that one might still be learning how to be a friend right up to the end of life.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/121627/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Kevin John Brophy, Emeritus Professor of Creative writing, University of Melbourne</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/friday-essay-on-the-ending-of-a-friendship-121627" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Elite Sydney school issues “extraordinary” apology to student in newspaper

<p>An elite Sydney private school has issued a public apology to a student who was sexually abused by one of its teachers.</p> <p>Sydney Grammar School took out an advertisement on page three of the<span> </span><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em><span> </span>on Saturday, saying it was “deeply sorry” and to apologise “unreservedly” to the former student and his family.</p> <p>The teacher was found guilty in May 2017 for multiple counts of sexual intercourse with a student over a period of three months in 2016 when she was employed at Sydney Grammar School.</p> <p>She was sentenced to seven months behind bars in early 2018 and has since been released from custody.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet tw-align-center" data-lang="en-gb"> <p dir="ltr">What an extraordinary apology on page 3 of the ⁦<a href="https://twitter.com/smh?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@SMH</a>⁩ <a href="https://t.co/EwKZeGlDbg">pic.twitter.com/EwKZeGlDbg</a></p> — Kate McClymont (@Kate_McClymont) <a href="https://twitter.com/Kate_McClymont/status/1177712880193400832?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">27 September 2019</a></blockquote> <p>In its apology, the school said that in reporting the abuse he dealt with, the student had shown “enormous bravery” and that it was grateful he had plucked up the courage in “impossible circumstances” to make sure other students remain safe.</p> <p>“The abuse of male students by female teachers is just as serious, and damaging, as the abuse of female students by male teachers,” it read.</p> <p>“The abuse … had and continues to have a profoundly harmful impact on the student.”</p> <p>The school revealed that they had reviewed their policies and procedures after the crime took place as they failed to recognise the abuse at the time.</p> <p>For legal reasons, the student’s identity remains undisclosed.</p> <p>Many have applauded the school for the move, saying it’s the perfect way to apologise for their mistakes.</p> <p>“This should become the benchmark for apologies,” said Kristin Ferguson, Deputy Chair and the ABC on Twitter.</p> <p>“A very effective example of acknowledging failings, articulating in detail why the victim was so brave &amp; the courageous steps he took, then detailing the changes they have made. I hope it serves as a future example for others.”</p>

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Rare video of baby Archie as Harry and Meghan introduce him to Archbishop Desmond

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have shared a special behind-the-scenes video of their four-month-old son, Archie for the first time ever. </p> <p>The royal couple took to Instagram to give fans a glimpse into their Africa tour, showing the moment before their tiny bub met with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B22GTGdFtWA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B22GTGdFtWA/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Thanks Cape Town for another impactful and memorable day! A few more highlights of this very special visit with Archbishop Desmond Tutu #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica Video ©️SussexRoyal</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/sussexroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Duke and Duchess of Sussex</a> (@sussexroyal) on Sep 25, 2019 at 12:06pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Duchess Meghan was seen holding Archie as they walked down a corridor while Prince Harry attempted to get his son giggling. </p> <p>Looking relaxed and at ease, the couple playfully responded to Archie’s cheeky smile and gargles as he leant into his dad. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B21FUmYFgHb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B21FUmYFgHb/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Arch meets Archie! This morning The Duke and Duchess were honoured to introduce their son Archie, to Archbishop, Desmond Tutu and his daughter, Thandeka. The Archbishop, a globally respected figure in anti-apartheid movement, is one of the world’s great champions of equality, and has spent his life tirelessly battling injustice. Their Royal Highnesses have joined The Archbishop and Thandeka to learn more about the work of The Tutu and Leah Legacy Foundation, and see first-hand how they are focussing on global awareness of the critical issues affecting the world. #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ Reuters</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/sussexroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Duke and Duchess of Sussex</a> (@sussexroyal) on Sep 25, 2019 at 2:37am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The one-minute long video featured two separate shots of the family, with the second one showing Archie making happy noises when they met the Archbishop at his legacy foundation. </p> <p>SEE MORE:<span> </span><a href="https://o60.me/tVWGHH">Looks just like daddy! Baby Archie’s first ever royal appearance</a></p> <p>It seems the family-of-three purposefully matched with baby Archie looking dapper in a light blue and white striped overalls while his papa wore a navy suit with a matching tie. Duchess Meghan added to the complementing outfits by wearing a printed dress navy blue heels. </p> <p>Royal watchers were also treated to a glimpse of baby Archie’s tiny tufts of ginger hair. </p> <p>It is also the first time in awhile the public have been able to see the tiny tot since July when he spent a day out at a polo match with his big cousins, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis. </p>

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Duchess Meghan has revealed her sweet nickname for baby Archie

<p>The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have debuted four-month-old Archie in Cape Town, South Africa on Wednesday.</p> <p>As the royal family is on a 10-day tour in South Africa, their schedule is jam-packed full of engagements, including meeting with anti-apartheid activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu.</p> <p>During the visit, Duchess Meghan can be heard revealing her special nickname for her son – “Bubba”.</p> <p>In a video of the family arriving, Meghan can be heard saying “Oh, Bubba!” as she carries him into the building.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B22BZOdovvl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B22BZOdovvl/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Happy family 😍👪❤️@meghanmarkle_official</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/meghanmarkle_official/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Meghan Markle 🔵</a> (@meghanmarkle_official) on Sep 25, 2019 at 11:23am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Fans were thrilled at the reveal of the new nickname.</p> <p>“Super sweet—Bubba!” one fan gushed.</p> <p>“It looks he has moms eyes. Wow he is such a happy baby. Beautiful family,” another fan said.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B21J2_yl_rc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B21J2_yl_rc/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">‘Thank you Archbishop Tutu for your incredibly warm hospitality, Archie loved meeting you!’ - The Duke and Duchess #RoyalVisitSouthAfrica • Photo ©️ PA images</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/sussexroyal/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> The Duke and Duchess of Sussex</a> (@sussexroyal) on Sep 25, 2019 at 3:17am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The pair’s royal tour of Africa will see Prince Harry heading to Botswana, Angola and Malawi with a special focus on wildlife protection whereas the Duchess will remain in South Africa.</p> <p>The royal family’s Africa visit ends on October 2nd . </p>

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The strict rule the Queen broke for her “favourite” royal

<p>Queen Elizabeth’s affection for her daughter-in-law, Sophie, is widely known. </p> <p>The former PR agent Sophie Rhys-Jones married into the royal family to Her Majesty’s youngest son, Prince Edward, in 1999. </p> <p>They have both forged a close relationship together, even in the early years of Sophie dating Prince Edward. </p> <p>So close in fact, the Queen actually allowed her future daughter-in-law to stay inside Buckingham Palace before her engagement to the royal’s son was announced. </p> <p>It is a strict rule the 93-year-old monarch didn’t waver from for any of the royal brides to come before, including Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York. </p> <p>"The Countess is a favourite with the Queen," Ingrid Seward wrote for<span> </span><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/theroyalfamily/10469258/Sophie-Wessex-The-unsung-star-of-the-Royal-family.html" target="_blank">The Telegraph.</a></p> <p>The Queen recognised that Sophie was a suitable match for her youngest son, Seward wrote. </p> <p>"To assist the slow-burning romance, the Queen took the unprecedented step of allowing Sophie a royal pass to enter Buckingham Palace and stay overnight in the royal apartments if she wished."</p> <p>Sophie can often be seen standing by her mother-in-law’s side and more recently spent more time with the monarch at Balmoral then the majority of the royal family. </p> <p>The Earl and Countess of Wessex, as well as their children Lady Louise and James, Viscount Severn,  travelled into the Scottish Highlands for more than a week. </p> <p>The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge along with their three children Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, spent just three days at the estate. </p> <p>Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie and their parents Sarah Ferguson and Prince Andrew were also there for a short period of time. </p> <p>"It is usually Sophie whom the Queen asks to share her car when she is being driven on non‑official occasions," Seward wrote.</p> <p>"Over the years, the Queen's support and affection have boosted her confidence, and the bond between them is being keenly observed in royal circles."</p> <p>Queen Elizabeth also helped prepare her daughter-in-law for her life as a royal, a gift she didn’t afford to Princess Diana or Fergie. </p> <p>"The Princess of Wales and Duchess of York only discovered how difficult royal life could be after they were engaged and already en route to the altar," Seward wrote in<span> </span>Prince Edward: A Biography.</p> <p>"Sophie was being given a careful and subtle introduction, a fact which did not escape the notice of Diana and Sarah."</p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see the Queen with one of her “favourite” royals. </p> <p>"Both would later complain (with more than an edge of resentment in their voices) that they had received no such help as they struggled to get to terms with their new situation."</p>

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How your genes could affect the quality of your marriage

<p>How important is it to consider a romantic partner’s genetic profile before getting married?</p> <p>It is logical to think that genetic factors may underlie many <a href="http://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2007.04.006">traits already used by matching sites</a> - like personality and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1754073911421379">empathy</a> - which many assume could promote initial chemistry and long-term potential in specific couples. So it is perhaps not surprising that there are now websites that combine genetic testing and matchmaking.</p> <p>But does matching intimate partners on the basis of specific genes have any scientific foundation? Studies have shown that genetically identical twins, raised separately, rate the overall quality of their marriages similarly, suggesting some enduring <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.18.1.107">genetic contribution to marital life</a>. However, the specific genes that are relevant to marriage, and why, remain a mystery.</p> <p>As such, predicting marital compatibility on the basis of specific combinations of genetic profiles rests on tenuous scientific footing. Currently, researchers are just beginning to identify the genes that may be associated with marital bliss and through what processes.</p> <p><strong>Why study the effects of genes on marriage?</strong></p> <p>As a <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?hl=en&amp;user=S1sMgBEAAAAJ&amp;view_op=list_works&amp;gmla=AJsN-F77stmAUmgQmt-4s2pnaWMg_dTe3Fm1XViucVibQwaVX_b-Xyvqva9CRxaJBXr1mhUjvv5LZdtnEa_pF9KaqC3PfLsEFC7WN3SMR2S0k1wHB68yFNs">scientist and clinical psychologist</a>, I have a longstanding interest in <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.4135/9781412958479.n413">identifying the factors that contribute to a happy marriage</a>, such as <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-6811.2010.01315.x">how couples manage conflict</a>. My interest in exploring genetic determinants, however, developed more recently.</p> <p>Genes are segments of DNA that encode a particular trait. A gene can take on various forms called alleles, and the combination of the two alleles inherited from both parents represent one’s genotype. Differences in genotype correspond to observable differences within that trait across individuals.</p> <p>Though genes underlie individual differences in a broad range of characteristics believed to be relevant to marriage, I am specifically interested in the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene. Oxytocin, sometimes referred to as the “love” hormone, appears to play a significant role in emotional attachment. For example, oxytocin floods a new mother at the birth of a child and it spikes during sex. Therefore, I reasoned that the gene that regulates oxytocin, OXTR, might be a good one to study in the context of marriage, as it is frequently implicated in how we become attached to other humans. Moreover, OXTR has been associated with a range of phenomena linked to <a href="http://doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2012.00004">human social behavior, including trust</a> and <a href="http://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1003296107">sociability</a>.</p> <p>Of greatest interest to me is that the OXTR gene has been linked with physiological <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsycho.2016.02.007">responses to social support</a> and traits believed to be <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jopy.12152">critical to support processes</a>, like empathy. Considered alongside findings that the quality of social support is a <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017578">major determinant of overall marital quality</a>, the evidence implied that variations on the OXTR gene could be tethered to later marital quality by influencing how partners support each other. To test this hypothesis, I pulled together a multidisciplinary team of scientists including <a href="https://www.stonybrook.edu/commcms/psychology/faculty/faculty_profiles/jdavila">psychologists with</a> additional expertise in marital research, <a href="http://www.upstate.edu/search/?tab=people&amp;ID=middletf">a geneticist</a> and a <a href="https://www.binghamton.edu/psychology/people/profile.html?id=ncameron-BD02A8667FFAC2FAAA78B6835C6CC314">neuroendocrinologist</a> specializing in oxytocin.</p> <p>Together our team recruited 79 different-sex married couples to participate in our study. We then asked each partner to identify an important personal problem – unrelated to the marriage – to discuss with their spouse for 10 minutes.</p> <p>These discussions were recorded and later coded according to how each partner solicited and provided “positive” support by scoring elements like problem-solving and active listening. Couples responded separately to several questionnaires including a measure of perceived quality of the support they received during the interaction. Each person also provided saliva samples that our team analyzed to determine which two alleles of the OXTR gene each person carried.</p> <p><strong>Genetic variation and marital quality</strong></p> <p>Based on prior evidence, we focused our attention on two specific locations on the OXTR gene: <a href="https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs1042778">rs1042778</a> and <a href="https://www.snpedia.com/index.php/Rs4686302">rs4686302</a>. As expected, higher quality social support was associated with marital quality. Also, genetic variation at each OXTR site for both husbands and wives was linked with how partners behaved during the support discussions.</p> <p>However, individuals did not appear more or less satisfied with the support they received based on differences in the positive skills their partners used during the interaction.</p> <p>Rather, we found that husbands with two copies of the T allele at a specific location on OXTR (rs1042778) perceived that their partners provided lower quality support. This was regardless of whether his partner’s support skills were strong or weak.</p> <p>To us, this implied that husbands with the TT genotype had greater difficulty interpreting their respective wife’s behavior as supportive. This is consistent with other findings implicating this same genotype <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jad.2012.01.009">in social-cognitive deficits</a>, <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11689-010-9071-2">as well as autism</a>.</p> <p>Notably, the husband and wife in couples also reported being less satisfied with their marriage overall, when compared to those with different combinations of alleles. This suggests that couples in which the husband carries two copies of the T allele were worse off, in part, because these men had trouble perceiving their wife’s behavior as supportive – a notion that our statistical analysis ultimately supported.</p> <p><strong>Practical implications</strong></p> <p>Do we have the evidence necessary to start screening potential husbands for specific combinations of genes that seem harmful to marriage?</p> <p>I would not recommend doing so for a few reasons. Foremost is that genes can influence a broad range of characteristics, which may be detrimental to a marriage in some respects but beneficial in others. Although we found that having two copies of the T allele seems to be a liability in the context of social support, exploratory analyses revealed that this combination appeared to also confer some positive influence on the marriage. The exact mechanism remains unclear, but we speculate that being less sensitive to social nuance may be protective in other areas of marriage by, for example, blunting hostile exchanges during disagreements.</p> <p>More to the point, assuming that a single gene can make or break a marriage underestimates the complexity of genetics and marriage. It is possible that certain genes may be more or less detrimental depending on the rest of a partner’s genetic profile. However, there is currently no published data on which to rest any type of proposed match. So, ruling out prospective husbands on the basis of variations within or across genes doesn’t make much sense.</p> <p>Nevertheless, there are still practical implications to our current findings. Researchers have shown that social support from intimate partners can buffer the <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.5538-09.2010">deleterious effects of stress on mental</a> and physical health. To the extent that particular genotypes impair an individual’s ability to feel supported, that person may be more susceptible to the effects of stress. Thus, screening men for the TT genotype on OXTR could assist in identifying those at risk for stress-related problems. In addition, future research may highlight how to tailor the delivery of social support in ways that can benefit these individuals.</p> <p>There are also several <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0026067">other potentially relevant locations on OXTR</a>, as well as other genes that may be relevant to relationships. Our study provides a template for approaching the study of marital genetics.</p> <p><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/109647/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><em>Written by <span>Richard Mattson, Associate Professor &amp; Director of Graduate Studies in Psychology, Binghamton University, State University of New York</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/how-your-genes-could-affect-the-quality-of-your-marriage-109647" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p>

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Baby name theft: Mum-to-be's question sparks online debate

<p><span>“What’s in a name?” the famous question goes. However, the issue might not be so simple for expecting parents looking to name their newborn, as a woman proves after sharing her baby-naming dilemma.</span></p> <p><span>The expectant mother, who was 39 weeks into her pregnancy, said she was toying with the idea of giving her future child a similar name to her friend’s newborn.</span></p> <p><span>“I hadn’t decided my baby girl name to use but recently I love a particular name that happens to be very similar to hers (her daughter is Lillian and I like the name Lilia),” she wrote on <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/3687042-AIBU-To-use-a-similar-name?messages=100&amp;pg=2" target="_blank">Mumsnet forum</a>.</span></p> <p><span>“Do you think it would be unreasonable for me to use this name? She picked first and it’s not exactly a name I had my heart set on from the start so I worry it might ruffle some feathers!</span></p> <p><span>“Can I get away with it as it’s slightly different or should I go back to the drawing board? Fingers crossed I have a boy and I won’t have to worry!”</span></p> <p><span>The question has sparked a debate, with many advising the mum-to-be against ‘copying’ the name.</span></p> <p><span>“I know no one owns a name but there are so many names out there and you already said you aren’t attached to the name and hadn't thought about it for long so it seems a bit like it’s causing drama when there is no need?” one commented.</span></p> <p><span>“I think it’s too similar. By all means do it, but don’t expect your friend to be impressed or happy, be prepared for her to distance herself from you,” another wrote.</span></p> <p><span>“I really wouldn’t if you value your friendship with this woman at all,” one added. “It’s not exactly the same name but it’s virtually identical … She might not openly admit it to you but I’d be very surprised if she wasn’t bothered and I think there will be some resentment there.”</span></p> <p><span>Others suggested that she shouldn’t fret over the decision.</span></p> <p><span>“She doesn’t own the name, it’s none of her business what you call your daughter therefore I’d always say go for it,” one wrote. “People who get precious about this clearly don’t have much going on so I’d really go with your first choice and tell her to get a grip if it was an issue!”</span></p> <p><span>“I think, if you have your heart set on the name then you should just use it. Life’s too short to be pandering and worrying what others will think,” another said.</span></p> <p><span>“Use it, she doesn’t own it. Multiple people have the same name in the world,” one chimed in.</span></p> <p><span>Some advised the woman to check with her friend. “Names are not unique anyway. If you love it why don’t you ask your friend what she thinks?”</span></p> <p><span>A few pointed out that the name Lilia is reminiscent of a sanitary towel brand. “If you weren’t too fussed about the name until recently then I would choose something else – purely from a sanitary towel point of view,” one suggested.</span></p> <p><span>According to Linda Murray, global editor-in-chief of BabyCenter, offspring naming can be “tricky” due to its emotional nature. </span></p> <p><span>“Parents spend a lot of time thinking and dreaming about their child’s name, and it’s one way they become attached to their child before they even meet him or her,” Murray told <em><a href="https://www.today.com/parents/s-my-child-s-name-some-parents-baby-name-theft-t75506">TODAY Parents</a></em>. </span></p> <p><span>“It’s an emotional process, so when you share your favourite baby name with someone and they ‘take’ your name, it feels like theft.”</span></p>

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5 ways we can argue better

<p>Argument is everywhere. From the kitchen table to the boardroom to the highest echelons of power, we all use argument to persuade, investigate new ideas, and make collective decisions.</p> <p>Unfortunately, we often fail to consider the ethics of arguing. This makes it perilously easy to mistreat others — a critical concern in personal relationships, workplace decision-making and political deliberation.</p> <p><strong>The norms of argument</strong></p> <p>Everyone understands there are <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-make-good-arguments-at-school-and-everywhere-else-121305">basic norms</a> we <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books/about/A_Systematic_Theory_of_Argumentation.html?id=DfMih3LWVBYC&amp;redir_esc=y">should follow when arguing</a>.</p> <p>Logic and commonsense dictate that, when deliberating with others, we should be open to their views. We should listen carefully and try to understand their reasoning. And while we can’t all be Socrates, we should do our best to respond to their thoughts with clear, rational and relevant arguments.</p> <p>Since the time of <a href="http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/gorgias.html">Plato</a>, these <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10503-009-9160-0">norms have been defended</a> on what philosophers call “<a href="https://theconversation.com/how-do-you-know-that-what-you-know-is-true-thats-epistemology-63884">epistemic</a>” grounds. This means the norms are valuable because they promote knowledge, insight and self-understanding.</p> <p>What “<a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-teach-all-students-to-think-critically-35331">critical thinking</a>” is to internal thought processes, these “norms of argument” are to interpersonal discussion and deliberation.</p> <p><strong>Why ‘ethical’ arguing is important</strong></p> <p>In a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0020174X.2019.1637776">recent article,</a> I contend that these norms of argument are also <em>morally important</em>.</p> <p>Sometimes this is obvious. For example, norms of argument can overlap with commonsense ethical principles, like honesty. Deliberately misrepresenting a person’s view is wrong because it involves knowingly saying something false.</p> <p>More importantly, but less obviously, being reasonable and open-minded ensures we treat our partners in argument in a consensual and reciprocal way. During arguments, people open themselves up to attaining worthwhile benefits, like understanding and truth. If we don’t “play by the rules”, we can frustrate this pursuit.</p> <p>Worse, if we change their minds by misleading or bamboozling them, this can amount to the serious wrongs of <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/40237210?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents">manipulation or intimidation</a>.</p> <p>Instead, obeying the norms of argument shows respect for our partners in argument as intelligent, rational individuals. It acknowledges they can change their minds based on reason.</p> <p>This matters because <a href="https://www.iep.utm.edu/kantview/#H5">rationality is an important part of people’s humanity</a>. Being “endowed with reason” is lauded in the <a href="https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/">UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights</a> to support its fundamental claim that humans are born free and equal in dignity and rights.</p> <p>Obeying the norms of argument also has good effects on our character. Staying open-minded and genuinely considering contrary views helps us learn more about our own beliefs.</p> <p>As philosopher <a href="https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/m/mill/john_stuart/m645o/">John Stuart Mill observed</a>,</p> <blockquote> <p>He who knows only his own side of the case knows little of that.</p> </blockquote> <p>This open-mindedness helps us combat the moral perils of <a href="https://psychologenie.com/concept-of-group-polarization-in-psychology-explained">bias and groupthink</a>.</p> <p>What’s more, the norms of argument aren’t just good for individuals, they are also good for groups. They allow conflicts and collective decisions to be approached in a respectful, inclusive way, rather than forcing an agreement or <a href="https://theconversation.com/comic-how-to-have-better-arguments-about-the-environment-or-anything-else-98554">escalating the conflict</a>.</p> <p>Indeed, arguments can <em>make</em> collectives. Two arguers, over time, <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282544990_What_Virtue_Argumentation_Theory_Misses_The_Case_of_Compathetic_Argumentation">can collectively achieve a shared intellectual creation</a>. As partners in argument, they define terms, acknowledge areas of shared agreement, and mutually explore each other’s reasons. They do something <em>together</em>.</p> <p>All this accords with everyday experience. Many of us have enjoyed the sense of respect when our views have been welcomed, heard and seriously considered. And all of us know what it feels like to have our ideas dismissed, misrepresented or caricatured.</p> <p><strong>Why we have trouble arguing calmly</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, being logical, reasonable and open-minded is easier said than done. When we argue with others, their arguments will inevitably call into question our beliefs, values, experience and competence.</p> <p>These challenges are not easy to face calmly, especially if the topic is one we care about. This is because we like to think of ourselves as <a href="https://positivepsychology.com/self-efficacy/">effective and capable</a>, rather than mistaken or misguided. We also care about our <a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/02/27/why-facts-dont-change-our-minds?__s=goqjzsqdzqpwcb7jc8de">social standing</a> and like to <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/changepower/201808/11-ways-project-confidence-and-be-taken-seriously">project confidence</a>.</p> <p>In addition, we suffer from <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19586162">confirmation bias</a>, so we actively avoid evidence that we are wrong.</p> <p>Finally, we may have material stakes riding on the argument’s outcome. After all, one of the main reasons we engage in argument is to get our way. We want to convince others to do what we want and follow our lead.</p> <p>All this means that when someone challenges our convictions, we are psychologically predisposed to hit back hard.</p> <p>Worse still, our capacity to evaluate whether our opponents are obeying the norms of argument is poor. All the psychological processes mentioned above don’t just make it hard to argue calmly and reasonably. They also trick us into <a href="https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/04/190417084524.htm">mistakenly thinking our opponents are being illogical</a>, making us feel as if it’s them, and not us, who’s failing to argue properly.</p> <p><strong>How should we navigate the moral complexity of arguing?</strong></p> <p>Arguing morally isn’t easy, but here are five tips to help:</p> <ol> <li> <p>Avoid thinking that when someone starts up an argument, they are mounting an attack. To adapt a saying by <a href="https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/oscar_wilde_128481">Oscar Wilde</a>, there is only one thing in the world worse than being argued with, and that is <em>not</em> being argued with. Reasoned argument acknowledges a person’s rationality, and that their opinion matters.</p> </li> <li> <p>There is always more going on in any argument than who wins and who loses. In particular, the relationship between the two arguers can be at stake. Often, the real prize is demonstrating respect, even as we disagree.</p> </li> <li> <p>Don’t be too quick to judge your opponent’s standards of argument. There’s a good chance you’ll succumb to “<a href="https://hbr.org/1991/05/teaching-smart-people-how-to-learn">defensive reasoning</a>”, where you’ll use all your intelligence to find fault with their views, instead of genuinely reflecting on what they are saying. Instead, try and work with them to clarify their reasoning.</p> </li> <li> <p>Never assume that others aren’t open to intelligent argument. <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/international-organization/article/lets-argue-communicative-action-in-world-politics/F785E45F33231B4E600F97281BA5A6A3">History is littered</a> with examples of people genuinely changing their minds, even in the most high stakes environments imaginable.</p> </li> <li> <p>It’s possible for both sides to “lose” an argument. The recently announced <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-question-time-becomes-political-theatre-does-it-still-play-a-vital-role-in-government-121177">inquiry into question time in parliament</a> provides a telling example. Even as the government and opposition strive to “win” during this daily show of political theatre, the net effect of their appalling standards is that everyone’s reputation suffers.</p> </li> </ol> <p><strong>The upshot</strong></p> <p>There is a saying in applied ethics that the worst ethical decisions you’ll ever make are the ones you don’t recognise <em>as</em> ethical decisions.</p> <p>So, when you find yourself in the thick of argument, do your best to remember what’s morally at stake.</p> <p>Otherwise, there’s a risk you might lose a lot more than you win.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/121178/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Hugh Breakey, Senior Research Fellow, Moral philosophy, Institute for Ethics, Governance &amp; Law, Law Futures Centre, Griffith University</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/actually-its-ok-to-disagree-here-are-5-ways-we-can-argue-better-121178" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>. </em></p>

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Calling all canine heroes: Bold new venture from Duchess Kate's baby brother

<p>The Duchess of Cambridge’s brother is known for his love of dogs, mentioning in the past how his four-legged friends helped him cope with his depression.</p> <p>Now, James Middleton is wanting to shed light on mental illness, using dogs as a driving force for change.</p> <p>Taking to Instagram, James announced the he’s partnering with the Kennel Club U.K. and the dog show it organises, Crufts, to give the loyal companion the honour they deserve.</p> <p>“I have spoken publicly about the positive impact dogs have had in my life,” he said as he sat with two of his five dogs. “Now, I want to hear your stories … I want to celebrate unsung canine heroes, who deserve to be recognised for the amazing impact they have on their owner’s lives.”</p> <p>He then invited fans to submit their deserving dogs to the Kennel Club’s “Friends for Life” competition, in one of five categories: Extraordinary life of a working dog, hero support dog, best friends, child’s companion and rescue dog hero. He will be reading through all of the submissions before meeting the finalists at Crufts in 2020.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2MWhxcgDUB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B2MWhxcgDUB/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">My own dogs played a vital role in my recovery from clinical depression. In light of this I want to celebrate the important role dogs play in our lives and the unconditional love and support they give us ❤️🐾 . If you know of an unsung dog hero, PLEASE nominate them for the @thekennelclubuk 2020 #FriendsforLife competition at www.crufts.org.uk/ffl - I will be honoured to read all the stories &amp; meet the finalists at @Crufts 2020 🎉 . #crufts #friendsforlife #thekennelclubuk #goodluck</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/jmidy/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> James Middleton</a> (@jmidy) on Sep 9, 2019 at 6:59am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>This isn’t the first time James has celebrated his dogs, as he regularly shows them off on his Instagram page. </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see James with his furry friends.</p>

Relationships

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The one royal Prince Philip refuses to share a room with

<p><span>Prince Philip has refused to be in the same room with a royal family member after a scandal broke out more than two decades ago.</span></p> <p><span>According to royal correspondent James Whitaker, the husband of Queen Elizabeth II declines to share a room with Sarah ‘Fergie’ Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew.</span></p> <p><span>Whitaker said the Duke of Edinburgh was left riling after the infamous pictures of Ferguson sunbathing topless while her financial adviser John Bryan sucked her toes in Saint-Tropez came out on the <em>Daily Mirror </em>newspaper in 1992.</span></p> <p><span>“It happened in front of the whole family at the Queen’s country residence in Scotland,” Whitaker said of the fallout.</span></p> <p><span>“[Ferguson] was late into breakfast and everybody had got a copy of the <em>Daily Mirror</em>.</span></p> <p><span>“As she walked into the room, they all stuffed it under their <em>Times</em> and <em>Telegraphs</em> and that sort of thing.</span></p> <p><span>“She knew the game was up the second she walked into the room.”</span></p> <p><span>The Queen asked Ferguson to leave the estate. The family relationship reportedly never recovered afterwards, with the monarch and her husband making efforts to make sure they are not placed in the same room as their former daughter-in-law.</span></p> <p><span>Ferguson married Prince Andrew, the third child of the Queen and Prince Philip, in 1986. The couple separated in 1992 – months before the tabloid pictures were released – and divorced in 1996. </span></p> <p><span>In recent years, Ferguson has <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/lifestyle/relationships/just-friends-fergie-forced-to-deny-she-and-prince-andrew-have-reunited" target="_blank">denied speculations</a> that she and Prince Andrew had rekindled their romance, with her spokesperson saying: “The Duke and Duchess of York continue to be good friends, and nothing has changed in their relationship.”</span></p>

Relationships

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Signs you are dating a psychopath

<p>It may sound like a scene straight out of a horror movie, but statistically you are not that unlikely to end up on a date with a psychopath. It is estimated that about <a href="https://www.livescience.com/7859-psychopath-answers-remain-elusive.html">1 in 100 people</a> are psychopaths – similar to the number of people <a href="https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/features/if-the-uk-were-a-village-of-100-people-1754307.html">who are teachers</a>.</p> <p>And while we may associate psychopaths with horrifying criminals such as the American serial killer, rapist and necrophile <a href="https://www.biography.com/people/ted-bundy-9231165">Ted Bundy</a>, the majority of psychopaths aren’t actually criminals, but live fairly ordinary lives in our midst. So how do you know if you happen to be dating a psychopath and what should you expect? Luckily, there’s research on the topic.</p> <p>Despite this type of personality disorder being well established and researched, there is some controversy <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jopy.12115">around exactly how it should be diagnosed</a>. However, researchers do agree that psychopathy involves <a href="https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/development-and-psychopathology/article/triarchic-conceptualization-of-psychopathy-developmental-origins-of-disinhibition-boldness-and-meanness/172BC63ED5C4C4C295C47DDCB01E838D">persistent antisocial behaviour</a>, impaired empathy and remorse, boldness, emotional resiliency, meanness, impulsivity and extremely egotistical traits.</p> <p>Psychopaths also have certain positive traits, however, such as paying attention to detail, being good at reading people and engaging in conversation with ease. Their ability to be precise and creative means psychopaths <a href="https://listverse.com/2016/04/22/10-unexpected-benefits-to-being-a-psychopath/">can be successful</a> professionals.</p> <p><strong>Romantic problems</strong></p> <p>The first trait that might become apparent when dating a psychopath is <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-015-7856-1_2">pathological lying</a>. Psychopaths are likely to repeatedly attempt to deceive their partners and will lie about anything under any circumstances in order to conceal their behaviour and achieve their goals – whatever they may be.</p> <p>Unfortunately, it can be difficult to catch a psychopath lying as they often strategically plan deceitful stories. They often also tend to have a superficial charm that may have got their partner addicted in the first place – this could make their other half <a href="https://www.quora.com/What-is-an-example-of-psychopathic-charm">doubt their suspicions</a>.</p> <p>Their perception of self worth is typically extremely high. Even if you are a successful, confident professional, you are likely to feel worthless in comparison. And if you don’t, a psychopath partner may set out to crush your self esteem in order to <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3560578/">have more control over you</a>. Research shows that psychopaths often use a technique called gas lighting in order to achieve this – gradually eroding a “victim’s” confidence and sense of reality by confusing, misdirecting, deceiving and persuading them – leading to extreme <a href="http://parenting.exposed/dating-and-relationships-after-leaving-a-psychopath/">self doubt</a>.</p> <p>The reason psychopaths are good at manipulating is that they typically study people’s behaviour and skilfully use it to control them. If you are in a relationship with a psychopath and manage to resist their manipulation, they will often throw a <a href="https://www.mentalhelp.net/advice/please-explain-how-it-is-that-psychopaths-can-manipulate-people-if-they-have-no-empathy/">toddler’s tantrum full of frustration</a>, anger, nagging or repetitive conversations – and of course the pity puppy eyes as a final attempt – to make you feel sorry for them and give in to their wishes.</p> <p>The lack of guilt or remorse is particularly hard to deal with. But don’t expect it to change – research suggests the brains of psychopaths are <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/14789949.2014.943798">wired in this way</a>. A recent brain scanning study of psychopaths in prison showed that the higher levels of psychopathy people had, the more likely they were to cheat – and <a href="https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/13/8/797/5048611">not feel bad about it</a>. This was associated with reduced activity of the <a href="https://neuro.psychiatryonline.org/doi/full/10.1176/jnp.23.2.jnp121">anterior cingulate cortex</a>, which is thought to play a role in morality, impulse control and emotion among other things. Other studies have discovered that psychopaths have structural and functional differences in <a href="http://psycnet.apa.org/record/2016-55325-001">several brain areas</a>, including the prefrontal cortex, which plays a crucial role in personality development and planning.</p> <p>It is clearly also exhausting to be in a relationship with someone who <a href="https://academic.oup.com/scan/article/5/1/59/1731641">struggles to feel empathy</a>. However, some studies have indicated that psychopaths may actually have the ability to feel empathy – both on an intellectual and emotional level – but <a href="https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-23431793">can choose to disregard it</a>, as if they have an emotional off switch. Similarly, it seems psychopaths <a href="http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/psychotic-affective-disorders/hidden-suffering-psychopath">are often aware</a> of the wrongfulness in their negative behaviour, but act in that way in any case due to their lack of self control.</p> <p>Romantic partners of psychopaths will therefore soon realise it is hard work to keep up with their partners’ continuous need for stimulation and unrealistic long-term goals. Their lack of self control can also get partners in trouble. For example, a psychopath may be <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160252717300523">rude to their partner’s colleagues</a> or embarrass them at a party.</p> <p>Psychopaths also tend to show traits of sociopathy and narcissism, and both traits <a href="https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/personality-types-most-likely-to-cheat-and-why-they-do-it">have been been correlated with infidelity</a>. A <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0265407517734068">recent study</a> that examined how psychopathic traits play out in romantic relationships also found that manipulation to gain sex may be a common approach.</p> <p>While many of these traits are off-putting, men and women seem to struggle with different things when living with a psychopathic partner. Women are more likely to resent their partner’s behaviour and gradually end the relationship, while men are more likely to experience <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2014.08.014">an increased fear of rejection</a> due to their partner’s impulsive behaviour.</p> <p><strong>Dealing with rejection</strong></p> <p>People who find the strength to get unhooked from a romantic relationship with a psychopath may find that their other half actually feels sorry – but that’s most likely to be because they <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/113/50/14438">are no longer able to own</a>, control and use them anymore.</p> <p>And if you dump a psychopath and later try to get them back you are unlikely to be successful. Their lack of empathy means that they will take no responsibility for what went wrong in the relationship and offer to change going forward. Instead, they will most likely <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/1468-5930.00062">blame the outcome on you</a> or anyone else but themselves. This attitude comes from their belief that, if you are feeling hurt, then it is your responsibility and your problem – in other words, <a href="http://philosophycommons.typepad.com/flickers_of_freedom/2015/01/psychopaths-and-moral-responsibility-the-state-of-the-debate.html">you let this happen to you</a>.</p> <p>However, if their next romantic partner is not as challenging, interesting and fruitful as they hoped for, they might come right back to you full of deceitful apologies and new-found meaning in your relationship – along with promises of love. That is because psychopaths tend to live a <a href="http://psychogendered.com/2014/06/bloodsucker-the-parasitic-psychopath/">parasitic lifestyle</a>, feeding off others and taking more than they give. That means they may want to have your friends, resources and even your financial status back as their own.</p> <p>That said, psychopaths do appreciate their relationships in their own way. They do suffer pain, feel loneliness, have desires and feel sadness if they do not receive affection. Clearly dating a psychopath is not for everyone. But some people can see beyond the negative traits and accept a psychopath partner as they are – ultimately having greater chance of seeing the relationship succeed.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/106965/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: http://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em>Written by <span>Calli Tzani-Pepelasi, Lecturer in Investigative Psychology, University of Huddersfield</span>. Republished with permission of </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://theconversation.com/worried-you-are-dating-a-psychopath-signs-to-look-for-according-to-science-106965" target="_blank"><em>The Conversation</em></a><em>.</em></p>

Relationships

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Duchess Meghan’s special tribute to Prince Harry and baby Archie

<p>The Duchess of Sussex has kept her two loves, husband Prince Harry and their son, Archie, close to her heart while she is overseas. </p> <p>The royal, 38, attended the US Open on Saturday to cheer on her close pal Serena Williams in the Women’s Final. </p> <p>The new mother looked stunning and relaxed in a denim shirt-dress and blazer from J.Crew - with a particularly special feature. </p> <p>Duchess Meghan wore a gold ‘dog tag’ necklace on the day, which had Prince Harry and baby Archie’s  initials etched onto a small stone. </p> <p>The necklace is a creation of Mini Mini Jewels - the 14k Gold Birthstone Accented Letter Dog-tag Pendant. </p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/BmoV2tUjwhD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BmoV2tUjwhD/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Mini Mini Jewels (@miniminijewels)</a> on Aug 18, 2018 at 11:29am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>The necklace also featured a diamond stud on each of the pendants. </p> <p>While it is barely noticeable, there is A and H etched onto the gorgeous piece of jewellery. </p> <p>In June, the Duchess attended Wimbledon to support her gal pal again, and was pictured adorned in a fine necklace with a letter A charm.  </p> <p>Scroll through the gallery above to see Duchess Meghan’s special nod to hubby, Prince Harry and baby Archie. </p>

Relationships