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Long-serving ABC star calls it quits

<p>Paul Barry, the veteran host of <em>Media Watch</em>, who has made a career out of poking the media bear, has announced his departure from the ABC show in December. After an illustrious (and occasionally infamous) tenure that would make a soap opera look like a nap, Barry is hanging up his microphone at the ripe age of 72.</p> <p>“I’ve been in the hot seat for 11 years and it’s time to give someone else a go,” Barry remarked, possibly while the hot seat sighed in relief. Indeed, hosting Media Watch is no small feat – it's a bit like riding a roller coaster while simultaneously refereeing a brawl. But Barry has certainly done it with aplomb, panache and a fair amount of flair.</p> <p>His announcement has left viewers with mixed feelings – a blend of gratitude for his unyielding service and a tinge of sadness, akin to the bittersweet end of a beloved TV series. Barry promised to stay with us until December, giving us ample time to stock up on popcorn and enjoy the remaining episodes. "Lots of fun to be had before then," he teased, hinting at some final rounds of media mischief.</p> <p>For those who might be wondering what Barry plans to do next, well, that's still a mystery. Perhaps he'll take up knitting, but knowing him, it’ll likely be with barbed wire.</p> <p>Barry first commandeered <em>Media Watch</em> in 2000 before returning in 2013, making a grand comeback that rivalled any reality TV show. Over the years, he has ruffled enough feathers to fill a sizeable pillow factory. Commercial media outlets, politicians and even his own network – as <em>Media Watch</em> famously runs independently of the ABC – have all been on the receiving end of his sharp critiques. His fearless approach has made him a hero to many and a headache to some.</p> <p>One of Barry’s most memorable moments came in 2013 during a spat with columnist Andrew Bolt. When Bolt provocatively asked Barry to reveal his salary on air, Barry did just that – $191,259, to be precise. It was a jaw-dropping moment that left viewers stunned and Bolt, presumably, a bit flummoxed.</p> <p>In between his stints at <em>Media Watch</em>, Barry has donned many hats – investigative reporter for the <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>, correspondent for <em>60 Minutes</em>, and author of several books, including a controversial unauthorised biography of James Packer. His career has been a veritable smorgasbord of journalism, controversy and unflinching honesty.</p> <p>An ABC spokesperson paid tribute to Barry, highlighting his “track record of independent commentary, analysis, and robust discussion about the media industry and its ethics – or lack thereof.” Barry has indeed been the watchdog’s watchdog, never shying away from calling out malpractice, no matter where it reared its head.</p> <p>As the ABC gears up to announce a new host, the shoes left behind are large ones to fill. Barry’s departure marks the end of an era – one filled with wit, grit and an unwavering commitment to holding the media accountable.</p> <p>So, here’s to Paul Barry – the feather-ruffler, the truth-seeker, the man who made us laugh, gasp and, most importantly, think. As he steps down from <em>Media Watch</em>, we wish him the very best in his next adventure, whether that’s taking on new journalistic endeavours or finally perfecting that tricky scarf pattern.</p> <p>Bravo, Mr Barry. You will be missed.</p> <p><em>Image: Media Watch</em></p>

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"Fly high, Bette!": World's longest-serving flight attendant dies aged 88

<p>Bette Nash, the world's longest-serving flight attendant has passed away aged 88, after a short battle with breast cancer. </p> <p>American Airlines, where Nash devoted almost seven decades of her life, announced her death on social media on Saturday. </p> <p>"We mourn the passing of Bette Nash, who spent nearly seven decades warmly caring for our customers in the air," they began their post. </p> <p>“Bette was a legend at American and throughout the industry, inspiring generations of flight attendants. </p> <p>“Fly high, Bette. We’ll miss you.”</p> <p>A spokesperson for the airlines confirmed that she was still an active employee at the time of her death. </p> <p>Nash, who was born on December 31, 1935,  began her flight-attendant career with Eastern Airlines in 1957, at just 21-years-old. </p> <p>In January 2022, she was officially recognised as the world’s longest-serving flight attendant by Guinness World Records, after surpassing the previous record a year earlier. She continued to hold the title until her passing. </p> <p>Tributes have poured in from people all over the world on social media, with many praising her for her unwavering dedication and kindness. </p> <p>"Fly high Bette! It was a pleasure being your passenger," wrote one person on X, alongside a selfie he took with her. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">Fly high Bette! It was a pleasure being your passenger. <a href="https://t.co/9N63YPB5Ia">pic.twitter.com/9N63YPB5Ia</a></p> <p>— Jon Kruse (@JonKruseYacht) <a href="https://twitter.com/JonKruseYacht/status/1794459429997273423?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 25, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"She was flying as a passenger when she sat next to me, pinned her jacket to the bulkhead, gave me a three minute story of her life then said 'So what's your story?'. She was a dynamo. Rest easy," another added.  </p> <p>"She was an absolute delight in my earliest airline life working the USAir shuttle at LGA. Godspeed and eternal silvered wings Bette!" a third wrote. </p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr" lang="en">She was an absolute delight in my earliest airline life working the USAir shuttle at LGA. Godspeed and eternal silvered wings Bette!</p> <p>— Ryan Spellman (@JustJettingThru) <a href="https://twitter.com/JustJettingThru/status/1794480142766531034?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 25, 2024</a></p></blockquote> <p>"Rest in Peace Bette Nash," wrote a fourth. </p> <p>"Bette was a class act. Truly a loss for the skies. She was truly an Angel," added another. </p> <p><em>Image: CBS/ X</em></p> <p> </p>

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Dreading footy season? You’re not alone – 20% of Australians are self-described sport haters

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599">Hunter Fujak</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heath-mcdonald-92440">Heath McDonald</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p>With the winter AFL and NRL seasons about to start, Australia’s sporting calendar is once again transitioning from its quietest to busiest period.</p> <p>For many, the return of the AFL and NRL competitions is highly anticipated. But there is one group whose experience is very different: the approximately 20% of Australians who hate sport.</p> <p>We are currently conducting research to better understand why people feel this way about sport and what their experiences are like living in a nation where sport is so <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1329878x15616515">culturally central</a>. We have completed surveys with thousands of Australians and are now beginning to interview those who have described themselves as “sport haters”.</p> <h2>Australia, a ‘sports mad’ nation</h2> <p>Australia has long been described as a “<a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14660970902955588">sports mad nation</a>”, a reasonable assertion given the Melbourne Cup attracted crowds of <a href="https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/catalog/2178266">more than 100,000 people</a> as far back as the 1880s.</p> <p>Australia’s sport passion is perhaps most evident today from the number of professional teams we support for a nation of 26 million people, one of the highest per capita <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Heath-Mcdonald/publication/326140082_Are_Sport_Consumers_Unique_Consumer_Behavior_Within_Crowded_Sport_Markets/links/5e9465fd92851c2f529c4322/Are-Sport-Consumers-Unique-Consumer-Behavior-Within-Crowded-Sport-Markets.pdf">concentrations</a> in the world.</p> <p>In addition to our four distinct football codes – Australian rules football, rugby league, rugby union and soccer – we have professional netball, basketball, cricket and tennis. In all, there are more than <a href="https://www.clearinghouseforsport.gov.au/kb/structure-of-australian-sport">130 professional sport teams in Australia</a> today (across both genders).</p> <p>Australia also hosts – and Australians attend – major sport events at a rate wildly disproportionate to the size of our population and economy. <a href="https://www.blackbookmotorsport.com/news/f1-australian-grand-prix-record-crowd-melbourne-albert-park/">Formula One</a>, the <a href="https://ausopen.com/articles/news/record-breaking-australian-open-ao-2024-numbers">Australian Open</a>, the <a href="https://nbl.com.au/news/nbl-sets-new-season-attendance-record">National Basketball League</a>, the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/sport/nrl/nrl-attendance-records-tumble-as-fans-flock-back-to-footy-20230902-p5e1ib.html">National Rugby League</a> and <a href="https://mumbrella.com.au/64-of-aussie-population-watched-matildas-new-deakin-research-claims-797902">Matildas</a> have all recently broken attendance or television viewership records.</p> <h2>Why people hate sport</h2> <p>The ubiquity of sport in our culture, however, conceals the fact that a significant portion of people strongly and actively dislike sport. Recent <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14413523.2023.2233342">research</a> by one of the co-authors here (Heath McDonald) has begun to shine light on this cohort, dubbed “sport haters”.</p> <p>Sport haters account for approximately 20% of the Australian population, according to two surveys we have conducted of nearly 3,500 and more than 27,000 adults. Demographically, this group is significantly more likely to be female, younger and more affluent than other Australians.</p> <p>Their strong negative sentiments are reflected in the most common word associations <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/14413523.2023.2233342">study participants</a> used to describe sport. In the case of AFL, these were: “boring”, “overpaid”, “stupid/dumb”, “rough”, “scandal” and “alcohol”.</p> <p>While the reasons for disliking sport vary from person to person, research shows there are some common themes. The first is in childhood, where negative experiences participating in sport or attending games or matches can lead to a life-long dislike of all sport. As one professed sport hater said in an <a href="https://www.reddit.com/r/AskMen/comments/1zxfyt/guys_who_do_not_like_sports_can_you_explain_why/">online forum devoted to men who don’t like sport</a>: "My brother would force me to play soccer against my will all the time as children. I think that is where my resentment for physical sport comes from because the choice was taken away from me by my twat of a brother."</p> <p>Sport hatred can also derive from social exclusion or marginalisation. Sport has historically been a male-centric domain that <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0277539587900525">celebrates</a> masculinity and can lead to <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/taylor-swift-effect-sports-fandom-nfl/103486274">toxic behaviour</a>, which can exclude many women and some men.</p> <p>Sport has also had to overcome racism, perhaps most symbolically visible by AFL player Nicky Winmar’s <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-04-17/nicky-winmar-indigenous-afl-racism-anniversary/102222960">iconic protest</a> in 1993. In addition, individuals with a disability still face <a href="https://www.sportaus.gov.au/integrity_in_sport/inclusive-sport/understanding-our-diverse-audiences/people-with-disability#:%7E:text=People%20with%20disability%20receive%20the,than%20adults%20who%20don't.">barriers</a> that result in lower rates of sport participation.</p> <p>Here, the current <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-20/taylor-swift-effect-sports-fandom-nfl/103486274">Taylor Swift effect</a> is noteworthy. The singer’s attendance at National Football League games, including the Superbowl, resulted in huge spikes in television viewership. Through her association, Swift helped make the sport more <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S096969892300317X#bib122">psychologically accessible</a> for many women and girls.</p> <p>The <a href="https://books.google.com.au/books?hl=en&amp;lr=&amp;id=AvjrDwAAQBAJ&amp;oi=fnd&amp;pg=PT125&amp;dq=Contesting+national+Culture&amp;ots=1_lQuBpKK7&amp;sig=dMb-5s0PgpUumUTSFeEKZiNq0dg#v=onepage&amp;q=Contesting%20national%20Culture&amp;f=false">cultural dominance</a> of sport also fuels its detractors, with many critical of sport’s media saturation and its broader social and even political prioritisation. (The <a href="https://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-16/macquarie-point-stadium-dominates-election-campaign-day-one/103473124">debate in Tasmania</a> over the controversial AFL stadium proposal is a good case in point.)</p> <p>From a media perspective, Australia’s particularly strict <a href="https://theconversation.com/regardless-of-the-rules-sport-is-fleeing-free-tv-for-pay-and-it-might-be-an-avalanche-154640">anti-siphoning</a> laws have ensured that sport remains front and centre on free-to-air television programming.</p> <p>Sport’s cultural dominance also fosters resentment for overshadowing people’s non-sporting passions and pursuits, as well as creating societal out-groups. Journalist Jo Chandler’s <a href="https://libraryedition.smedia.com.au/lib_a/Default.aspx#panel=document">2010</a> description of moving to Melbourne is no doubt shared by many: "In the workplace, to be unaligned is deeply isolating. Team tribalism infects meetings, especially when overseen by male chiefs. In shameful desperation, I’ve played along."</p> <p>In life, it’s fairly easy to avoid most products you might dislike. But given sport’s ubiquity, simply tuning out is sometimes not an option.</p> <h2>The Anti-Football League, a club for haters</h2> <p>In 1967, two Melbourne journalists, Keith Dunstan and Douglas Wilkie, launched an anti-sport club in response to this growing cultural dominance. In his founding address to the <a href="https://www.academia.edu/7584522/Football_is_a_Fever_Disease_Like_Recurrent_Malaria_and_Evidently_Incurable_Passion_Place_and_the_Emergence_of_an_Australian_Anti_Football_League">Anti-Football League</a>, Wilkie made clear who the club was for: "All of us who are tired of having football personalities, predictions and post mortems cluttering our newspapers, TV screens and attempts at alternative human converse – from beginning-of-morning prayers to the last trickle of bed time bathwater – should join at once."</p> <p>Membership quickly reached the thousands. Soon, a Sydney branch was launched, bringing national membership to a high of around 7,000. According to sport historian Matthew Klugman, members found joy in being “haters”.</p> <p>"…they wanted to find a shared meaning in their suffering, not to extinguish it, but to better enjoy it."</p> <p>This led to some curious rituals, with members ceremonially cremating footballs or burying them. An Anti-Football Day was also launched, taking place on the eve of the Victorian Football League Grand Final.</p> <p>The club would go on to experience periods of both prosperity and hiatus over the years, but has been dormant since <a href="https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/vale-keith-dunstan-gentle-footy-hater-cyclist-and-master-of-words-20130911-2tklh.html">Dunstan’s death</a> in 2013.</p> <p>With eight more years to go in Australia’s so-called “<a href="https://this.deakin.edu.au/career/golden-decade-of-sport-ahead-for-australia">golden decade of sport</a>”, which began with <a href="https://www.fiba.basketball/womensbasketballworldcup/2022">2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney</a> and culminates with the 2032 Brisbane Olympics, it may be time sport haters to start a new support group.</p> <p>If you consider yourself a sport hater, and are interested in contributing your experience to our ongoing research, please provide your contact information <a href="https://researchsurveys.deakin.edu.au/jfe/form/SV_a4CqHyqipjYj5SC">here</a>.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223733/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/hunter-fujak-290599"><em>Hunter Fujak</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Sport Management, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/heath-mcdonald-92440">Heath McDonald</a>, Dean of Economics, Finance and Marketing and Professor of Marketing, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/rmit-university-1063">RMIT University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/dreading-footy-season-youre-not-alone-20-of-australians-are-self-described-sport-haters-223733">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How to be kind to yourself (without going to a day spa)

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lydia-brown-179583">Lydia Brown</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p>“I have to be hard on myself,” Sarah told me in a recent telehealth psychology session. “I would never reach my potential if I was kind and let myself off the hook.”</p> <p>I could empathise with this fear of self-compassion from clients such as Sarah (not her real name). From a young age, we are taught to be kind to others, but self-kindness is never mentioned.</p> <p>Instead, we are taught success hinges on self-sacrifice. And we need a healthy inner critic to bully us forward into becoming increasingly better versions of ourselves.</p> <p>But <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167212445599">research shows</a> there doesn’t have to be a trade-off between self-compassion and success.</p> <p>Self-compassion can help you reach your potential, while supporting you to face the inevitable stumbles and setbacks along the way.</p> <h2>What is self-compassion?</h2> <p><a href="https://self-compassion.org/">Self-compassion</a> has <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298860309027">three</a> key ingredients.</p> <p><strong>1. Self-kindness</strong></p> <p>This involves treating yourself with the same kindness you would extend towards a good friend – via your thoughts, feelings and actions – especially during life’s difficult moments.</p> <p>For instance, if you find yourself fixating on a minor mistake you made at work, self-kindness might involve taking a ten-minute walk to shift focus, and reminding yourself it is OK to make mistakes sometimes, before moving on with your day.</p> <p><strong>2. Mindfulness</strong></p> <p>In this context, mindfulness involves being aware of your own experience of stress or suffering, rather than repressing or avoiding your feelings, or over-identifying with them.</p> <p>Basically, you must see your stress with a clear (mindful) perspective before you can respond with kindness. If we avoid or are consumed by our suffering, we lose perspective.</p> <p><strong>3. Common humanity</strong></p> <p>Common humanity involves recognising our own experience of suffering as something that unites us as being human.</p> <p>For instance, a sleep-deprived parent waking up (for the fourth time) to feed their newborn might choose to think about all the other parents around the world doing exactly the same thing – as opposed to feeling isolated and alone.</p> <h2>It’s not about day spas, or booking a manicure</h2> <p>When Sarah voiced her fear that self-compassion would prevent her success, I explained self-compassion is distinct from self-indulgence.</p> <p>“So is self-compassion just about booking in more mani/pedis?” Sarah asked.</p> <p>Not really, I explained. A one-off trip to a day spa is unlikely to transform your mental health.</p> <p>Instead, self-compassion is a flexible <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-22348-8_7">psychological resilience factor</a> that shapes our thoughts, feelings and actions.</p> <p>It’s associated with a suite of benefits to our <a href="https://iaap-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aphw.12051">wellbeing</a>, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/15298868.2011.639548">relationships</a> and <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17437199.2019.1705872">health</a>.</p> <h2>What does the science say?</h2> <p>Over the past 20 years, we’ve learned self-compassionate people enjoy a wide range of benefits. They tend to be <a href="https://iaap-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/aphw.12051">happier</a> and have <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cpr.2012.06.003">fewer psychological symptoms</a> of distress.</p> <p>Those high on self-compassion <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0146167212445599">persevere</a> following a failure. They say they are more motivated to overcome a personal weakness than those low on self-compassion, who are more likely to give up.</p> <p>So rather than feeling trapped by your inadequacies, self-compassion encourages a <a href="https://hbr.org/2018/09/give-yourself-a-break-the-power-of-self-compassion">growth mindset</a>, helping you reach your potential.</p> <p>However, self-compassion is not a panacea. It will not change your life circumstances or somehow make life “easy”. It is based on the premise that life is hard, and provides practical tools to cope.</p> <h2>It’s a factor in healthy ageing</h2> <p>I research menopause and healthy ageing and am especially interested in the value of self-compassion through menopause and in the second half of life.</p> <p>Because self-compassion becomes important during life’s challenges, it can help people navigate physical symptoms (for instance, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378512214001649?via%3Dihub">menopausal hot flushes</a>), life transitions such as <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0956797611429466">divorce</a>, and <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-031-22348-8_7">promote healthy ageing</a>.</p> <p>I’ve also teamed up with researchers at <a href="https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/">Autism Spectrum Australia</a> to explore self-compassion in autistic adults.</p> <p>We found autistic adults report significantly <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10803-022-05668-y">lower levels</a> of self-compassion than neurotypical adults. So we developed an online <a href="https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/blog/new-online-self-compassion-program-for-autistic-adults">self-compassion training program</a> for this at-risk population.</p> <h2>Three tips for self-compassion</h2> <p>You <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/jclp.21923">can learn</a> self-compassion with these three exercises.</p> <p><strong>1. What would you say to a friend?</strong></p> <p>Think back to the last time you made a mistake. What did you say to yourself?</p> <p>If you notice you’re treating yourself more like an enemy than a friend, don’t beat yourself up about it. Instead, try to think about what you might tell a friend, and direct that same friendly language towards yourself.</p> <p><strong>2. Harness the power of touch</strong></p> <p>Soothing human touch <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/journals/psychiatry/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.555058/full">activates</a> the parasympathetic “relaxation” branch of our nervous system and counteracts the fight or flight response.</p> <p>Specifically, self-soothing touch (for instance, by placing both hands on your heart, stroking your forearm or giving yourself a hug) <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2666497621000655">reduces</a> cortisol responses to psychosocial stress.</p> <p><strong>3. What do I need right now?</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, it can be hard to figure out exactly what self-compassion looks like in a given moment. The question “what do I need right now” helps clarify your true needs.</p> <p>For example, when I was 37 weeks pregnant, I woke up bolt awake one morning at 3am.</p> <p>Rather than beating myself up about it, or fretting about not getting enough sleep, I gently placed my hands on my heart and took a few deep breaths. By asking myself “what do I need right now?” it became clear that listening to a gentle podcast/meditation fitted the bill (even though I wanted to addictively scroll my phone).<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223194/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/lydia-brown-179583"><em>Lydia Brown</em></a><em>, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-melbourne-722">The University of Melbourne</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-to-be-kind-to-yourself-without-going-to-a-day-spa-223194">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Mothers’ dieting habits and self-talk have profound impact on daughters − 2 psychologists explain how to cultivate healthy behaviors and body image

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-j-boseovski-451496">Janet J. Boseovski</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ashleigh-gallagher-1505989">Ashleigh Gallagher</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a></em></p> <p>Weight loss is one of the most common health and appearance-related goals.</p> <p>Women and <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db340.htm">teen girls</a> are <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db313.htm">especially likely to pursue dieting</a> to achieve weight loss goals even though a great deal of research shows that <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-thin-people-dont-understand-about-dieting-86604">dieting doesn’t work over the long term</a>.</p> <p>We are a <a href="https://www.duck-lab.com/people">developmental psychologist</a> and a <a href="https://psy.uncg.edu/directory/ashleigh-gallagher/">social psychologist</a> who together wrote a forthcoming book, “Beyond Body Positive: A Mother’s Evidence-Based Guide for Helping Girls Build a Healthy Body Image.”</p> <p>In the book, we address topics such as the effects of maternal dieting behaviors on daughters’ health and well-being. We provide information on how to build a foundation for healthy body image beginning in girlhood.</p> <h2>Culturally defined body ideals</h2> <p>Given the strong influence of social media and other cultural influences on body ideals, it’s understandable that so many people pursue diets aimed at weight loss. <a href="https://communityhealth.mayoclinic.org/featured-stories/tiktok-diets">TikTok</a>, YouTube, Instagram and celebrity websites feature slim influencers and “how-tos” for achieving those same results in no time.</p> <p>For example, women and teens are engaging in rigid and extreme forms of exercise such as 54D, a program to <a href="https://54d.com/">achieve body transformation in 54 days</a>, or the <a href="https://health.clevelandclinic.org/75-hard-challenge-and-rules">75 Hard Challenge</a>, which is to follow five strict rules for 75 days.</p> <p>For teens, these pursuits are likely fueled by trendy body preoccupations such as the desire for “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2024/02/06/well/move/tiktok-legging-legs-eating-disorders.html">legging legs</a>.”</p> <p>Women and teens have also been been inundated with recent messaging around <a href="https://theconversation.com/drugs-that-melt-away-pounds-still-present-more-questions-than-answers-but-ozempic-wegovy-and-mounjaro-could-be-key-tools-in-reducing-the-obesity-epidemic-205549">quick-fix weight loss drugs</a>, which come with a lot of caveats.</p> <p>Dieting and weight loss goals are highly individual, and when people are intensely self-focused, it is <a href="https://doi.org/10.1521/jscp.2000.19.1.70">possible to lose sight of the bigger picture</a>. Although women might wonder what the harm is in trying the latest diet, science shows that dieting behavior doesn’t just affect the dieter. In particular, for women who are mothers or who have other girls in their lives, these behaviors affect girls’ emerging body image and their health and well-being.</p> <h2>The profound effect of maternal role models</h2> <p>Research shows that mothers and maternal figures <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2017.11.001">have a profound influence on their daughters’ body image</a>.</p> <p>The opportunity to influence girls’ body image comes far earlier than adolescence. In fact, research shows that these influences on body image <a href="https://www.teenvogue.com/story/how-toxic-diet-culture-is-passed-from-moms-to-daughters">begin very early in life</a> – <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/bs.acdb.2016.10.006">during the preschool years</a>.</p> <p>Mothers may feel that they are being discreet about their dieting behavior, but little girls are watching and listening, and they are far more observant of us than many might think.</p> <p>For example, one study revealed that compared with daughters of nondieting women, 5-year-old girls whose mothers dieted <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-8223(00)00339-4">were aware of the connection between dieting and thinness</a>.</p> <p>Mothers’ eating behavior does not just affect girls’ ideas about dieting, but also their daughters’ eating behavior. The amount of food that mothers eat <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.018">predicts how much their daughters will eat</a>. In addition, daughters whose mothers are dieters are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2018.04.018">more likely to become dieters themselves</a> and are also <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eatbeh.2007.03.001">more likely to have a negative body image</a>.</p> <p>Negative body image is <a href="https://theconversation.com/mounting-research-documents-the-harmful-effects-of-social-media-use-on-mental-health-including-body-image-and-development-of-eating-disorders-206170">not a trivial matter</a>. It affects girls’ and women’s mental and physical well-being in a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105317710815">host of ways</a> and <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brat.2011.06.009">can predict the emergence of eating disorders</a>.</p> <h2>Avoiding ‘fat talk’</h2> <p>What can moms do, then, to serve their daughters’ and their own health?</p> <p>They can focus on small steps. And although it is best to begin these efforts early in life – in girlhood – it is never too late to do so.</p> <p>For example, mothers can consider how they think about and talk about themselves around their daughters. Engaging in “fat talk” may inadvertently send their daughters the message that larger bodies are bad, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.07.004">contributing to weight bias</a> and negative self-image. Mothers’ fat talk also <a href="https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2021.1908294">predicts later body dissatisfaction in daughters</a>.</p> <p>And negative self-talk isn’t good for mothers, either; it is associated with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1359105318781943">lower motivation and unhealthful eating</a>. Mothers can instead practice and model self-compassion, which involves treating oneself the way <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2016.03.003">a loving friend might treat you</a>.</p> <p>In discussions about food and eating behavior, it is important to avoid moralizing certain kinds of food by labeling them as “good” or “bad,” as girls may extend these labels to their personal worth. For example, a young girl may feel that she is being “bad” if she eats dessert, if that is what she has learned from observing the women around her. In contrast, she may feel that she has to eat a salad to be “good.”</p> <p>Moms and other female role models can make sure that the dinner plate sends a healthy message to their daughters by showing instead that all foods can fit into a balanced diet when the time is right. Intuitive eating, which emphasizes paying attention to hunger and satiety and allows flexibility in eating behavior, is associated with <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-020-00852-4">better physical and mental health in adolescence</a>.</p> <p>Another way that women and especially moms can buffer girls’ body image is by helping their daughters <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2021.12.009">to develop media literacy</a> and to think critically about the nature and purpose of media. For example, moms can discuss the misrepresentation and distortion of bodies, such as the use of filters to enhance physical appearance, on social media.</p> <h2>Focusing on healthful behaviors</h2> <p>One way to begin to focus on health behaviors rather than dieting behaviors is to develop respect for the body and to <a href="https://theconversation.com/body-neutrality-what-it-is-and-how-it-can-help-lead-to-more-positive-body-image-191799">consider body neutrality</a>. In other words, prize body function rather than appearance and spend less time thinking about your body’s appearance. Accept that there are times when you may not feel great about your body, and that this is OK.</p> <p>To feel and look their best, mothers can aim to stick to a <a href="https://theconversation.com/whats-the-best-diet-for-healthy-sleep-a-nutritional-epidemiologist-explains-what-food-choices-will-help-you-get-more-restful-zs-219955">healthy sleep schedule</a>, manage their stress levels, <a href="https://theconversation.com/fiber-is-your-bodys-natural-guide-to-weight-management-rather-than-cutting-carbs-out-of-your-diet-eat-them-in-their-original-fiber-packaging-instead-205159">eat a varied diet</a> that includes all of the foods that they enjoy, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/the-runners-high-may-result-from-molecules-called-cannabinoids-the-bodys-own-version-of-thc-and-cbd-170796">move and exercise their bodies regularly</a> as lifelong practices, rather than engaging in quick-fix trends.</p> <p>Although many of these tips sound familiar, and perhaps even simple, they become effective when we recognize their importance and begin acting on them. Mothers can work toward modeling these behaviors and tailor each of them to their daughter’s developmental level. It’s never too early to start.</p> <h2>Promoting healthy body image</h2> <p>Science shows that several personal characteristics are associated with body image concerns among women.</p> <p>For example, research shows that women who are <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2020.02.001">higher in neuroticism</a> <a href="https://doi.org/10.1186/2050-2974-1-2">and perfectionism</a>, <a href="https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.983534">lower in self-compassion</a> or <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bodyim.2013.08.001">lower in self-efficacy</a> are all more likely to struggle with negative body image.</p> <p>Personality is frequently defined as a person’s characteristic pattern of thoughts, feelings and behaviors. But if they wish, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1002/per.1945">mothers can change personality characteristics</a> that they feel aren’t serving them well.</p> <p>For example, perfectionist tendencies – such as setting unrealistic, inflexible goals – can be examined, challenged and replaced with more rational thoughts and behaviors. A woman who believes she must work out every day can practice being more flexible in her thinking. One who thinks of dessert as “cheating” can practice resisting moral judgments about food.</p> <p>Changing habitual ways of thinking, feeling and behaving certainly takes effort and time, but it is far more likely than diet trends to bring about sustainable, long-term change. And taking the first steps to modify even a few of these habits can positively affect daughters.</p> <p>In spite of all the noise from media and other cultural influences, mothers can feel empowered knowing that they have a significant influence on their daughters’ feelings about, and treatment of, their bodies.</p> <p>In this way, mothers’ modeling of healthier attitudes and behaviors is a sound investment – for both their own body image and that of the girls they love.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/221968/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/janet-j-boseovski-451496"><em>Janet J. Boseovski</em></a><em>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ashleigh-gallagher-1505989">Ashleigh Gallagher</a>, Senior Lecturer, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-north-carolina-greensboro-2069">University of North Carolina – Greensboro</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/mothers-dieting-habits-and-self-talk-have-profound-impact-on-daughters-2-psychologists-explain-how-to-cultivate-healthy-behaviors-and-body-image-221968">original article</a>.</em></p>

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‘Self-love’ might seem selfish. But done right, it’s the opposite of narcissism

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-robertson-1372650">Ian Robertson</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p>“To love what you are, the thing that is yourself, is just as if you were embracing a glowing red-hot iron” <a href="https://archive.org/details/jungsseminaronni0000jung">said psychonalyst Carl Jung</a>.</p> <p>Some may argue this social media generation does not seem to struggle with loving themselves. But is the look-at-me-ism so easily found on TikTok and Instagram the kind of self-love we need in order to flourish?</p> <p>The language of <a href="https://theconversation.com/teaching-positive-psychology-skills-at-school-may-be-one-way-to-help-student-mental-health-and-happiness-217173">positive psychology</a> can be – and often is – appropriated for all kinds of self-importance, as well as cynical marketing strategies.</p> <p>Loving yourself, though, psychological experts stress, is not the same as behaving selfishly. There’s a firm line between healthy and appropriate forms of loving yourself, and malignant or <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-many-types-of-narcissist-are-there-a-psychology-expert-sets-the-record-straight-207610">narcissistic</a> forms. But how do we distinguish between them?</p> <p>In 2023, researchers Eva Henschke and Peter Sedlmeier conducted <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/355152846_What_is_self-love_Redefinition_of_a_controversial_construct">a series of interviews</a> with psychotherapists and other experts on what self-love is. They’ve concluded it has three main features: self-care, self-acceptance and self-contact (devoting attention to yourself).</p> <p>But as an increasingly individualistic society, are we already devoting too much attention to ourselves?</p> <h2>Philosophy and self-love</h2> <p>Philosophers and psychology experts alike have considered the ethics of self-love.</p> <p>Psychology researcher Li Ming Xue and her colleagues, <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.585719/full">exploring the notion of self-love in Chinese culture</a>, claim “Western philosophers believe that self-love is a virtue”. But this is a very broad generalisation.</p> <p>In the Christian tradition and in much European philosophy, <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10848770.2020.1839209">says philosopher Razvan Ioan</a>, self-love is condemned as a profoundly damaging trait.</p> <p>On the other hand, <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/2107991">many of the great Christian philosophers</a>, attempting to make sense of the instruction to love one’s neighbour as oneself, admitted certain forms of self-love were virtuous. In order to love your neighbour as yourself, you must, it would seem, love yourself.</p> <p>In the Western philosophical context, claim Xue and her colleagues, self-love is concerned with individual rights – “society as a whole only serves to promote an individual’s happiness”.</p> <p>This individualistic, self-concerned notion of self-love, they suggest, might come from the Ancient Greek philosophers. In particular, Aristotle. But <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/philosophy-stirred-not-shaken/201502/love-yourself-love-your-character">Aristotle thought only the most virtuous</a>, who benefited the society around them, should love themselves. By making this connection, he avoided equating self-love with self-centredness.</p> <p>We should love ourselves not out of vanity, he argued, but in virtue of our capacity for good. Does Aristotle, then, provide principled grounds for distinguishing between proper and improper forms of self-love?</p> <h2>Bar too high?</h2> <p>Aristotle might set the bar too high. If only the most virtuous should try to love themselves, this collides head-on with the idea loving yourself can help us improve and become more virtuous – as <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1057/9781137383310_6">philosophers Kate Abramson and Adam Leite have argued</a>.</p> <p>Many psychologists claim self-love is important for adopting the kind and compassionate self-perception crucial for overcoming conditions that weaponise self-criticism, like <a href="https://theconversation.com/clinical-perfectionism-when-striving-for-excellence-gets-you-down-43704">clinical perfectionism</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/how-many-people-have-eating-disorders-we-dont-really-know-and-thats-a-worry-121938">eating disorders</a>.</p> <p>More broadly, some argue compassion for oneself is necessary to support honest insights into your own behaviour. They believe we need warm and compassionate self-reflection to avoid the defensiveness that comes with the fear of judgement – even if we’re standing as our own judge.</p> <p>For this reason, a compassionate form of self-love is often necessary to follow Socrates’ advice to “know thyself”, says <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10677-015-9578-4">philosopher Jan Bransen</a>. Positive self-love, by these lights, can help us grow as people.</p> <h2>Self-love ‘misguided and silly’</h2> <p>But not everyone agrees you need self-love to grow. The late philosopher <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/news/2005/nov/29/guardianobituaries.obituaries">Oswald Hanfling</a> was deeply sceptical of this idea. In fact, he argued the notion of loving oneself was misguided and silly. His ideas are mostly rejected by philosophers of love, but pointing out where they go wrong can be useful.</p> <p>When you love someone, he said, you’re prepared to sacrifice your own interests for those of your beloved. But he thought the idea of sacrificing your own interests made no sense – which shows, he concluded, we can’t love ourselves.</p> <p><a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/3751159">He wrote</a>: "I may sacrifice an immediate satisfaction for the sake of my welfare in the future, as in the case of giving up smoking. In this case, however, my motive is not love but self-interest. What I reveal in giving up smoking is not the extent of my love for myself, but an understanding that the long-term benefits of giving it up are likely to exceed the present satisfaction of going on with it."</p> <p>We often have conflicting interests (think of someone who is agonising over two different career paths) – and it’s not at all strange to sacrifice certain interests for the sake of others.</p> <p>This is not just a question of sacrificing short-term desires in favour of a long-term good, but a matter of sacrificing something of value for your ultimate benefit (or, so you hope).</p> <h2>Self-compassion</h2> <p>Hanfling fails to consider the role of compassionate self-love. While we might understand it’s in our interests to do something (for instance, repair bridges with someone we’ve fallen out with), it might take a compassionate and open disposition towards ourselves to recognise what’s in our best interests.</p> <p>We might need this self-compassion, too, in order to admit our failures – so we can overcome our defensiveness and see clearly how we’re failing to fulfil <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10677-015-9578-4">these interests</a>.</p> <p>Self-acceptance in this context does not mean giving ourselves licence to run roughshod over the interests of those around us, nor to justify our flaws as “valid” rather than work on them.</p> <p>Self-love, as promoted by contemporary psychologists, means standing in a compassionate relationship to ourselves. And there’s nothing contradictory about this idea.</p> <p>Just as we strive to develop a supportive, kind relationship to the people we care about – and just as this doesn’t involve uncritical approval of everything they do – compassionate self-love doesn’t mean abandoning valid self-criticism.</p> <p>In fact, self-compassion has the opposite effect. It promotes comfort with the kind of critical self-assessment that helps us grow – which leads to resilience. It breeds the opposite of narcissistic self-absorption.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/205938/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/ian-robertson-1372650">Ian Robertson</a>, PhD Candidate (Teaching roles at Macquarie &amp; Wollongong), <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-wollongong-711">University of Wollongong</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/self-love-might-seem-selfish-but-done-right-its-the-opposite-of-narcissism-205938">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Maintaining friendships after a dementia diagnosis can spur feelings of joy and self-worth

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/colleen-whyte-1281976">Colleen Whyte</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brock-university-1340">Brock University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/darla-fortune-1363967">Darla Fortune</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/concordia-university-1183">Concordia University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-genoe-1363968">Rebecca Genoe</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-regina-3498">University of Regina</a></em></p> <p>What would our lives be like if we could no longer depend on our most cherished friendships? The people who know us best, who have been there through our ups and downs, and share a history with us?</p> <p>For many people living with dementia, this is a reality. Over 500,000 Canadians <a href="https://alzheimer.ca/en/about-dementia/what-dementia/dementia-numbers-canada">are currently living with dementia</a>, and a diagnosis often leads to <a href="https://www.alzscot.org/news/friendship-and-dementia">a loss of friendships</a> and social opportunities.</p> <p>The reactions of friends greatly affect the experience of someone living with dementia. When friends distance themselves because they don’t know what to say or presume they no longer know how to interact with their friend, a person with dementia can experience <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275353356_Friendships_for_People_Living_with_Dementia_in_Long-Term_Care">feelings of isolation and loneliness</a>.</p> <p>When people living with dementia can depend on their friends, they continue to enjoy meaningful leisure activities, experience <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/ageing/afx186">feelings of joy and self-worth</a>, and see themselves as <a href="https://alzheimer.ca/en/take-action/become-dementia-friendly/meaningful-engagement-people-living-dementia">valued members of their social circles</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://dementiaandfriendship.ca/">Our research</a> had us interview friends together, asking them to share tips and strategies for navigating dementia. We heard moving stories of deepened bonds of friendship, genuine acceptance and the joy of simply being together.</p> <h2>Adapting to changes</h2> <p>Our research allowed us to speak with people who shared a 70-year friendship and couldn’t imagine life without each other. We learned that for some, a neighbourhood walk together was an opportunity to say a quick hello and how a weekly trip to the pub enabled some friends to connect and re-connect in a familiar space.</p> <p>People living with dementia and their friends <a href="https://doi.org/10.1017/S0714980821000301">may adapt to changes</a> brought about by the diagnosis in several ways. For example, they may prioritize their friendship by setting aside time for regular phone calls and visits. They may alter the way they think about the friendship by being accepting of the changes. They may also use practical strategies, like providing reminders for plans, and offering additional support when spending time together.</p> <p>Friends of individuals living with dementia may seek ways to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/1471301220980898">continue enjoying meaningful time together</a>. Sometimes this involves identifying activities that are comfortable and familiar. It may also involve providing direction and encouragement to support the continuation of enjoyable experiences, such as visiting a favourite restaurant.</p> <p>For some, additional comfort may come from hanging out as a group because there is extra support available if needed.</p> <h2>Open and honest communication</h2> <p>Open and honest communication is key to maintaining any friendship and becomes particularly important following a diagnosis of dementia. Yet, that may be the biggest challenge.</p> <p>Below are <a href="https://dementiaandfriendship.ca/">some questions that friends might find helpful</a> to ask over a cup of coffee, on a walk or in a quiet, shared moment:</p> <ul> <li>What do you value about our friendship? Can I tell you what our friendship means to me?</li> <li>What is one thing I do that makes you laugh? Here’s something you do that makes me laugh…</li> <li>How can we make sure we maintain our friendship (i.e., talk on the phone, over the internet, go for coffee)? How often do you want to connect? How do we need to change our time together? What can stay the same?</li> <li>How can we support each other to continue enjoying the leisure activities that are meaningful to us?</li> <li>What are the best times and days to plan activities (i.e., morning, afternoon, weekday, weekend)? Are there exceptions?</li> <li>Do we need to schedule something in advance (need time to prepare, or get more rest the day before) or can we be spontaneous?</li> <li>Where do you feel safe and able to be yourself?</li> <li>When we are in public and you need me to step in for you, how will I know? What is “our” signal?</li> <li>What do I do if I notice you’re starting to make decisions that are not like you?</li> <li>Can I ask you these same questions in a few weeks?</li> </ul> <p>The need for friendship <a href="https://alzheimer.ca/en/help-support/im-living-dementia/living-well-dementia/staying-socially-connected">does not diminish with age</a> and <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/happiness-in-world/201312/the-true-meaning-friendship">friendships continue to deeply enrich our lives</a>.</p> <p>Given that a dementia diagnosis often puts individuals at an increased risk of social isolation, we must pay careful attention to understanding ways to ensure that friends remain engaged with their networks in personal and meaningful ways.</p> <p>The first step is to trust in the friendship and begin to explore how it can be sustained over time.<!-- 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;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/187038/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: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/colleen-whyte-1281976"><em>Colleen Whyte</em></a><em>, Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/brock-university-1340">Brock University</a>; <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/darla-fortune-1363967">Darla Fortune</a>, Associate Professor, Applied Human Sciences, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/concordia-university-1183">Concordia University</a>, and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/rebecca-genoe-1363968">Rebecca Genoe</a>, Professor, Kinesiology and Health Studies, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-regina-3498">University of Regina</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/maintaining-friendships-after-a-dementia-diagnosis-can-spur-feelings-of-joy-and-self-worth-187038">original article</a>.</em></p>

Relationships

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How to stop self-criticising and build yourself up instead

<p><strong>Stop the self-harm</strong></p> <p>It won’t hurt as much when you say something mean about me if I say it about myself first. For decades, this had been my mantra, a type of self-defence mechanism I developed as a kid against those who would criticise, bully or belittle me. On one hand, it made me humble, aware of my flaws and open to improving myself. On the other, self-criticising stunted my ability to be confident and trust my gut.</p> <p>The self-criticism quickly took on a life of its own – to the point where I was constantly trying to anticipate what people might not like about me and then beat them to the punchline. “I know I can be too much, and you’re probably sick of me,” I’d tell friends, which was a statement born less out of self-awareness and more out of fear. That sort of self-deprecating remark made it impossible to love myself, put others in an awkward position and backfired on quite a few occasions. A new friend once quipped, “If that were true, why would I be friends with you? Are you saying I have bad taste in friends?”</p> <p>That hit hard. For people who didn’t have good intentions, well, I’d just handed them a laundry list of all my insecurities. What I was really saying was I’m afraid you’ll hurt me, so I’ll hurt myself first. That’s a pretty harsh way to live life. Luckily, there’s a path out of the self-criticising trap. I talked to the experts to find out why we’re so good at putting ourselves down – and how to stop.</p> <p><strong>Why do we criticise ourselves so much?</strong></p> <p>I’m not the only one who made self-criticising a personality trait. In fact, a lot of women are conditioned to be this way, says psychologist Dr Traci Stein, who is also an author and creator of a series of programs to fight critical self-talk and build self-compassion.</p> <p>“Having negative thoughts about ourselves is human nature. We all want to fit in, be accepted and not be ostracised,” she explains. “We are all under a lot of pressure to measure ourselves according to other people’s evaluations and expectations. So we subconsciously fixate on something to ‘fix’ so we will feel loved and accepted.”</p> <p>The irony of these thoughts is that while they’re based on a desire to fit in and feel accepted in our community, they often have the opposite result, says Latasha Blackmond, author of Be You, No Filter: How to Love Yourself and Stay #SocialMediaStrong. “Over time, self-criticism does the very thing you’re afraid of: It isolates you by making you very self-centred and, yes, selfish. You’re too busy worrying about yourself to love and help others,” she says.</p> <p>Ouch.</p> <p><strong>What is self-criticism and how do you spot it?</strong></p> <p>Self-criticism is any thought that highlights a flaw or problem you have – or think you have (as Stein points out, critical thoughts are often untrue). These negative thoughts can become ingrained so deeply in your inner voice that they become hard to recognise in the moment.</p> <p>You can identify these thoughts, she says, because they are often self-defeating and repetitive, leading to feelings of insecurity, confusion, self-doubt, sadness and anger. The connection between self-criticising thoughts and negative emotions is so strong that many people with chronic depression find that a habit of severe self-criticism is at the core of their mental illness.</p> <p>Often tell yourself you’re a massive failure? That’s self-criticism. Other examples of self-critical thoughts include:</p> <ul> <li>I’ll never be good enough. I’ve always failed at everything I try.</li> <li>I don’t deserve to be loved.</li> <li>I hate myself.</li> <li>If only I were richer, thinner, prettier or smarter. Then people would like me.</li> <li>I don’t deserve good things, but I deserve all the bad things.</li> <li>I’m so annoying. Everyone must hate me.</li> </ul> <p>These are just the tip of the garbage iceberg. Self-criticism can cover any area of your life, including your body, relationships, sexual encounters, career, finances, goals, hobbies, family and education – even your life in general, Stein says.</p> <p><strong>What is the harm in self-criticising?</strong></p> <p>On a basic level, being able to recognise our own faults benefits us because it gives us a chance to correct them and improve. But this is different from the type of malignant self-criticising many people engage in, Blackmond says. “Self-criticism is rarely productive and often impedes growth,” she says. “You start to believe all the bad things you are saying about yourself, which can then turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy. This, in turn, leads to anxiety and depression, creating a vicious cycle of negativity.”</p> <p>Case in point: You tell yourself you’re too dumb to get the promotion at work, so you don’t even try. When you don’t get the promotion, you tell yourself that proves you were right. You beat yourself up for your “failure,” which reinforces the belief that you are dumb, starting the whole cycle over again.</p> <p>“People who are very self-critical lack the confidence to make mistakes they can learn from. Fearing they aren’t good enough can lead to struggles at school, work and in general, and can lead someone to avoid any situation that generates more worry and self-doubt,” Stein says, adding that these people are also more likely to end up in toxic or abusive relationships.</p> <p>Another issue arises when self-criticism framed as self-improvement turns into excessive worrying, Stein says. “So someone might wind up worrying about an awful lot of things, from whether they are ‘good enough’ in some way to excessive worrying about their health, safety or competence – even if there is no objective evidence suggesting they have something to worry about,” she explains. “These worries take up a lot of time and energy.”</p> <p><strong>How to stop self-criticising once and for all</strong></p> <p>The good news about these negative thoughts is they are just that: thoughts. And you can change your thoughts, Blackmond says. It starts by cultivating a positive mindset through self-compassion. “Be aware of the negative thoughts and interrupt that internal dialogue,” she says. “Change them into something positive. Speak to yourself kindly, like you would to someone you love and care about. You’d never tell your child that they are stupid and ugly, so don’t speak to yourself that way either.”</p> <p>Easier said than done? Here are 12 tips from our experts that will help you cultivate self-compassion and nix harmful critical thoughts.</p> <p><strong>1. Celebrate imperfections </strong></p> <p>Kintsugi is a Japanese art form that repairs broken pottery with gold, highlighting the “flaws” and showing the beauty in breaking down and repairing. Look for kintsugi in your life, metaphorically and physically. “Look to art, music, poetry and prose, drama and [other areas] that celebrate imperfection and see it as a gift, not a flaw to be hidden,” Blackmond says.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Start by reading body-positivity quotes and confidence quotes. For a hands-on lesson in the beauty of imperfections, get a kintsugi craft kit. Or watch a play, read a book or listen to a song that celebrates our flaws.</p> <p><strong>2. Be less judgemental of others</strong></p> <p>People who are harshly critical of others are usually harshly critical of themselves as well, so learning to offer others grace and compassion can open the door to doing the same for yourself, Blackmond says. “It’s about not seeing the world as black or white, good or bad,” she says.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Whenever you catch yourself thinking negatively of someone else – from your sister to a celebrity to a terrible driver – stop the thought and offer a more compassionate take. Let’s say your mind automatically thinks What kind of idiot can’t park between the lines? Replace the thought with a kinder take: This person must have been in a big hurry or having a bad day. I hope things get better for them.</p> <p><strong>3. Delete your social media apps</strong></p> <p>Or at least lessen the amount of time you spend on them. “Social media can have this immense impact on our self-esteem because it encourages us to compare our worst selves to other people’s best selves,” Blackmond says. Besides, what you see is often photoshopped or cherry-picked.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Stop comparing yourself to others. Limit your time on social media to one hour or less per day. Curate your feed, and unfollow anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself.</p> <p><strong>4. Get therapy</strong></p> <p>Self-critical thoughts can be really sticky, especially if you’ve made a habit of them, Stein says. “A good therapist will help you learn to recognise these thoughts, challenge them and come up with anxiety-management strategies,” she says. “They can also act as a mirror, helping you see yourself in a more accurate light.”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Find a therapist who specialises in self-compassion or read a book about self-compassion.</p> <p><strong>5. Do a mindfulness meditation</strong></p> <p>Mindfulness is simply the practice of being present in the here and now, and when you’re focused on this moment, you can’t beat yourself up by looking to the past with regret or looking to the future with worry, Stein says. “Mindfulness meditation is a powerful tool for learning to reframe or stop self-critical thoughts,” she says.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Download a meditation app like Calm, Headspace or The Mindfulness App, and do a daily guided mindfulness meditation. Don’t worry about acing the practice on day one. Being mindful is a learned skill, and mindfulness meditation is useful even at the beginner stage.</p> <p><strong>6. Use self-deprecating humour sparingly </strong></p> <p>Making other people the butt of your jokes is cruel… and so is making yourself the butt of the joke. “A little self-deprecating humour in the right situation can help defuse tension and build relationships, but a little goes a long way,” Blackmond says. Heavy-handed self-deprecating humour makes others uncomfortable, and it can affect how you see yourself.</p> <p>“Be very careful with how you speak about yourself, even in a joking way,” she says. “Better yet, pick a different type of humour to bond over.”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Brush up on your public speaking, and if you’re going to crack a joke, pick one that has nothing to do with you.</p> <p><strong>7. Go outside </strong></p> <p>Self-criticism makes your world get smaller and smaller as you limit yourself. The antidote? Make your world bigger. “When you find yourself getting trapped in a cycle of negativity, go outside and take a walk,” Blackmond says. Breathe the fresh air, look at the sunset, say hi to your neighbours, pick up a little trash along the way – all these things will help you instantly feel better about yourself and the world.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Take a walk outdoors each day and boost both your mental and physical health. Listen to some confidence-boosting songs in the process to really break your negative mindset.</p> <p><strong>8. Learn a new hobby</strong></p> <p>From painting to computer coding to rock climbing, trying new things helps you focus on the positive while “proving” the negative thoughts wrong. The trick, Blackmond says, is to go into it with a positive attitude. Be open to new things and accept that failing is a part of the learning process. “It’s OK to fail,” she says. “Expect mistakes as part of the learning process – celebrate them.”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Sign up for a class, find a new hobby or go back to an activity you used to love.</p> <p><strong>9. End toxic relationships </strong></p> <p>“A lot of us are self-critical because we were criticised early on by parents or other loved ones,” Stein says, adding that people often see this type of criticism as good because it’s “done out of love.” But this is not loving behaviour.</p> <p>“Go where you’re celebrated,” Blackmond says. “Everyone deserves to be celebrated and lifted up by their loved ones.”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Break the cycle by keeping relationships with only those people who build you up and encourage you to grow. Avoid people who use “brutal honesty” or “tough love” to show their care. Stand up for yourself and kick those toxic relationships to the curb.</p> <p><strong>10. Try cognitive behavioural therapy</strong></p> <p>Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and its companion, dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), are powerful psychological tools for reframing negative thoughts and learning how to think more positively, Stein says. “CBT helps people become more aware of the specific, core beliefs behind all of these in-the-moment worries and identify what is triggering the negative self-talk,” she explains. They sound technical, but the concepts are simple, and anyone can implement them with practice.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Even if you have to get out of your comfort zone a little, it’s worth signing up for a course of CBT. Not ready for that? Do a CBT workbook at home.</p> <p><strong>11. Help other people</strong></p> <p>The fastest way to feel more positively about yourself is to do something positive in the world, Blackmond says. “Self-criticism is inherently selfish. Serving others is selfless,” she says. “Pure altruism sparks a cascade of love and positivity that fills you and radiates outwards.”</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Do something for someone who can’t do anything for you, she suggests. For instance, volunteer at a local school or food bank. Not only will you be doing some good in the world, but you’ll reap the many benefits of volunteering.</p> <p><strong>12. Use self-reflection instead of self-criticism </strong></p> <p>No one is saying that you need to think you’re perfect exactly the way you are, or there’s no room for improvement. Rather, Blackmond says, you should be looking honestly and realistically at your flaws. The trick is to do it in a positive way. Self-reflection encourages insight and action based on self-love and a desire to do better and be better, she explains. Self-criticism stops that process, trapping you in a cycle of negativity and stunting your growth.</p> <p><span style="text-decoration: underline;"><em>Try this:</em></span> Keep a journal of the things you like about yourself and the things you can improve on. Practice gratitude for yourself and others. Make positive goals to help you progress in those areas, track your progress and celebrate your successes.</p> <p><strong>Stop the self-criticising cycle </strong></p> <p>“At the core of every self-critical belief is the question ‘Am I lovable and worthy of love the way I am?’ And the answer is yes, you are,” Stein says. Too many people, like me, use self-criticism as a self-defence tool, and it cuts us off from the very love and acceptance we crave.</p> <p>Learning how to build emotional strength and quiet that critical self-talk through self-compassion is the key to stronger relationships and a happier life. “You’ve only got this one life, so don’t waste it on regret and worry,” she says.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/healthsmart/conditions/mental-health/how-to-stop-self-criticising-and-build-yourself-up-instead?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Mind

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Baby boomers fight back against "self-entitled whingeing generations"

<p>Angry baby boomers have hit back at young Australians for continuing to blame the ageing population for the current housing crisis. </p> <p>A group of disgruntled seniors have shared their thoughts with the <a href="https://www.smh.com.au/national/blaming-baby-boomers-for-your-money-woes-is-unfair-lazy-and-wrong-20231127-p5en21.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Sydney Morning Herald</em></a> about the "self-entitled" young Australians, who are facing never-before-seen financial and social barriers to break into the housing market. </p> <p>The open letters come in the wake of Census data showing empty-nesters are hanging on to their big homes in inner-city suburbs, while young families are struggling to find suitable housing while also battling mortgage stress and renters are getting relentlessly price-gouged. </p> <p>Despite the current system disproportionately affecting younger Australians, boomers have hit back at universal claims that they had it easier back in the day. </p> <p>"We bought and paid for these homes; it's not our job to house the next generations, it's the government's," explained Kathleen Kyle in a letter to the <em>Sydney Morning Herald</em>. </p> <p>"Nobody questions people who spend their money on lovely cars or antiques, or suggests that they don't need them any more."</p> <p>In another letter, Kathy Willis from Kew near Port Macquarie wrote, "Boomers have worked very hard to get what they have, having brought up their families in these homes."</p> <p>"I suggest the discourse be directed to people such as town planners, local councils and state governments for their lack of vision in the past, and what the present authorities are going to do about it – and of course, the taxpayers' expense."</p> <p>Suzanne Hopping from Redfern, Sydney, wrote that she could no longer stay silent on "boomer bashing" from "self-entitled whingeing generations".</p> <p>"I bought my first home when I was 39 in an undesirable suburb. Buying a home (at 17.5 per cent interest) was as difficult then as it is today."</p> <p>"When I left home I had no expectations of ever being able to afford to buy a place of my own."</p> <p>"Self-entitled whingeing generations, if you don't like what you see, do something positive about it. Each generation has its unique problems, stop the moralising."</p> <p>Wendy Cousins from Balgownie NSW wrote that "boomer bashing" is futile, adding, "Why encourage resentment of boomers because many choose to stay in their homes? This will not free up any housing."</p> <p>"Many have already downsized and those who haven't, have a variety of reasons why they don't. We have enough division in our society without the constant boomer bashing."</p> <p>Despite the views of many disgruntled boomers, University of Melbourne Professor Allan Fels, an economist and mental health advocate, said figures show beyond a doubt that life is much tougher for the younger generation, and basic economics prove it is much harder for them to buy a house.</p> <p>"We baby boomers have had it a lot easier than the new generation of young people," he told <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-12793605/Boomers-hit-self-entitled-whingeing-young-Aussies-reveal-theyre-not-blame-housing-crisis.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>.</p> <p>"They face a future of much less home ownership and associated mental health stability. The mere fact they are missing out is a cause of stress."</p> <p>"The trend of rising prices adds to the stress because many used to think that they could buy their own house but they keep missing out because prices are continually rising just beyond their grasp."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Shutterstock</em></p>

Money & Banking

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15 money-saving habits self-made millionaires have in common

<p><strong>Start saving smarter</strong></p> <p>Learning how to save money like a self-made millionaire can mean the difference between stressing to dress and dressing to impress. It can help you retire younger so you’re able to see more of the world sooner. It can mean finally building that dream house. And more than anything, it can mean having the money when you truly need it.</p> <p>But let’s face it: Not all of us are natural savers. We waste our money on frivolous supermarket buys we’re convinced we have to have in the moment. We don’t bother with high-yield savings or investment accounts. And we have a tendency to try to keep up with the Joneses. In other words, we could really use the help of a self-made millionaire who not only knows the tricks to getting rich but is also skilled at saving. Luckily, we talked to some financial geniuses who were willing to share their expert tips on the money-saving strategies all self-made millionaires share.</p> <p>Whether you’re planning to retire at 30 or are opening your first savings account, these are the money-saving habits you should borrow from self-made millionaires to become one yourself someday.</p> <p><strong>They follow the 50-30-20 rule</strong> </p> <p>Forget complicated budgeting or uncomfortable belt-tightening; the secret to saving big might boil down to three simple numbers. Kimberly Palmer, a personal finance expert at NerdWallet, says that many a self-made millionaire follows the “50-30-20” rule.</p> <p>Using this formula, they put aside 50% of the money they earn for savings and necessities such as rent and groceries, 30% for lifestyle purchases like new clothing and 20% for fun activities like concerts or eating out. By regularly and intentionally setting aside a fixed amount of savings, the self-made millionaire builds a nest egg faster.</p> <p>Ready to try it for yourself? To get started, download a budget app to help you divvy up your income accordingly. “You might find that with some adjustments, such as shifting your food spending toward groceries and away from takeout and restaurants, or cutting back on monthly subscriptions, you can take steps toward reaching your wealth-building goals,” Palmer says.</p> <p><strong>They automate their finances</strong></p> <p>Budgeting is a smart move, but there are times when it can backfire, according to nine-time New York Times bestselling author David Bach, the founder of FinishRich.com. “You’re too busy, and you will just get frustrated and fail,” he says.</p> <p>Instead, self-made millionaires automate their financial lives so they can’t fail. That includes setting up a regular deposit into their savings accounts to be automatically withdrawn from their pay.</p> <p>Bach also recommends using autopay for many of your bills, including car payments, mortgage payments and credit card bills. Doing so helps you avoid missing a payment and getting hit with those pesky late fees, saving you money in the long run. Just make sure to leave out any of these bills you shouldn’t put on autopay.</p> <p><strong>They spend less than they earn</strong></p> <p>Believe it or not, “self-made millionaires don’t necessarily look like millionaires on the outside,” according to Palmer. Rather than spending money on flashy holidays or new clothes, “they often spend less than they earn so they can put their money into savings and investments,” she says.</p> <p>To maximise your savings like a self-made millionaire would, Palmer recommends taking stock of your personal spending and cutting back on categories that matter less to you. For example, if you enjoy taking a big holiday every year, consider cooking lunches and dinners at home to curb your spending at restaurants. On the flip side, maybe you would rather have a smaller clothing budget and create a capsule wardrobe to free up spending for dining out with your friends.</p> <p><strong>They avoid "want spending"</strong></p> <p>Another way self-made millionaires avoid spending more than they earn? They never fall into the trap of “want spending,” according to Tom Corley, an expert on wealth creation and author of Rich Habits. “According to Census Bureau data, there are approximately 30 million people who make more than they need but who are, nonetheless, one pay away from poverty,” he explains. “These individuals engage in something called want spending.”</p> <p>Are you a “want spender”? Corley’s research found that some of the biggest indicators include:</p> <ul> <li>Surrendering to instant gratification, forgoing savings in order to buy things you want now, be it a 60-inch TV, nice holiday, expensive car or fancy pair of shoes</li> <li>Spending too much going out to eat or ordering in</li> <li>Incurring debt in order to finance your standard of living</li> </ul> <p>Essentially, want spenders create their own poverty by rationalising their desire to spend in various ways, whether it be by planning to make more money in the future or relying on the economy improving down the line. That’s why self-made millionaires shun spending money on their wants and focus more on their needs and savings. That said, if you do want to make a purchase that you didn’t budget for, here are some quick ways to earn extra cash.</p> <p><strong>They're smart spenders </strong></p> <p>Impulse purchases can happen to the best of us. No, you didn’t need the trucker hat at the petrol station on your long, boring road trip. And yes, stuff like that, when made a habit, adds up. To prevent extraneous spending and save more money, Corley suggests a few specific strategies that self-made millionaires followed in his research:</p> <ul> <li>They buy in bulk. “If done properly and with the right items, buying in bulk can save your household money and reduce waste,” he says. Toilet paper, soap, laundry detergent, paper towels and shampoo are items proven much cheaper when bought in larger sizes. Prioritise food items like applesauce, canned goods or yoghurt, which can be portioned into glass jars and saved for future use.</li> <li>They create a meal plan. “If you can sketch out a menu for the week that utilises similar ingredients, you’ll have a more focused trip to the supermarket, and you’ll end up throwing less away weeks after it’s been shoved to the back recesses of the refrigerator,” says Corley. “Making a conscious effort here saves you money, and it keeps food waste out of landfills.” For other smart tricks to save money on groceries, consider following a budget grocery list and learning how to find coupons.</li> <li>They reduce energy costs. “Lowering your energy consumption is low-hanging fruit when it comes to cutting monthly expenses,” he explains. This can be as simple as swapping incandescent bulbs for CFLs or LEDs to lower your utility bill.</li> </ul> <p><strong>They prevent lifestyle creep </strong></p> <p>Whether you tried out a new side hustle idea or learned how to negotiate for a higher salary, you’re now bringing in more money. But be careful! It’s all too tempting to splurge on a bigger house or fancier car as your income grows. “It’s a common habit among many who suddenly find themselves making more money,” Corley says. But self-made millionaires avoid increasing their standard of living in order to match their growing income—a money-burning practice called lifestyle creep.</p> <p>In fact, Corley’s research found that a whopping 64% of self-made millionaires lived in a modest, middle-class home; 44% purchased used cars; 41% spent less than $3000 on their annual holiday; and 28% mowed their own lawn to save money.</p> <p>Here’s why lifestyle creep can hurt you financially: “Once you spend your money, it’s gone,” Corley says. “When you hit a bump in the road, such as a job loss, you are then forced to sell your stuff. If the stuff you purchased depreciated in value, you get pennies on the dollar.”</p> <p>As a good rule of thumb, he recommends spending no more than 25% of your annual net pay on housing costs and 5% on car costs, no matter how much you earn.</p> <p><strong>They don't lend money to friends or family </strong></p> <p>The self-made millionaire knows that your love for your family and friends shouldn’t be measured by your generosity, but sometimes that’s exactly what it comes down to. You’re inevitably left in an awkward bind: If you don’t provide a loan, there can be tension, but if you do, you may never get the funds back and might find yourself resenting your pal. “You will lose both your friend and the money, and you’re not a bank,” advises Bach.</p> <p>Say you do lend them money. Did you come up with an agreement for a timeline for repayments? When it comes to friends or family, setting such boundaries can be difficult, but it’s even more awkward to continuously ask for the money back.</p> <p>If self-made millionaires absolutely must lend money to someone near and dear, they make sure the loan isn’t open-ended. Bach recommends coming up with a timeline and sticking to it. You can also take advantage of companies that specialise in peer-to-peer lending, like Zirtue, which formalises loans between family members and friends.</p> <p><strong>They're frugal, not cheap </strong></p> <p>Although it may seem counterintuitive, buying cheaper products is not a common money-saving habit among self-made millionaires. In fact, Corley’s research found that 66% of poor people admitted to being cheap. “Cheap, to them, meant spending their money on the cheapest product or service available,” he explains. But cheap products break or deteriorate at a much quicker rate than quality products, which means you end up spending more in the long run.</p> <p>He also points out that, when looking for services, those who provide cheap ones are typically inexperienced or not very good at what they do. “If they were good, they would be able to command higher prices. Cheap service providers can get you in a lot of trouble, especially when it comes to taxes, legal representation or even just getting your car fixed. Cheap service providers are able to keep their fees down by paying their staff lower wages. This means they are not getting the best staff or are settling for inexperienced staff.”</p> <p>Being cheap won’t make you poor, but it will mean you save less money because you’re constantly shelling out for new products or services to replace the low-quality ones you bought in the first place. Self-made millionaires focus on buying fewer, higher-quality products that will last a long time.</p> <p><strong>They don't play the comparison game</strong></p> <p>Keeping up with the Joneses is more tempting (and common!) then you might think. According to a recent NerdWallet survey, 83% of Americans say they overspend due to social pressures from seeing others dining at expensive restaurants or taking fancy trips abroad. “It’s easy to get caught up in overspending, especially when you see peers or neighbours spending more than you on cars, houses or vacations,” Palmer says.</p> <p>But when rich people feel green with envy, Palmer says, they put things into perspective—and keep in mind that what they’re seeing may not be the entire picture. “It’s important to take a step back and realise you might not want the same things they have, or they might be creating financial stress for themselves by buying those things,” she says.</p> <p><strong>They pay themselves first </strong></p> <p>By setting aside a portion of their income every day, week or month—in other words, “paying yourself first”—self-made millionaires take one of the most important steps towards building wealth, according to Bach. “You’re going to work 90,000 hours over your lifetime; you should keep at least an hour a day of the income,” he says.</p> <p>He recommends setting aside an hour’s worth of your income each day and then saving and investing it—preferably automatically to begin earning some passive income and reach that high-roller status.</p> <p><strong>They find a passive income source</strong></p> <p>Speaking of passive income, self-made millionaires save even more money by investing their savings in an account that creates passive income through accumulated interest, such as a high-yield savings or investment account. There are several types of accounts to consider, and ultimately, the one you choose will depend on your financial goals.</p> <p>“No strategy is a one-size-fits-all approach, since everyone’s financial situation is unique and different,” Palmer says. She recommends speaking with a financial advisor to learn the right strategy for you and to avoid the most common retirement-planning mistakes.</p> <p><strong>They put away the credit card</strong></p> <p>Credit cards can sabotage even the best of savers, according to Corley. “Credit card use can easily get out of control,” he says. “If you rely on credit cards to pay for ordinary living expenses, that means you are living beyond your means.”</p> <p>Not only are there high interest rates on credit card debt, but paying with plastic could also trick you into spending more money. In a study published in the journal Marketing Letters, MIT researchers found that shoppers spend up to 100% more when paying with a credit card—and were even willing to pay twice as much for an item as those who paid in cash.</p> <p>The 100-day credit card money-saving challenge could help you break bad spending habits, according to Corley. Essentially, the goal is to go 100 days without using your credit cards for purchases. The result? “Having to use cash or your ATM card forces spending awareness and restricts how much you can spend,” Corley says.</p> <p><strong>They design their dreams </strong></p> <p>What do you want your life to look like in five, 10 or 20 years? Self-made millionaires always know their answer to this question, Corley says. He calls this dream-setting or creating a clear vision of your ideal future life. From there, you should set and pursue financial goals that will help you accomplish those dreams. “Dream-setting is a springboard for creating the goals you’ll need in order to help you get to your destination,” he says.</p> <p>For example, if you want to earn a master’s degree so you can get a job with a higher salary, you can set goals like setting aside two hours every day to study for the graduate record exam (GRE). “Goals are the transportation system to your ideal future life,” Corley says. “Once you have a clear vision of your destination, the goals you’ll need to achieve will magically manifest themselves out of thin air.”</p> <p><strong>They invest in themselves </strong></p> <p>There’s no question that saving and investing your money is key to accumulating wealth fast. But according to Corley, the first (and most important!) money-saving habit that self-made millionaires practice is investing in themselves—whether that means reading for at least 30 minutes a day, listening to podcasts during a long commute or seeking out career mentors.</p> <p>Exactly how should you invest in yourself? The self-made millionaires in Corley’s research focused their daily reading on content that was directly related to the dreams and goals they were pursuing.</p> <p><strong>They never give up</strong></p> <p>Maybe it sounds cliche, but it’s the type of mindset that will keep you above water. “No matter what happens, no matter how many times you fail, as long as you get up and try again, you haven’t lost,” says Bach. So commit to the sort of money-saving tricks a self-made millionaire would follow, but give yourself a break if you fall off the wagon. Dust yourself off and recommit to your saving strategies.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/food-home-garden/money/15-money-saving-habits-self-made-millionaires-have-in-common?pages=1" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Reader's Digest</a>. </em></p>

Money & Banking

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"Am I dreaming?": Prince William serves up burgers from food van

<p>The Prince of Wales has stunned a few unsuspecting customers of a London food truck by serving them burgers. </p> <p>In collaboration with popular YouTube channel<em> Sorted Food</em>, Prince William took part in the stunt to promote The Earthshot Prize, a mission he founded in hopes to repair the planet. </p> <p>They worked together to create a plant-based 'Earthshot burger', which they served to customers, in the clip shared on YouTube. </p> <p>As part of the stunt, Prince William first hid his identity by facing away from the customers, when it was time to serve the food, he turned around with burgers in hand to the shock of the diners. </p> <p>"My brain took three seconds to buffer - am I dreaming?" one said after seeing Prince William serving burgers. </p> <p>"I was lost for words," said another. </p> <p>"I was shell-shocked" said a third. </p> <p>The Prince of Wales also praised last year's Earthshot Prize winners, and explained that the dishes served used three of their innovations, which all represented a solution to help repair the planet. </p> <p>"For those of you who don't know, the Earthshot Prize is there to repair and regenerate the planet. Everything you see here comes from the winners from last year," he said.</p> <p>The ingredients for the burgers were sourced by Indian start-up Kheyti, who support local farmers and help shelter their crops from unpredictable weather events and pests. </p> <p>The burgers were cooked in a cleaner-burning portable stove from Mukuru Clean Stoves, which aims to reduce air pollution, and the food was served on Notpla takeaway containers made from natural and biodegradable materials. </p> <p>This is the verdict from the diners: "the best burger we've ever had."</p> <p>The Prince also joked with diners saying that the global Earthshot Prize started back when he "had hair."</p> <p>"It's designed as an environmental prize tackling the world's greatest environmental problems,"  he said. </p> <p>"We liked the idea that this is a big deal, this is like something we really need to aim for, but it's about saving the planet, not taking us to the moon."</p> <p>He added:  "And there's many people out there who want us to move to the next planet already and I'm like, hang on, let's not give up on this planet yet."</p> <p><em>Images: Kensington Palace/ Sorted Food YouTube</em></p>

Food & Wine

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"Self-indulgent narcissism": Tina Arena slammed for breaking lockdown restrictions

<p>Tina Arena has come under fire for bragging about breaking Covid lockdown restrictions to resist what she called a "totalitarian" regime. </p> <p>The 55-year-old singer spoke candidly with <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>The Weekend Australian</em></a>, reflecting on the 2021 Delta lockdowns and why she chose to deliberately break the restriction that prevented people from travelling within 5km of their homes. </p> <p>"Why can't you drive more than five kilometres? Guess what – watch me. So I did. I drove past my five kilometres. Am I a criminal now? You want to pull me up? Pull me up. You want to fine me? Fine me. I'm not the one with the issue here," she told the publication.</p> <p>"The issue is, there is no logic. You have no right to do that. You are fining me. This is totalitarian. We don't work like that."</p> <p>Tina went on to claim that she was the only person who was frustrated by the harsh lockdown measures enough to speak up. </p> <p>"I didn't hear anybody complaining ­during lockdown other than me: 'Why are we locked up? Where's your science? What? Why?; The fear was so much for me; it was choking me, I was like, I can't cope with all of you being so fear-driven like this, and compliant," she said.</p> <p>Tina's comments sparked outrage online, with many people weighing in on her "selfish" choice to break the rules.</p> <p>"Tina Arena is just the Pete Evans of Music," wrote one person, referring to the disgraced television chef who was criticised for his anti-vax views. </p> <p>"Tina Arena - just another ignorant, selfish, fearful individual who was unwilling to comply with lockdown orders at the height of a deadly pandemic before vaccines were available. Yes 'deadly'! I have zero sympathy for those who blatantly ignored the restrictions," said another. </p> <p>Another disgruntled reader said, "Tina Arena's self indulgent narcissism is astounding, does she think she was the only person feeling fearful, locked up and battling mental health issues during the pandemic?"</p> <p>Another person called out her actions, writing, "Very selfish of Tina Arena. Hundreds of healthcare workers were f***ing exhausted, people with disabilities and severe health conditions were (and still are) living in fear of getting sick and she decided the rules wouldn't apply to her. Very disappointing."</p> <p>Social media users were quick to point out her "selfish" comments, with one person putting things into perspective by saying, "Most of us weren't wallowing in self pity, we were just doing what we needed to do to keep our families safe."</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Legal

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Why young people are self-diagnosing illnesses

<p dir="ltr">A lot of people turn to Google when they get symptoms of being sick, and jump to the conclusion that it may be a serious issue, however, for the younger crowd - Dr Google is now Dr TikTok. </p> <p dir="ltr">The social media app is filled with content about all sorts of topics, known for its 15-second clips it has been applauded for starting important conversations about mental health, especially among young people. It allows people to share experiences and support each other.</p> <p dir="ltr">However, as beneficial as that may be, it’s causing a lot of children to self-diagnose themselves with several mental and neurological disorders. These conditions include autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), borderline personality disorder (BPD), dissociative identity disorder (DID), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), Tourette’s syndrome, and more.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s troublesome as a doctor must diagnose a patient with an illness, and kids are taking it into their own hands based on videos that resonate with them.</p> <p dir="ltr">Psychologist Doreen Dodgen-Magee, said, “There are many accounts, hosted by educated, trained, and licensed professionals where reliable information can be found,” says Dr. Dodgen-Magee. But not all posts contain accurate, science-backed information — and many people scrolling through TikTok don’t know this”.</p> <p dir="ltr">It’s an issue that continues to grow as young people are getting medical advice from fellow TikTokers rather than seeing a doctor. </p> <p dir="ltr">If you have any symptoms of poor physical or mental health then you must be professionally diagnosed and set up with a treatment plan. Don’t rely on a social media app targeted towards children to diagnose you with health issues.</p> <p dir="ltr">Image credit: Shutterstock</p>

Mind

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Man served with AVO after turning up on Sophie Monk’s doorstep

<p>A man has been served with an AVO after he turned up at Sophie Monk’s home clutching a single red rose; claiming he was the victim of an elaborate catfishing scam that robbed him of $7,000.</p> <p>Brian Rapley said police questioned him “like I was some crazed stalker” but insisted that he had months of messages on his phone between him and the person he had believed to be Monk.</p> <p>“I feel like such an idiot,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “But I thought we were in a relationship."</p> <p>Police were called on April 25 to Monk’s NSW Central Coast home after a man was spotted outside at 7:30am calling her name. He returned later that evening and was swarmed by police.</p> <p>Rapley, 49, said five police cars descended on him.</p> <p>"They said to me, ‘What are you here to do to Sophie Monk?’ and I said, ‘I’m here to meet her for the first time, we are in a relationship'."</p> <p>Monk wasn’t home at the time as she was with her husband Joshua Gross in Queensland filming a movie Zombie Plane with US entertainer Vanilla Ice.</p> <p>“I do not know any person by the name of Brian Rapley. I am not in a relationship with anyone by the name of Brian Rapley. I am currently happily married to my husband Joshua Gross,” Monk said in a statement to police.</p> <p>Rapley wasn’t officially charged but was served with an AVO and told not to approach the TV personality.<br />He had told police that he genuinely believed it was Monk he was communicating with after he left a message on her verified Instagram account.</p> <p>“Then next thing I get a message from another account but with the same profile pic as Sophie, saying, ‘Hey, it's Sophie … let’s chat here, my manager reads my official account, so this is better,’” he told the Daily Telegraph.</p> <p>Over the span of four months, he said he and the person he believed to be Monk spoke regularly.</p> <p>Rapley showed the outlet the multiple messages he claimed he thought were from the star.</p> <p>One of the messages to him read, “I love you”.</p> <p>However, there were telling signs that it was likely a scam as the “relationship” never moved from messaging to phone calls.</p> <p>“I did think that was weird. I was like ‘If you are who you say you are, you could walk into a shop and get a new phone for free’”.</p> <p>However, the account explained that their phone was broken and they were too busy to buy a new one.</p> <p>Rapley then said he fell for a scam in which the person he thought was Monk said she was “getting all this money” but asked him to send her cash in the meantime.</p> <p>When he questioned why he would be sending money to such a high-profile celeb, he was told it was just “bank account drama”.</p> <p>He then revealed that the person he was messaging provided him with Monk’s address and told him to meet her there on April 25 so they could finally meet face-to-face.</p> <p>Rapley said he was embarrassed.</p> <p>“Look, I know it sounds stupid … I look like a right fool but the truth is I’m just lonely, and I believed her.”</p> <p><em>Image credit: Getty</em></p>

Relationships

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We were told we’d be riding in self-driving cars by now. What happened to the promised revolution?

<p>According to <a href="https://electrek.co/2015/12/21/tesla-ceo-elon-musk-drops-prediction-full-autonomous-driving-from-3-years-to-2/">predictions</a> <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/lyfts-president-says-car-ownership-will-all-but-end-by-2025">made</a> nearly a decade ago, we should be riding around in self-driving vehicles today. It’s now clear the autonomous vehicle revolution was overhyped.</p> <p>Proponents woefully underestimated the technological challenges. It turns out developing a truly driverless vehicle is hard.</p> <p>The other factor driving the hype was the amount of money being invested in autonomous vehicle startups. By 2021, it was estimated more than <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2022/02/04/self-driving-cars-why/">US$100 billion</a> in venture capital had gone into developing the technology.</p> <p>While advances are being made, it is important to understand there are multiple levels of autonomy. Only one is truly driverless. As established by <a href="https://www.sae.org/blog/sae-j3016-update">SAE International</a>, the levels are:</p> <ul> <li> <p>level 0 — the driver has to undertake all driving tasks</p> </li> <li> <p>level 1, hands on/shared control — vehicle has basic driver-assist features such as cruise control and lane-keeping</p> </li> <li> <p>level 2, hands off – vehicle has advanced driver-assist features such as emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, auto park assist and traffic-jam assist</p> </li> <li> <p>level 3, eyes off — vehicle drives itself some of the time</p> </li> <li> <p>level 4, mind off — vehicle drives itself most of the time</p> </li> <li> <p>level 5, steering wheel option — vehicle drives itself all the time.</p> </li> </ul> <h2>Why the slow progress?</h2> <p>It’s estimated the technology to deliver safe autonomous vehicles is about <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/mar/27/how-self-driving-cars-got-stuck-in-the-slow-lane">80% developed</a>. The last 20% is increasingly difficult. It will take a lot more time to perfect.</p> <p>Challenges yet to be resolved involve unusual and rare events that can happen along any street or highway. They include weather, wildlife crossing the road, and highway construction.</p> <p>Another set of problems has emerged since <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/simonmainwaring/2022/08/22/cruise-ride-hailing-goes-green-and-driverless/?sh=6a7439376843">Cruise</a> and <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2022/11/19/23467784/waymo-provide-fully-driverless-rides-san-francisco-california">Waymo</a> launched their autonomous ride-hailing services in San Francisco. The US National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2022/12/16/cruises-autonomous-driving-tech-comes-under-scrutiny-from-safety-regulators/">opened an investigation</a> in December 2022, only six months after the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/jun/03/california-driverless-taxi-cars-san-francisco">services were approved</a>. It cited incidents where these vehicles “may have engaged in inappropriately hard braking or became immobilized”.</p> <p>The San Francisco County Transportation Authority <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/01/technology/self-driving-taxi-san-francisco.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">stated</a>, "[I]n the months since the initial approval of autonomous taxi services in June 2022, Cruise AVs have made unplanned and unexpected stops in travel lanes, where they obstruct traffic and transit service and intrude into active emergency response scenes, including fire suppression scenes, creating additional hazardous conditions."</p> <p>In several cases, Cruise technicians had to be called to move the vehicles.</p> <h2>What’s happening now?</h2> <p>Active autonomous vehicle initiatives can be grouped into two categories: ride-hailing services (Cruise, Waymo and Uber) and sales to the public (Tesla).</p> <p>Cruise is a subsidiary of General Motors founded in 2013. As of September 2022, it operated 100 robotaxis in San Francisco and had plans to increase its fleet to 5,000. Critics said this would increase city traffic.</p> <p>Cruise also began to offer services in Chandler (a Phoenix suburb), Arizona, and Austin, Texas, in December 2022.</p> <p>Waymo, formerly the Google Self-Driving Car Project, was founded in January 2009. The company lost <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2022/11/11/23453262/waymo-av-driverless-taxi-phoenix-california-dmv-progress">US$4.8 billion in 2020 and US$5.2 billion in 2021</a>.</p> <p>Waymo One provides autonomous ride-hailing services in <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2023/2/28/23617278/waymo-self-driving-driverless-crashes-av">Phoenix as well as San Francisco</a>. It plans to expand into <a href="https://www.theverge.com/2022/10/19/23410677/waymo-los-angeles-autonomous-robotaxi-service-launch">Los Angeles</a> this year.</p> <p>Uber was a major force in autonomous vehicle development as part of its business plan was to replace human drivers. However, it ran into problems, including a crash in March 2018 when a self-driving Uber killed a woman walking her bicycle across a street in Tempe, Arizona. In 2020, Arizona Uber sold its AV research division to Aurora Innovation.</p> <p>But in October 2022 Uber got back into autonomous vehicles by <a href="https://www.forbes.com/sites/samabuelsamid/2022/10/06/motional-and-uber-announce-10-year-deal-to-deploy-automated-vehicles-in-multiple-us-markets/?sh=44d83a84273e">signing a deal</a> with Motional, a joint venture between Hyundai and Aptiv. Motional will provide autonomous vehicles for Uber’s ride-hailing and delivery services.</p> <p>Lyft, the second-largest ride-sharing company after Uber, operates in the US and Canada. Like Uber, Lyft had a self-driving unit and in 2016, Lyft co-founder John Zimmer <a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/09/lyfts-president-says-car-ownership-will-all-but-end-by-2025">predicted</a> that by 2021 the majority of rides on its network would be in such vehicles (and private car ownership would “all but end” by 2025). It didn’t happen. By 2021, Lyft had also <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2021/04/26/lyft-sells-self-driving-unit-to-toyotas-woven-planet-for-550m/">sold its self-driving vehicle unit</a>, to Toyota.</p> <p>In 2022, Zimmer <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/20/lyft-co-founder-says-autonomous-vehicles-wont-replace-drivers-for-at-least-a-decade/">said</a> the technology would not replace drivers for at least a decade. However, Lyft did partner with Motional in August 2022 to launch <a href="https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/lyft-and-motional-deliver-the-first-rides-in-motionals-new-all-electric-ioniq-5-autonomous-vehicle-301606519.html">robotaxis in Las Vegas</a> and <a href="https://www.reuters.com/business/autos-transportation/lyft-motional-launch-robotaxi-service-los-angeles-2022-11-17/">Los Angeles</a>.</p> <p>Telsa is the <a href="https://www.ev-volumes.com/">world leader in sales</a> of battery electric vehicles. It also purports to sell vehicles with full automation. However, by the end of 2022, no level 3, 4 or 5 vehicles were for sale in the United States.</p> <p>What Telsa offers is a full self-driving system as a US$15,000 option. Buyers acknowledge they are buying a beta version and assume all risks. If the system malfunctions, Telsa does not accept any responsibility.</p> <p>In February 2023, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration <a href="https://amp.theguardian.com/technology/2023/feb/16/tesla-recall-full-self-driving-cars">found</a>, "[Fully self-driving] beta software that allows a vehicle to exceed speed limits or travel through intersections in an unlawful or unpredictable manner increases the risk of a crash."</p> <p>This led to Tesla <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2023/feb/16/tesla-recall-full-self-driving-cars">recalling 362,000 vehicles</a> to update the software.</p> <p>Another setback for autonomous vehicle sales to the public was the October 2022 announcement that Ford and VW had decided to <a href="https://techcrunch.com/2022/10/26/ford-vw-backed-argo-ai-is-shutting-down/">stop funding autonomous driving technology company Argo AI</a>, resulting in its closure. Both Ford and VW decided to shift their focus from level 4 automation to levels 2 and 3.</p> <h2>So, what can we expect next?</h2> <p>Autonomous vehicle development will continue, but with less hype. It’s being recognised as more an evolutionary process than a revolutionary one. The increasing cost of capital will also make it harder for autonomous vehicle startups to get development funds.</p> <p>The areas that appear to be making the best progress are autonomous ride-hailing and heavy vehicles. Self-driving car sales to the public are <a href="https://www.drive.com.au/news/level-4-self-driving-technology-mercedes-benz/">further down the track</a>.</p> <p><em>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/we-were-told-wed-be-riding-in-self-driving-cars-by-now-what-happened-to-the-promised-revolution-201088" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</em></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

Technology

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Jamie Lee Curtis on ageing in Hollywood

<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Hollywood star Jamie Lee Curtis has taken a swipe at society’s emphasis on youth, no more apparent than in her own industry.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The 59-year-old, visiting Sydney to promote new movie Halloween, the sequel to the 1978 horror classic of the same name, spoke of her dislike of the term “anti-ageing”.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“The term anti-ageing makes me crazy, the amount of marketing towards anti-ageing and making it a pejorative,” Curtis told <em><a href="https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/entertainment/sydney-confidential/actor-jamie-lee-curtis-on-why-the-term-antiageing-makes-her-angry/news-story/eec877ecef45fbb08670b1d872d2f8d5">The Daily Telegraph</a></em>.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“(Ageing) cannot be the pejorative because it happens to everybody. It is like everything else, it is an evolution,” said the actor.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">Curtis’ comments come at an apt time in her career. She has reprised her iconic role as Laurie Strode, who took on serial killer Michael Myers 40 years ago on Halloween. Decades on, her character, now a grandmother, is still deeply affected by their battle but is as strong as ever and more than ready for the next round.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The actress too, seems at the top of her game. The sequel is raking it in at the US box office, and not only is she a formidable performer in the film, but it was really Curtis doing many of the fight scenes too.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I am sitting here in my very nice red suit but this movie was obviously not a glamorous job and I am grateful that I get that opportunity,” she admitted to the publication. “Every fight is me.”</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I am fit but I am not a gym rat. It is just what we do. It is the nature of the beast — it is physical and it is painful. I cracked a rib, that is what happens.”</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">But Curtis, the daughter of Janet Leigh – who memorably starred in another iconic horror Psycho – and matinee idol Tony Curtis, has previously acknowledged her “struggle with my own self-esteem” when it comes to her body. She says she’s found a way to deal with it.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“So I have a big secret: I don’t look in the mirror,” Curtis told <em><a href="https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/entertainment/a22993869/jamie-lee-curtis-confidence-secrets/">Good Housekeeping</a></em> in a recent interview.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“I’m a 60-year-old woman. I am not going to look the same as I used to, and I don’t want to be confronted by that every day! When I get out of the shower, I have a choice: I can dry myself off looking in the mirror, or I can dry myself off with my back to it. I turn my back to the mirror and I feel great!”</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">The actress, who also counts children’s author, entrepreneur and budding screenwriter on her resume, has an inspiring message about chasing and realising creative passions saying she has “no time to waste”.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">“On the very clear passage of 50s to 60s, I have no time to waste,” said Curtis. “None. If you have creative ideas and you don’t bring them out into the world in some way before you go, that is a tragedy.”</span></p> <p class="p1"><em><span class="s1">Images: Getty</span></em></p>

Movies

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Tips to cope with losing independence with age

<p>There are many fantastic things that come with getting older, but sadly there are also some not-so-welcome side effects. For many people, loss of independence is definitely the worst. In fact, a UK study found more people fear losing their self-sufficiency than death.</p> <p>Whether because of health issues, mobility problems or something else entirely, many elderly people can find themselves completely reliant on others in their old age. However, it’s important to help them understand that losing their independence doesn’t have to mean losing their quality of life.</p> <p>First of all, take some time to put yourself in their shoes and really understand what it’s like. Just like with any loss, coming to terms with the loss of self-sufficiency is a process. Many people feel afraid of their newfound vulnerability, angry at their situation, confused about how to move forward and even guilty at the thought of needing help. But it’s essential that even during this difficult transition period to encourage them not to isolate themselves.</p> <p><strong>Offer help in whatever way you can</strong></p> <p>Whether it’s driving them around, helping them with their groceries or just lending an ear, even the smallest deed can help make your loved one’s life a little easier. Understandably, many people who suddenly find themselves reliant of others can take a stubborn stance against accepting help.</p> <p>Instead of berating them, consider why they might be apprehensive to take a hand. Be patient and explain that you don’t pity them, but rather just want the best for them. If they constantly reject your offers, respect them.</p> <p><strong>Keep them busy</strong></p> <p>Contrary to what they may believe at first, losing their independence doesn’t mean being forced to stop doing what they love. Encourage your loved one to keep pursuing their passions (where possible), find new hobbies and maintain relationships with their family members and friends – after all, it’s the people around us who help us through hardship.</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

Caring

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"With Honour They Served": Outpouring of emotion after shooting victims identified

<p dir="ltr">The two police officers who were executed at a Queensland rural property have been identified.</p> <p dir="ltr">Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow were at a property in the western Darling Downs, about three hours west of Brisbane when they were shot on December 12.</p> <p dir="ltr">One of the neighbours, Alan Dare, 58, was also shot and killed in the attack which led to a manhunt for the alleged attackers.</p> <p dir="ltr">Police services around the country offered their condolences to the families of Constable Arnold and Constable McCrow after their heroic actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It is with a heavy heart we confirm the deaths of Constable Matthew Arnold and Constable Rachel McCrow,” Queensland Police wrote on Facebook.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Their lives were cut tragically short in the line of duty at Wieambilla yesterday.</p> <p dir="ltr">“With Honour They Served.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Police were at the rural property in response to a missing person, who was later identified as former school principal Nathaniel Train.</p> <p dir="ltr">There were grave concerns for Mr Train who disappeared from Dubbo in the NSW Central West in early December.</p> <p dir="ltr">Constable Arnold and Constable McCrow were joined by two other officers, Constable Keeley Brough and Constable Randall Kirk, both aged 28, at the property.</p> <p dir="ltr">A six-hour siege ensued, with the officers opening fire about 4.45 pm which saw Constable Arnold and Constable McCrow killed.</p> <p dir="ltr">Constable Kirk was also wounded while Constable Brough, who was only eight weeks into her new role, managed to escape and raise the alarm.</p> <p dir="ltr">The pair were finally joined by Special Operations police and helped them shoot dead three suspects, including brothers Nathaniel and Gareth Train, and a third female, after a six hour siege.</p> <p dir="ltr">Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll was heartbroken at describing what had happened, following the death of her colleagues.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This has been incredibly distressing and tragic for everyone, particularly family, officers involved, colleagues, the organisation and the community,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“As you would appreciate. It is an extremely emotional and challenging time for the Queensland Police Service. Losing one of our own has a profound impact on every single officer and their families. To lose two officers in one incident is absolutely devastating.</p> <p dir="ltr">“This event is the largest loss of police life we have suffered in a single incident in many years.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I want to pay tribute to the two other officers who attended....they bravely did what they could to save their colleagues in the most horrendous circumstances. Their bravery was beyond belief.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Thank you also to the specialist police and other first stand-of-responders who were involved in the dangerous confrontation for many hours last night. Matthew and Rachel were highly respected and much loved members of the Queensland Police Service.</p> <p dir="ltr">“They were both committed and courageous young people who had a passion for policing and for serving their community.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Both are under 30 years of age. Both had wonderful careers and lives ahead of them.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Prime Minister Anthony Albanese also offered his condolences to the fallen officers.</p> <p dir="ltr">“Terrible scenes in Wieambilla and a heartbreaking day for the families and friends of the Queensland Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty,” he wrote on Twitter.</p> <p dir="ltr">“My condolences to all who are grieving tonight – Australia mourns with you.”</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Facebook</em></p>

News

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5 books that will change your life

<p>In this day and age of the World Wide Web, we sometimes forget that all you need is a good book to solve all your household problems. We’ve found five that will change the way you do things around the house to be more efficient, effective and just better. In other words, they’ll change your life!  </p> <p><strong><em>Spotless A – Z</em> by Shannon Lush &amp; Jennifer Fleming</strong></p> <p>Australia’s domestic duo have created the ultimate guide to stain removal. All the tried and tested remedies will help you remove any household stains from red wine to rust, grass to glue, banana to butter and everything in between. The comprehensive list and step-by-step instructions will save you from any stain disaster to ever befall you!</p> <p><strong><em>Save with Jamie: Shop Smart, Cook Clever, Waste Less</em> by Jamie Oliver</strong></p> <p>Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver teaches you how to cook healthy and tasty food on a budget. Featuring over 120 money saving recipes that are cheaper than your average takeaway, Oliver will show you the ways to grocery shop economically, prevent food waste and save time. Don’t think for a second flavour is sacrificed though – you’ll be cooking cheap but delicious meals with Jamie Oliver.</p> <p><strong><em>Feng Shui that Makes Sense</em> by Cathleen McCandless</strong></p> <p>It says it all in the name - Cathleen McCandless makes feng shui clear and accessible to everyone whether you’re a novice or professional designer. She will take you step-by-step through the process of using Feng Shui to makes your home feel as good as it looks! Dispelling any feng shui myths you have, McCandless uses common-sense principles to transform your home into peaceful, inspiring, and inviting place to live.</p> <p><strong><em>Easy Green Living: The Ultimate Guide to Simple, Eco-Friendly Choices for You and Your Home</em> by Renée Loux</strong></p> <p>As Renée Loux explains, “We are what we eat, but we are also what we use to clean our homes, pamper our skin, and decorate our rooms.” Loux shows you how greener and healthier choices don’t have to be difficult; in fact it can be easy, affordable and better for you and the world. She will guide you in choosing eco-smart products and even includes ‘recipes’ for creating homemade cleaning products.</p> <p><strong><em>Complete Do-It-Yourself Manual: Completely Revised and Updated</em> by Family Handyman</strong></p> <p>An oldie but a goodie, this is the comprehensive manual for all DIY solutions around the house. You won’t ever need to hire a professional because there are over 3000 colour photos and illustrations to help you - the weekend home-warrior - handle even the most daunting DIY task. The tried-and-true manual has been the bible for all home owners since the 1973 but has been revised and updated in 2005.  </p> <p><em>Image: Getty</em></p>

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