“PEOPLE ALWAYS ASK ME, ‘WERE YOU FUNNY AS A CHILD?’ WELL, NO, I WAS AN ACCOUNTANT” — ELLEN DEGENERES

How to be Smarter: You are always in a position to negotiate. Never believe that what someone else says absolutely goes–there is always a middle to be met at, and concessions to be made on both sides. If you think there is no room to negotiate, the other side has already won. How to be Prettier: Shake up your style: follow the most stylish girl around the store or flea market and see what she picks up.

How to be (less) Awkward: If there was a yellow dress you liked online but it was labeled “Out of Stock,” you would say, “aw, too bad,” and move on. You would not check the dress daily hoping they would magically make more–you would search online to find another similar yellow dress that was in-stock somewhere else–maybe for a lower price or a pattern you liked more. If there is someone you like but they are already seeing someone, consider them labeled “Out of Stock.” Do not check their facebook page daily hoping their relationship status changes, or plot ways to break them up. Think about what you like about this person–sense of humor, kindness–and go find it in someone else.

Originally posted April 2010.