Relationships

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Bindi Irwin shares touching wedding anniversary tribute to Steve and Terri

<div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>Daughter Bindi Irwin shared a sweet tribute to her late father Steve Irwin and her mother Terri Irwin on their 28th wedding anniversary.</p> <p>She shared the tribute on Instagram, which showed Terri cradling a baby kangaroo and Steve has his arm around Terri in his signature khaki outfit.</p> <p>“Mum &amp; Dad, Happy Anniversary. There are no words to describe how much I love you both. Thank you for teaching me and Robert the meaning of unconditional love,” Bindi wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CBAo2TehMse/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CBAo2TehMse/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">‪Mum &amp; Dad,‬ Happy Anniversary.‬ There are no words to describe how much I love you both. Thank you for teaching me and Robert the meaning of unconditional love. ❤️‬</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/bindisueirwin/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Bindi Irwin</a> (@bindisueirwin) on Jun 4, 2020 at 3:33am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Steve and Terri were married in Terri’s hometown of Eugene, Oregon on June 4th, 1992.</p> <p>The pair were married for 14 years before Steve was killed after being pierced in the chest by a stingray barb while filming a wildlife documentary in 2006.</p> <p>Bindi has spoken about how the pair are still soulmates despite her father’s passing.</p> <p>"My dad is still very much my mum's soul mate. And I think that no matter what, Mum always says that they'll always be married," Bindi told<span> </span><em>E! News</em><span> </span>in 2017, on what would've been her parents' 25th wedding anniversary.</p> <p>Terri also made a tribute, explaining that Steve asked her to marry him in Australia Zoo.</p> <p>"It was 28 years ago today, here at @AustraliaZoo, that Steve asked me to marry him. Life is constantly changing. Love is forever," she tweeted.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"> <p dir="ltr">It was 28 years ago today, here at <a href="https://twitter.com/AustraliaZoo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AustraliaZoo</a>, that Steve asked me to marry him. Life is constantly changing. Love is forever. <a href="https://t.co/KKBRjEQwvq">pic.twitter.com/KKBRjEQwvq</a></p> — Terri Irwin (@TerriIrwin) <a href="https://twitter.com/TerriIrwin/status/1223870032502906880?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">February 2, 2020</a></blockquote> <p>Bindi followed in her father’s footsteps as she was married in Australia zoo and her husband Chandler Powell proposed at the wildlife park in 2019.</p> </div> </div> </div>

Relationships

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Love lockdown: How to tell if your relationship will survive the pandemic

<p>Life in lockdown has been tough on many relationships. But negotiating the transition back to “normal” as restrictions continue to lift could also be a challenge for couples.</p> <p>So what are some of the key factors that affect how relationships fare during such times?</p> <p>To answer this, I’m going to draw on an important model in relationship science called the <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1995-36558-001">vulnerability stress adaptation model</a>.</p> <p><strong>3 important factors</strong></p> <p>As its name suggests, the <a href="http://sk.sagepub.com/reference/humanrelationships/n554.xml">model</a> proposes three broad factors that affect relationship outcomes: vulnerabilities, stressors and adaptions.</p> <p><strong>Vulnerabilities</strong> are any kind of factor that makes it harder for a person to maintain enduring and satisfying relationships. Vulnerabilities can include mental health issues, personality traits (such as neuroticism), past bad relationships, addiction, and the like.</p> <p><strong>Stressors</strong> are challenging life events and experiences external to the relationship, but which put a strain on maintaining a lasting and satisfying bond. These can include financial hardship, work stress, and difficult relationships with extended family or friends.</p> <p><strong>Adaptations</strong> reflect the skills and capabilities couples possess to effectively deal with and adapt to challenging circumstances. Adaptations can include a couple’s sense of fun or humour, constructive ways of handling conflict and solving problems, and supporting one another.</p> <p>Stressors and vulnerabilities increase negative relationship behaviours (such as criticism and insensitivity), and in turn increase negative relationship outcomes (dissatisfaction and relationship breakdown).</p> <p>On the other hand, adaptations buffer the effects of stress and reduce the risk of relationship dissatisfaction and breakdown.</p> <p><strong>Framing this model around COVID-19</strong></p> <p>The social distancing rules enforced during the pandemic have seen couples spending long periods of time together, often in close quarters.</p> <p>Accounts from across the world show us not all couples have adjusted well. China reported an increase in the number of married couples <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-31/divorces-spike-in-china-after-coronavirus-quarantines">filing for divorce</a>. Worryingly, incidents of <a href="https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-52157620">domestic abuse</a> may also have increased.</p> <p>Lengthy periods of close contact may have acted as a stressor which intensified negative relationship behaviours and dissatisfaction, particularly for people with existing personal vulnerabilities.</p> <p>The changes associated with social distancing rules, such as working from home and supervising home schooling, are additional stressors. These too are likely to have exacerbated personal vulnerabilities and destructive relationship behaviours for some couples.</p> <p>Some vulnerable couples may be able to keep their relationship stable, provided that the stress of social isolation and other COVID-19-related stressors remain low, or that supports are in place to minimise stress.</p> <p>However, these same couples may encounter problems if stressors increase (for example, one partner suddenly loses their job) or supports are removed (such as from friends or family).</p> <p>Similarly, high-functioning couples may cope well with the challenges of social restriction and other COVID-19 hardships. But, if the stressors become too great, they’re likely to experience declines in relationship satisfaction.</p> <p><strong>What’s the ideal?</strong></p> <p>People in loving and supportive relationships are likely to cope more effectively with the enforcement and relaxation of social distancing guidelines (and other challenges, whether related to the pandemic or not).</p> <p>These are typically couples who constructively deal with conflict by working together towards solving issues, take on each others’ perspectives, and respond sensitively when the other is feeling stressed.</p> <p>That’s not to say these couples never argue and don’t sometimes get frustrated with one another. But their adaptive ways of communicating and supporting each other mean these couples are likely to fare better.</p> <p><strong>There’s help if you need it</strong></p> <p>Some couples may benefit from <a href="https://guilfordjournals.com/doi/abs/10.1521/jscp.2007.26.5.609">relationship education programs</a> that teach communication skills and how to manage conflict constructively.</p> <p>For couples that require more intensive support, couple therapy can be <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2016-03880-001">effective</a>.</p> <p>These options are available online.</p> <p>As well as working on the relationship itself, the alleviation of stressors can help a relationship.</p> <p>Studies have found that for couples and families experiencing stressors such as economic hardship or housing instability, providing them with financial aid, jobseeker programs and affordable housing can <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352250X16300057">improve relationship satisfaction</a> and reduce family breakdown to a similar extent as relationship education or counselling.</p> <p>Hopefully, some of the measures the government has put in place, such as JobKeeper, have reduced stress for couples.</p> <p>The easing of social distancing restrictions may also significantly reduce stress in some couples, shrinking “relationship cracks” that emerged during lockdown.</p> <p>You may need to address these cracks if they resurface, but reductions in coronavirus-related stressors may well see transient relationship problems disappear.</p> <p><strong>A return to normal won’t be the answer for all relationships</strong></p> <p>Unfortunately, for some couples, the easing of restrictions may intensify relationship conflicts and dissatisfaction.</p> <p>For example, if one person has health anxieties and the other is highly impulsive, they may hold very different attitudes on how to navigate situations such as social gatherings.</p> <p>These differences are likely to create conflict that may increase dissatisfaction and relationship difficulties, particularly if both members of the couple typically respond to conflict in destructive ways.</p> <p>So the easing of social restrictions may not have the same outcome for all. It depends in part on a couple’s existing vulnerabilities and their way of handling conflict and supporting one another.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/135824/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/gery-karantzas-178159">Gery Karantzas</a>, Associate professor in Social Psychology / Relationship Science, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/deakin-university-757">Deakin University</a></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/love-lockdown-the-pandemic-has-put-pressure-on-many-relationships-but-heres-how-to-tell-if-yours-will-survive-135824">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Grandma bans grandchild, 5, from visiting her home

<p>A shocked mum has lashed out at her husband’s family after the grandmother banned their five-year-old daughter from visiting.</p> <p>The reason for the ban is due to a nickname given to the grandchild by the grandmother.</p> <p>The couple’s daughter is named Collette, but her mother-in-law has given her a nickname called “Letters”.</p> <p>Mum admits that “it’s not the greatest nickname in the world”, but it hasn’t been a problem until now.</p> <p>Her daughter recently asked her mum why grandma calls her letters.</p> <p>“Why does grandma call me letters? My name is Colette," she said.</p> <p>Mum explained that it was a nickname, but Colette quickly decided that it was weird and didn’t like it being used.</p> <p>Mum took charge and politely said to Colette that she can asked to be called by her name if she doesn’t like the nickname.</p> <p>Shortly after the exchange, her husband took their daughter Colette to visit his family, but received an angry phone call from her mother-in-law after the visit.</p> <p>"She tells me that it was really rude for Colette to say she didn't like her nickname and that I shouldn't have told her to say that,” the mum explained.</p> <p>"She said I was raising her to be bratty. She also said that Colette couldn't come over until she apologised and says that she likes being called Letters."</p> <p>"That last part p***ed me off. I told her 'what the f***? You're banning a five-year-old from your house for not liking a stupid nickname'. Then I hung up on her."</p> <p>Asking if she had overreacted to what happened, one Reddit user was quick to defend her daughter’s choice.</p> <p>"Good for you for teaching your daughter to stand up for herself and for doubling down by standing up for her. MIL needs to apologise to the 5-year old for not respecting her name request,” one commenter said.</p> <p>A second commented: "Your daughter is being more mature than her."</p> <p>"I’m honestly just sort of in disbelief your mother-in-law could be old enough to be a grandma and act like that,” a third commenter said.</p>

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What Australian birds can teach us about choosing a partner and making it last

<p>Love, sex and mate choice are topics that never go out of fashion among humans or, surprisingly, among some Australian birds. For these species, choosing the right partner is a driver of evolution and affects the survival and success of a bird and its offspring.</p> <p>There is no better place than Australia to observe and study strategies for bird mate choice. Modern parrots and songbirds are Gondwanan creations – they <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/abs/10.1098/rspb.2000.1368">first evolved in Australia</a> and only much later populated the rest of the world.</p> <p>Here, we’ll examine the sophisticated way some native birds choose a good mate, and make the relationship last.</p> <p><strong>Single mothers and seasonal flings</strong></p> <p>For years, research has concentrated on studying birds in which sexual selection may be as simple as males courting females. Males might display extra bright feathers or patterns, perform a special song or dance or, like <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/109/51/20980">the bowerbird</a>, build a sophisticated display mound.</p> <p>In these species, females choose the best mate on the market. But the males do not stick around after mating to raise their brood.</p> <p>These reproductive strategies apply only to about tiny proportion of birds worldwide.</p> <p>Then there are “lovers for a season”, which account for another small percentage of songbirds. Males and females may raise a brood together for one season, then go their separate ways.</p> <p>These are not real partnerships at all – they’re simply markets for reproduction.</p> <p><strong>Birds that stick together</strong></p> <p>But what about the other birds – those that raise offspring in pairs, just as humans often do? Those that form partnerships for more than a season, and in some cases, a lifetime?</p> <p>More than 90% of birds worldwide fall into this “joint parenting” category – and in Australia, many of them stay together for a long time. Indeed, Australia is a hotspot for these <a href="https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2005.3458">cooperative</a> and long-term affairs.</p> <p>This staggering figure has no equal in the animal kingdom. Even among mammals, <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1046/j.1420-9101.1992.5040719.x">couples are rare</a>; only <a href="https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781760554200/">5% of all mammals</a>, including humans, pair up and raise kids together.</p> <p>So how do long-bonding Australian birds choose partners, and what’s their secret to relationship success?</p> <p><strong>Lifelong attachment</strong></p> <p>The concept of <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/blog/social-mobility-memos/2014/02/10/opposites-dont-attract-assortative-mating-and-social-mobility/">assortative mating</a> is often used to explain how humans form lasting relationships. As the theory goes, we choose mates with similar traits, lifestyle and background to our own.</p> <p>In native birds that form long-lasting bonds, including butcherbirds, drongos and cockatoos, differences between the sexes are small or non-existent – that is, they are “monomorphic”. Males and females may look alike in size and plumage, or may both sing, build nests and provide equally for offspring.</p> <p>So, how do they choose each other, if not by colour, song, dance or plumage difference? There’s some research to suggest their choices are based on personality.</p> <p>Many bird owners and aviculturists would attest that birds have individual personalities. They may, for example, be gentle, tolerant, submissive, aggressive, confident, curious, fearful or sociable.</p> <p>Research has not conclusively established which bird personalities are mutually attractive. But so far it seems similarities or familiarity, rather than opposites, attract.</p> <p>Cockatiel breeders now even <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1439-0310.2009.01713.x">use personality assessments</a> similar to those used for show dogs.</p> <p>There is practical and scientific proof to support this approach. In breeding contexts, seemingly incompatible birds may be forced together. In such cases, they are unlikely to reproduce and <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19922534">may not even</a> interact with each other. For example, <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3145185/">research</a> on Gouldian finches has shown that in mismatched pairs, stress hormone levels were elevated over several weeks, which delayed egg laying.</p> <p>Conversely, well-matched zebra finch pairs have <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19922534">been shown</a> to have greater reproductive success. Well designed experiments have also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4569426/">shown</a> these birds to change human-assigned partners once free to do so, suggesting firm partner preferences.</p> <p><strong>More than just sex</strong></p> <p>Now to some extraordinary, little-known facets of behaviour in some native birds.</p> <p>Bird bonds are not always or initially about reproduction. Most cockatoos take five to seven years to mature sexually. <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7677/">Magpies</a>, apostlebirds and white winged choughs can’t seriously think about reproducing until they are five or six years old.</p> <p>In the interim, they form friendships. Some become childhood sweethearts long before they get “married” and reproduce.</p> <p>Socially monogamous birds, such as most Australian cockatoos and parrots, pay meticulous attention to each other. They reaffirm bonds by preening, roosting and flying together in search of food and water.</p> <p>Even not-so-cuddly native songbirds such as magpies or corvids have <a href="https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781760554200/">long term partnerships</a> and fly, feed and roost closely together.</p> <p><strong>All in the mind</strong></p> <p>Bird species that pair up for life, and devote the most time to raising offspring, are generally also the <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7130/">most intelligent</a> (when measured by brain mass relative to body weight).</p> <p>Such species tend to live for a <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7130/">long time</a> as well – sometimes four times longer than birds of similar weight range in the northern hemisphere.</p> <p>So why is this? The brain chews up lots of energy and needs the best nutrients. It also needs time to reach full growth. Parental care for a long period, as many Australian birds provide, is the best way to maximise brain development. It requires a strong bond between the parents, and a commitment to raising offspring over the long haul.</p> <p>Interestingly, bird and human brains have some similar architecture, and the same range of important neurotransmitters and hormones. Some of these may allow long-term attachments.</p> <p>Powerful hormones that regulate stress and induce positive emotions are well developed in both humans and birds. These include oxytocin (which plays a part in social recognition and sexual behaviour) and serotonin (which helps regulate and modulate mood, sleep, anxiety, sexuality, and appetite).</p> <p>The dopamine system also <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27757971">strongly influences</a> the way pair bonds are formed and maintained in primates – including humans – and in birds.</p> <p>Birds even <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26211371">produce the hormone prolactin</a>, once associated only with mammals. This <a href="https://academic.oup.com/auk/article/107/4/718/5191791">plays a role</a> in keeping parents sitting on their clutch of eggs, including male birds that share in the brooding.</p> <p><strong>The power of love</strong></p> <p>Given the above, one is led to the surprising conclusion that cooperation, and long-term bonds in couples, is as good for birds as it is for humans. The strategy has arguably led both species to becoming the most successful and widely distributed on Earth.</p> <p>With so many of Australia’s native birds declining in numbers, learning as much as possible about their behaviour, including how they form lasting relationships, is an urgent task.</p> <p><em>Much of the information referred to in this article is drawn from Gisela Kaplan’s books <a href="https://www.panmacmillan.com.au/9781760554200/">Bird Bonds</a>. See also <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7130/">Bird Minds</a> and <a href="https://www.publish.csiro.au/book/7762/">Tawny Frogmouth</a></em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/125734/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/gisela-kaplan-2401">Gisela Kaplan</a>, Emeritus Professor in Animal Behaviour, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-new-england-919">University of New England</a></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/what-australian-birds-can-teach-us-about-choosing-a-partner-and-making-it-last-125734">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Etiquette rules even experts don’t follow anymore

<p><span>According to etiquette expert Peggy Post, times change, but manners, which she defines as a “sensitive awareness of the feelings of others,” remain constant. “If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter which fork you use.” The rules of etiquette are there to help smooth social interactions, but they aren’t intended to take the place of ‘manners’. That’s why etiquette rules that cease serving smooth social interactions eventually cease to exist.</span></p> <p><strong>A man should stand to greet a woman</strong></p> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page2" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>It wasn’t all that long ago that it was proper etiquette for a man to stand when greeting a woman entering the room. But today, standing up is correct etiquette whenever anyone greets another person. The body language of standing sends a signal to the person you’re greeting that you’re eager to greet that person, etiquette expert, Maralee McKee explains. Consider it ‘rising to the occasion,’ whatever your gender.</p> <p><strong>Ladies are served first</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>Traditional etiquette holds that at a seated meal, women are served first, going clockwise around the table. The men are then served, also going clockwise. But as you may or may not have noticed, the restaurant industry is quietly redefining the etiquette surrounding who gets served first to a more gender-neutral and overall efficient model, reports <em>Eater</em>, and that will likely affect the order of service in private homes as well as in restaurants.</p> <p><strong>Don't shake a woman's hand unless she offers</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page4" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>It used to be that ‘a man has no right to take a lady’s hand until it is offered,’ as was noted in one Victorian-age guide to etiquette. And it wasn’t all that long ago that people still followed this rule. In fact as recently as 2000, in GQ’s guide to handshake etiquette, the rule is clearly stated, ‘What’s proper is for the woman to offer her hand first.’ This is no longer the case. “Today, a man does not need to wait for a woman to offer her hand before he extends his. Whether you are a man or a woman, always remember to shake hands,” advises Emily Post. It’s a simple gesture that can make a big impact.</p> <p><strong>Wedding gifts should be based on the host's price per head</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page5" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-image">At one time, many people were under the impression that wedding gifts should match the host’s cost per plate at the reception. If this was ever actually proper (which wedding planning site, <em>The Knot</em>, calls into question), it no longer applies. As <em>The Knot</em> points out, using the cost per plate as a guide requires guests to ask nosy questions of the host. A current and more sensible rule of thumb is: give a gift in the price range that makes sense for your budget as gift-giver.</div> <div class="slide-image"></div> <div class="slide-image"><strong>You have a year to send a wedding gift</strong></div> </div> </div> <div id="page6" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>It used to be that the rules of etiquette permitted you to wait a full year after attending a wedding to send a wedding gift to the ‘newlyweds.’ And why that was isn’t even clear to etiquette experts, who might wonder whether the idea was to wait to see if the couple made it through the first year of marriage. Nowadays, it’s proper to send a wedding gift within a month (or sooner!) after the wedding.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/etiquette-rules-even-experts-dont-follow-anymore"><strong>The man pays for the meal</strong></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page7" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-image"></div> <div class="slide-image">Gone are the days of men being obligated to pay for the meals of the women with whom they dine. Going ‘Dutch’ is entirely appropriate, particularly when two equals mutually make a plan. Otherwise, the rule is that whoever does the inviting pays for the meal, according to the Emily Post Institute.</div> <div class="slide-image"></div> <div class="slide-image"><strong>A man must hold the door for a woman</strong></div> </div> </div> <div id="page8" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>It’s not that chivalry is dead, explains McKee. It’s that these days chivalry, like everything else, has moved into a gender-neutral territory. And so now it is no longer customary for a woman to move aside so that a man can open the door, especially if he’s a stranger. Rather, the first person at the door should open it and then hold it open for the next person. And when you do hold the door, be sure to stand in a way that allows for maximum room for others to pass.</p> <p><strong>No elbows on the table</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page9" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>The ‘no-elbows-on-the-table’ rule made a lot of sense in the days when tables were makeshift trestles covered with cloth because a misplaced elbow might mean the collapse of the table. But those days are long gone. In fact, these days, leaning in towards someone who is speaking, which might include resting on one’s elbow, is a sign of interest and attention. So, you can stop following the ‘no-elbows’ rule… except when you have a plate of food in front of you, according to McKee. Because that’s just inviting a mess.</p> <div class="at-below-post addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/etiquette-rules-even-experts-dont-follow-anymore"><strong>The man should walk on the left side of a woman</strong></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <div class="tg-container categorySection detailSection"> <div id="primary" class="contentAreaLeft"> <div id="page10" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>The fact that this etiquette rule even requires a mention in today’s world is astonishing when you consider it stems from the Middle Ages, when knights wore their swords on the left side of their bodies, making it uncomfortable and potentially unsafe for a ‘lady’ to walk beside him on the left. It’s no longer the rule. In fact, there really is no rule about the ‘sides’ that men and women should walk on vis a vis one another.</p> <p><strong>‘Dear sir or madam’</strong></p> <div id="page1" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>It seems a common theme among all these etiquette rules that are no longer followed is that they make presumptions about gender that can no longer be made. Here is another one. At one time, ‘Dear sir,’ was the default greeting when corresponding with a stranger. Nowadays, it’s almost nonsensical, and adding ‘or madam’ doesn’t help (considering the many possible ways in which people identify). If you don’t have or can’t find a name, use the title of the position (eg. human resource manager) or ‘To Whom It May Concern,’ Grammarly suggests.</p> <p><strong>Adults addressing other adults as Mr or Ms</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page2" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>“We no longer need to call other adults who are approximately our same age by Mr or Ms and their last name until they ask us to call them by their first name,” McKee assures anyone who is still in doubt. “Unless it’s your corporate culture to do otherwise, as an adult you’re safe to call someone you’ve just met by their first name.</p> <p><strong>Offering toasts requires drinking alcohol</strong></p> </div> </div> </div> <div id="page3" class="slide-show"> <div id="test" class="slide listicle-slide"> <div class="slide-description"> <p>No. Just no. The silly etiquette rule requiring those not drinking alcohol to refrain from raising their glasses in a toast came entirely from superstition, dating back to the Ancient Greeks (involving a river of water symbolizing death). Etiquette experts such as Letitia Baldridge disagree with any such rule, advising, “If you are avoiding alcohol for any reason at all, feel free to hoist your glass of soft drink, water, or juice. You can also hold it to your lips without sipping, or raise your hand as though holding a glass.”</p> <p><em>Written by <span>Lauren Cahn</span>. This article first appeared in </em><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.readersdigest.com.au/culture/etiquette-rules-even-experts-dont-follow-anymore" target="_blank"><em>Reader’s Digest</em></a><em>. </em></p> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p><img style="width: 100px !important; height: 100px !important;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7820640/1.png" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/f30947086c8e47b89cb076eb5bb9b3e2" /></p>

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Inside the private relationship with Nicole Kidman and her two oldest children

<p>In all her glamour and grace, Nicole Kidman has become known for keeping her personal life hidden from the public and tabloids.</p> <p>The starlet is mother to four children, and shares her two eldest, Cruise, 27, and Connor Cruise, 25 with her ex-husband Tom Cruise.</p> <p>Over the years, her relationship with her two adopted children has become a popular topic of conversation amongst tabloids, however Kidman insists she always has “unconditional love” and support for her children.</p> <p>However, there has always been curiosity on whether Nicole actually does have contact with her two children.</p> <p>Both she and Tom, who are Hollywood heavyweights in their own right, united in marriage in 1990 and most recently opened up about Isabella and Connor in an interview with<span> </span>Who.</p> <p>The 51-year-old actress’ two children are both loyal members of the Church of Scientology, just like their father.</p> <p>Nicole hasn’t appeared publicly with her two eldest since reportedly 2007.</p> <p>“They are adults. They are able to make their own decisions,” Nicole said when asked about Isabella and Connor.</p> <p>“They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them.”</p> <p>Nicole is no longer a member herself and disassociated in 2001 after 10 years of marriage with Tom. Reports claim Kidman is considered a “suppressive person” by the church, and thus maintains minimal contact with her children.</p> <p>When speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.who.com.au/nicole-kidman-truth-connor-cruise-bella-cruise-adopted-kids?utm_medium=google" target="_blank">Who</a><a rel="noopener" href="https://www.who.com.au/nicole-kidman-truth-connor-cruise-bella-cruise-adopted-kids?utm_medium=google" target="_blank"> magazine</a>, the actress gave a rare statement on the topic of scientology and her children.</p> <p>“They have made choices to be Scientologists and as a mother, it’s my job to love them,” she explained.</p> <p>“And I am an example of that tolerance and that’s what I believe — that no matter what your child does, the child has love and the child has to know there is available love and I’m open here.”</p> <p>Previously, Nicole told Vogue that she had “chosen not to speak publicly abut Scientology.”</p> <p>“I have two children who are Scientologists — Connor and Isabella — and I utterly respect their beliefs,” she said.</p> <p>Back in 2010, Nicole also <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-moms/news/nicole-kidman-talks-kids-isabella-connor-cruise-2014295/?utm_medium=google" target="_blank">admitted</a> that the kids chose to live with Tom instead of her: “I’d love them to live with us, but what can you do?”</p> <p>Nicole has two children with her current husband Keith Urban, Sunday, 10, and Faith, 7.</p> <p>Nicole told Who magazine that she’s “very private” about her relationships with Isabella and Connor.</p> <p>“I have to protect all those relationships,” she said. “I know 150 percent that I would give up my life for my children because it’s what my purpose is.”</p> <p>She went on to explain that, no matter what, she’ll always love them unconditionally.</p> <p>“I think that’s so important because if that is taken away from a child, to sever that in any child, in any relationship, in any family — I believe it’s wrong,” Nicole said. “So that’s our job as a parent, to always offer unconditional love.”</p> <p>According to former Scientologist Leah Remini in her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, Isabella allegedly claimed that her mother was “a f***ing SP [Suppressive Person].”</p> <p>Notably, Nicole wasn’t at Isabella’s wedding in 2015, and Nicole hasn’t appeared in a public photograph with either child in years.</p> <p> </p>

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Chandler Powell posts sweet tribute to new wife Bindi Irwin

<p>Bindi Irwin and Chandler Powell tied the knot in an intimate ceremony at Australia Zoo two months ago.</p> <p>Chandler, 23, surprised fans by sharing a never-before-seen snap from their wedding album.</p> <p>“Every day I'm so happy to be married to you and spending our time together doing what we love most,” he wrote.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAXZL98hB2f/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CAXZL98hB2f/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Every day I’m so happy to be married to you and spending our time together doing what we love most @AustraliaZoo ❤️</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/chandlerpowell/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Chandler Powell</a> (@chandlerpowell) on May 19, 2020 at 3:08am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <div class="post_body_wrapper"> <div class="post_body"> <div class="body_text "> <p>His blushing bride commented back, saying that “I will never find the words to describe how much I love you.”</p> <p>The photos were taken at the zoo, which is not open to the public due to the coronavirus pandemic.</p> <p>However, it appears work is still going on at the zoo, with the newlywed couple spending their honeymoon at the zoo.</p> <p>This is due to COVID-19 travel restrictions.</p> <p>“Our honeymoon may not have turned out as we'd planned, but we're grateful to be spending time with our beautiful animals,” she wrote.</p> <p>“Things are incredibly busy here while we're temporarily not open. We're all working together to make sure our animal family is happy.”</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_GJou5By5A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="margin: 8px 0 0 0; padding: 0 4px;"><a style="color: #000; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none; word-wrap: break-word;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B_GJou5By5A/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">Chandler, When I went to write my vows I found I couldn’t stop writing them. I started by sharing all the ways you make my life beautiful and wrote close to a thousand words. Then I moved on to write about what an extraordinary person you are and I needed a new pen. Finally I wanted to share all my hopes for the future and I ran out of notebook paper. I thought about how there is no way to describe genuine, unconditional love. A love like this is meant to be felt, in every part of our soul. Marriage marks an incredible beginning and yet I feel like we’ve already experienced so much life together. We say all the time that it feels like we’ve been married for years. We’ve been a team through life’s wonderful highs and difficult lows. You’ve held my hand as we’ve run towards every new adventure. My dad used to say that I couldn’t marry anyone unless he could swim across the croc pond first. And now, here you are, helping us during our regular crocodile demonstrations. One of your jobs is to jump into the water with our biggest crocs to help encourage them home! They say there’s a moment when you know you’ve fallen in love with someone, for me it was watching you happily jump in the water with a 15 foot crocodile and then tell me how much you enjoyed it. You are my soulmate. I promise to love you with all my heart through every twist and turn the world brings our way. I promise to encourage your dreams and help you achieve them. I promise to stand beside you as your wife, teammate and friend. I promise to share an ‘I love you’ before I sleep each night no matter what our day has brought. I promise to be your strength and light when you need a it. I promise to revel with you in each breathtaking moment we are given in this life. Chandler, Thank you for loving me for me. You love me when I’m uncontrollably laughing or falling asleep by ‪6pm‬. You validate what unconditional love really means. You’ve been my best friend for over six years. You’ve made me smile every day since I first met you. That’s amazing and so are you. My husband, my teammate and partner in conservation. To quote our favourite show, “I love you and I like you”.</a></p> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;">A post shared by <a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/bindisueirwin/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank"> Bindi Irwin</a> (@bindisueirwin) on Apr 17, 2020 at 1:53pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Bindi also shared how easy vow-writing was for her as her love of Chandler flowed through the pen.</p> <p>“Chandler, When I went to write my vows, I found I couldn’t stop writing them. I started by sharing all the ways you make my life beautiful and wrote close to a thousand words,” she wrote on Instagram.</p> <p>“Marriage marks an incredible beginning and yet I feel like we’ve already experienced so much life together. We say all the time that it feels like we’ve been married for years.</p> <p>“We’ve been a team through life’s wonderful highs and difficult lows. You’ve held my hand as we’ve run towards every new adventure.”</p> </div> </div> </div>

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Game over: Kyrgios and Kalinskaya’s messy romance

<p>Nick Kyrgios’ relationship with Russian tennis star Anna Kalinskaya has reportedly ended on bad terms.</p> <p>Although the details surrounding their relationship is unknown, the two were spotted together at an Acapulco street stall in March, with Kyrgios kissing Kalinskaya on the forehead.</p> <p>Shortly after, the couple attended an NBA game in Los Angeles together.</p> <p>The Aussie was also seen cheering on the 21-year-old at the Citi Open in Washington last August.</p> <p>However, a series of cryptic Instagram posts from Kalinskaya suggests the couple’s recent break-up was not pleasant.</p> <p>The world No. 95 shared a black and white photo on her Instagram with the caption, “You’re not a bad boy, you are simply a bad person,” with most followers assuming the message was directed at Kyrgios.</p> <p>Hours later, she posted another snap with the caption, “F*** energy vampire,” but the picture was deleted soon after.</p> <p>Kalinskaya confirmed the break-up on Monday during an Instagram Q&amp;A, adding the two are no longer on speaking terms.</p> <p>“We broke up. We aren’t friends. I understand you are his friends and it’s cool but I’m not going to talk about him. Have some respect for me as well please,” Kalinskaya posted.</p> <p>Although they never confirmed they were dating, rumours of their on-and-off romance have been circulating for months.</p> <p>In December, Kalinskaya called Kygrios “Satan” after he commented on one of her social media posts.</p> <p>The 24-year-old Kyrgios previously dated Croatian-Australian tennis player Anya Tomljanovic, but they split in 2017.</p>

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​Brothers in arms: Prince William and Harry repairing severed relationship

<p><span>After reported tension between Prince William and Prince Harry, claims have been made that the brothers are “back in touch” and sorting through their issues with each other.</span><br /><br /><span>“There have been clearly some quite major rifts in that relationship, but things have got better and I know that William and Harry are in touch on the phone,” royal expert Katie Nicholl explained to ET.</span><br /><br /><span>“They have done video calls together, they have done a lot of family birthdays and I think with Prince Charles not being well, that really forced the brothers to pick up the phone and get back in touch.”</span><br /><br /><span>Nicholl says Harry felt homesick after touching down in L.A, but has found the “right time” to patch things up with his big brother.</span><br /><br /><span>“I think there is a sense of relief on both sides that this high drama is now a thing of the past,” she said.</span><br /><br /><span>“The Sussexes are free to get on with their new lives [and] the Cambridges can get back to their old lives without all the upset and drama that was clearly a big deal behind the scenes.</span><br /><br /><span>“I think Kate and William miss Harry and Meghan to a degree, but certainly they miss Harry [being] around and part of their lives.”</span><br /><br /><span>Nicholl went on to say it’s not a far-fetched idea to believe the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a birthday video call to Archie.</span><br /><br /><span>“I am quite sure there would have been communication between the Cambridges and the Prince of Wales and I am told Harry picks up the phone regularly to his grandmother, the queen,” Nicholl said.</span><br /><br /><span>“They had that same call on her birthday. I'm sure there was a Zoom birthday call for Archie, too.”</span><br /><br /><span>Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced they were stepping down as senior royals in January, and wrapped up their last required duties by April.</span><br /><br /><span>While giving a speech at a private dinner in London for his charity Sentebale, the Duke of Sussex said he had “no other option” than to step down.</span><br /><br /><span>“The decision that I have made for my wife and I to step back is not one I made lightly … there really was no other option,” he said.</span><br /><br /><span>“I have accepted this, knowing that it doesn’t change who I am or how committed I am.</span><br /><br /><span>He went on to add: “But I hope that helps you understand what it had to come to, that I would step my family back from all I have ever known, to take a step forward into what I hope can be a more peaceful life.”</span></p>

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"Worst in the world": Bill Connolly reveals the nickname he was saddled with in school

<p><span>Sir Billy Connolly has revealed the first nickname he ever received that he claims was by far “the worst in the world.”</span><br /><br /><span>The star admitted he was branded “cuddles” by an angry teacher while he was in primary school, and says he was scared the moniker might stick with him forever.</span><br /><br /><span>He revealed this in a new documentary where he talked about his harsh upbringing and how his childhood erupted him into A-lister fame.</span><br /><br /><span>“I had the worst nickname in the world when I was at school. It lasted about a year but it mercifully went away,” he’s said.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836050/bill-connolly-3.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/21dd0c97913c41b984df26aa645dc9f6" /><br /><br /><span>The star explained that a certificate that allowed the person who was holding it to receive a free hug was passed all around the class until it landed in his hands.</span><br /><br /><span>“’This certificate entitles you to a cuddle from such and such and so on.’ It was passed round the class and someone passed it to me</span><br /><br /><span>“The teacher went, ‘What’s that, Connolly? Bring it out here.’ He took it and he read it and said, ‘OK, Cuddles, sit down,’ and that was me for a year.”</span><br /><br /><span>Connolly talks candidly in his six-part docu series Billy and Us, where he also reflects on the traumatising yet enlightening experiences he had growing up.</span></p> <p><img style="width: 0px; height: 0px;" src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/7836051/bill-connolly-2.jpg" alt="" data-udi="umb://media/1a4071e819a2400991fdbf2c7fee105f" /><br /><br /><span>In the first episode – Stupid but Saveable – the star reflected on his poverty-stricken childhood which saw him severely physically abused by his father at home, and berated mercilessly by teachers at school.</span><br /><br /><span>The 77-year-old whose mother walked out on the family when he was four years old, said: “It was post-war Britain when beating up children was normal for the slightest things.</span><br /><br /><span>“There were no generation gaps as children were battered on to the next. I always stood apart. My mum left home when I was very young and I was always looking for attention by showing off in stupid ways, like by sitting in puddles.</span><br /><br /><span>“My most vivid memory of childhood is of me and Gerald McGee seeing who could pee the highest.</span><br /><br /><span>“My father caught me and hit me so hard on the back of the head my willy popped back into my trousers.</span><br /><br /><span>“I went to St Peter’s Primary School. I went back to do a programme once and they had removed my name from the books because of the religious stuff in my stand-up about the crucifixion and the Last Supper.</span><br /><br /><span>“I just wanted to make people laugh. I didn’t set out to shock. The scrapes and embarrassments of me and my classmates and the chaos and catastrophes of being a child make for good material.”</span><br /><br /><span>Billy was raised by his father and two aunts and explained that at school, “I had a psychopathic teacher who used to say, ‘I taught your father and he was an idiot too.’</span><br /><br /><span>“The experience of school stays with me to this day. It was traumatic. You take the worst things and try to make them funny.”</span><br /><br /><span>The documentary series, featured on BBC was filmed near the end of 2019.</span></p>

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How to stay calm and manage those family tensions during the coronavirus lockdown

<p>The coronavirus restrictions are <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-restrictions-ease-here-are-5-crucial-ways-for-australia-to-stay-safely-on-top-of-covid-19-138000">slowly being eased</a> but the pressures on families at home still probably lead to many tears of frustration.</p> <p>It could be tensions about noise and clutter, keeping up with home schooling and mums and dads torn between parenting and their own work duties.</p> <p>So to make sure our memories of being locked in with our families are as positive as possible, here are some evidence-based tips for calming down, preventing conflict and dealing with any sibling rivalry.</p> <p><strong>Take a deep breath</strong></p> <p>If you feel yourself getting angry at something, breathe in while counting to three. Then breathe out slowly counting to six (or any patterns with a slower out breath). If you do this ten times you should notice yourself <a href="https://linkinghub.elsevier.com/retrieve/pii/S0005796710001324" title="Differential effects of mindful breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and loving-kindness meditation on decentering and negative reactions to repetitive thoughts">becoming calmer</a>.</p> <p>If you’re too agitated to breathe slowly, put your <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S019745561300124X" title="The impact of breathing and music on stress levels of clients and visitors in a psychiatric emergency room">hands on your heart</a> and simply wait until you feel more relaxed. Try counting to ten or 100 <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02699931.2011.579088" title="Counting to ten milliseconds: Low-anger, but not high-anger, individuals pause following negative evaluations">before you react</a>.</p> <p>Leave the room and take a break. Plan to deal with the niggle another time. When you’re on break, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022103107000078" title="Take a break! or not? The impact of mindsets during breaks on negotiation processes and outcomes">do something to distract yourself</a> like make a drink, listen to music, look at a beautiful picture or play a video game that is absorbing.</p> <p>Call a <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/15374416.2010.517160" title="Parent–Child Relationships and Dyadic Friendship Experiences as Predictors of Behavior Problems in Early Adolescence">friend</a> or <a href="https://au.reachout.com/urgent-help">professional helpline</a> to help you get another perspective, especially if you feel scared or hurt.</p> <p>Different strategies work for different people, so try them all. Encourage your kids to keep trying if they don’t initially succeed. You need to practise any skill to make it feel natural. For <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/0300443940970112" title="Encouraging the development of responsible anger management in young children">younger children</a>, taking a break may be <a href="https://www.jstor.org/stable/42900065" title="Encouraging the development of responsible anger management in young children">simpler</a> to master.</p> <p><strong>Ease the tension before things blow</strong></p> <p>It’s good to calm down from explosions but it’s even better if you can reduce the build-up in the first place.</p> <p>Take time to <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21642850.2016.1228458" title="A structural equation model of conflict-affected youth coping and resilience">share some of the problems</a> upsetting people and see if as family you can negotiate a solution.</p> <p>It’s likely everyone in your family is more tense because of the COVID-19 crisis. Many aspects can’t be easily fixed, like lost work or money stress, but others can, such as creating new routines or sharing space, resources or chores.</p> <p>Work out different ways to get exercise indoors, like games or apps. <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/1529100618821893" title="Beyond Willpower: Strategies for Reducing Failures of Self-Control">Plan ahead</a> for the times that need extra care, like when people are tired, or if difficult tasks need finishing. Let others know what to expect.</p> <p>And importantly, <a href="https://spssi.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1540-4560.1998.tb01217.x" title="Resilience and Thriving: Issues, Models, and Linkages">lower expectations</a> for everyone. What used to be easy might now be hard, and that’s okay.</p> <p><strong>Control the emotions</strong></p> <p>Help everyone work on <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/per.1993" title="Explaining the Link Between Personality and Relationship Satisfaction: Emotion Regulation and Interpersonal Behaviour in Conflict Discussions">managing their emotions</a>. Just because you are experiencing extra distress doesn’t mean you should snap at your loved ones.</p> <p>You need to grow your <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12888-014-0227-6" title="Building resilience for future adversity: a systematic review of interventions in non-clinical samples of adults">toolkit</a> of things that make you feel calmer and happier when you’re under pressure.</p> <p>It could be spending time talking about what is going right and what is okay, working with your hands, meditation or prayer, time with your partner, reading or learning something new.</p> <p>Every day, take time do something from your toolkit to chill out.</p> <p><strong>Talk to each other</strong></p> <p>When the tension is lower, quiet family conversations can help by <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0022096514002215" title="Parenting predictors of cognitive skills and emotion knowledge in socioeconomically disadvantaged preschoolers">naming any stresses</a>. Naming things like “this is a stressful time” or “I’m a bit grumpy about work today” helps children process emotions.</p> <p>It’s important to <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0033294116646159" title="Effects of Active Listening, Reformulation, and Imitation on Mediator Success: Preliminary Results">actively listen</a> to others and <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/fulltext/2000-05084-011.html" title="The Triple P-Positive Parenting Program: A comparison of enhanced, standard, and self-directed behavioral family intervention for parents of children with early onset conduct problems">celebrate strengths</a>.</p> <p>Listening and repeating back what others say makes people feel heard, and so does acknowledging shared feelings (“I miss my friends too”). When parents calmly talk about how some things cannot be easily changed, it <a href="https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-4614-3917-2_5" title="Community-Based Practice Applications of a Family Resilience Framework">builds acceptance</a>.</p> <p>Over time, the most powerful thing to prevent explosions is to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.janxdis.2014.07.001" title="Peeking into the black box: Mechanisms of action for anger management treatment">notice when anger is building</a> so you can deal with it before things escalate.</p> <p>It’s useful to reflect on <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/record/1999-08103-013" title="Cognitive behavioural interventions for anger, aggression and violence">questions</a> such as “Will this matter in 20 years?” and “Am I taking this too personally?”</p> <p>You can help children by exploring <a href="https://www.pediatricnursing.org/article/S0882-5963(03)00083-6/fulltext" title="Communication approaches to parent-child conflict: young adolescence to young adult">what might really be bothering</a> them. That argument about a toy might be about feeling sad. Try to listen for the deeper message, so they feel understood.</p> <p><strong>Calm that sibling rivalry</strong></p> <p>If sibling rivalry is driving you to distraction, the good news is <a href="https://centerforparentingeducation.org/library-of-articles/sibling-rivalry/coping-sibling-rivalry/" title="COPING WITH SIBLING RIVALRY">it does not</a> mean there is something wrong. Low-level sibling bickering is common during times of tension and boredom.</p> <p>But you should <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2000.00746.x" title="Step In or Stay Out? Parents' Roles in Adolescent Siblings' Relationships">step in</a> when the volume goes up with nasty name-calling or physical contact.</p> <p>Acknowledge emotions, help the kids express what they feel and encourage empathy. Try to help them decide what’s fair, instead of imposing your view.</p> <p>More serious incidents require you to stop the interaction. If there is harm, separate the kids, care for the hurt child and consider a consequence. Use time-outs to calm things down, not for punishment.</p> <p>But like all conflict, <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0149718912000651" title="Enhancing sibling relationships to prevent adolescent problem behaviors: Theory, design and feasibility of Siblings Are Special">prevention</a> is better than punishment. Does one child need more attention, exercise, stimulation or structure? Do certain toys need to be put away, or shared?</p> <p>Depending on the age of your children, you can help older kids to learn to react gently to provocation. Praise children when they take steps to manage their stress.</p> <p>Remember, these are stressful times for many families around the world. If we can use this time to stay patient, manage tension and act with goodwill towards our loved ones, our families will be better equipped to weather COVID-19, and many other storms that will follow.</p> <p><em>This article was co-written with help from Tori Cooke at <a href="https://www.ntv.org.au/">No To Violence</a>, Peter Streker at <a href="http://communitystars.com.au/">Community Stars</a>, Carmel O’Brien at <a href="https://www.psychrespect.com/">PsychRespect</a>, and the University of Queensland’s students Ruby Green and Kiara Minto.</em><!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/137166/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/winnifred-louis-3612">Winnifred Louis</a>, Professor, Social Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/the-university-of-queensland-805">The University of Queensland</a> and <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tom-denson-122725">Tom Denson</a>, Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/unsw-1414">UNSW</a></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-stay-calm-and-manage-those-family-tensions-during-the-coronavirus-lockdown-137166">original article</a>.</em></p>

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The touching moment bride visits her grandmother through care home window on her wedding day

<p>Ever since the coronavirus pandemic hit, the world has had to adjust their lifestyles, and with the elderly at high risk from COVID-19, one bride from the US found a way to make sure her grandmother was a part of her wedding day.</p> <p>Shauna Varner married Travis Scepaniak in Sartell, Minnesota on April 25.</p> <p>The aged care facility, Country Manor, where her grandma Janis currently stays has been on strict lockdown since mid-March due to the virus. This forced Varner and Scepaniak to get creative.</p> <p>On the morning of the couple’s special day, staff at Country Manor helped dress Janis up.</p> <p>"With our salon services being shut down, it took some joint effort from us non-professionals to get her hair fixed, but she was pleased with the final product, which is all that matters," Emily Frericks, the facility's director of public relations and marketing told <em>Good Morning America</em>.</p> <p>"She felt beautiful, which was a rewarding feeling for staff."</p> <p>Before walking down the aisle, Varner and Scepaniak stopped at the facility to “visit” Janis from the other side of her window, leaving her overjoyed.</p> <p>In footage of the moment, Varner is seen showing off her wedding dress and two blew kisses to one another through the glass.</p> <p>"You got to see [the dress] first," said Varner.</p> <p>"Good," replied Janis, adding, "Your hair looks nice. Everything looks nice. You're beautiful."</p> <p>Even with the pandemic sweeping across the globe, people are finding ways to stay connected with their loved ones.</p>

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Nicole Kidman dishes on early days with Keith Urban: “I was a goner”

<p><span>Hollywood heavyweight Nicole Kidman has been married to her hubby Keith Urban for almost 14 years and has opened up about just what exactly made her fall so hard for him.</span><br /><br /><span>“He's pretty much the flip side of neurotic,” Kidman explained of her “mellow” musician husband who she met in 2005, while speaking to <a rel="noopener" href="https://www.wsj.com/articles/nicole-kidman-cover-story-interview-11586970315?tesla=y%3Fmod%3De2igmag&amp;utm_campaign=later-linkinbio-wsjmag&amp;utm_content=later-6768717&amp;utm_medium=social&amp;utm_source=instagram" target="_blank">Wall Street Journal.</a></span></p> <p><br /><span>The pair met accidentally while attending an industry event and Nicole says he rode her around on his Harley-Davidson to Woodstock, New York.</span><br /><br /><span>The New Zealand born singer ended off the romantic night with a picnic in the woods - an experience Kidman could not deny as special.</span><br /><br /><span>“I was a goner—I mean, c'mon.”</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_iELb_JgMW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/tv/B_iELb_JgMW/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Nicole Kidman (@nicolekidman)</a> on Apr 28, 2020 at 10:05am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>The couple now share two daughters together; Sunday Rose, 11, and Faith Margaret, nine, and she is determined to keep her family close knit.</span><br /><br /><span>“I’ll pass on films,” the Australian beauty said, and went on to say she purposefully selects projects shooting on the East Coast when her kids are not in school so she can balance her work and family time.</span><br /><br /><span>“We have a system worked out to keep the family together,” she explained.</span><br /><br /><span>“When Keith's not touring, it's much easier. He'll be on tour next year, and then I just don’t work as much. Literally—it will become imbalanced, and we will change it.</span></p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6cd_Y6JJEX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B6cd_Y6JJEX/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Nicole Kidman (@nicolekidman)</a> on Dec 23, 2019 at 10:17pm PST</p> </div> </blockquote> <p><br /><span>“We don’t have the answers, but the one thing we do know is that we will not jeopardize us.”</span><br /><br /><span>When asked about her preference for movie roles is what she likes to choose, she admitted: “My taste is really out there. There's no sense. I'm a complete random nonconformist.</span><br /><br /><span>“People are like, ‘What are you doing?’ I'm like, ‘I don't know what I'm doing.’</span><br /><br /><span>“I'll very much go on the record saying I have no idea what I’m doing.”</span></p>

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Dad at 70! Richard Gere welcomes second child with wife Alejandra Silva

<p>Congratulations are in order for Richard Gere and his wife Alejandra Silvia, who welcomed a baby boy.</p> <p><em>HOLA!</em><span> </span>confirmed the exciting news, revealing that the couple are bonding with their new son at their ranch on Pound Ridge, just outside New York. The new arrival is a baby brother for the couple’s firstborn, two-year-old Alexander, who arrived in February 2018.</p> <p>Both Richard, 70, and Spanish activist Alejandra, 37, have children from their previous relationships; the<span> </span><em>Pretty Woman<span> </span></em>star shares 20-year-old son Homer with ex-wife Carey Lovell, while Alejandra is the mother to seven-year-old Albert from her marriage to businessman Govind Friedland.</p> <p>The past few years have been fast paced for the couple who tied the knot in 2018, with Alejandra saying at the time: “I feel like I’m in a true fairytale. Without a doubt, I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.”</p> <p>Richard, who wooed Alejandra by sending her flowers until she agreed to date him, added: "I'm the happiest man in the universe. How could I not be? I'm married to a beautiful woman who is smart, sensitive, committed to helping people, who's fun, patient, who knows how to forgive, who's a great cook – and who makes the best salads in the world!"</p> <p>Describing her new husband, Alejandra shared: "He is the most humble, sensitive, affectionate, attentive, funny, generous man that I've ever met. What can I say? I'm so in love! How would you feel if each morning you were asked: 'What would make you happy today?' Not a day goes by that he doesn't mention how important I am to him. I feel very lucky."</p>

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Morning show hosts forced to awkwardly explain why they’re not social distancing

<p>Social distancing measures in the UK amid the coronavirus pandemic has become a new normal for people.</p> <p>However, viewers of<span> </span>The Morning<span> </span>show have forced the programme’s hosts to explain why they are not sitting six feet apart.</p> <p>In a clip posted to their Twitter page, Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford explained why fans should not be worried about their close proximity to each other.</p> <p>“For anyone who's worried,<a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://twitter.com/EamonnHolmes" target="_blank"> @EamonnHolmes</a> and<a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://twitter.com/RuthieeL" target="_blank"> @RuthieeL</a> are actually married in real life, so it's safe for them to sit close to each other in the studio,” the show wrote in the caption.</p> <p>“If you're maybe new to watching This Morning because you're on lockdown...we are allowed to sit this close to each other because we're married, we live in the same house,” Ruth said. </p> <p>However, some fans did not approve of the reasons given by the show’s host, with one person writing: “They should be setting example saying 2 meters apart not everyone know this very shameful this needs to change asap.”</p> <p>Others believed it was still important for Ruth and Eamonn to follow the social distancing guidelines, however some questioned how people could not know the hosts were married.</p> <p>Eamonn spoke on the show after their twitter clip made waves online, saying: “With regard to social distancing, don't bother phoning in and saying 'why are these two together' because we are together all day in the house, we live together.</p> <p>“And in case a lot of you don't know this, we actually do live together.”</p> <p>Ruth added in: “Some people think it's a fake marriage darling, it's a TV marriage.”</p> <p>Eamonn and Ruth both regularly present the morning TV show side by side, have been married for ten years and share an 18-year-old son together. </p>

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Why can’t I stop thinking about my dead parents?

<p><em>“How can someone stop thinking about his or her dead parents? Is this really possible?”</em> Mirka, by email.</p> <p>After I finished my studies I worked as a carer for the elderly for a few months. It was a difficult job, but there are some people I remember fondly. One of them was a woman in her 90s, with memory loss and hearing problems. I’d cook lunch for her and then sit and listen as she’d eat and share stories about her life. She had been married and had several children. But the people that she talked about the most, that she seemed to remember best, were her parents.</p> <p>The thought scared me. Even when we are very old, and we forget what we did yesterday or who our neighbours are, we remember our parents. It scared me because it showed that there are things that we can never leave behind, that memories from a distant past can come back to haunt (or, of course, delight) us. We are not in control of what we remember. Time does not heal everything. It does not wash it all away like a benevolent numbing wave.</p> <p>It seems we simply cannot leave some people behind, especially people who are dead and whom we may wish to forget, because remembering hurts. It may hurt because we miss them and our ongoing love for them is painful. It may hurt because we feel guilty for not appreciating them more. Or it may hurt because we still can’t forgive them.</p> <p>Whatever the reason, we may wish to live in a world in which they do not exist, not even in our minds, because we cannot feel the loss of something that we never think about. So we believe that, if only we could forget, there would be no loss, nor pain. We may even believe that forgetting about our parents will somehow make us free to finally be ourselves.</p> <p>Perhaps all this is true, but perhaps that is also the wrong way to think about it.</p> <p>Here is a thought that you may find either soothing or terrifying: I don’t think it is possible to ever experience a world in which our parents are completely absent. To start with the obvious reasons, our parents are part of us, biologically and psychologically. We are who we are <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/pediatrics/104/Supplement_1/164.full.pdf">because of who they are</a>, or were.</p> <p>There are always going to be moments when we’ll look in the mirror and recognise their smile in the way we smile, or remember the way they waved their hands in the air in frustration, because we do that too. Perhaps we have a temper, like them; perhaps we are good with children, just as they were. Our confidence or insecurity, our particular fears and the way we love, are influenced by them.</p> <p>Of course we have some freedom and independence as well, because there are parts of ourselves that have been shaped by factors that have nothing to do with our parents, and because we can partly <a href="https://theconversation.com/free-thought-can-you-ever-be-a-truly-independent-thinker-129033">choose who we are</a>. But there are always traces of our parents in us – some good, others less so.</p> <p>Most parents leave a legacy that is a mixture of positives and negatives. That is only human. And if we have children, we will be present in them in the same way, and so on. That’s how the reproduction of life works, and we join in the dance.</p> <p>Indeed, if we want, we can go further and think about all the history and generations and natural factors that went into the making of ourselves. It is a bit dizzying, but also an incredibly expansive thought. To borrow <a href="https://poets.org/poem/song-myself-51">a line</a> from American <a href="https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/transcendentalism/">transcendentalist</a> poet Walt Whitman, you can say: “I contain multitudes.”</p> <p>We can think about this as a matter of biology, a matter of culture, <a href="https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/identity-personal/#Fis">a philosophical question of personal identity</a> or as a spiritual perspective. I like to think that the separation between these approaches is porous, and we can adopt all of them together.</p> <p>None of this denies our individuality. It is rather about recognising that our individuality is not independent of what we conceive as “not us”, and that parents are a big part of the individual we are.</p> <p><strong>The nature of memory</strong></p> <p>Psychologically, two factors explain the <a href="https://www.apa.org/monitor/2011/09/memorie">pervasive nature of memories</a> related to our parents: one is the fact that emotionally intense experiences last longer in our memory. The other is that we are more likely to create memories when things are new – and childhood is the time of our lives when so many <a href="https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2020.00322/full">things we experience are novel</a> and important.</p> <p>Parents are typically central in both cases. Our first emotions take place with them. They are present during our first explorations of the world and of ourselves. So if we put them together it becomes clear that parent-related situations have a greater chance of being impressed in our memories than almost anything else.</p> <p>But does this mean that we are stuck with memories of our parents, sometimes painful, replaying in our minds all the time, day after day? Not at all.</p> <p>I think that we can use the inescapable presence of our parents within us as a spring to move forward and as a liberating knowledge to project ourselves outward into the world. That someone is part of us does not mean that we must think about them all the time. Or even at all. It means that we are free, in fact, to think about everything else, because we don’t have to keep our thoughts fixed on them in order for them to be present. They already, always, are.</p> <p>If we have made peace with this composite identity, if we have incorporated and allowed their legacy into us in ways that serve us and we can accept, then we do not need to tend to it. We are able to place our full attention on to the things in the world that require it, without feeling the guilt of letting our parents go. If anything, we are carrying them forward.</p> <p><strong>Confronting darkness</strong></p> <p>Sometimes, though, the aspects of ourselves that are shaped by our parents are causes of suffering, and we need to observe them and work on them. There may be haunting memories – or legacies – that we cannot ignore. Perhaps the English poet Philip Larkin captured this sense of negative inheritance most memorably in his searingly frank <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48419/this-be-the-verse"><em>This Be The Verse</em></a>:</p> <blockquote> <p>They fuck you up, your mum and dad.<br />They may not mean to, but they do.<br />They fill you with the faults they had<br />And add some extra, just for you.</p> </blockquote> <p>If this is the case, we may need to remember to go back to the roots of the suffering and examine them, <a href="https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/psychoanalysis-unplugged/201801/why-does-your-therapist-ask-about-your-childhood">to try to resolve them</a>. This is often worth doing, particularly if we have trouble forgiving our parents for having wronged us. Regretting the fact that we never forgave them, or feeling shame because we still love the people who humiliated and hurt us can be a deep source of trauma. The easy option is often to try to forget about it.</p> <p>But confronting the memories can help us move on. Perhaps it is possible, <a href="https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/48419/this-be-the-verse">as Larkin also pointed out</a>, that however much our parents wronged us, they were also let down by their parents, who were in turn let down by their parents. This doesn’t justify their actions. But accepting that they were to some extent also victims, or that they also had some good qualities, can be a way of breaking a dark cycle – a way of refusing to inherit such behaviour.</p> <p>So coming to terms with dark memories, and carrying them with us, can make us exceptional people. And if we still can’t forgive our parents, thinking about them could at least help us to accept that we can’t forgive them. And that acceptance may make our memories less painful – fleeting, occasional thoughts rather than relentless, towering waves of pain and anxiety.</p> <p>The same is true for feelings of guilt. Sure, we could have all shown our parents more love and care. But chances are they felt exactly the same about their parents, and therefore always understood that we loved them more than we could say. It’s a comforting thought.</p> <p>Ultimately, we are bound up with the people who generated us and who brought us up (sometimes they are the same, sometimes they are not).</p> <p>But we can choose where to turn our gaze. Indeed, I’d argue that it is precisely because of the inescapable presence of these people, that we have greater freedom to direct our attention elsewhere, outward, to wherever it is needed. And we can be assured they will be with us, in some way, whichever path we choose to take.</p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/silvia-panizza-996002"><em>Silvia Panizza</em></a><em>, Teaching Fellow, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-college-dublin-1365">University College Dublin</a></em></span></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/why-cant-i-stop-thinking-about-my-dead-parents-135588">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Dr Jane Goodall reveals Prince Harry is finding new LA life “challenging”

<p>Dr Jane Goodall has revealed her dear friend, Prince Harry, is finding it “a bit challenging” adjusting to his new life in Los Angeles.</p> <p>The 86-year-old primatologist admitted she had “been in touch” with the royal after he and his wife, Duchess Meghan, stepped back from their positions as senior members and moved to Canada.</p> <p>The couple eventually moved onto Los Angeles with their 11-month-old son Archie.</p> <p>The pair have been widely reported to be big fans of Dr. Jane Goodall who has been a major activist for climate change and global warming, and she says she believes she might be the first person outside of the royal family to have held Archie.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-99vuNHUjs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-99vuNHUjs/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Celebitchy (@celebitchyofficial)</a> on Apr 14, 2020 at 9:35am PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Currently, the activist is in quarantine in Bournemouth.</p> <p>“I don’t know how his career is going to map out, but, yes, I’ve been in touch – though I think he’s finding life a bit challenging right now,” she said while speaking to <a rel="noopener noreferrer" href="https://www.radiotimes.com/" target="_blank">Radio Times</a>.</p> <p>She went on to say both Harry and his big brother love to hunt, but believes since Meghan “doesn’t like hunting”, he may give it up.</p> <p>Dr. Goodall recalled a conversation she and Prince Harry when they met last summer while attending an event to raise awareness for her Roots &amp; Shoots education programme at Windsor Castle.</p> <blockquote style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-8M4wvJa9R/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="12"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"></div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"></div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"></div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"></div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"></div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" rel="noopener" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/B-8M4wvJa9R/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank">A post shared by Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (@inti_wara_yassi)</a> on Apr 13, 2020 at 5:09pm PDT</p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“I made Archie do the Queen’s wave, saying, ‘I suppose he’ll have to learn this’”, she said.</p> <p>“Harry said: ‘No, he’s not growing up like that’.”</p> <p>The activist went on to say she is enjoying her life at home but found replying to emails was more exhausting than travelling the world.</p> <p>When asked if she was becoming restless, she responded: “No, I hate travelling the way I do, but I still have a message to get out.</p> <p>“With all the emails and requests I’m getting, this is actually more exhausting than travelling.”<span class="CmCaReT" style="display: none;">�</span></p>

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5 tips for communicating with your partner while stuck at home

<p>Many of us are several weeks into stay-at-home directives from our governments and health officials. For many, social distancing means sharing a confined space with romantic partners while navigating new stressful issues including sudden unemployment, working from home, child care and the never ceasing uncertainty.</p> <p>Unsurprisingly, there are reports of <a href="https://thehill.com/homenews/news/490564-divorces-skyrocket-in-china-amid-lockdown">divorce rates skyrocketing in China</a> since the outbreak of COVID-19. <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/fam0000227">Instability and stress can exacerbate insecurities and increase conflict for couples</a>. As a scholar and a couple and family therapist, I offer five practical, evidence-based tips for couples when being stuck at home is making you feel stuck in your relationship.</p> <p><strong>1. Take space</strong></p> <p>Sharing a physical space with your partner for extended periods of time can increase pressure and stress. Without the daily routine of leaving the home, your space may begin to feel very small and irritation with one another may escalate quickly.</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/0146167217733073">Research demonstrates that actively choosing to take alone time can contribute to relaxation and reduced stress</a>. Consider taking regular blocks of alone time each day, whether it is a walk around the neighbourhood, closing the door to a room where you will not be disturbed or engaging in an activity that is just for you.</p> <p>Communicating how you plan to take space will help your partner know how to support your efforts, and will encourage them to do the same. If you’re not taking care of yourself, you will have little to offer your partner.</p> <p><strong>2. Where possible, use “I” statements</strong></p> <p>When you need to tell your partner how you feel, try to speak from your perspective as opposed to accusing them of doing something wrong. For example, “I feel really defeated when I continue to find dirty dishes in the sink. Is there any way you can help me keep the kitchen clean?”</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.4831">Using “I” language has been found to reduce perceptions of hostility and anger</a>. “I” statements can help your partner hear your perspective instead of interpreting it as an attack and becoming defensive.</p> <p><strong>3. Press pause</strong></p> <p>Press pause on conflicts that are not going anywhere and set a time to try again later. When conflicts become heated, many couples enter into an automatic “<a href="https://wwnorton.com/books/Emotional-Intelligence-in-Couples-Therapy">fight, flight or freeze</a>” response.</p> <p>Our brains can experience conflict as a threat, and emotions and defences can become activated. When this happens we shut down and conflict resolution becomes impossible. If you notice you or your partner getting angry or distressed in a conflict, request to put the conversation on pause to give you both a chance to step back, breathe and think.</p> <p>Once stress levels are lower, <a href="https://www.wiley.com/en-ca/The+Handbook+of+Conflict+Resolution:+Theory+and+Practice,+3rd+Edition-p-9781118526866">complex thinking, reflection and reasoning become possible</a>. Set an agreed upon time to return to the discussion when you’re both awake, nourished and feeling more calm.</p> <p><strong>4. What’s your part?</strong></p> <p>If you find yourself continuing to get stuck in conflict with your partner, ask yourself, what part do I play in this conflict? Do I nag or pursue my partner when I am feeling anxious? Or, do I have a tendency to shut down, or avoid my partner when I am feeling pressured?</p> <p>Emotionally focused therapist and researcher Sue Johnson, has found that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/clipsy.6.4.366">couples often get stuck in problematic interaction cycles</a>. Considering what role you take in a conflict cycle can help you try out new positions.</p> <p>For example, what happens when you respond to your partner’s anxiety with compassion as opposed to feeling annoyed and walking away? What happens when you share your worries with your partner, instead of getting angry at them for not taking the garbage out, or not helping enough with child care?</p> <p>Couples who are able to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1007/s10879-006-9034-9">adopt new positions in their relationship and try new ways of responding are more able to interrupt problematic interaction cycles</a>.</p> <p><strong>5. Acknowledge strengths</strong></p> <p>Try to acknowledge one another’s strengths. What special skills does your partner have to get through hard times? If your partner is the one making home school schedules for the kids, or braving the grocery store while you work, let them know they are appreciated and compliment their ability to handle difficult situations.</p> <p>Note what strengths they have that you admire. As <a href="https://psycnet.apa.org/doi/10.1037/pas0000464">recent research demonstrated</a>, greater appreciation for one’s partner’s strengths predicted increased relationship satisfaction and intimacy. Acknowledging your partner’s positive attributes creates more good feelings between you.</p> <p>While these tips will help you mitigate conflict in your relationship, remember to not expect perfection. These are stressful times, and you will inevitably lose your patience and experience frustration. Compassion for yourself and your partner will go a long way as you navigate these uncharted waters together.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important; text-shadow: none !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/135638/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/kara-fletcher-1019443">Kara Fletcher</a>, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Social Work, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-regina-3498">University of Regina</a></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/love-in-the-time-of-coronavirus-5-tips-for-communicating-with-your-partner-while-stuck-at-home-135638">original article</a>.</em></p>

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How to manage living with your partner during coronavirus pandemic

<p>Across the country an unprecedented number of couples are suddenly spending every waking and sleeping hour of the day with one another.</p> <p>That’s what <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019087">many older retired couples do too</a>, even when there isn’t a pandemic. Their experiences are worth listening to, because many psychology studies find that marriages among the Medicare-eligible set <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.79.4.644">are the happiest</a> of any <a href="https://doi.org/10.1177/000312240807300202">cohort across the life span</a>.</p> <p>A review of the research reveals a <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.88.1.189">U-shaped pattern of marital happiness</a> over the life cycle. Early marriage features many positive aspects interlaced with a lot of conflict, while older couples enjoy the highest levels of companionship with low levels of conflict. Midlife couples who are raising children are at the bottom of the U. They tend to see a plunge in their enjoyment of one another, along with an uptick in fighting.</p> <p>Of course, you might wish you could be securely retired with a partner right now, especially if you’re currently on your own. Working remotely or facing unemployment while running a one-room schoolhouse, planning three meals a day without running out of food and worrying about your family’s health makes retirement look like a dreamy vacation.</p> <p>But there are some important similarities between retirement and the isolation required by social distancing. Your social networks have shrunk. Without work connections and friends to meet for lunch or at the gym, a partner becomes more essential than ever. <a href="https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=sh-v7eQAAAAJ&amp;hl=en&amp;oi=ao">As a therapist who has been treating couples</a> <a href="http://www.momentumpress.net/books/life-cycle-approach-treating-couples-dating-death">at all stages of life</a> for almost three decades, I’m currently witnessing the relational challenges of this pandemic, a big magnifier that can bring out the very best and sometimes the worst in relationships.</p> <p><strong>Lean on me</strong></p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/56.6.p321">Older, retired couples</a> primarily focus on supporting one another: Can I depend on you when I need help, feel scared, worry about dying or don’t feel well? And am I willing to be that source of comfort and stability when you need me?</p> <p>No matter the age or stage of the couple, the current pandemic has revealed the need for much more mutual dependency. Can I count on you to protect yourself and us when you go to the grocery store? If I’m feeling scared about my parents’ health or mine, can I tell you? If teaching algebra (a subject I struggled with the first time around) to our children has pushed me to the breaking point, can I ask you to take over, kindly and with no eye-rolling?</p> <p>Now is an ideal time to develop your help-asking muscle and, in turn, to welcome your partner’s vulnerability. You can practice now for the years ahead when you’ll need to be comfortable with more mutual dependency – being able to count on and be counted on in moments of need and frailty.</p> <p><strong>Have fewer, kinder fights</strong></p> <p>My colleague, psychiatrist Bob Waldinger, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019087">brings octogenarian couples</a> into his laboratory to study their conflicts. He told me that he often has trouble getting them to reenact a fight. Having had the same fights for decades, these older couples are quite bored at the prospect of another round. They already know the other one’s lines. Do we have to do this again?</p> <p><a href="https://doi.org/10.1037//0003-066x.54.3.165">When older couples do fight</a>, they tend to <a href="https://doi.org/10.1037/0882-7974.10.1.140">handle conflict better</a> than younger ones: They are more likely to interject expressions of affection and are less prone to voicing disgust, belligerence and whining. Because the relationship is so central, they may be more likely to forgive their partners or let a grievance slide.</p> <p>So, try to catch a fight as it starts and consider saying to your partner, “Can we talk about something more interesting? We probably already know how this is going to unfold.”</p> <p>Or, if the conflict is important to air, try to remember that you can say something kind without surrendering, or give a warm nonverbal smile or touch.</p> <p>It’s also a good idea to refrain from making any contemptuous or nasty comments. Couples researchers recommend following the <a href="https://www.gottman.com/blog/the-magic-relationship-ratio-according-science/">“magic ratio” of 5 to 1</a> during a fight to secure a stable relationship: Try to say five positive things to every one zinger or negative comment. This ratio, which may seem outlandish, is based on the fact that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1545-5300.2002.40102000083.x">negative interactions carry more weight</a> than positive ones.</p> <p><strong>Focus on the present reality</strong></p> <p>Studies suggest that older couples <a href="https://doi.org/10.1093/geronb/56.6.p321">focus on the present</a> and are better able to accept the relationship as it is, rather than looking ahead to a time when it is going to be transformed.</p> <p>While they may not discuss their own mortality, <a href="https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1024569803230">older couples’ perspectives are shaped</a> by a shorter time horizon. They typically pay more attention to positive experiences, want to understand their emotions better and focus on a smaller group of close friends and family.</p> <p>Try focusing on what is good about your relationship. What do you admire and feel grateful for? If you focus on the ways your partner is supportive, research shows that both you and your spouse will <a href="https://doi.org/10.1024/1662-9647/a000077">feel better about the relationship</a>. Focusing on emotion will not be hard during a pandemic that elicits powerful feelings of anger, fear, worry, grief, love and gratitude. What can you learn about your partner that you didn’t know before about his or her strengths, ways of coping and cracks in that coping?</p> <p>Being stuck with your partner 24/7 may leave you pondering the expression “for better or worse, but not for breakfast, lunch and dinner.” But you may come out the other side with some new skills. You don’t have to wait for retirement to have a stronger relationship.<em><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></em></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/anne-fishel-146002">Anne Fishel</a>, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/harvard-medical-school-1710">Harvard Medical School </a></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/stuck-at-home-with-your-partner-look-to-retirees-for-how-to-make-it-work-134834">original article</a>.</em></p>

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Is racism and bigotry in our DNA?

<p><em>Is bigotry in our DNA, a remnant of our fear of “the other” way back when that was necessary? If so, why do some battle with their instincts while others embrace them?</em> Peter, 71, Darlington</p> <blockquote> <p>I, Pencil, simple though I appear to be, merit your wonder and awe … if you can become aware of the miraculousness which I symbolise, you can help save the freedom mankind is so unhappily losing. I have a profound lesson to teach. And I can teach this lesson better than can an automobile or an airplane or a mechanical dishwasher because — well, because I am seemingly so simple.</p> <p>Simple? Yet, not a single person on the face of this Earth knows how to make me.</p> </blockquote> <p>Humans are the <a href="https://theconversation.com/sino-tibetan-populations-shed-light-on-human-cooperation-49469">most cooperative species</a> on the planet – all part of a huge interconnected ecosystem. We have built vast cities, connected by a global nervous system of roads, shipping lanes and optical fibres. We have sent thousands of satellites spinning around the planet. Even seemingly simple objects like a graphite pencil are the work of thousands of hands from around the world, as the wonderful essay <a href="http://www.econlib.org/library/Essays/rdPncl1.html#firstpage-bar">I-Pencil</a>, quoted above, by <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/1983/05/16/obituaries/leonard-e-read-dies-free-market-advocate.html">Leonard Read</a> describes.</p> <p>Yet we can also be surprisingly intolerant of each other. If we are completely honest, there is perhaps a little bit of xenophobia, racism, sexism and bigotry <a href="https://theconversation.com/think-youre-all-for-gender-equality-your-unconscious-may-have-other-ideas-69520">deep within all of us</a>, if we would only allow it. Luckily, we can choose to control and suppress such tendencies for our own wellbeing and the good of society.</p> <p>Most human attitudes and behaviour <a href="https://theconversation.com/nature-versus-nurture-how-modern-science-is-rewriting-it-127472">have both a genetic and an environmental component</a>. This is also true for our fear of others who are different to us — xenophobia — and intolerance of their viewpoints — bigotry. Hardwired into the brain’s amygdala region <a href="https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/what-happens-brain-feel-fear-180966992/">is a fear reflex</a> that is primed by encounters with the unfamiliar.</p> <p>In premodern times, it made sense to be fearful of other groups. They might be violent, steal our resources, or introduce new diseases we are not adapted to. Conversely, it was beneficial to trust those who look similar to us — they are more likely to be related. And when <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/327/5971/1341">we help these kin</a>, our own genes are more likely to be passed to future generations. What’s more, if the other person reciprocates the good deed, we benefit even more.</p> <p>Beyond such genetic influences, our human culture strongly influences our attitudes and behaviour, modifying innate human drives – either suppressing them or encouraging them further. Whether we tolerate and trust someone or fear and reject them depends a lot on this culture.</p> <p>Modern civilisation in general encourages the extension of attitudes such as respect and tolerance beyond those who look similar to us, to those who we have no relation to. We reinforce and codify these values, teaching them to our children, while religious and secular spiritual leaders promote them in their teachings. That’s because they generally lead to a more harmonious, mutually-beneficial society.</p> <p><strong>The trouble with tribalism</strong></p> <p>This is exactly what has made us such a cooperative species. But sometimes our cultures can be less progressive. What people around us say and do subconsciously influences the way we think. We soak up this cultural context like a sponge, and it subtly shapes our attitudes and behaviours. If we are surrounded by people that stigmatise those different to themselves, this also encourages distrust or aggression in us.</p> <p>It presses the buttons of certain deep-seated xenophobic attitudes within us. In fact, it discourages hard-learned inhibitory responses in the brain’s <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0962184907000327?via%3Dihub">prefrontal cortex</a> that get built up under more progressive contexts.</p> <p>Movements such as Nazism have openly promoted xenophobia and bigotry. They encourage a strong tribal loyalty to the “in-group” (one’s own group), while stigmatising (and in the case of Nazism, executing) others. Taken too far, a healthy pride in one’s country can easily tip into unhealthy nationalism, where we identify with our own nation at the exclusion of others.</p> <p>Things seem to be moving in this direction today. Leaders such as US president, Donald Trump, Brazilian president, Jair Bolsonaro and Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, are more frequently taking centre stage. In the UK, figures such as Nigel Farage, a key architect of Brexit, uses media platforms to promote naive and bigoted views – an example being <a href="https://twitter.com/Nigel_Farage/status/1240341861119791104?s=20">this tweet</a> about the 2020 coronavirus outbreak: “It really is about time we all said it. China caused this nightmare. Period.”</p> <p>When the media, and especially people we trust, talk in such a way, it has a profound effect on our receiving minds. It can even shape our beliefs in what we might think are purely rational issues. For example, the belief in whether humans are causing climate change <a href="https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1177/1745691617748966">is strongly associated</a> with US political party membership.</p> <p>This is because we tend to adopt a common position on a topic to signal we are part of a group, just like football fans wear certain colours or have tattoos to show their tribal loyalty. Even strong individuals who stand up to oppressive regimes typically <a href="https://theconversation.com/would-you-stand-up-to-an-oppressive-regime-or-would-you-conform-heres-the-science-124469">have shared ideals and norms</a> with other members of a resistance movement.</p> <p>This tribalism can all feel very visceral and natural because, well, in a way, it is. It fires up the primal parts of our brain designed for such responses. Yet, there are other natural attitudes, such as compassion and consideration for others, that can be suppressed in such circumstances. Imbalanced cultures produce imbalanced brains.</p> <p>This combination of nature and nurture shaping our attitudes and behaviour is apparent in many human characteristics, and unpicking some of these examples can help us see opportunities to steer the process.</p> <p>Consider the tendency to become overweight in modern society. In premodern times, sugary and fatty foods <a href="https://www.businessinsider.com/evolutionary-reason-we-love-sugar-2014-4?r=US&amp;IR=T">were rare and valuable</a> for humans. Now, they are everywhere. A biological trait – the craving for sugary or fatty foods – which was adaptive in premodern times, has become detrimental and maladaptive.</p> <p>Surely our modern cultures can protect us from these innate drives when they are unhealthy for ourselves and society? After all, we effectively suppress violent behaviour in society through the way we bring up children, policing and the prison system.</p> <p>Instead of acknowledging and protecting us from the innate drive to binge on unhealthy food, however, our modern cultures (in many countries at least) actually exacerbate that particular problem. The result is <a href="http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/nearly-one-third-world%E2%80%99s-population-obese-or-overweight-new-data-show">2 billion people</a> – over a quarter of the world’s population – overweight or obese, while another 2 billion <a href="https://globalnutritionreport.org/reports/global-nutrition-report-2018/">suffer some kind of micronutrient deficiency</a>.</p> <p>When we understand how our hardwired urges interact with an unhelpful cultural context, we can begin to design positive interventions. In the case of obesity, this might mean less junk food marketing and altering the composition of manufactured food. We can also change our own behaviour, for example laying down new routines and healthier eating habits.</p> <p><strong>Climate change could boost bigotry</strong></p> <p>But what about bigotry and xenophobia? Can’t we simply design the right fixes for them? That may depend on how big the problems we face in future are. For example, growing ecological crises – climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss – may actually lead to more bigoted and xenophobic attitudes.</p> <p>Cultural psychologist <a href="https://www.michelegelfand.com/about">Michele Gelfand</a> has shown how environmental shocks <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/332/6033/1100">cause societies to become “tighter”</a> – meaning the tendency to be loyal to the “in-group” gets stronger. Such societies are more likely to elect authoritarian leaders and to <a href="https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221953">show prejudice</a> towards outsiders.</p> <p>This has been observed under past ecological threats such as resource scarcity and disease outbreaks, and under climate change scenarios we expect these threats, in particular extreme weather events and food insecurity, to only get worse. The same goes for the coronavirus pandemic. While many hope such outbreaks <a href="https://theconversation.com/philosopher-in-italian-coronavirus-lockdown-on-how-to-think-positively-about-isolation-133859">can lead to a better world</a>, they could do exactly the opposite.</p> <p>This enhanced loyalty to our local tribe is a defence mechanism that helped past human groups pull together and overcome hardship. But it is <a href="https://theconversation.com/climate-change-how-do-i-cope-with-our-planets-inevitable-decline-128593">not beneficial in a globalised world</a>, where ecological issues and our economies transcend national boundaries. In response to global issues, becoming bigoted, xenophobic and reducing cooperation with other countries will only make the impacts on own nations worse.</p> <p>Back in 2001, a United Nations initiative called the <a href="http://www.millenniumassessment.org/en/Products.Synthesis.aspx">Millennium Ecosystem Assessment</a> sought to take stock of global environmental trends and, crucially, to explore how these trends might unfold in future. One of the scenarios was called “Order from Strength” and represented “a regionalised and fragmented world that is concerned with security and protection … Nations see looking after their own interests as the best defence against economic insecurity, and the movement of goods, people, and information is strongly regulated and policed”.</p> <p>Later iterations of the scenario <a href="https://greattransition.org/fortress-world">have been dubbed “Fortress world”</a> describing a dystopian vision where order is imposed through an authoritarian system of global apartheid with elites in protected enclaves and an impoverished majority outside.</p> <p>When you think about how Trump talks about building a wall on the Mexico border, encouraged by chants from the crowd, we have to wonder how close we are to this scenario. On a larger scale, the rich “developed” countries primarily responsible for causing climate change are doing very little to address the plight of poorer countries.</p> <p>There seems to be a lack of empathy, a disregard and intolerance for others who were not lucky enough to be born in “our” tribe. In response to an ecological catastrophe of their making, rich countries simply argue about how best to prevent the potential influx of migrants.</p> <p><strong>Rewiring the brain</strong></p> <p>Thankfully, we can use rational thinking to develop strategies to overcome these attitudes. We can reinforce positive values, building trust and compassion, reducing the distinction between our in-group and the “other”.</p> <p>An important first step is appreciating our connectedness to other people. We all evolved from the same bacteria-like ancestor, and right now we share over 99% of our DNA with everyone else on the planet. Our minds are closely linked through social networks, and the things we create are often the inevitable next step in a series of interdependent innovations.</p> <p>Innovation is part of a great, linked creative human endeavour with no respect for race or national boundaries. In the face of overwhelming evidence from multiple scientific disciplines (biology, psychology, neuroscience) you can even question whether we exist as discrete individuals, or whether this sense individuality is an illusion (as I argue in my book <a href="https://www.amazon.co.uk/Self-Delusion-Connected-Everyone-Matters/dp/1474611745/">The Self Delusion</a>).</p> <p>We <a href="https://www.sciencefocus.com/the-human-body/the-illusion-of-individualism-helped-us-succeed-as-a-species-but-now-the-scales-are-tipping/">evolved to believe</a> we are discrete individuals because it brought survival benefits (such as memory formation and an ability to <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/(SICI)1520-6505(1998)6:5%3C178::AID-EVAN5%3E3.0.CO;2-8">track complex social interactions</a>). But taken too far, self-centred individualism can prevent us from solving collective problems.</p> <p>Beyond theory, practice is also necessary to literally rewire our brains – reinforcing the neural networks through which compassionate behaviour arises. Outdoor community activities <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11625-018-0542-9">have been shown to</a> increase our psychological connectedness to others. Similarly, meditation approaches alter neural networks in the brain and reduce our sense of <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/108/50/20254">isolated self-identity</a>, instead promoting compassion towards others. Even computer games and books can be <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41539-018-0029-6">designed to increase empathy</a>.</p> <p>Finally, at the societal level, we need frank and open debate about environmental change and its current and future human impacts – crucially, how our attitudes and values can affect other lives and livelihoods. We need public dialogue around climate-driven human migration and how we respond to that as a society, allowing us to mitigate the knee-jerk reaction of devaluing others.</p> <p>Let’s defuse this ticking ethical timebomb and shame those who stoke flames of bigotry beneath it. Instead, we can open ourselves up to a more expansive attitude of connectedness, empowering us to work together in cooperation with our fellow human kin.</p> <p>It is possible to steer our cultures and rewire our brains so that xenophobia and bigotry all but disappear. Indeed, working collaboratively across borders to overcome the global challenges of the 21st century relies upon us doing just that.</p> <p><span><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/tom-oliver-585521"><em>Tom Oliver</em></a><em>, Professor of Applied Ecology, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/university-of-reading-902">University of Reading</a></em></span></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/is-racism-and-bigotry-in-our-dna-135096">original article</a>.</em></p>

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