1 question you might want to consider not asking at parties anymore.

I've asked this question, and I'm pretty sure you have too.

"So, what do you do?"

When meeting someone new, it's usually the first question you're asked. And there's actually a lot riding on your answer.


What we do for a living is such a small part of our identity, yet people use that one piece of information to decide how valuable we are as a person.

We want people to care about what's on the inside and to see us as a whole person. Instead, we feel judged based on our job status. That causes anxiety and affects our self-esteem.

So people tend to go after money, big jobs, and fancy cars as a way to get attention and love.

Since childhood, we've felt the pressure to succeed. How society defines success has a lot to do with what kind of job we have.

It's not a coincidence that two of the most popular book genres are "how to get rich" and "how to cope with low self-esteem."

We're sold a tale that everyone has the same opportunities, that the rewards go to those who really deserve them, that the 1% got there purely because they earned it, and that those in poverty deserve that too.

At one point, people living in poverty were referred to as "unfortunates." Now, too often, they're judged as losers.

Equating our value to monetary success can cause depression.

How can we cope? Stop believing the tale. Luck, accident, and opportunity play big roles in life, so never treat someone (rich or poor) like they entirely deserve where they are.

Create your own definition of success. We don't have to buy into the old one.

Refuse to let traditional achievements define who you are. There are so many more valuable things about a person that can't be captured by that simple question, "So what do you do?"

Give a new answer.

Like one of these suggestions:


More
via The Guardian / YouTube

Beluga whales are affectionately known as sea canaries for their song-like vocalizations, and their name is the Russian word for "white."

They are sociable animals that live, hunt, and migrate together in pods, ranging from a few individuals to hundreds of whales. However, they are naturally reticent to interact with humans, although some solitary belugas are known to approach boats.

Once such beluga that's believed to live in Norwegian waters is so comfortable among humans that it played fetch with a rugby ball.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Many of us are too young to remember the hijacking of Pan Am Flight 73 of 1986, much less any details about it. But thanks to a viral Facebook post from Misfit History, some attention is being shed on an incredible heroine who saved many American lives in the standoff.

The post reads:

Keep Reading Show less
popular

The truth doesn't hurt for an elementary school teacher in California who's gone viral for teaching her class an empowering remix of one of Lizzo's hit songs.

Ms. Mallari — who teaches at Los Medanos Elementary School in Pittsburg, east of San Francisco — took the singer's song, "Truth Hurts," and reworked the lyrics to teach her students how to be great.

Lizzo's song made history this year for being the longest running number one single from a female rap artist. The catchy original lyrics are about boy problems, but Mallari's remix teaches her students about fairness, helping each other out, and embracing their own greatness.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
via Newsy People / Twitter

The internet was ablaze after notoriously private actor Keanu Reeves, 55, walked the red carpet at the LACMA Art + Film Gala on Saturday with his new girlfriend, artist Alexandra Grant, 46.

It was refreshing to see a man in Hollywood dating a woman who's age-appropriate. Older actors are notorious for being with women half their age.

Keep Reading Show less
popular