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Here are 17 things people really miss the most about living in the '90s

the 1990s, Kurt Cobain, Bill Clinton

Kurt Cobain, Blockbuster Video, Bill Clinton.

The 1990s was a sweet spot in American history. The stifling Cold War with the Soviet Union had just come to the end in 1989 and it would still be 12 years before a new era of fear after the 9/11 attacks.

The 1990s was also a time of prosperity that lifted up Americans across the socioeconomic spectrum and an era that saw unprecedented peace in the world. In fact, things were going so well in America that President Clinton managed to have a budget surplus four years in a row.

The '90s was also the last gasp of the analog era when people couldn't contact you 24/7 and did things for the pure joy of it instead for the likes and shares.

To say that the '90s was the last great American decade may be looking back with rose-colored glasses but it's obvious that as we've entered this new era dominated by technology, we left behind a lot of things that brought us joy. Many of us wouldn't mind having them back.

A recent Reddit thread asked "What do you miss about the '90s?" and the answers will take you back to a time that most of us remember fondly. Will people ever say that about the 2020s? Only time will tell.


1. You made plans without having to text people.

"Before we had mobile phones, my wife and I would plan to meet at a certain street corner at a certain time after work. We sometimes had to wait for the other person to show up, but we knew they would." — i_will_be_dead

2. The world was clearly changing for the better.

"There was a period between the Cold War and the War on Terror when it seemed like there was hope for the world." — igetasticker

3. Friday nights at home with the family.

"Blockbuster/Pizza Hut on Friday nights." — EdwardPackard

4. People left you alone.

"Not being contactable 24/7. Peace of leaving school/work and not having to deal with their nonsense till tomorrow." — Soma_Tweaker

5. Air travel without the stress.

"Did you know that before 9/11, it wasn't a massive pain in the ass to go fucking anywhere?! Loved ones could walk you right to the gate. You could bring snacks, sandwiches, and drinks onto the plane with you. The prices at Hudson News were perfectly reasonable, because if they weren't, you could just walk out of the terminal and grab something." — GavinBelsonsAlexa


6. The mall.

"Malls were awesome, and I hate that the strip mall style has taken over. Especially up in Canada, where it gets to -40 in the winter. Back in the day you could legitimately spend hours wandering the mall, indoors and warm. Now it is depressing. Maybe the big malls like Mall of America or West Edmonton Mall are still okay, but the ones in my city are shit." — Lexi_Banner

7. Following a scene.

"In the '90s I would walk to my local record shop and talk to the guy. He would recognize me and ask about my thoughts on the Offspring album I bought last time I was in, and then recommend something that just came in from some guys called Green Day.

I'd then give a listen on the wall-mounted headphone player and take it home. Then, the whole next week would listen to nothing else... It was kind of great." — Koro

8. A genuine good time.

"I think people are more concerned with posting something and going viral now. I really hate that you can just be minding your business, doing something with family or friends and enjoying yourself, and somebody will randomly record what you're doing so they can call you 'corny' and get likes and views." — Enviornmental-Bank81

9. Magazines.

"Everyone had their favorites for whatever hobby or interest you had. For me it was 'Guitar World,' picking up the issues with bands I loved and plinking along to the tab on my crappy electric guitar! For my wife it was 17, checking out the most recent trends!" — JackFairy80

10. Hanging out.

"Honestly the thing I miss the most, and the thing that is so hard to explain to modern kids, is 'hanging out.' Before cell phones, people used to just go to each other's homes, or to some public space, and just spend time together." — Vambot5

11. Making mix tapes.

"It was so much fun to make them, carefully trying to fit as much as you could in the limited amount of time that you had, but still making each song work with the next. Getting one was just as thrilling, especially if you just put it on without looking at the tracklist (if whoever made it included one) and being surprised by each new song." — Edgar

12. Music mattered more.

"Music felt more special because you kind of had to take some risks when buying a cd. At best you could listen to it at one of the stations in the store, but other times you might have heard a song on the radio or watched a music video on MTV. I bought some albums where only the song I liked was good, but still tried to appreciate it all." — plentyfunk66

13. Less pressure to be perfect.

"Nowadays due to social media, especially sites like Instagram, so many young people feel like it's necessary to always be dressed well, always wear a full face of make-up, etc. Sure, we had unrealistic beauty standards and plastic surgery before, but to me it feels like it's gotten much, much worse and also much more uniform than before." — Owezara

14. No 24-hour news cycle.

"Maybe I'm in a minority, but I for one REALLY miss NOT having a 24-hour news cycle. Once that became a thing, it basically prevented journalists from actually doing thorough research before splitting 'information' on TV to satiate their corporate owners." — Minerva_Madin

15. People talked to one another.

"I miss going to coffee shops or bars and being able to meet new random people. I made some of my best friends that way. Now folks just leer up from their phones more often than not." – Shiller_Killer

16. People watched concerts instead of filming them.

"Concerts weren't a sea of phones in the air. People are so concerned with people knowing they were at a concert via social media, that they don't even pay attention or experience the show. It's so dumb." — thebestmike

17. Brick-and-mortar stores.

"I still think this is underrated. Yes now we have a much much wider selection of stuff available instantly, but it used to be extremely fun to go out on a Sunday, go to a record store or video rental store with your friends, discuss options and settle on one." — Humble Shoulder

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3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

Woman shocked to learn about the history of the English alphabet.

An eye-opening video on TikTok by @ZachDFilms3 is an excellent example of how language constantly evolves. In a video with over 900,000 views, he explains that the English language had a 27th letter a little more than 200 years ago.

ZachDFilms3 is popular on TikTok for creating videos that explain surprising facts about science and history.

In a video posted on March 6, he surprised many by revealing that the ampersand ( or "&") once came after the letter Z in the English alphabet. “This is an ampersand and believe it or not, it used to be the 27th letter in the alphabet. You see, back in the day, this symbol came after the letter Z and signified the word 'and,’" he shares in the video.

However, incorporating the letter into lessons for English-speaking kids was a problem.



“But when reciting the alphabet, students weren't allowed to just say 'and' after Z. Instead, they were taught to differentiate the symbol by saying 'per se' before it, which sounded something like this: Q R S T U V W X Y Z &. And 'per se &' ampersand."

@zachdfilms3

Why Highway Signs Are Green 🤨

The melding of the words “and per se” eventually led to the strange symbol called the “ampersand.” According to ON Words, other names for the symbol included ampazad and zumy-zan, but they failed to take hold with the general public.

It’s believed that the symbol got its name around 1835, but it ceased to be part of the English alphabet by the late 19th century.

The symbol dates back to over 1700 years ago when Roman scribes wrote in cursive and commonly used the Latin word “et,” which means “and.” So, the cursive combinations of the E and T together came to symbolize “and.” The symbol evolved over decades into the ampersand we know and love today.



These days, the ampersand is relegated to informal English and is mainly used as an abbreviation or in the names of businesses (AT&T, US News & World Report) or partnerships (Simon & Garfunkel, Jacoby & Meyers). However, it’s doing far better than the 5 other letters ditched from the original Old English alphabet recorded in 1011 by the monk Byrhtferð.

In the original Old English alphabet, there were 29 letters, which included the ampersand and 5 additional English letters: Long S (ſ), Eth (Ð and ð), Thorn (þ), Wynn (ƿ) and Ash (ᚫ; later Æ and æ). During that time, 3 new letters were added: J, U and W.

So whenever people get stuffy about new slang that they are using or changes in style or grammar, remind them that language is ever-evolving and that what we accept as standard today may be archaic in just a few decades. As the writer Rita Mae Brown once remarked, "Language is the roadmap of a culture. It tells you where its people come from and where they are going." So, when a language becomes static, it’s safe to say that those who use it have failed to evolve as well.

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

True

Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

@larrylexicon/TikTok

This was a great moment. No cap.

What started out as a lighthearted class presentation quickly turned into a fabulous humanities lesson for all.

A teacher under the pseudonym Larry Lexicon has 1.8 million followers on TikTok, where they tune in to catch the funny-yet-inspirational interactions Lexicon has with his students.

Recently, Lexicon had his class rolling with his meticulously crafted PowerPoint explaining what certain Gen Z words mean.

"All year long I've been listening to you and making a list, which I've compiled here for you — the Gen Z Term Dictionary," he told the class, saying that they should speak up if anything was inaccurate.

Here’s what he came up with.


He took “bruh,” (aka the “staple of their generation”) to simply be the alternative for “bro,” except that “bruh!” can also be used as an exclamation. That was correct.

Although the word “Rizz,” was fairly new to him, he also correctly guessed that this was short for “charisma,” and thus refers to someone who has the ability to charm.

“You can use it in all kinds of ways. Like I’m the Rizzard of Oz!” he joked.

“Bussin” he took to mean that something was good, particularly food. Also correct. He even knew that “bussin’ bussin’” meant that something was really good. Clearly, Lexicon had done his homework.
@larrylexicon Let me know if there are more terms I need to add to my list! #larrylexicon #doyourbuckingvocab #genzterms #teacherlife #highschool #teachersoftiktok #school ♬ original sound - Larry Lexicon

However, a few people pointed out in the comments that many terms have roots in African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). So in his third TikTok, Lexicon chose to make some revisions, and explained to the class why those revisions were important.

"I know you think you came up with a lot of these words, but you didn't, and they've been around for a long time," Lexicon said, noting how parts of AAVE language are at first “looked down upon by society as uneducated or thuggish” yet nonetheless sneak into daily vocabulary through pop culture.

"What happens is it makes its way into like, white suburbia, and you get a middle-aged dorky white dude mislabeling it just for a whole generation as a term dictionary," he said. "And it ends up erasing the importance of it."

@larrylexicon Food smacks, music slaps. Got it. #larrylexicon #aave #genzterms #teacherlife #teachersoftiktok #school #revisions #slaps ♬ original sound - Larry Lexicon

Lexicon then admitted that it was a mistake made by his own ignorance, which was okay, because he was able to take feedback, learn and act on it to grow.

“Being ignorant’s OK, but being willfully ignorant and not doing anything about it — not so OK."

Viewers who have been following Lexicon’s series applauded him for taking the time to make even a silly little powerpoint into an important conversation for everyone involved.

“I love how you’re learning it and then teaching it! This is education!” one person wrote.

“The fact that you came back and showed HOW TO LEARN and that it’s OK NOT TO KNOW but not ok to be willfully ignorant,” added another.

“This is a hell of an example for your students,” read the top comment.

In case you’re curious, here are all the words gathered so far for the newly re-titled "AAVE-inspired Gen Z term dictionary."

  • “Delulu”— delusional.
  • “Eepy”— really sleepy.
  • “Be so for real”— “Are you serious?”
  • “Witerawy”— “Literally,” but with emphasis.
  • "Baddie" — "A pretty girl, typically very curvy and independent." But can also be a guy.
  • "Gyatt" — A substitute for “gosh darn!” typically used in response to seeing a baddie.
  • "Getting sturdy" — A dance usually used when winning, kind of like a touchdown dance.
  • "Bet" — Another way of saying "OK" or "alright." Likely a shortened version of “you bet.”
  • "Slaps" — a verb for when a song is really good. Or food. Maybe? Debate’s still out on that one
  • "Cap" — A lie.
  • "No cap" — The truth.
  • “On god”— undeniable truth.

Lexicon plans to add new words each week throughout the remaining weeks of school. If you’d like to follow along, he can be found on TikTok.


This article originally appeared on 5.19.23

via wakaflockafloccar / TikTok

It's amazing to consider just how quickly the world has changed over the past 11 months. If you were to have told someone in February 2020 that the entire country would be on some form of lockdown, nearly everyone would be wearing a mask, and half a million people were going to die due to a virus, no one would have believed you.

Yet, here we are.

PPE masks were the last thing on Leah Holland of Georgetown, Kentucky's mind on March 4, 2020, when she got a tattoo inspired by the words of a close friend.



"We were just talking about things we admire about each other and he said, 'You courageously and radically refuse to wear a mask,' like meaning that I'm undeniably myself. I thought that was a really poetic way of saying that," Holland told Fox 13.

So, she had "courageously & radically refuse to wear a mask" tattooed on her left forearm. It's a beautiful sentiment about Leah's dedication to being her true self. It's also a reminder for Leah to remain true to herself throughout her life.

However, the tattoo would come to have a very different meaning just two days later when the first case of COVID-19 was reported in Kentucky.

"It basically looked like I'm totally, you know, anti-mask or whatever, which is not the case," said Holland.

Now, she was embarrassed to be seen with the tattoo for fear she'd be associated with the anti-maskers who either deny the existence of the virus or refuse to wear a mask to protect others. Either way, it's a bad look.

So Leah started wearing long-sleeve shirts and cardigan sweaters whenever in public to cover up the tattoo.

On Monday, TikTok users asked each other to share their "dumbest tattoo" and she was pretty sure she had the winner.

In her video, she talks about how her tattoo was about "not pretending to be something you're not," but then revealed it to show how — after a historical twist — it made her out to be someone she isn't.

"I just kind of wanted people to laugh with me because I think it's funny now, too," said Holland.

Plenty of people on TikTok laughed along with her with one user suggesting she update the tattoo with the phrase: "Hindsight is 2020."

"I was dying laughing. I'm like, I'm glad there are people that find this as funny as I think it is," said Holland.

"It will be a funny story to tell years from now," she said. "I don't think it will ever not be a funny story."

Unfortunately, even when the pandemic is over, Leah will still probably have to explain her tattoo. Because most won't soon forget the COVID-19 era in America and there's no doubt many will still feel passionate about those who refused to wear a mask.


This article originally appeared on 02.24.21

Canva

Unique baby names are definitely trendy. But it can backfire.

There’s a fine line between a unique name and one that sets kids up for a lifetime of ridicule.

On the one hand, maybe it shouldn’t matter what other people think, and parents should pick a name that suits their preferences, consequences be damned. On the other hand, their kid might not appreciate that kind of bravery after enduring years of bullying during childhood, followed constant confusion at Starbucks and truly unenviable work emails once they’re adults.

And this chapter of parenting can be a little stressful—even more stressful if neither partner can agree on a name they both like.


This was the case for a husband who absolutely hated a name his wife so eagerly wished to give their unborn son. But rather than follow the popular “one no, two yeses” rule of baby-naming, where both parents must agree on the name chosen for a child, the wife instead went full steam ahead with her idea.

According to the husband’s account on Reddit, here’s what happened:

“Me (25m) and my wife (23f) are having our first child together. She is currently 9 months pregnant and could give birth anytime in the next couple of weeks. The only major fight we have had throughout her pregnancy happened a couple days ago, and it was about what we were going to name our kid.”

AITA for refusing to let my wife name our kid something stupid?
byu/Public-Praline-3691 inAmItheAsshole

“It all started when we found out the gender of the baby,” he continued. “After we found out we were having a boy we sat down together and made a list. Almost all of the names she suggested were normal, until the one that caused me to write this post. She suggested we name our son Mune.”

Mune. Like…dune an “m?” Or like “mun?” “Moon?” “Money?” “Mew-nay?” So many questions.

“She told me the name was from this movie she watched when she was younger and that it always stuck with her,” the husband explained, saying that when he told her it felt a “little out there” and was worried their son might get made fun of.

After a little back and forth, the couple agreed to take the name Mune off the list. Or so the dad-to-be thought.

“Later on in her pregnancy her mom decided to throw a baby shower as it was her first grandchild. It was fine for the most part until we started to open the gifts. Most of them were normal baby things like diapers and bottles, until we got to her mom’s gift. My wife opened the gift bag and pulled out a blue handmade blanket. It seemed normal enough at first until my wife unfolded it and low and behold there was the name Mune written on the blanket,” he wrote.

The man had tried to keep cool until after the party was over. However, when he confronted his wife about it, all hell seemed to break loose.

“She got defensive and told me that it was a good name and that I was overreacting about it,” he concluded. “I brought up the earlier points and told her it was a stupid name for a kid and if she wanted to name something Mune so bad she could use the name for a dog. She got upset and called her mom to come get her. After she left she called me and told me she wouldn’t be coming back for a while. Everyone I’ve talked to about this has said I’m not the asshole, but now that my wife has been gone and I've been thinking about it I feel like I could have handled the situation better.”

Yikes.

parenting, baby names, unique baby names

Parenting is nothing is full of compromises

Canva

While the husband might have regretted his actions, public opinion overwhelmingly sided with him.

One mom wrote, “Naming a baby is a 2 yes or 1 no situation. You do not name a child something your partner does not agree with. You find a compromise. This is the start of many necessary compromises in life and it is a total AH move to unilaterally decide on a child's name despite your partner's misgivings…She is absolutely not mature enough for motherhood if she can not find a reasonable compromise on this.”

Another added “this is a child, not a goldfish. There are consequences and repercussions to choosing a name that is very unusual to begin with.... To go behind the other parent's back and tell a grandparent what the name is going to be, that is unacceptable.”

Others noted how the wife and her mom “pulled a power play,” which “in itself is an a**hole move.” In addition, many pointed out that running away from the conflict (leaving to go to mom’s house) might have not been the best way to handle the situation.

“Leaving so she doesn’t have to face the argument is actually a form of abuse if it happens a lot,” one person commented. “She may just have baby brain and be overreacting due to hormones, but that is red flag behavior of it can’t be dismissed for reasons beyond her control.

baby names, parenting

What's ina name? A lot, apparently.

Canva

And if there’s any doubt as to just how damaging weird name can be, take it from this person:

“My name has prevented me from doing anything that would have my name called out in a crowd of people. Never tried sports. Military was a no go. I don't even want to apply for higher positions at work because I don't want to have meetings in closed rooms where people might call my name.

“…Being forced to grow up with a weird name discouraged me from a lot of things and I began resenting my parents for thinking they were being creative. I had to live with it through grade school and high school. The ridicule didn't end until the damage was already done.”

Raising a kid together is full of making compromises, prioritizing healthy communication, and honoring commitments, none of which are easy 100 percent of the time. But if couples can’t learn how to navigate these issues, then disagreeing on names is the least of their problems. We can all agree that parenting as true partners means men often need to step up their games. But it takes two for parenting to truly flourish and that includes respect your partner and making choices that are good for the entire family. Together.


This article originally appeared on 10.19.23

via Pexels

A couple havng a fun coversation on a date

When we think about gifted conversationalists, we’re more likely to think of great talkers—those who wow us with their insights, wit, and charm. However, communication experts believe that if you want to make a great impression on someone, knowing how to listen goes a long way.

Those of us who love being verbose may think the world loves us because of how well we can talk. But the person sitting in front of you has a lot to say, and nothing makes them feel better during a conversation than your undivided attention.

As the old saying goes, we never quite remember everything someone has said to us, but we’ll never forget how they made us feel. When you actively listen to your conversation partner, they feel that you value them and are receptive to their needs. It also eases any feelings of conflict or resentment.


After a good conversation, the person you spoke with should think, “Wow, that person really gets me,” instead of, “It was like I didn’t even exist.”

A study from 2016 on sales calls did an excellent job of quantifying the amount we should speak versus listen during a conversation. A marketing director at Gong.io analyzed 25,537 sales calls using artificial intelligence and found that the interactions where the salesperson talked 43% of the time and listened 57% of the time had the highest sales yield.

This finding has come to be known as the 43:57 rule.


Even though the study was conducted on business calls, the reason that it works should apply to social conversations as well. Paying more attention helps a salesperson identify the client's needs and makes them feel comfortable spending money because they know it's with someone who understands their interests.

It’s the same as a social situation where the person you speak to wants to know they are valued and you respect what they say.

This is excellent advice, but sometimes it’s hard to listen when you’re in a fun conversation and have a lot to say. Kate Murphy, author of "You’re Not Listening," says it’s all about staying calm.

"Deep breaths are always good. They're always good. Because it...calms down that fear response. It helps you get more centered,” Murphy told WBUR. “But also to develop your curiosity. Like I said, make it more important to be curious than to be right. And to go into every conversation with that mindset of how could I be wrong? Instead of, let me prove how I'm right.”

“That's how you develop creative ideas. It's how you cooperate. It's how you find middle ground, or at least a peaceable existence,” Murphy added.

The idea that to be a great conversationalist one should master the art of listening is a bit counterintuitive. But, if you feel that you have a lot to say in conversations and can be interesting to listen to, imagine how great that’ll make others feel when you show that you enjoy listening to them as well. It’s a virtuous cycle where everyone wins.


This article originally appeared on 3.7.23