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Pop Culture

People are getting honest about the 15 activities that people only 'pretend to like'

It's time to be honest.

pretending, boring activities, wine tasting

A beer, a gender reveal party and a child's birthday party.

Recently, there was a great conversation on Reddit that falls under the category of “things people think but never say out loud.” The question, posed by a user named Truth-andLogic was: "What’s an activity you are sure that most people only pretend they like? The prompt inspired people to share and discuss the social engagements we are forced to attend to get ahead in our careers, keep our families happy, or be polite, but we don’t really enjoy.

For many, the thread was cathartic by creating an honest and funny discussion about the moments when we often suffer in silence.

The conversation also delved into activities that many of us engage in to present a certain image, such as posting on social media, networking, or publicly embracing hustle culture. These activities, often driven by pressure form others, can feel cringey because they give off a “look at me” vibe.


Here are 15 activities that, according to people in the AskReddit forum, people only “pretend to like.”

1. LinkedIn

"I'm thrilled to announce that im better than you!" — Cardwizard88

"It’s a humble bragging contest." — Freesgova

2. Hanging out with the parents of your child's friend

"Correct. Did it a lot. Kids all grown up now. Do I still see these people? Heck no." — DustyMartinsdad

3. Happy birthday song at a restaurant

"Happy birthday song ever. It’s always the worst part to me, sitting there awkwardly waiting while people sing off-key at me." — Safetypinss22

4. Networking

"Can I just get a job based off experience and not who I know?" — Delightful_Drantini

"Some people absolutely do enjoy networking. It is a shame because these people are often the ones that tend to be just ok (or worse) at their jobs while those who are great at their jobs tend to be the ones who dislike networking." — Emu1981

5. Hustle culture

"Hustle culture was just a way for mid-range CEOs of mid-range firms to bleed every ounce of work out of each worker so the VC money sees profit sooner." — DahJay

6. Commuting

"So many of my coworkers talked about missing their commute during lockdown, and I wanted to tell them NO you miss having alone time!" — Chaosm0de

7. Kids' birthday parties

"Go to some germ-filled place and give them a gift they may not even thank you for, and it’s always loud and chaotic, and I fucking hate them. And you have to make the same small talk again and again." — LittleHungryGiraffe

"You stay because it's too short to reasonably get any errands done or go home, and you want to make sure your kid is safe. So you sit and make small talk with the one other parent you know for an hour and consider whether or not it would be in poor taste to grab a slice of pizza or cake depending on how much is left over after the kids are served." — Maxpower

8. Work parties

"My upcoming IT team activity is on a Friday afternoon. We're doing lunch and bowling. The company-wide corporate summer party is on Thursday after work hours, so I can spend an entire day with work people, go home, immediately sleep, and deal with work people the next day. I get it's definitely cheaper on a Thursday, but I really lose motivation to go beyond making an appearance to keep my boss happy." — Racthoh

"I don't like ya'll M-F 9 to 5, so why in the hell would I want to see ya'll outside of those hours!?" — DuperDayley

"Right? Like I wonder who these people are. Do they just crave socialization so hard? Or do they like their co-workers and are completely ignorant of the fact that not everyone wants to hang out with them? Even if you do have a closer relationship with some co-workers, not everyone will always get a long, why force it? Those who want to meet up, will. And those who are forced to will only like each other less." — Doodleanda

9. Wine tasting

"Those people that claim to be able to taste things in wine like sea air and a hint of lemons from a specific tree. Piss off with that sh***." — ZeeZeeNei

"They've pretty well debunked this. Can't remember where I saw it but someone ran an experiment on some pretty highly regarded wine connoisseurs and some regular joes as a control to judge wines, some cheap, some expensive. Turns out most of the highly regarded connoisseurs couldn't really tell which was the expensive and which were cheap/bad. Wine just comes down to preference." — come_ere_duck

10. Gender reveal parties

"Thank goodness my friends aren't into gender reveal parties. I have, however, been to my fair share of baby showers and had to play the boring games. Too many times have I played the "identify the melted candy bar in a diaper" game. Funny thing is that, since baby showers have traditionally been attended by only women, at the co-ed ones I've been to the guys get really into the games. It makes everything way better." — Slytherpuffy

11. Hearing about people's kids

"I try to tell kid stories quite sparingly. And 99% of the time, it’s a short anecdote about something genuinely funny. Not like aww they drew an avocado lol, but like a funny joke they told me. Again, quite sparingly." — Afoz345

12. Social media

"Having a huge social media presence. It just doesn't seem worth all the work and effort to keep with it. I'd much rather just enjoy my concert/vacation/whatever than constantly take pictures/videos of it in order to brag about it on social media. And unless you're some big celebrity or influencer, nobody actually cares about your Instagram." — TheSnowqueen17

13. Cruises

"It’s like being trapped in a Vegas hotel and only being able to leave for short periods…and only with everyone else trapped in the same hotel. Plus, limited supplies and extra cooties. No thank you. I think the only cruise I could enjoy would be one of those small luxury ones that I could never afford." — Roopie1023

14. Twitter

"Twitter. The site is full of bots and rageaholics. The UI is frustrating at best. Having a 'discussion' in tweet form is tedious as hell. How many hot takes do you really need to satisfy yourself before it's overkill?" — Soingee

"I’m thankful the place went to hell because I barely click the app now and then vs all the time I spent believing I needed to know everything immediately." — Frequent_Secretary25

15. Drinking IPAs

"Agreed, they taste like soap." — Heavy_Following_114

"Why have they taken over so many taps in so many places?!" — Beaspoke

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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




116 years ago, the Pasterze glacier in the Austria's Eastern Alps was postcard perfect:

Snowy peaks. Windswept valleys. Ruddy-cheeked mountain children in lederhosen playing "Edelweiss" on the flugelhorn.

But a lot has changed since 1900.

Much of it has changed for the better! We've eradicated smallpox, Hitler is dead, and the song "Billie Jean" exists now.

On the downside, the Earth has gotten a lot hotter. A lot hotter.

The 15 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998. July 2016 was the planet's hottest month — ever.

Unsurprisingly, man-made climate change has wreaked havoc on the planet's glaciers — including the Pasterze, which is Austria's largest.

Just how much havoc are we talking about? Well...


A series of stunning photos, published in August, show just how far the glacier has receded since its heyday.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

First measured in 1851, the glacier lost half of its mass between that year and 2008.

The glacier today.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

A marker placed in 1985 shows where the edge of the glacier reached just 31 years ago. You can still see the ice sheet, but just barely, way off in the distance. In between is ... a big, muddy lake.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

The view from the glacial foot marker from 1995 — 10 years later — isn't much more encouraging.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Even in just one year, 2015, the glacier lost an astounding amount of mass — 177 feet, by some estimates.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Ice continues to melt daily, and while the dripping makes for a good photo, it's unfortunate news for planet Earth. Glacial melting is one of the three primary causes of sea-level rise.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

According to a European Environment Agency report, the average temperature in the Alps has increased 2 degrees Celsius in the last 100 years — double the global average.

Beautiful, but ominous, fissures in the glacier.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

It's not unreasonable to assume that that's why this mountain hut has been abandoned by the flugelhorn-playing children who once probably lived in it.

Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images.

Is there anything we can do to stop climate change besides look at scary glacier photos?

Climate change is, unfortunately, still a robust debate in the United States as many of our elected officials refuse to acknowledge that we humans are the ones doing the changing. As of last year, that list included a whopping 49 senators. Calling them to gently persuade them otherwise would be helpful. Not voting for them if they don't change their minds would be even more so.

There is some tentative good news — the Paris Agreement signed in December 2015 commits 197 countries, including the U.S., to take steps to limit future global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. While it may be too late for the Pasterze glacier, if we really commit as a world, we might be able to stop ourselves from sinking whole countries and turning Miami into a swimming pool and stuff like that.

And who knows, with a little luck, and a little more not poisoning the sky, we just might recapture a little of that Alpine magic one day.

OK, these guys are Swiss. But who's counting?

Photo by Cristo Vlahos/Wikimedia Commons.

This article originally appeared on 3.11.17

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.

Photo by insung yoon on Unsplash

The MC Hammer dance though.

Father and daughter dances are a traditional staple of weddings. They tend to range somewhere between tearfully sweet and hilariously cringey. But sometimes, as was the case of Brittany Revell and her dad Kelly, they can be so freakin’ cool that millions of people become captivated.

Brittany and Kelly’s video, which amassed, I kid you not, more than 40 million views on TikTok, shows the pair grooving in sneakers (Brittany’s were white because, hello, wedding dress) to their “dance through the decades.”

It all began with Young MC’s “Bust a Move,” to give you a clear picture. And bust a move, they did.

Though the duo did a handful of iconic moves—the tootsie roll, the MC Hammer dance, the Carlton, just to name a few—“the dougie,” made famous by Cali Swag District, was the obvious fan favorite.

Brittany is clearly no stranger to busting a move and showed off her skills, but Kelly had the audience (and the internet) absolutely floored. He not only nailed every move, but kept a constant grin from ear to ear.

“Reason number 1838329194920 why I love my dad,” Brittany wrote in her caption.

@bnrevell Reason number 1838329194920 why I love my dad. 🫶🏼🥹 #thatdougietho #fatherdaughter #weddingtok ♬ original sound - Brittany Revell

People in the comments were quick to profess love for Kelly as well. Here are some gems:

“WHO IS THIS LEGEND!”

“I aspire to this level of smooth.”

“Pops got moves!!🔥”

“He really is the main character 🤩🤩”

Others shared praise to both dancers for delivering an unforgettable performance.

“I would absolutely lose my mind if I saw this at a wedding,” wrote one person.

“This is probably THE best TikTok I’ve ever seen. You and your dad are legit rockstars!! Congratulations!!” added another.

Brittany told The Morning Show on Channel 7 that she and Kelly have been learning dances together “for fun in the living room” since she was little. “He has always had some rhythm, but I did not know he could pick up the moves like that,” she quipped. Hey, there’s always something new to learn about dear old dad.

Brittany also shared in an interview with NBC News that people were responding to more than just impressive choreography—it touched them on a heartfelt level.

“I think it’s kind of unique to see a dad of Asian descent be able to open up, let loose and just embrace their American child’s music and culture,” she said, adding that several people who didn’t have relationships with their fathers commended how “inspiring” it was to see the fun Brittany and Kelly created, encouraging them to “be better with their future kids.”

Weddings are a celebration of love, and that can extend beyond the bride and groom. This father expressed his love on the dance floor, and it’s giving us all something to smile about.

Odds are Brittany and her dad are gonna keep posting even more amazing dance videos. You can keep up to date by following Brittany on TikTok here.


This article originally appeared on 09.13.22

Pop Culture

Younger people are admitting baby boomers got these 17 things right

"Kids shouldn't be on phones or iPads all the time. It makes them weird."

Baby boomers didn't get everything wrong.

In recent years, baby boomers have often been the target of criticism from younger generations. The most common accusations are that boomers are selfish and don’t care about leaving ample resources (whether financial or environmental) to subsequent generations.

They also come under fire for not being able to acknowledge that it was easier for people of their generation to come of age when things were more affordable and life was a lot less competitive.

However, we should also understand that many of today’s problems are not the boomers’ doing, especially when it comes to the issues that stem from entitled children and technology run amok. In hindsight, there’s something to be said about the importance that boomers placed on self-reliance, letting kids be kids and having a healthy skepticism towards technology.


In the end, each generation contributes to the tapestry of society in its unique way, whether good or bad, even baby boomers. This became evident after a Reddit user named Youssef4573 asked the AskReddit subforum: ‘What is something you can say ‘I'm with the boomers on this one’ about?” Over 4,700 people responded to the prompt, and the most prevalent problems mentioned by the younger generations were overreliance on technology, the modern world’s lack of human touch and how Gen Xers and millennials have raised their children.

Here are 17 things that younger people are “with the boomers” about.

1. Public filming

"Just because I’m in public doesn’t mean I want to be filmed. Yeah, I know legally you can, but common courtesy people." — Jayne_of_Canton

2. Customer service

"I want to talk to a person in customer service, not a machine." — lumpy_space_queenie

"And also a person that actually works at the company I bought the product from, not a teenager at an outsourced call center with a script to follow and who answers calls for 15 different companies on the same day." — Loive.

3. Turn up the dialog

"For the love of all that is holy, can we fix the audio in movies so that the music and sound FX aren’t drowning out the dialogue?" — Caloso

"And the action sequences don’t burst your eardrums or the dialogue is whispers." — Whynottry-again

4. Bring back buttons

"No, I don't need everything in my car to be electronic. Some stuff needs buttons." — LamborghiniHEAT

"This was the big thing for me in my last car - trying to adjust volume or change songs while driving is way more dangerous when it’s all touch screen. Thankfully my current car has physical knobs for everything." — GeekdomCentral

5. App overload

"Every store/service does not need an app." — BigDigger324

"I was standing at a car rental counter at an airport (boomer here) to rent a car. My daughter’s car broke down on the way to pick me up. While standing at the counter, with a customer service rep right there and not busy, I had to log in to their site, create an account, and reserve a car. It seemed ridiculous and it took a long time, filling in my license information and all that. This was last September." — Cleanslate

6. Bring back DIY

"Learning DIY skills is crucial. I had basically zero DIY skills when I bought my house because I had lived in apartments for so long and I've had to learn a lot. YouTube tutorials are absolutely clutch." — JingleJongleBongle

7. Turn off the speakerphone

"I hated this when I worked at Walmart. So many of my coworkers would talk on speaker or watch TikTok at full volume. It's just trashy imo, nobody wants to hear your media." — WhiteGuy1x

"I work at an emergency medical office and holy sh*t the amount of people that sit in a quiet, peaceful lobby and just have the LOUDEST conversations on their phone…. Speaker or otherwise. Not to mention the people that still watch sh*t without headphones. Like do you not see the plethora of other people around you that you’re disturbing?" — Cinderpuppins

8. Ban QR code menus

"I think menus should be tangible." — Limp-Management9684

"QR codes kill the vibe. We’re all on our phones constantly throughout the day and then when you go to spend some quality time with someone, it’s another excuse to whip out the phone and stare at it. There’s an intimacy to a physical menu. You’re looking at what the other person is reading, you’re each pointing to parts of the menu. You’re noticing the lighting of the restaurant. QR codes feel chintzy and kill the ambiance completely." — VapeDerp420

9. Stop subscriptions

"When I was your age, you only had to pay for a video game once to own it." — CattonCruthby

10. Free the children

"A kid in 2024 should have the same freedom to exist unsupervised and move about their community independently as a boomer did growing up." — PixelatedFish

"The world is safer than it's ever been and people are more scared than ever. I blame true crime and local news." ⲻ Unhappyhippo142

11. Kids need to touch grass

"Kids shouldn't be on phones or iPads all the time. It makes them weird." — Ubstantial_Part_952

"The same could be said about most adults." — DrunkOctopus

12. Stop being so sensitive

"People in our generation are far, far too sensitive. Don't get it twisted; empathy is, by and large, a good thing and it takes some serious doing for me to say it's gone too far. But collectively, we've become people willing to throw every last bit of energy fighting against every slight and making sure our pet cause gets top billing to the point of fighting amongst each other even if we're in almost complete agreement otherwise. Emotional energy - like any other kind of energy - is very much a finite resource. Whereas boomers could at least generally agree to disagree and get on with things (obvious cross-wielding exceptions doth apply). Culturally, we've lost sight of the adage of 'winning the battle, losing the war.'" — almighty_smiley

13. Stop delivery

"Food delivery services are a complete ripoff; if you use them regularly, you’re terrible with money. Get off my lawn." — VapeDerp420

14. Parking meters

"So rather than throwing a few coins in your meter, you have to now get your license plate #, get your meter number, go to the meter station, stand in line with everyone waiting to pay their meter, then you're set. It's an unnecessary amount of extra steps. I don't carry cash much anymore, but I can hide a small amount of coin in my car to quickly pay a meter." — Luke5119

15. Kids should know their place

"Not letting your children rule the roost. When did it become acceptable to let your kids back-talk to you, slap you, climb all over shi*t in public places? As we've raised ours, I've witnessed so many parents around us just let these behaviors slide. It's kind of sad when I'm the one saying things like, "Did I just hear you just say that to your mom?!?!?!?! That is not ok. You go and apologize right now!!". Then I get this stunned "deer in headlights" look back that tells me they aren't used to someone calling them out on their behavior." — Cobblestone-Villain

16. Pride in ownership

"Seems that a lot of boomers have pride of ownership and enjoy maintaining what they have." — Awkward_Bench123

17. Don't follow leaders

"My dad (a solid boomer) has been saying that ALL politicians are crooks since he became disenchanted with politics around the Nixon era. He was starry-eyed before that, trying to make social change, yada yada. He still votes, but holds his nose. Can’t say I disagree with him." — Thin_white_duchess


This article originally appeared on 1.23.24

Some friends enjoying a polite conversation at a party.



Many people don’t like small talk because it forces them to have conversations about trivial topics such as the weather, what they saw on TV the night before, or their weekend plans. Other people don’t like it because it causes them anxiety to talk with someone they may not know well.

Either way, research shows that small talk actually is a big deal. Julia Korn at Forbes says that small talk enables us to find common ground and shared interests, build muscles to overcome social discomfort, and lays the groundwork for transitioning into more serious, deeper topics.

It also makes us feel good. Studies show that a quick exchange with a barista while getting coffee can result in feelings of belonging and increased happiness.


So, how can we get more out of small talk and make it more comfortable? Stanford lecturer, podcast host, and communication expert Matt Abrahams told CNBC that one small phrase does both, “Tell me more.” He learned the phrase's value by listening to his mother, who had “impressive interpersonal skills.”

“Her favorite phrase was ‘Tell me more,’ and it happens to be one that people who are good at small talk always use,” Abrahams wrote.

The Stanford expert says that the simple phrase works because it is a “support response” that encourages what the speaker is saying instead of being a “shift response” that brings the conversation back to you.

Suppose you’re talking to someone at a party who’s complaining about a lousy dinner they had at a local steakhouse. “The steak was overcooked, and the service was terrible,” they tell you. A proper support response could be, “Tell me more about the service” or “What else didn’t you like about the dinner?"

“Comments like these give your partner permission to expand on what they said or provide deeper insight,” Abrahams wrote.

On the other hand, a shift response that brings the conversation back to you would be something like, “I once had a bad dinner at a steakhouse…” and then you told that story. People who overuse the shift response are often seen as self-centered or the type of folks who have to make everything about themselves.

That’s a rather annoying personality trait that doesn’t make people a lot of friends or an enjoyable person to work with in the office.

Support responses such as “Tell me more” or “What happened next” are a great way to guarantee that you follow another proven conversation strategy, the 43:57 rule. A marketing whiz over at Gong.io took a deep dive into 25,537 sales calls with the help of AI and discovered a cool tidbit: sales went through the roof when the salesperson chatted 43% of the time and lent an ear for 57%. They've dubbed it the "43:57 rule."

Now, while this gem of wisdom came from business calls, think about our daily chats with friends. It's all about tuning in and showing you care about what the other person has to say. Everyone loves to feel heard and valued.

In the end, the trick to being a great conversationalist isn’t all about being witty, charming, or informed but simply knowing how to listen.


This article originally appeared on 10.5.23

Two kids wearing backpacks walk to school together.


Over the past 40 years, a sea change has occurred in how kids get to school. Throughout most Western countries, an increasing number of children are driven to school instead of walking or taking a bike. In a new video called “Why did kids stop walking to school?” About Here’s founder, Uytae Lee, cites the U.S. Department of Transportation statistic that in 1969, 48% of kids walked or biked to school, and that number has plummeted to just 11%.

Uytae Lee is an urban planner and videographer passionate about sharing stories about our cities. The video was produced in partnership with TransLink, Metro Vancouver's regional transportation authority.


The video makes a compelling case that more children should walk to school. It’s better for children’s health and reduces congestion and pollution from car exhaust. In a world where we are pushing for people to be greener, flooding the road with cars every morning to take kids on a short drive seems counter-productive.

Some parents drive their kids to school because they fear they could be abducted or hit by a car while walking to school. But Lee doesn’t believe that those fears should be a reason for parents to change their behavior over the past few decades. “As terrible as [kidnappings and car accidents] are, the statistics behind those risks haven't changed significantly over the decades,” Lee says.

The video is a great reminder that reevaluating how kids get to school may be a good idea. When they take a bike or walk, it’s better for their health and that of the planet as well.


This article originally appeared on 5.9.23