Here's a simple and effective test to figure out how you really feel about someone
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The average American knows 600 people, according to a recent study by The New York Times. Now, you may have 900 "friends" on Facebook, but you probably don't "know" all of them.

Another study found that the average American adult has 16 friends. They have "three friends for life, five people they really like and would hang out with one-on-one, and eight people they like but don't spend time with one-on-one or seek out."

Now, there are all different kinds of friends. There are those that you see just to have a good time. There are those that you go out with on couples' dates. And there are those you may share a hobby or interest with, but the relationship doesn't go much further than that.


What sets acquaintances, friends, and best friends apart is how comfortable we feel around them. Two ways to judge how they make you feel is whether you spending a lot of time together and if they can be trusted.

Author Ross McCammon created a simple test to gain some clarity about the level of comfort he feels about someone, he calls it the "Two Beers and a Puppy Test."

The test is: To find out how you actually feel about someone, ask yourself: "Would I have two beers with this person?" And: "Would I allow this person to look after my puppy over a weekend?"

Some people are no and no. These people are to be avoided at all costs. Some people are yes and no. These people are to be cautiously trusted. Some people are no and yes. These people are no fun but they make the world a better place — for puppies, especially. And some people are yes and yes. These people are wonderful people and your life and work are better for having them in your life. Seek them out. Collaborate with them. Enjoy their company.

No, No — This is probably someone who shouldn't be in your life. You don't enjoy their company and they're not someone that you can rely on when you need someone to lend a hand.

No, Yes — Unfortunately, this person isn't that great of a hang, but they can be relied upon in a pinch. These are great people to have as neighbors.

Yes, No — These people are a lot of fun, but you can't depend on them to be there when you really need them. These are like drinking buddies.

Yes, Yes — These are the golden people that you should work to keep in your life.

The test is a great way to evaluate people in your life but it's also a way to look at ourselves. How would you rate yourself as a friend?

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Another fun way to evaluate people is a test I developed based on a quote by Oscar Wilde, the legendary 19th-century Irish poet, playwright, and author of "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious," Wilde once said.

Now, this test is more for those who aren't shopping around from someone to watch their puppy but want to find people who are the most enjoyable to spend time around. I picture it as a spectrum with charming on one side and tedious on the other.

Charming < ------------------------- > Tedious

Someone can have a great sense of humor and make you laugh (charming) but at the same time like to complain a whole lot (tedious). So they'd fall in the middle.

There are others who are nothing but a joy to be around and are self-aware enough not to impose their drama or neurotic tendencies on you. These people would fall on the charming end of the spectrum.

Then they are those people who bring little to the table in terms of good humor and likeability but have a whole lot of baggage. These people would be ranked further down the tedious scale.

To put things even more simply, as Wilde once said, "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

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Shopping sustainably is increasingly important given the severity of the climate crisis, but sometimes it's hard to know where to turn. Thankfully, Amazon is making it a little easier to browse thousands of products that have one or more of 19 sustainability certifications that help preserve the natural world.

The online retailer recently announced Climate Pledge Friendly, a program to make it easier for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products. To determine the sustainability of a product, the program partnered with third-party certifications, including governmental agencies, nonprofits, and independent labs.

With a selection of items spanning grocery, household, fashion, beauty, and personal electronics, you'll be able to shop more sustainably not just for the holiday season, but throughout the year for your essentials, as well.

You can browse all of the Climate Pledge Friendly products here, labeled with an icon and which certification(s) they meet. To get you on your way to shopping more sustainably, we've rounded up eight of our favorite Climate Pledge Friendly-products that will make great gifts all year long.

Amazon

Jack Wolfskin Women's North York Coat

Give the gift of warmth and style with this coat, available in a variety of colors. Sustainability is built into all Jack Wolfskin products and each item comes with a code that lets you trace back to its origins and understand how it was made.

Bluesign: Bluesign products are responsibly manufactured by using safer chemicals and fewer resources, including less energy, in production.


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Amazon All-new Echo Dot (4th Gen)

For the tech-obsessed. This Alexa smart speaker, which comes in a sleek, compact design, lets you voice control your entertainment and your smart home as well as connect with others.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.


Amazon

Burt's Bees Family Jammies Matching Holiday Organic Cotton Pajamas

Get into the holiday spirit with these fun matching PJs for the whole family. Perfect for pictures that even Fido can get in on.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

Naturistick 5-Pack Lip Balm Gift Set

With 100% natural ingredients that are gentle on ultra-sensitive lips, this gift is a great gift for the whole family.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.


Amazon

Arus Women's GOTS Certified Organic Cotton Hooded Full Length Turkish Bathrobe

For those who love to lounge around, this full-length organic cotton bathrobe is the way to go. Available in five different colors, it has comfortable cuffed sleeves, a hood, pockets, and adjustable belt.

Global Organic Textile Standard: This certifies each step of the organic textile supply chain against strict ecological and social standards. Each product with this certification contains 95%-100% organic content.

Amazon

L'Occitane Extra-Gentle Vegetable Based Soap

This luxe soap, made with moisturizing shea butter and scented with verbena, is perfect for the self-care obsessed.

Compact by Design (Certified by Amazon): Products with this certification are packaged without excess air and water, which reduces the carbon footprint of shipping and packaging.

Amazon

Goodthreads Men's Sweater-Knit Fleece Long-Sleeve Bomber

For the fashionable men in your life, this fashion-forward knit bomber is an excellent choice. The sweater material keeps it cozy and warm, while the bomber jacket-cut, zip front, and rib-trim neck make it look elevated.

Recycled Claim Standard 100: Products with this certification use materials made from at least 95% recycled content.

Amazon

All-new Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote

Make it even easier to access your favorite movies and shows this holiday season. The new Fire TV Stick lets you use your voice to search across apps. Plus it controls the power and volume on your TV, so you'll never need to leave the couch! Except for snacks.

Reducing CO2: Products with this certification reduce their carbon footprint year after year. Certified by the Carbon Trust.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.