Sign in

Forge
A publication from Medium on personal development.

Relationships

In Forge. More on Medium.

But seriously, they should just empty the dishwasher every now and then

Photo by Jilbert Ebrahimi on Unsplash

I think things are fairly equal in my marriage. I make most of the money. My husband does almost all of the cooking and more of the daily child care than I do. I run admin. He deals with lawn and car things. The rest we tag-team in a haphazard way that mostly works out. Still, we argue over division of labor, and we both spend some time feeling put upon.

But lately, I’ve come to believe that feeling resentful about the work I do at home is distracting me from my real source of stress: capitalism.

Our culture of…


We confide in strangers more often than we realize

Photo: ridvan_celik/Getty Images

Over the past 13 months, “How are you?” has felt more and more like a ridiculous question — and yet I’ve asked it more times than I can count, to virtually everyone I’ve seen. It’s a socially conditioned reflex; even when we know the answer is “Not well, bitch,” we can’t help but ask.

And just as deeply ingrained is the meaningless reply: “Fine” or “Okay, given the circumstances” or “Hanging in there!” I have said some form of this answer while decidedly not hanging in there. I’ve heard it from people I knew for a fact were not fine.


How to get back into the world even if you’re feeling anxious

Photo: Jordan Siemens/Getty Images

If you’ve been vaccinated for Covid-19, you may have noticed that your pandemic anxiety isn’t going anywhere. A crowded grocery store, or even a hug from another vaccinated friend, can feel like too much too fast.

Some of this anxiety may be about the disease itself, but often it has to do with new relationship challenges. As many people step back into their social life, they’ll inevitably encounter conflict with others: Maybe you have friends who are not ready to hang out in person yet. Your spouse isn’t thrilled that you’re spending less time with them. …


A less-masked future is near, and our facial expressions will matter more than ever

Illustration by the author

As vaccination rates increase, we’re getting closer to a future where masks are less of a presence in our lives, and our smiles (and non-smiles) will once again be visible to friends, co-workers, and the strangers we pass on the sidewalk and in the grocery store.

If that sentence didn’t make you smile, please keep reading.

Until I looked into smiling while researching my book Works Well With Others, I didn’t realize how powerful a force it is. The simple act of smiling can change you and everyone around you, and that’s true now more than ever. A smile —…


🥝 Today’s tip: Try an unexpected kind of fruit.

It’s really hard to come up with anything interesting to say over dinner when you and your kids have been in the same building staring at screens all day, or when the only new thing on the horizon is a vaccine appointment. But rather than just stare at each other blankly over your next meal or social zoom, try this tip from Catherine Newman: Buy a social fruit.

Newman writes in Cup of Jo, “Whenever someone is shopping or ordering groceries online, I say, ‘Oh, and get some social fruit.’ This…


🤐 Today’s tip: No “buts” allowed.

Here’s a great example of how not to apologize: “I’m sorry you felt upset about that, but it wasn’t actually that big of a deal.” It looks like an apology; it smells like an apology; but an apology it is not.

And yet, while they can seem tricky, a good apology is not actually that hard to master. As Nikki Campo writes on Elemental: “Validation underpins all good apologies (accepting the other person’s reality as true, without judgment), believability matters (no “buts,” defensiveness, or excuses), and the undesirable behavior must change in the future.”…


💃🏾 Today’s tip: Take a virtual dance class together.

You miss your people, but can’t bring yourself to do another Zoom where you stare at each other’s faces and try to find new things to talk about (“So, made any more sourdough lately?”). Why not do something together instead?

On Curious, Kate Stone Lombardi writes about the virtual dance class she’s been taking with her daughter, who lives on the other side of the country. It’s called Dance Church and it streams live on Sundays. “I dance with an abandon I’ve never felt before,” Lombardi writes. “I’m free in mind…


A fashion maxim that works for the rest of life, too

Image: Kurt Brodbeck/EyeEm/Getty

It would probably surprise a lot of my current colleagues to learn, but I once worked “in fashion.”

I loved this part of my magazine job precisely because I’ve never been all that interested in how to dress. As a story editor, I could look at the subject unburdened by, well, a refined sense of style — a beneficial quality because my job was to take the fashion department’s ideas and present them in a way that made sense to any reader, regardless of their sartorial predilections.

When you come at fashion that way, you’re able to see it for…


☎️ Today’s tip: Call an important woman in your life.

Women’s History Month is a great time to remember all the women who have helped to make this world a little better — including the women who have made your world a little better. Should we do that every month? Yes, yes we should. But still, there’s nothing wrong with taking it as a nudge to call Mom, Grandma, or some other woman-identifying figure who has meant a lot to you on your journey through life. They’ll be happy, you’ll be happy — it’s a win-win,

And hey, just in…


Today’s tip: Start small. Schedule a coffee date.

With more and more people getting vaccinated, it seems likely that life will soon be feeling a bit more normal. And while this is exciting, you’d be forgiven for worrying that your social skills might be a tad rusty. So if you’re worried that you’ll find yourself totally misunderstanding rules of personal space, or lapsing mid-conversation into the voice you use to impersonate your dog, maybe it’s best to take baby steps back into human interaction.

As Ashley Abramson wrote for Forge (when we were optimistically anticipating the pandemic’s wane, uh…

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store