Stimming, a form of fidgeting frequently found in autistic people, is a wonderful tool for focusing and self-control. However, there are certain times when you may want to avoid distracting people or receiving negative attention. This article will help you fulfill your needs without drawing attention to them.
Considering the Situation
- Ask yourself why you don’t want to attract attention. Are you concerned about legitimately bothering people (e.g. disrupting people’s concentration during an exam) or just afraid of looking weird? Be honest with yourself.
- Consider the consequences of stimming conspicuously. Ask yourself what is the worst thing that could happen. For example…
- At an exam, you could disrupt other students’ concentration and make it even more stressful for them.
- At a supermarket, someone could stare at you.
- At a family gathering, your crotchety old grandpa could scowl disapprovingly and imply that your father failed to parent you correctly.
- Ask yourself if you would be okay with these consequences. For example, you might decide to take one for the team at the family reunion, but that you don’t care if random strangers publicly display their bad manners in the supermarket.
- Some autistic people script their responses to rude people in advance. For example, it may help to decide that “What’s wrong with you?” merits a “What’s wrong with your manners?”, and that if someone stares at you flapping, you shall flap even more vigorously and stare right back.
- Many autistic people find that they feel better not censoring themselves.
- It is okay to stim discreetly in public too. You may feel too tired to handle judgmental looks from strangers, or need all your energy to handle the sensory stimuli of crowds. Do what feels best for you.
- Remember that by stimming, you are not in the wrong. Stimming is a natural and healthy behavior that allows you to function. Nobody deserves to be shamed for putting forth their best effort to interact with the world.
Prepare for an Event
- Consider taking breaks. See if you could temporarily withdraw from the situation to stim and rebalance yourself. For example, at a party, you could take a long bathroom break to stim and relax, or offer to drive and pick up the pizza halfway through so you can be alone in the car.
- If everyone present knows you have special needs, you may be able to retreat to a calming down corner or quiet space without anyone thinking this unusual.
- Communicate your special needs to others beforehand. Explain to your professor that you are disabled, or tell your relatives that you’ll need some time in your calming down corner. This makes your behavior seem less alarming when they see it happen.
- Example script: “Hi, I just wanted to let you know that I have special needs, and this party is going to be a little challenging for me. I may need to take breaks from socializing, and possibly leave early. If you see me acting a little strange or avoiding people, please know that everything’s okay and I’ll re-engage as soon as I feel well enough.”
- People like to feel helpful. Often they’re accommodating once they know what’s going on.
- See if you can modify the situation to your benefit. You may be able to remove the source of your worries from the picture.
- Go shopping early in the morning or late at night to avoid crowds. You’ll have less stimuli and lower chances of meeting a judgmental stranger.
- Spend most of your family reunion time entertaining the children, far away from your grumpy grandpa.
- Disabled students can ask to take exams in a separate, quiet room. Then you can flap your arms to your heart’s content without fear of disturbing people.
- Consider if it would be easier to avoid the situation altogether. Avoiding conspicuous stims can take a lot of energy sometimes, especially if you’re the type who needs to stim often. If so, it may be easier to fix the situation instead.
- Decide not to attend the family reunion. (You can develop a “fever” for this purpose.) This will allow you to be yourself without giving fuel to your grandpa’s rants or experiencing the stress of wondering when he’ll complain. If you are under 18, ask your parents’ permission first.
- Get plenty of activity to meet your sensory needs. If you’re a fidgeter, getting enough physical activity will reduce the need to stim when you’re in social situations. It will also help you feel calm and energized.
- Run around the block
- Jump (possibly on a trampoline)
- Dance to your favorite music
- Climb trees and other objects
- Get some deep pressure beforehand. Browse the internet with a weighted blanket on your legs, or offer to exchange back rubs with your sister. In a pinch, pile heavy things upon yourself, or pull your clothing tightly over your body. Deep pressure will help you feel more relaxed before the big event.
- Avoid planning stressful things before or after the event. If you’re feeling distressed, you’ll need to stim more to calm down. It’s best to do something fun, like indulging in a special interest or reading a good book, for an hour before the big event. Afterwards, you’ll probably feel tired, so don’t overestimate your capacity to handle things then either.
- Choose your alternative stims beforehand. Read lists of stims, find what sounds useful, and practice using the stim to see if it works. That way, you won’t suddenly discover that the replacement stim you chose is ineffective, and then be left wondering what to do.
- The autistic community offers plenty of advice on stimming.
- It helps to think of several alternative stims, in case you don’t feel like one of them would help you after all. That way, you’ll have several backups ready to go.
Choose Alternative Stims
- Use tools to keep your hands busy. Handheld fidget toys could involve…
- “Sea urchin” toys to rub against fingers
- Bracelets (large, round beads with smaller beads as spacers work best)
- Putty (such as Theraputty).
- Apply deep pressure. This provides proprioceptive input, increasing bodily awareness and helping with calmness.
- Wrap your arms tightly around your body and squeeze.
- Apply lotion or hand sanitizer and rub it in well.
- Squeeze your hands together.
- Wear a heavy leather jacket or weighted vest.
- Use your mouth. The mouth muscles are used for self-calming, and tasting things can also be considered a stim.
- Suck on a lollipop or hard candy.
- Chew gum.
- Buy a chewy bracelet or toy designed for special needs. These do exist at reasonable prices.
- Find natural ways to move. Sit on an exercise ball or rocking chair. Consider staying standing and moving around to get things for people, or slowly wandering around the room as people talk. Pacing is considered acceptable in some environments.
- Find quiet auditory stims. Depending on the noise level, you should be able to make quiet stims that satisfy your need for sound without disturbing others.
- Click your teeth together. Even in a silent room, people shouldn’t be able to hear this.
- Listen to music with headphones.
- In louder rooms, tap your feet, click your tongue, drum your fingers, hum, use echolalia, tap your pencil, etc.
- Only click your pen if the room is quite loud; this can be a pet peeve.
- Ask your autistic friends (online or in person) what stims they like to use in different situations. They may have great ideas!
- Remember that you never need to apologize for being autistic in public. You are wonderful and lovable the way you are.
- Don’t start using stims that could cause harm. Examples include biting nails, scratching or picking skin, and pulling hair. These can become very difficult to quit.
- Be careful when researching alternative stims online. Many articles speak of extinguishing stimming as the goal, and present a view of autism that can be very depressing for autistic people. Try to search mainly in the autistic community.
Sources and Citations
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When peaches are at the height of their season in the summer, peeling them is often the first step to making bright, flavorful cobblers, pies and jams. That way the furry texture of the peach skin doesn’t interfere with whatever delicious dish you’re making. Peeling peaches isn’t hard if you know the right way to do it! See Step 1 to learn how to blanch peaches so the skin comes right off.
- Select ripe peaches. Peaches that are ripe as can be are much easier to peel than those that are still a little green. When peaches are ripe, the skin tends to fall off without taking any of the fruit along with it. When selecting peaches, choose those that are highly fragrant and indent only slightly when you press them with your thumb.
- If a peach feels hard as a rock, it’s not yet ripe.
- If you easily break the skin when you press it with a finger, it’s overripe. Overripe peaches are still good for making cobblers and other dishes – just make sure the peaches you’re using aren’t rotten.
- Rinse the peaches. If they have visible dirt and other debris, give them a quick rinse under cool water before proceeding. You don’t want dirt ending up inside the peaches’ skin after the blanching process.
- Boil a big pot of water. It should be large enough to fit 3 or 4 peaches. Don’t try to blanch more than that at one time; putting a whole bushel of peaches into the water will lower its temperature, making the blanching process less effective. A Dutch oven or large saucepan should do. Fill it 3/4 way with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Prepare an ice bath. Fill a large bowl with ice cubes and water. This ice bath will be used to quickly cool the peaches after blanching, so they don’t keep cooking and end up mushy.
- Score the peaches with an X. Use a sharp knife to make an “X” shape at the tip of each peach (not the stem side – the bottom tip). When the peaches are being blanched, the heat will work its way under the skin, loosening it so it will be much easier to peel.
- Don’t score the peaches too deeply, or make the Xs too big; you’ll risk the peaches falling apart in the hot water. A medium-sized X is all you need.
- Blanch the peaches. Place 3 or 4 peaches into the boiling water. Allow them to cook for 30 to 40 seconds (depending on how ripe they were to begin with). During this time, the skin on the peaches will loosen quite quickly.
- The riper peaches won’t need to stay in as long – take them out after 30 seconds.
- Don’t leave any of the peaches in for longer than 40 seconds, or they’ll get mushy.
- Transfer the peaches to the ice bath. Use a slotted spoon to lift the peaches (one by one) from the boiling water and put them into the ice bath. Keep them in the ice bath for one minute, then put them on your work surface.
- In the meantime, you can start the blanching process with any remaining peaches you have on hand.
- Don’t over-ice the peaches; you just want to cool them down for a minute. Icing them for a longer period could affect the texture and flavor of the peaches.
- Peel the peaches. Take a cooled peach and grasp the skin at one of the corners formed by the “X” you made. Pull the skin lightly – it should easily peel off. Keep peeling until all the skin is gone, then discard it.
- Peel carefully and steadily, so you don’t pull off fruit with the skin.
- Process the peaches as instructed. Now they’re ready to be sliced, diced, or pureed according to the recipe you’re following. The peeled peaches will be easy to pit, too. Here are a few delicious ways you can use up your peeled peaches:
- Peach cobbler. This classic summer dessert is wonderful hot out of the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
- Peach pie. If you’re up for a challenge, this homemade dessert is sure to be a hit with your family and friends.
- Peach jam. Make jars of peach jam so you can enjoy the taste of summer during the months when peaches aren’t in season.
- Peach chutney. This delicious condiment goes well with fish and pork.
- Peach salsa. Try something a little different next time you have a bag of tortilla chips to use up.
- Peach smoothie. This healthy drink is perfect for breakfast or a light dessert.
- It’s fine to use your regular vegetable peeler, a peeling knife, or other peeling tool that you’re used to, just as long as it feels comfortable.
Things You’ll Need
- Boiling water
- Bowl of ice water
- Strainer with handle or tongs
- Paring knife
Giving advice is not one of the easiest tasks. You can be put under a lot of pressure, especially if you generally (unintentionally) give bad advice. With these tips, you’ll be a pro at giving advice in no time! Get get started with Step 1 below.
- Don’t judge them. The first, most basic step in giving good advice (or any at all really) is to not judge the other person. No one should be thought of as less or as bad for a single decision that they made. We’re all playing with a different set of cards and what you have in your hand and what you managed to do with it doesn’t have anything to do with what someone else has.
- Keep a straight face and remember what your mother taught you: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
- Remove your bias. We of course all have our own opinions on what is and isn’t right or what someone should do, but when you give advice, the idea is to give someone the tools to make their own decision, not make the decision for them. Try to remove your own opinions from the conversation and just focus on helping them come to their own conclusion.
- For example, if your friend is considering an abortion but you don’t believe in it, don’t spend the whole time telling her how bad it is. Instead, talk her through the arguments that you know of for an against it, in equal balance.
- Only when someone asks you “What would you do?” should you let your own personal opinion shine through. Just make sure that you give the reasons why you have the opinion that you do, so that they can understand your logic.
- Be honest. Let them know if you’re not an expert. You don’t have to be a lot of the time, since all they really need is a sounding board. But it’s important that you don’t give them the impression that you’re an authority when you’re not.
- It’s okay to not say “I know how you feel”, too. Instead, say something like “You’re right to be upset about that” or “I can see how that would make me feel neglected”.
- Express confidence in them. Sometimes all someone needs to make the right decision is to know that someone believes in them and that someone thinks that they can do the right thing. Be that person for them, especially if no one else can be. Tell them something like, “This is a really tough decision, but I know you want to do the right thing. And I know you will do the right thing. You just have to let all that bravery that I know you have shine through.”
- Know when it’s appropriate and when it’s inappropriate to stage an intervention. An intervention is when you give someone advice that didn’t ask for it and probably doesn’t want it. This can often be done with several other friends and family members of that person backing you up but it can also be done just on your own. Of course, it’s important to know when you should and shouldn’t intervene and give someone advice that they don’t want. Generally, you should reserve this only for when you are worried that someone is a danger to themselves or others.
- If it’s just something like keeping a boyfriend you don’t approve of because of her personality or religion, that’s not a good reason. However, if you’re worried that your friend is being physically abused by the boyfriend because she shows up to school with bruises, this is a good time to get involved.
- Sometimes a firm hand is what is needed to get someone to make the right choice but often this can make someone more defensive. This is a very tricky situation and you might be gambling a bit.
Listening to Their Story
- Just listen. When someone is talking and trying to get your advice, start by just listening. A lot of the time, all someone needs is a sounding board. They need to be heard. This gives them the chance to sort out issues for themselves and come to accept a situation in their own mind. Don’t talk until they’re done, unless they seem to need a direct response.
- Don’t offer opinions yet. If they ask for your opinion part-way through the story, give evasive answers and ask to get all of the information first. This is because you need to form a full, informed opinion before you can really give them good advice. They might manipulate the story and try to get an answer from you before you have all the facts, in order to get the answer that they’re really hoping for.
- Ask lots of questions. After they tell their story, ask them questions to get more information. This lets you develop a more full, informed opinion, but it can also help them to think about things that they hadn’t considered, like alternatives or other points of view. Ask questions like:
- “Why did you say that?”
- “When did you tell him that?”
- Ask if they even want advice! One good habit is to ask them if they even want advice. Some people just want to talk and they don’t want to be told what to do. If they say that they would like advice, give it. If they say no, then just say something like, “Well, if you keep having problems I’m here and happy to help you through it.”
Giving Good Advice
- Take time to think about the issue, if you can. If you can have a day or even a few hours to think about their problem and possible solutions, take that time to really think about every possible solution or way of approaching the problem. You could even take the opportunity to ask someone else for advice, if you know someone who’s more knowledgeable on the issue. However, a lot of the time people need immediate help by the time they actually ask for advice, so you might just have to respond to the best of your ability and follow up later.
- Talk them through the hurdles. Go over with them what that difficult parts of the situation are and why those things pose a problem. Something that they see as an impassable barrier might actually be easy to overcome, with a little outside perspective.
- “So, you want to move but you’re worried that it’s impossible. What are the things stopping you from moving? You need to find a job first, right? Okay. What else? You can’t leave your dad alone here? Right.”
- Help them evaluate the problem from the outside. Sometimes peoples can’t, as they say, see the forest for the trees. They have a hard time seeing the entirety of their situation or even possible solutions because they’re so fixed on a few small problems. Help them take a step back by going over the big picture, from your outsider’s perspective.
- For example, if your friend is worried about bringing her new boyfriend to a party because he’s older than she is and she doesn’t want to be judged, you could point out that she probably won’t know anyone at the party anyway so what difference does it make.
- Open them up to all of their options. Walk them through all of the options that they’ve thought of. Then, try to think of some new options that they haven’t thought of and give them those as well. In this early stage, it’s important to try and keep them from crossing out any options, so that all options can be weighed equally and in light of the others.
- When they’re dismissive of options, try to find out the real reason why. Sometimes they my object based on false understandings.
- Say something like: “So you want to tell your husband that you’re pregnant again but you need to do it carefully because money is tough right now. You can wait to tell him until after you find out about this new job or you can tell him now so that he can have more time to look into other options. Have you considered seeing what assistance programs you might qualify for and then talking to him?”
- Help them evaluate those options. Once everything is on the table, walk through all the options with them and brainstorm the pros and cons together. Between the two of you, you should be able to come up with a less biased picture of what can be done to solve the problem.
- “Telling your boyfriend that you want to get married is an option but knowing him it will just make him feel like you’re judging him. Another option would be to double date with me and James. James can have a man-talk with him and maybe try and find out why he’s so hesitant.”
- Give them what information you can. If you have any advice from experience or even just more information about what they might expect, give them that information once the options have been discussed. They can then use that extra information to solidify their feelings regarding the options.
- Again, remember to try and keep bias and judgement out of your voice and words when you give them this advice.
- Know when to be tough and when to be soft. Most of the time people need a positive but motivational pep talk. Sometimes, however, people really need to hear it how it is. Sometimes, people just need a serious kick in the pants. You have to learn to gauge when it’s one vs the other, which is tricky. There’s no set formula. Generally, when someone is really just hurting themselves and not learning their lesson, that’s when it’s time to intervene.
- However, if you don’t have a good relationship with this person or if they tend to handle criticism very poorly, telling them what they need to hear might not do your relationship any favors in the short term.
- Even when you do give someone this helpful nudge, it’s important to not just be outright mean.
- Emphasize that you don’t control the future. People, when they seek advice, will often be wanting a guarantee. Remind them that you can’t give this, that there’s no way to predict the future. Let them see that you are there for them though and that even if things don’t turn out like they hope, life will still go on.
- Give them help if they want it. If they are dealing with a situation where another person can actually do something, such as many interpersonal situations or overwhelming work problems, offer to help them. They will likely refuse, but it’s important to follow through if you do offer.
- Of course, if you know you would be terrible at helping them, don’t offer your own help but you can offer to help them find someone else who can help.
- Continue to support them. As they navigate the difficult situation that they’re in, continue to support them as much as you can. This can be as basic as being their cheerleader or it might mean something like covering their shift at work if they need to leave to deal with the situation. Knowing that you still have their back can make a world of difference.
- Find them some supporting materials. Do a little research on the problem that they’re having and send them helpful links. You can even buy them a book, if you find one that covers their problem. This is a great way to give someone the tools they need to solve their own problems.
- Follow up on the issue. If they don’t offer any follow up information or updates, you should ask them (unless they clearly don’t want to talk about it). This will let them see that you really do care about them and that you really are invested in seeing their problem solved.
- It’s good to know a little bit about the topic they need help with (i.e. dating, friends, school…). If you aren’t too experienced in the area, let the person know that you are not an expert.
- Check in on them every once in a while. Ask how they are doing and if things are lightening up.
- Be extra careful not to hurt their feelings!
- Do not suggest anything that would harm the person.
- Think before you speak. If things go terribly wrong, you might get blamed.
- If someone seems like they might hurt themselves, immediately seek help from a professional.
Trying to read a string of binary 1’s and 0’s can seem a daunting task. However, with a bit of logic we can figure out what they mean. Humans have adapted to use a base ten number system simply because we have ten fingers. Computers, on the other hand (no pun intended), have only two “fingers”–on and off or one and zero. Therefore, the base two number system has been created.
- Find a binary number you want to convert. We’ll use this as an example: 101010.
- Multiply each binary digit by two to the power of its place number. Remember, binary is read from right to left. The rightmost place number being zero.
- Add all the results together. Let’s go from right to left.
- 0 × 20 = 0
- 1 × 21 = 2
- 0 × 22 = 0
- 1 × 23 = 8
- 0 × 24 = 0
- 1 × 25 = 32
- Total = 42
Alternative Format with Exponents
- Pick a binary number. Let’s use 101. Here is the same method but in a slightly different format. You may find this format easier to understand.
- 101= (1X2) power of 2 + (0X2) power of 1 + (1X2) power 0
- 101= (2X2) + (0X0) + (1)
- 101= 4 + 0 + 1
- 101= 5
- The ‘zero’ is not a number, but its place value must be noted.
- Find your number. The example we’ll use is 00101010.
- Read from right to left. With each slot, the values are doubled. The first digit from the right has a value of 1, the second is a 2, then a 4, and so on.
- Add the values of the ones. The zeros are assigned their correlating number, but those numbers are not added.
- So, in this example, add 2, 8, and 32. The result is 42.
- There is a ‘no’ on 1, a ‘yes’ on 2, a ‘no’ on 4, a ‘yes’ on 8, a ‘no’ on 16, a ‘yes’ on 32, a ‘no’ on 64 and a ‘no’ on 128. “Yes” means to add, “no” is to skip. You can stop at the last one-digit.
- Translate the value into letters or punctuation marks. In addition, you can convert numbers from binary to decimal or convert from decimal to binary.
- In punctuation marks, the 42 equals an asterisk (*). Click here for a chart.
- Binary counts just like normal numbers. The rightmost digit increments by one until it cannot increase any more (in this case from 0 to 1) and then increments the next digit to the left by one and starts again at zero.
- The numbers we deal with today have a place value. Assuming we are working with whole numbers, the right-most digit is the one’s place, the next right-most digit is the ten’s place, then hundred’s, and so on. The place value for binary numbers go from one’s, two’s, four’s, eight’s, and so on.
She’s sweet and she’s beautiful and you’re finally clicking…is it time for a kiss? If you’ve never kissed her before (or never kissed at all) it can be a bit intimidating. But don’t worry! A little preparation and a little practice and you’ll be a pro before you know it. Don’t be scared: you’ve got the mood prepared….go on and kiss the girl!
Setting Up for Success
- Practice! The best way to be more comfortable and better at kissing is to practice first. It seems like obvious advice but it really does help. You can practice on your hand, with another object, or with another person.
- Keep in mind, you might not want to kiss another person because if you are already attached to girl you want to kiss or kiss her really soon after and she finds out, she might be upset.
- Make sure you have good breath! The girl doesn’t want to taste garlic or other icky flavors after the kiss, as this can be a major turn off. Before the date or when you see her, brush your teeth and tongue and use mouth wash! To maintain good breath try drinking water on the date instead of soft drink. You can also suck on a mint or chew minty gum for a few minutes mid-way through the date.
- If you are at a restaurant, bring along your favorite breath freshener. Excuse yourself after dinner and go to the bathroom. Freshen your breath and then, to make sure your breath smells good, hold your hand up to your face, breathe, and smell.
- Flirt a little! This can help set the mood. Tell her that what she is wearing looks pretty; she will appreciate it! If she playfully punches you a lot or teases you in a friendly manner, then she wants you to touch her. Stay in safe territory like quickly grabbing her hand when you want to go show her something; she will appreciate not having to do the whole awkward looking at each other and blushing thing.
- If you are brave you could put your arm around her waist when you two are laughing and say something playful like “You’re so cute!”
- Offer to give her a piggyback ride, or tickle her a little if she likes it. Don’t do this constantly, and when you do it, do it respectfully. Don’t grab her breasts or butt.
- Flirting will make her more open to kissing you. Think of kissing as reaching the top of a mountain. You have to hike a little to get to the top.
- Time it right. Getting good timing will make it a lot easier. A good time for a kiss is at the end of a date, when you’re generally saying goodbye, when you’re out for a walk, or after you’ve just finished watching a movie. You’ll notice that all of these times are pretty private and should pretty much just be the two of you. This is important! You should choose a private time for a first kiss.
- The kiss should stay private too. Don’t kiss and tell. This is rude.
- Ask! It seems weird because we’re only used to seeing the super charming people in movies kissing, but asking a girl if you can kiss her is a great way to show her that you respect her and care about her feelings. She’ll appreciate it!
- You can say something like: “I really want to kiss you right now? Is that okay?” or “Do you want me to kiss you now?”
Nailing the Technique
- Move your face slowly toward hers. This is a universal signal that you’re moving in for a kiss. This gives her the option to let you know that she’s uncomfortable and will help keep you from getting slapped. Don’t close your eyes until you are just about to kiss her.
- Try a simple close-mouthed kiss. Don’t use tongue the first time you kiss a girl. Make sure you close your eyes right before you start the kiss.
- Tilt your head. Move in sideways a little. If your head is just as upright as her, you’ll bump your nose into her nose instead of your lips into her lips.
- Move slowly and follow her lead. If she’s a deep, passionate kisser, she’ll hold your lips in hers for a long while; you won’t need to move your lips much.
- You use your hands. If you want, cup her face with your hand and slowly stroke her cheek with your thumb. Make sure you still have one arm firm around her waist or lower back.
- Be tender and loving. Kissing is like a silent conversation: You want to be kind, gentle, forgiving, and you want the other person to keep coming back for more!
- Breathe. You’d be surprised how many people forget to breathe when they aren’t used to kissing! If you want to keep kissing her but you’re having trouble finding a break to breathe, try moving away from kissing her mouth to kiss her cheek or forehead.
- Stop when you’re ready. Slowly pull away after a few seconds (or minutes!) and open your eyes. Congratulations! Each kiss after the first one is so much easier. You’ve reached the top of the mountain.
Becoming a Pro
- Learn to French kiss. This is the next big skill for kissers to learn. It’s not as hard as it seems and, with practice, it can be a killer addition to you kissing arsenal.
- Learn to make out. Making out seems tough at first, especially if you both have trouble finding your rhythm, but it will get way easier with time. Just make sure to not overdo it and always keep things interesting.
- Learn to kiss passionately. Once you’ve got those basic techniques in your repertoire, you’ll want to get really good at kissing, and that mostly comes down to being passionate. This is easy to do if you let yourself relax and let your feelings come out.
- Learn to kiss around other people. Chances are, the longer you’re with your girl, the more likely it will be that you might find yourselves kissing around other people (such as on a double or very public date). This is okay, but you want to be sure to do so politely!
- Learn to kiss with braces. If this is your first kiss, then there’s a good chance you also have braces. Don’t worry! Despite all the jokes in movies and TV shows, it’s not all that tough to kiss with braces.
- Right before your lips touch, swallow excess spit and lightly lick your lip to make them moist. Don’t make it too noticeable though or she’ll feel weird.
- Do not have chapped lips, scrub them with a bit of sugar to get the dead skin off.
- Don’t be too upset if she doesn’t want to kiss, there will always be more opportunities!
Vine is quickly growing in popularity among other social media apps, but getting a lot of likes on the videos you post can be challenging if you don’t know what you’re doing. Make the most of the app by producing good vines and by connecting with the right users in the right ways.
Making Good Vines
- Look for good concepts. Watch out for good ideas and concepts that you can use for your own Vines. Avoid ideas that are overdone, but make sure that the concepts you do work with will be popular enough to get attention.
- Vines are generally 6-second loops, so you need to pick a concept that can be portrayed well within this time frame.
- You can get a good idea about what sorts of Vines are popular at the moment by looking through the Explore section of the app. Check out the “Popular Now” section to see which Vines are getting the most attention.
- While you’re still trying to narrow down your ideas, feel free to experiment. Follow yourself around from day to day and record yourself doing something ordinary, like preparing food or making a craft. The key is to take the seemingly ordinary and improve upon it with skillful artistic abilities or clever commentary. If the ordinary doesn’t do it for you, look for opportunities in your daily life to record something a little unusual and intriguing.
- Pick a target audience. While you can theoretically make Vines suited for various audiences, you are more likely to see better results over time if you can cater to one specific audience. Gaining a consistent audience will grant you more likes and followers in the long run.
- Consider taking things a step further by having a specific theme. A theme can be something general or something specific. For instance, a general theme would “cats,” and all of your Vines would then involve cats. A more specific theme would be “cats knocking things off surfaces,” and all your Vines would have to illustrate cats knocking various objects off of various surfaces.
- When picking a target audience, keep in mind that most people who use the app tend to be young. With that in mind, choosing content that can appeal to a younger generation will usually gain you more likes and more traffic overall.
- Be entertaining. You need to keep your Vines simple, but they also need to be humorous. The funniest Vines are the ones that consistently get the most likes.
- A Vine does not need to be remarkably genius in order to get likes or other attention. If you are just starting out and having trouble with ideas, go for something weird or random. Oftentimes, these sorts of topics will prove entertaining enough to get some attention.
- Provide the right commentary. Add audio or commentary into the Vine that provides a fresh perspective. Ideally, this perspective will also add a good dose of humor to the Vine overall.
- Regarding unique perspectives, try taking the point of view of an subject that would not usually be able to express itself. For instance, you could describe the feelings of a banana that has been forgotten about and left to brown on the counter. Similarly, you could talk from a squirrel’s point of view as your dog barks at it through the window.
- Cut away. Since Vines are so short, you need to make sure that the content you include is as high-quality as possible. Instead of simply shooting something in a straight sequence, cut multiple actions together to create a more compact clip
- The app allows you to pause the video and reposition the camera during the recording process. As a result, you can create video montages and stop motion videos with relative ease.
- Exercise a decent amount of skill. When putting your Vine together, make sure that you take your time and do things right. You do not need to have a flawless video clip, but it should at least be well-made for an amateur video.
- Keep your hands as steady as possible while you record. If necessary, brace your hands or elbows on a steady surface while recording.
- Make sure that the camera lens is focused before you record. The exposure settings should also be set to work in the lighting conditions of the area you are in.
- Keep the angle interesting. The subject should not be centered in the middle of the screen for the entire duration of the clip.
- If using audio, make sure that you are close enough to the source of the sound to catch everything clearly. Also remove any unnecessary sources of background noise, like radios or televisions playing in the background.
- Use hashtags. Each Vine you upload should have hashtags that can lure new people to your stuff. You should make use of popular hashtags when possible, but also make sure that the hashtags you use fit the Vine you made.
- Your vines should also have captions that accurately and concisely describe the content of the video.
- You can use up to three hashtags when you post your Vine. If necessary, you can add more hashtags to your post later on via the comments section.
- Some of the most popular hashtags on Vine include:
Being Involved in the Vine Community
- Post regularly. If you really want to get a lot of likes and become more popular on Vine, you need to create new content on a daily basis. A greater degree of involvement will get you more attention.
- Posting on a consistent basis does not mean that you should post poor quality videos from day to day. If your only options are to either skip a day or to post something sub-par, you would be better off missing that day. Just don’t make a habit of it, and try not to miss more than one day in a row.
- Be a good Vine neighbor. Like, follow, and comment on the Vines that other users create. Oftentimes, people who you give attention to will give you a little attention back.
- Use the search feature to find tags or people who regularly post videos you enjoy or videos that are related in topic to yours.
- Be an active presence on these Vine posts. If you comment and like frequently enough, most people will check out your own content, if only to be polite. If your Vines are good, you may get some likes.
- Note that commenting on a post will cause your action to show up in the “Activity” feed of the other users who commented on or liked that post. If you comment on popular Vines, you can attract more possible viewers faster.
- Make sure that you do not spam other accounts, though. Your comments need to be thoughtful and unique. Avoid comments that specifically come out and say, “Please check out my stuff.”
- Interact with the right people. You need to go out of your way to interact with other people on Vine. Ideally, you should look for users who are active but who do not follow many others. Someone with a lower number of followers will be more likely to appreciate the attention and notice your work.
- Someone who has more than 200 followers probably won’t notice you as quickly as someone who only has 50 or less.
- Focus on interacting with people through new, recently posted content to ensure that you are not wasting time on a dead account.
- Note that being the first person to like or comment on someone’s Vine will make your interaction stand out, so the person whose Vine you are commenting on or liking is more likely to respond.
- Take part in contests. Various accounts on Vine offer contests for other users. Follow the rules and create a video for these contests as often as possible. Contests are a good way to get more traffic to the things you post, and more traffic will increase your chances of getting more likes.
- Usually, these contests have simple rules and only require you to shoot a unique version of a certain Vine while including a specific hashtag.
- If the user running the contest likes your Vine, you may receive a formal “like” and may even have your video “revined.” If the latter happens, your Vine will appear on the “home” tab of anyone who follows that user. It will receive much more traffic and many more likes than it did before.
- Vine at the right time. There are two strategies you can take from this angle. If you post Vines at active times of day, you can get more traffic and may get more likes. On the other hand, if you post during slow times, you actually increase your chances of making the “Popular Now” category. If you can make this category, your Vine will get more traffic than it will on its own.
- Traffic tends to be heavier in the evening and slower in the morning.
- As a result, “Popular Now” videos tend to have over 1000 likes in the evening and only 200 likes in the morning. This means that there is less of a gap between the best and the average Vines in the morning, so your “good” Vine is more likely to seem “great” with less competition.
- Connect to your Twitter and Facebook. Keeping all your social media networks linked together can increase the traffic each one receives. Friends and followers on these websites may check out your Vine profile and give you some likes and traffic that way.
- To connect your other accounts via the Vine app, go to the main menu in the app and tap on Profile. From there, tap on Settings, and scroll down until you see the “Social Networks” section. You can connect both your Twitter and Facebook accounts from there.
- After you connect your other accounts, you can use the app to find existing contacts. From the main menu in the Vine app, tap on Profile and Settings. Scroll down until you see the “Friends” section, and select the “Find People” option. You cannot find Facebook friends on Vine using this feature, but you can find Twitter contacts with it.
- Share your videos with the outside world. You need to be active within the Vine community, but if you want to increase your traffic overall and get more people to like your stuff in the long run, you should also spread your Vines to other social media sources.
- Typically, you would share your Vine with Twitter or Facebook first, since you can do so directly from the Vine app.
- You can spot the URL of your Vine in your Twitter or Facebook post. Once you have that URL, you can paste it to other locations to create an even wider web presence. Consider embedding the video in a blog post, uploading it to YouTube, sharing it on Google+, pinning it to Pinterest, posting it on Tumblr, or converting it to a GIF.
Sources and Citations
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Learn how to create clouds the easiest way by following this tutorial on Photoshop. They can be wonderful objects.
Making the Clouds
- Create a new document in any size and apply a gradient.
- For this tutorial a new document with a width and height of 1500×1500 pixels is made. Set the resolution also to 300 and the color mode to RGB.
- Create a new layer and rename it. Apply a gradient by going to your gradient tool. Edit the gradient through the gradient editor and select two variations of blue such as midnight blue and royal blue or dark blue and sky blue.
- Apply the gradient with the topmost part of your layer containing the darker blue.
- Add a new layer or Shift + Ctrl + N. Then go to Filter>Render>Clouds to create clouds.
- Type in the shortcut Ctrl + L for the levels dialog box to appear and adjust the levels of the clouds. Copy the settings on the accompanied illustration or adjust the settings by moving all three arrows through the center.
- Create the texture and shadow of the clouds.
- Create a new layer first. Create a new layer by typing in Shift + Ctrl + N.
- Click on the thumbnail of your cloud layer to select all or you can use also the shortcut Ctrl + A. Then copy the components or use the shortcut Ctrl + C.
- Click on the new layer and then type “Q” on your keyboard for the Quick Mask Mode.
- Paste the components or type in Ctrl + V.
- Click on “Q” again to close the Quick Mask Mode.
- Know that, after closing the Quick Mask Mode, marching ants or running lines will appear. Fill the selected areas with white or you can also type in Ctrl + Backspace to automatically fill the selected areas.
- Add an emboss effect on the layer by going to your blending options. Follow the settings on the accompanied illustration for the emboss effect. You can also play with the settings.
- Copy the clouds layer or Ctrl + J. Apply the Difference Clouds Filter by going to Filter>Render>Difference Clouds. Apply the Filter twice or Ctrl + F.
- Find a picture of a plane flying in the sky. Paste the picture on your artwork and then hide your clouds layer. Go to Select>Color Range and select the blue background of the plane through the eyedropper.
- Erase the blue background through the eraser tool.
- Apply a motion blur on the plane. To apply the blur, go to Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Copy the settings of the blur on the accompanied illustration.
- Move the layer below your clouds layer and above your Blue Sky Background and you’re done.
The Venus flytrap is a carnivorous plant native to the wetlands of the Carolinas. This mysterious plant lives on spiders and insects, which it traps between pairs of rosy-hued leaves. Venus flytraps can thrive in a home environment if they’re exposed to adequate sunlight and humidity. See Step 1 to learn how to grow this amazing plant.
Planting a Venus Flytrap
- Buy a Venus flytrap bulb. The most common, and easiest, way to start growing a Venus flytrap is to purchase a bulb (or several bulbs) from a company that specializes in growing the plants. Search online to find a vendor from which you can mail order bulbs. You’ll be able to choose from among several varieties that have differences in shape and color. You may also be able to find a nursery in your area that sells Venus flytrap bulbs.
- While it’s less common, you can certainly grow a Venus flytrap from seed as well – bearing in mind that it could take up to 5 years for the seed to become a mature plant. Order seeds online and germinate them in deep pots filled with a seed substrate composed of sphagnum moss. Place the pots in plastic bags to keep the environment warm and moist. Once the seedlings have sprouted, you can transplant them to a more permanent growing medium.
- Choose a growing container. Since Venus flytraps require high humidity, a glass growing container is an excellent choice. This is especially true if you live in growing zone 7 or lower, where the winter temperature gets too cold for the Venus flytrap.
- If you live in growing zone 7 or lower, consider planting the Venus flytrap in a terrarium. The high sides of the terrarium will keep heat and moisture trapped in, helping the Venus flytrap thrive. Airflow is important, though, so don’t plant it in a container with a lid. A fishbowl or another glass container with an opening works well.
- A glass pot or a regular clay pot with drainage holes both work fine if you live in a warm climate with mild winters – growing zone 8 or higher.
- Make a soil mixture for the Venus flytrap. This plant naturally grows in very poor soil, and gets most of its nutrients by eating insects and spiders. In order to replicate the plant’s natural growing medium, make a mixture of 2/3 sphagnum moss and 1/3 sand. 
- If you plant a Venus flytrap in regular potting soil, it won’t thrive. Regular potting soil contains too many nutrients.
- Never add lime or fertilizer to a Venus flytrap’s growing medium.
- If you’re using a terrarium, line it with gravel and place the soil mixture on top, so that you can ensure the soil will drain adequately.
- Plant the bulb root side down. Dig a small hole in the soil and plant the bulb so that the top of the bulb is even with the soil. If you started your Venus flytrap from seed, plant the sprouted seedling so that the bulb is under the soil and the green stems are exposed to the air. After planting the Venus flytrap, providing the right environment and food will help it grow and thrive.
Providing Sunlight and Water
- Keep the soil moist. The Venus flytrap is native to Carolina boglands, where the soil is constantly wet. It’s very important that the soil in your Venus flytrap’s pot or terrarium be kept moist to mimic its natural habitat. That said, the Venus flytrap should not be kept in standing water; make sure the pot or terrarium drains well so that the plant doesn’t rot.
- Use rainwater or distilled water. Tap water is usually too alkaline or contains too many minerals to use to water a Venus flytrap. An easy way to get enough water to keep conditions moist and humid is collecting rainwater for this specific purpose. Set out a container to catch the rain and store it up so you’ll have some on hand whenever you need it. Otherwise, you can buy distilled water by the gallon in most grocery stores.
- Give the Venus flytrap adequate sunlight. During the warmer months, you can keep it either outside (as long as the temperature doesn’t dip too low at night) or place it in the window in the sun. Take care to water the Venus flytrap consistently so that the sun doesn’t dry out the soil, especially during the summer.
- If your Venus flytrap is in a glass terrarium, make sure it doesn’t get burned in the sun. If the plant looks like it’s wilting a little, take it out of the sunlight after a few hours every day.
- If you’d rather not worry about making sure it gets enough sun, you can also grow Venus flytraps using a fluorescent grow lamp. Turn on the grow lamp so that it provides a regular day’s worth of light, and make sure to turn it off at night.
- If the leaves of the Venus flytrap aren’t rosy pink, it’s probably not getting enough sun.
- Overwinter the Venus flytrap. Venus flytraps have a natural dormancy period during the winter season. It usually lasts from September or October through February or March – the natural winter of the Carolinas. During this time, the Venus flytrap should be kept at a temperature of , with less sunlight than it receives during the summer months.
- If you live in growing zone 8 or below, you can keep the Venus flytrap outside all winter, as long as temperatures rarely drop below freezing.
- If you live in a place with a colder winter, it’s necessary to take the Venus flytrap inside. Keep it in the garage, shed or unheated greenhouse where it will receive protection from frost but still get sunlight and be exposed to cold enough temperatures to facilitate a dormancy period.
Feeding a Venus Flytrap
- Let the Venus flytrap catch its food. If you keep your Venus flytrap outside, it will catch spiders and insects on its own (unless your outdoor environment is unnaturally sterile). When you see the leaves in a clasped position, the Venus flytrap has probably caught something.
- Feed the Venus flytrap mealworms or insects. If you want to feed the Venus flytrap – either because you’re keeping it indoors or you just want to experience the excitement of watching it eat – you can use mealworms, insects or spiders that are small enough to fit in the leaf traps. Place the food inside one of the traps or release it inside the terrarium. The trap will close when the tiny hairs inside are triggered by the insect’s movements.
- It’s best to feed a Venus flytrap live bugs, but freshly dead bugs are also fine. However, since the trap won’t close unless movement triggers it to, you’ll need to move the bug around inside the trap a bit so it touches a few of the hairs.
- You can purchase live or dead insects from a pet store, but you could also try catching your own. For smaller Venus flytraps, black flies are a good size. For larger traps, you could try small crickets.
- Venus flytraps can go months without eating, but if you’re keeping yours indoors you should plan to feed it about once a month for best results.
- Watch for the trap to reopen. Once the Venus flytrap closes over its food, it takes at least 12 hours to digest the its meal. Digestive enzymes break down the soft inner fluids of the insect or spider, leaving the exoskeleton intact. After about 12 hours, the trap will open and the empty exoskeleton will blow or wash away.
- If a small stone or another indigestible object ends up in the trap, it will release the object after 12 hours.
- Don’t feed it meat. You might be tempted to give the Venus flytrap a piece of ham or chicken, but the plant doesn’t have the right enzymes to digest animal meat. Feeding it anything besides spiders or insects could cause it to rot and die.
Growing New Plants
- Repot the Venus flytrap every few years. Be sure to repot in a mixture of sphagnum moss and sand. Only repot in the spring, after the dormant period is over, or the plant will get shocked at being moved.
- Allow it to flower. Pinch off the smaller flower stalks and keep a strong stalk with many heads. Let the flower stem grow high above the rest of the plant. This way the insects that pollinate the flowers won’t get caught in the traps. Each flower will produce a seed pod.
- Plant the seeds of a mature plant. After a few years, when your Venus flytrap has matured, you can propagate it by planting the seeds it produces. Break open the seed pod to find the tiny black seeds. Plant them in sphagnum moss, and keep them warm and moist until they sprout.
- Try planting a leaf. Since the plants can grow from rhizomes, you could also try planting a leaf pinched off at the base to see if it sprouts. If conditions are right, the leaf will die and a tiny new plant will begin to grow.
- Don’t shut the traps artificially. Where do you think it gets most of its energy? It’s that glowing thing in the sky. And even then that energy is hardly anything. It also isn’t that effective in catching things.
- Clip the heads as they turn brown. A new, even bigger head could replace it, but this all depends on the time of year (it’s very unlikely during cold seasons). 
- Don’t fertilize. If you want to make it grow better, give it a couple of flies per month.
Sources and Citations
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Being obsessed is like having tunnel vision: you lose the ability to see or care about anything outside the object of your obsession. Getting over an obsession is no simple task, but once you learn how to stop feeding the obsession and divert your energy to new people and interests, freedom will be within reach. See Step 1 to learn how to control your obsession so it no longer rules your thoughts and actions.
Freeing Your Mind
- Get some distance from the source of your obsession. When you’re obsessed with someone or something, being in close proximity can make it impossible to think about anything else. The closer you are to your obsession, the harder it will be to stop thinking about it. Putting physical distance between yourself and your obsession will help you gain mental distance, too. It’ll be hard at first, but soon you’ll feel the obsession’s spell start to weaken, bit by bit.
- If you’re obsessed with a person, cut off contact. Don’t make plans to see the person. If it’s impossible to avoid seeing him or her – like if you go to school together or work in the same office – at least stop talking on the phone, and refrain from texting and emailing.
- Maybe you’re obsessed with a particular past time, like playing your favorite video game. If that’s the case, put the game out of your sight by uninstalling it from your computer or giving your Wii to a friend to keep for awhile until your obsession dies down.
- Stop feeding it. Feeding an obsession can give you a little burst of pleasure, so it’s really hard to break the habit. Just thinking about the source of your obsession will strengthen its control over you. In order to break the obsession, you’ve got to starve it. For example, if you’re obsessed with a celebrity, stop talking about her with your friends. Stop looking at her Twitter feed, and stop imagining what it’d be like to date her. The more brain space you yield to your obsession, the more it will start to consume.
- Cutting off your obsession’s sustenance is no easy task. You might find yourself playing mental games, like telling yourself you’ll just look at someone’s Facebook page one last time before stopping this obsession. But if you want to shed your obsession, you have to cut yourself off right when you want to indulge the most.
- Sometimes an obsession is so strong that it persists no matter how much you try to starve it. No matter how hard you try to cut yourself off, your thoughts might keep returning to your obsession. If that’s the case, don’t be hard on yourself – you can still beat your obsession, it’s just going to take a bit more time.
- Distract yourself from your obsessive thoughts. Cutting off your obsessive thoughts is a lot easier said than done. When it feels so good to think and talk about your favorite topic, why would you ever want to stop? Remember why you want to get over the obsession: so you can see past it and enjoy the other things life has to offer. When the obsessive thoughts arise, have a few good distractions lined up so you won’t fall into the rabbit hole again. Here are some good ways to distract yourself:
- Do some kind of physical exercise that occupies your brain, too. Running and walking might not be your best bet, since you’ll have too much time to think about your obsession. Try rock climbing, caving, or playing a team sport that engages both your mind and body.
- Works of fiction make excellent distractions. Pick up a new book or watch a film with themes that have nothing to do with your current obsession.
- In the moment, when your thoughts are drifting and you need an emergency distraction, try blasting some music, calling up a friend (to talk about anything but your obsession), reading an engaging news article or getting back to work.
- Focus on things you’ve neglected. When you’re obsessed, you don’t have time for anything else – like staying on top of your work, cultivating your relationships and pursuing interests outside the obsession. Once you start spending your time on other things in your life, you won’t have as much time to spend thinking about your obsession.
- Repairing relationships that you’ve been neglecting is a great way to get over an obsession. Your friends and family will be glad to have you back, and they’ll provide new and interesting ideas, problems, and drama to engage with. It will feel good to think about something new for a change!
- Lots of people find that burying themselves in work can stop obsessive thoughts from taking over. Whatever your work is, focus on giving it your very best.
- Learn to be in the moment. Are you a daydreamer? You can while away hours and hours thinking about someone or something you’re obsessed with. But when you’re sitting in one place and your thoughts are always somewhere else, you’re missing out on what’s right in front of you. If you’re ready to stop being obsessed, learn the practice of being mindful. It means being fully present, instead of thinking about the past or the future.
- Engage your senses and really feel what’s going on around you. What do you smell, see, hear and taste right this moment? Notice what’s happening right in front of your face, instead of thinking about something else all of the time.
- Really listen to people when they’re talking to you. Let yourself get absorbed into conversations, instead of absent-mindedly nodding while your head is in the clouds.
- It might help to have a mantra you can recite when you notice your thoughts turning obsessive. Repeating something simple as “Breathe,” “Connect to Now” or “I am here” might turn your thoughts back to the present.
Forming New Habits
- Strengthen your relationships with other people. If you’re obsessed with a person, spending time with someone else is one of the best ways to make a change. All the energy you poured into the subject of your obsession will now be spent getting to know someone else. Sign up for a class, socialize at the dog park, or get to know your current friends even better. Becoming closer to other people will help you realize how much more the world has to offer than your singular obsession.
- Avoid comparing new people in your life to the person you’re obsessed with. Try to enjoy their unique characteristics instead of molding them into another’s shape.
- Even if your obsession isn’t a person, meeting new people can be a big help. They’ll introduce you to perspectives and ideas you’ve never encountered before.
- Pursue new interests. Maybe “trying new things” seems like the canned solution to every problem, but that’s because it can really work. Learning a new skill or getting better at a new activity can wake up your brain and create a shift in perspective that will help you get out of the rut you’re in. Show your obsession that it doesn’t control you by spending your time on other things – anything, really, that isn’t related to your obsession.
- For example, if you’re obsessed with a person who hates going to art museums and watching foreign films, well, now’s your chance to dive into these activities you’ve avoided for that person’s sake.
- If you’re obsessed with a certain subject, try learning about something completely different for a change.
- Make changes in your daily routine. If your obsession is fueled in part by your habits, like taking a certain route to work every day so you can pass by your ex-girlfriend’s neighborhood, it’s time to shake things up. Reflect for a moment: which habits need to be broken because they’re helping you stay hopelessly obsessed? You can probably come up with the answer right away. Make a real effort to change up your routine – it’ll be hard at first, but you should notice a difference in the strength of your obsessive thoughts before too long. Here are a few changes that might help you make a mental shift:
- Take a different route to work or school
- Work out in a different gym, or go to the gym at a different time of day to avoid seeing someone you’re obsessed with
- Instead of getting online first thing in the morning to check your email and go straight to your regular websites, start your day with meditation, a jog, or walking your dog
- Go to different hangout spots on the weekends
- Listen to different music while you work
- Makeover your life. If you’re tired of an obsession controlling your thoughts and habits, take back control by making some personal changes. It might sound drastic, but sometimes you need to change things up just to show yourself you’re still capable of doing it. Pick something in your life that’s symbolic of your obsession and do something to make it feel fresh and new again.
- Maybe for you, a makeover means changing something about your appearance. If you’ve been growing your hair long because you think the guy you’re obsessed with likes it that way, why not change things up and cut it off? Get a short, chic style that has nothing to do with him whatsoever.
- If you spend your time online going to the same sites over and over, maybe it’s time to give your room or office a makeover. Rearrange the furniture and get a few new pieces. Clean up your desk and decorate it with new pictures or knick knacks. Get rid of anything that reminds you of what you don’t want to think about, and surround yourself with things that remind you you’re moving forward.
- Talk to a therapist. Sometimes an obsession runs so deep and holds so fast that it’s impossible to get rid of it on your own. If you can’t seem to keep your obsession under control, and it’s affecting your ability to be happy, schedule an appointment with a therapist. A professional counselor will be able to give you tools you can use to regain control of your thoughts and take charge of your life again.
- If you have certain repeating thoughts that don’t go away, or if you have to repeat certain rituals over and over, you may have an anxiety disorder called obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). If this is the case, it’s important to talk to get help so that you have access to therapies and medications used to treat OCD.
Turning an Obsession into Something Positive
- Turn it into something productive. Not all obsessions are bad; in fact, many people spend their lives trying to find their “passion” – that one subject that instills in them the desire to learn more and work harder. If you’ve found an obsession that fills you with purpose, many would consider you to be very lucky. For example, if you live and breathe astronomy, and all you want to do is spend your time reading and learning about it, you may be able to shape your obsession into a successful career.
- Even if your obsession might not result in something as prestigious as a PhD in astronomy, you can still channel it into something productive. Maybe you’re obsessed with celebrity gossip, and you can’t stop reading tabloids. Why not start a gossip blog or funny Twitter account to share what you’ve learned?
- You could also use your obsession as motivation to improve yourself. If you’re obsessed with someone who never looks your way, maybe you’ll decide to change bad habits that are holding you back. Let it be your reason for getting up early to go on morning runs before work, or for reading all the course material so you have something intelligent to say in class.
- Let your obsession be your creative muse. If your obsession is a person, you could use that energy to create something beautiful. Some of the best writing, art and music in history is rooted in obsession. If there’s someone you can’t stop thinking about, pour your unrequited feelings into a poem, song or painting.
- Spend time with people who share it. An obsession might seem like a problem until you discover a group of people who love the exact same thing. Whatever you’re obsessed with, you’re likely not the only one. Find the other people who love what you love so you can share information and enjoy talking about it endlessly. Whether you’re the biggest fan of a certain football team, you can’t stop watching everything a certain actress appears in, or you stay up all night to play your favorite game, chances are there are others who get it, too.
- Don’t let it limit your world. An obsession is only a problem when it starts to absorb all of your time and energy, leaving none leftover for everything else. You’re the only person who can really know how much is too much. If the subject of your obsession brings you joy, and you still have time to meet your basic needs and keep up your friendships, then maybe it’s OK to just let it run its course. But if it leaves you feeling limited, try to stop fanning the flames and give yourself the opportunity to enjoy something else for awhile.
- Try new things to get your mind off of your obsession like hanging out with friends, reading a book, or maybe learning a musical instrument.
- Don’t just put it off, address it.
- Take things slowly if you need to. You do not have to quit “cold turkey.”
- Don’t be afraid or ashamed.
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and addiction are both very real problems for many people. If you simply cannot control your obsession(s) and/or if it is causing harm to you or the people around you, seek the help of a professional immediately.
Sources and Citations
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There are many predict-the-card tricks. But, most are based on illusions and need lots of practice. Here’s one that is based on simple maths and doesn’t need as much practice. You could do this one even if you are really bad at magic.
- Choose any 13 cards from the deck randomly. Do this before you start showing the trick to your audience.
- Place the cards in the shape of a maraca. The handle should have 3 cards. The gourd or the round shape on the top should have 10 cards.
- Take the third card (third, if the card that is the part of both the gourd and the handle is excluded) from right or the card that is third if counted counter-clockwise. Remember what card it is and keep it back. Now, you are ready to go in front of the audience.
- Tell them choose a number between 1 to 10. Once they choose it tell them the name of the card that was third from right. (This would be your prediction).
- Tell them to start counting from the handle and then when they reach the gourd they should count clockwise. Now, they on a certain. (P.S. it really doesn’t matter which card they end up on) If you are about how to tell them to count you refer to the picture above.
- From the card that they ended up on tell them to count the same number of cards but this time, counter-clockwise and this time tell them not to count the cards on the handle (this the most important part). Voila! The person ended up on the card that you predicted.
- Tell the person to turn the card and show it to the rest of the audience.
- Why does this happen? This happens because the person did not count the cards on the handle when counting the second time. It’s simple maths. For example, the person chose 5. As there are 3 cards on the handle he would count 3 cards from the handle and rest of the cards that are 2, from the gourd. Now, while counting counter clockwise, if he would have counted the the cards on the handle too he would have obviously ended up on the card from where he started. But, as he did not count the 3 cards of the handle he counted three cards from the gourd. Thus, he ended up on the card you predicted. You could also do some variations by changing the number of cards in the handle. If you keep 4 there you have to remember the 4th card from right.
- Don’t do the trick more than once to the same audience.
- Stay calm and focused while addressing the audience. Always remember that the most important part of a magic trick is the presentation.
- Never reveal your secrets.
- Don’t try to improvise too much or you could mess it up because the rules of maths can never be abridged.
Things You’ll Need
- 13 unique cards
- A not very clever audience