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14 Things To Know Before Dating A Book Addict

14 Things To Know Before Dating A Book Addict

Book addicts have long lists of lovers. Of course, they’re not always real. Many of our crushes are fictional, but just because they only exist in books doesn’t mean we don’t love them and need them more than our flesh-and-blood partners. We’re definitely addicted, and just because our drug of choice is books, don’t think it’s not a powerful one. If you happen to fall for one of us, there are a few things you’ll need to know in order to make the relationship work.

1. True book addicts live in their own worlds. You’re just visiting.

That’s not entirely true. We like the real world and we like you in it—we just like our ever-changing fictional world better. Don’t be surprised if we bust out with some variation of “there’s a scene for that” when you’re talking about everyday life. Literally, there’s a scene in some book that mirrors your experience and we book addicts are happy to make the comparison. After all, it’s SO obvious.

“Oh, that same thing totally happened to Hazel Grace and Augustus, minus the whole prosthetic leg/oxygen tube getting in the way thing.”

2. The good news is we are the easiest people to shop for.

Unless you’re a complete idiot, you’ll never screw up birthdays or holidays again. We’re totally smitten with gift cards, as long as it’s not from Old Navy or Sephora. Not that there’s anything wrong with those cards, but you might as well feed our book addiction and make us happy. Go for a Barnes & Noble card or an Amazon card or any card that allows us to buy books. That way we’ll know that you “get us” and you’ve been paying attention. If you’re really good, you’ll look for that one book we talk about—there’s always one—, whether it’s the new one coming out or that first edition that’s been getting us so hot and bothered. Find THAT book and you just might get a gift back.

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3. Warning: We sniff books.

Get over it. It’s creepy, we know, but we’ll never, ever, stop. Books smell good. New ones, old ones, hardcover, paperback—doesn’t matter. They smell good and book addicts love the olfactory sensation. We’d rather smell books than food.

4. If you’re brave enough to see the movie version of a book, be prepared for the endless conversations afterwards.

Book addicts are notorious for hating the movie versions of books. We can’t help it. We’ve already made the movie in our heads—that’s how bookies read. We create scenes in our heads and directors just screw things up. Or they leave scenes out. Or they change scenes to make sure the movie lasts approximately one hour and forty five minutes. Don’t even get me started on the Twilight series. It’s hard enough dealing with actors who don’t live up to the characters you’ve built in your head. Just know that dating a book addict means seeing movies. Any book-to-movie date means signing up for a four-hour conversation about the differences between the book and the film. Good luck with that!

5. We won’t call you “Boo.”

That’s because we all know the original Boo is Boo Radley. If I have to explain further, you’d better not be dating a book addict or you’re in serious trouble.

6. You can never say that we have too many books.

Contrary to what it looks like—books on the floor, the side tables, the kitchen counter, the toilet—we don’t have too many books. We have a lack of shelves. Don’t ever make the mistake of saying, “You have too many books.” Instead, say this, “Honey, I noticed your wonderful collection of literature doesn’t have a proper display system. Can I fix that for you?”

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Can you say grand romantic gesture? Moves like this are always rewarded.

7. Make some room in your suitcase for our books.

We bring books on vacation because, let’s face it, the whole point of vacation is to relax and the best way to relax is to settle down with a great book. When we’re not busy reading, we like to explore new areas. Some of our favorite tourist stops are off-the-grid, locals-only bookstores. Who doesn’t want copies of The Hunger Games from four different countries in four different languages? Don’t forget to pick up an adorable new carryon for the newly acquired literary gems.

8. Don’t expect us to just walk by a bookstore.

It’s not in our nature. It’s not in our blood. It’s not within our self-control. Unless we’ve taken a heavy dose of anti-anxiety medications or have a serious case of love going on, we can’t walk by a bookstore without at least stopping to stare at the window display. Looking at new releases and best sellers is like charging our renewable batteries. It’s like smelling salts after fainting. It’s what chocolate is to a chocoholic. Yes, it’s that good. There’s only one thing better than stopping to look.

9. Breakfast at Barne’s & Noble is better than Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Bonus points for anyone who watches Breakfast at Tiffany’s with a significant other as part of a night of romance. Who can forget the moment that gorgeous Audrey Hepburn hops out of the cab in the rain to search for “cat,” or how you feel inside when you finally hear that meow?

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If you really want to rack up the points with your book-addicted lover, take them on an impromptu trip to the bookstore, but be willing to stick around for a while. There’s nothing better than hanging with someone who lets us get completely lost within aisles of books, wouldn’t dream of rushing us, and even points out the pretties in the store—by “pretties,” we’re ALWAYS referring to books. Don’t even think about pointing out pretty people. Ah, who are we kidding, we probably wouldn’t notice or care about any hotties in the bookstore anyway. Especially if said hot person was standing in front of something as amazing as, say, a new release of the Harry Potter series in which Harry is all grown-up—Seriously, just the thought of this makes us shake with anticipation.

Disclaimer: We would, however, care about you, because you’re our date and you thought enough to bring us to the Promised Land (otherwise known as “the bookstore”).

10. We’d go broke buying books.

Long-term savings plans are always squelched by our addiction. We can’t help it. Blame Goodreads or Twitter. Authors, publishers, and fellow addicts are enablers. They reel us in. We have access to covers, back covers, front pages, and taglines. We can participate in blog hops,  we can “talk” to authors, we can tweet publishers and editors—we’re practically authors. Heck, one click on your Amazon Prime account and and voilà! You’ve got a stack of books on your doorstep in two days. It’s the closest thing there is to magic. Book addicts would give up food if it meant buying more books. Priorities, people.

11. Do not dare to touch or rearrange our bookshelves.

This is our special place. Every book addict has their own method, but we all do it. We all arrange and rearrange the books on our shelves. It’s a constant effort because there is a constant influx of new property. Like little kids with their toys, we’ll know in an instant if one book’s been moved or misplaced. You can look. You can admire. You can’t touch, unless you ask (and even then…).

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12. Moving in with your book addict means moving books, books, and more books.

The good news is moving our furniture, clothes, and other belongings will be a piece of cake.

The bad news is once you think you’re done and you’re ready for that pizza and (insert drink of choice), we’ll inform you that there are about seventeen additional boxes of books you didn’t know even existed because you thought you already moved ALL the books. We’ll grin and promise some kind of reward for your efforts.

13. Speaking of moving, if space is limited in the new digs, don’t expect us to get rid of our books.

This isn’t even an option. Obviously, you’ll be expected to pare down your belongings to make room in the newly shared home. Seriously, what were you thinking?

14. Dating a book addict is an adventure.

That’s because at any given point we’re not who we say we are, not where we say we are, and not doing what we say we’re doing. We’re other characters, with other characters, in other parts of the world, or in completely other worlds, doing all kinds of magical, mythical, miraculous, or maniacal things. Okay, that’s not entirely true. We do live in the real world and we do enjoy real relationships. If you’re willing to live with our quirky bookish selves, we just might put you before any of our fictional crushes. And hey—that’s huge!

Featured photo credit: John Nakamura Remy via flickr.com

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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