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10 Books About Love Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life

10 Books About Love Everyone Should Read At Least Once In Their Life

What books trigger the lover in you? The best love stories are the classics. They offer a logical and lucid angle on the topic, offering you not just the thrill, but also a better understanding of love.

1. On Love by Stendhal

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    “Happiness never stays the same, except in its origin; every day brings forth a new blossom.”

    Stendhal uses a confessional and witty tone to detail the insightful process of falling in love. Stendhal provides the reader a mixture of anecdotes, philosophy, and social observation from his personal experience and tries to make them universally applicable.

    2. Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray

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      Martians “go to their caves” while Venusians “go to the well.”

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      John Gray helps the reader to understand and accept the differences between a man and a woman. This book explains how such knowledge can create happier relationships.

      3. The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm

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        “Love is a decision, it is a judgment, it is a promise. If love were only a feeling, there would be no basis for the promise to love each other forever. A feeling comes and it may go. How can I judge that it will stay forever, when my act does not involve judgment and decision?”

        This book shows how love is harder to achieve in the modern world. It helps the reader to understand how love can conquer loneliness and make one a more magnanimous person.

        4. The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James

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          “Love remains. I don’t know why we should suffer so much. Perhaps I shall find out.”

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          Regarded as Henry James’ finest work, Isabel Archer’s marriage to Osmond Gilbert leads to her suffering from a cruel and oppressive husband. This book portrays to the reader what it means to be a radiantly good person who falls in love with a terrible person.

          5. Roman Elegies by Goethe

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            “I’m fairly fond of boys, but my preference is for girls; When I have enough of a girl, she serves me still as a boy.”

            This is a cycle of twenty-four poems by Goethe. Through his Italian Journey, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe celebrates the sensuality and vigor of romance and love. If you are looking for intelligent erotica, this is a book to read.

            6. Le Grand Meaulnes by Alaine- Fournier

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              “I thought too that our youth was over and we had failed to find happiness.”

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              If you are looking for a novel or a book that paints the nostalgic tale of lost adolescent love, then you should read this. A clear narrative by a fifteen year old, Francois Seurel, of his friendship with Augustine Meaulnes, who falls in love with a mysterious woman, Yvonne, only to find her years later, the book is magical and takes on a search for lost love.

              7. The Sonnets of Shakespeare

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                “For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds; Lillies that fester smell far worse than weeds.”

                Sonnets offer the reader the most touching expressions of love. They also offer melancholic and lovely reflections by the author.

                8. First Letter to the Corinthians by St Paul

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                  If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.

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                  The book offers a vivid detail of love linking it to kindness, modesty, and forgiveness. It also provides the reader with some thoughtful and influential assertions about the nature of love.

                  9. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

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                    “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

                    This book offers a logical and evocative picture on every stage of love. With complete naturalness, the author does well to hold the story together and offer the reader an intelligent and deep perception of love.

                    10. Essays in Love by Alain de Botton

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                      “We are all more intelligent than we are capable, and awareness of the insanity of love has never saved anyone from the disease.”

                      Although the book tries to offer a comical appeal of how serious the subject of love can be, the author offers an analysis of the various stages of a relationship, from first sight to separation.

                      Featured photo credit: http://www.morguefile.com via mrg.bz

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                      Casey Imafidon

                      Specialized in motivation and personal growth, providing advice to make readers fulfilled and spurred on to achieve all that they desire in life.

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                      Last Updated on December 4, 2020

                      How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

                      How to Give Constructive Feedback in the Workplace

                      We all crave constructive feedback. We want to know not just what we’re doing well but also what we could be doing better.

                      However, giving and getting constructive feedback isn’t just some feel-good exercise. In the workplace, it’s part and parcel of how companies grow.

                      Let’s take a closer look.

                      Why Constructive Feedback Is Critical

                      A culture of feedback benefits individuals on a team and the team itself. Constructive feedback has the following effects:

                      Builds Workers’ Skills

                      Think about the last time you made a mistake. Did you come away from it feeling attacked—a key marker of destructive feedback—or did you feel like you learned something new?

                      Every time a team member learns something, they become more valuable to the business. The range of tasks they can tackle increases. Over time, they make fewer mistakes, require less supervision, and become more willing to ask for help.

                      Boosts Employee Loyalty

                      Constructive feedback is a two-way street. Employees want to receive it, but they also want the feedback they give to be taken seriously.

                      If employees see their constructive feedback ignored, they may take it to mean they aren’t a valued part of the team. Nine in ten employees say they’d be more likely to stick with a company that takes and acts on their feedback.[1]

                      Strengthens Team Bonds

                      Without trust, teams cannot function. Constructive feedback builds trust because it shows that the giver of the feedback cares about the success of the recipient.

                      However, for constructive feedback to work its magic, both sides have to assume good intentions. Those giving the feedback must genuinely want to help, and those getting it has to assume that the goal is to build them up rather than to tear them down.

                      Promotes Mentorship

                      There’s nothing wrong with a single round of constructive feedback. But when it really makes a difference is when it’s repeated—continuous, constructive feedback is the bread and butter of mentorship.

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                      Be the change you want to see on your team. Give constructive feedback often and authentically, and others will naturally start to see you as a mentor.

                      Clearly, constructive feedback is something most teams could use more of. But how do you actually give it?

                      How to Give Constructive Feedback

                      Giving constructive feedback is tricky. Get it wrong, and your message might fall on deaf ears. Get it really wrong, and you could sow distrust or create tension across the entire team.

                      Here are ways to give constructive feedback properly:

                      1. Listen First

                      Often, what you perceive as a mistake is a decision someone made for a good reason. Listening is the key to effective communication.

                      Seek to understand: how did the other person arrive at her choice or action?

                      You could say:

                      • “Help me understand your thought process.”
                      • “What led you to take that step?”
                      • “What’s your perspective?”

                      2. Lead With a Compliment

                      In school, you might have heard it called the “sandwich method”: Before (and ideally, after) giving difficult feedback, share a compliment. That signals to the recipient that you value their work.

                      You could say:

                      • “Great design. Can we see it with a different font?”
                      • “Good thinking. What if we tried this?”

                      3. Address the Wider Team

                      Sometimes, constructive feedback is best given indirectly. If your comment could benefit others on the team, or if the person whom you’re really speaking to might take it the wrong way, try communicating your feedback in a group setting.

                      You could say:

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                      • “Let’s think through this together.”
                      • “I want everyone to see . . .”

                      4. Ask How You Can Help

                      When you’re on a team, you’re all in it together. When a mistake happens, you have to realize that everyone—not just the person who made it—has a role in fixing it. Give constructive feedback in a way that recognizes this dynamic.

                      You could say:

                      • “What can I do to support you?”
                      • “How can I make your life easier?
                      • “Is there something I could do better?”

                      5. Give Examples

                      To be useful, constructive feedback needs to be concrete. Illustrate your advice by pointing to an ideal.

                      What should the end result look like? Who has the process down pat?

                      You could say:

                      • “I wanted to show you . . .”
                      • “This is what I’d like yours to look like.”
                      • “This is a perfect example.”
                      • “My ideal is . . .”

                      6. Be Empathetic

                      Even when there’s trust in a team, mistakes can be embarrassing. Lessons can be hard to swallow. Constructive feedback is more likely to be taken to heart when it’s accompanied by empathy.

                      You could say:

                      • “I know it’s hard to hear.”
                      • “I understand.”
                      • “I’m sorry.”

                      7. Smile

                      Management consultancies like Credera teach that communication is a combination of the content, delivery, and presentation.[2] When giving constructive feedback, make sure your body language is as positive as your message. Your smile is one of your best tools for getting constructive feedback to connect.

                      8. Be Grateful

                      When you’re frustrated about a mistake, it can be tough to see the silver lining. But you don’t have to look that hard. Every constructive feedback session is a chance for the team to get better and grow closer.

                      You could say:

                      • “I’m glad you brought this up.”
                      • “We all learned an important lesson.”
                      • “I love improving as a team.”

                      9. Avoid Accusations

                      Giving tough feedback without losing your cool is one of the toughest parts of working with others. Great leaders and project managers get upset at the mistake, not the person who made it.[3]

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                      You could say:

                      • “We all make mistakes.”
                      • “I know you did your best.”
                      • “I don’t hold it against you.”

                      10. Take Responsibility

                      More often than not, mistakes are made because of miscommunications Recognize your own role in them.

                      Could you have been clearer in your directions? Did you set the other person up for success?

                      You could say:

                      • “I should have . . .”
                      • “Next time, I’ll . . .”

                      11. Time it Right

                      Constructive feedback shouldn’t catch people off guard. Don’t give it while everyone is packing up to leave work. Don’t interrupt a good lunch conversation.

                      If in doubt, ask the person to whom you’re giving feedback to schedule the session themselves. Encourage them to choose a time when they’ll be able to focus on the conversation rather than their next task.

                      12. Use Their Name

                      When you hear your name, your ears naturally perk up. Use that when giving constructive feedback. Just remember that constructive feedback should be personalized, not personal.

                      You could say:

                      • “Bob, I wanted to chat through . . .”
                      • “Does that make sense, Jesse?”

                      13. Suggest, Don’t Order

                      When you give constructive feedback, it’s important not to be adversarial. The very act of giving feedback recognizes that the person who made the mistake had a choice—and when the situation comes up again, they’ll be able to choose differently.

                      You could say:

                      • “Next time, I suggest . . .”
                      • “Try it this way.”
                      • “Are you on board with that?”

                      14. Be Brief

                      Even when given empathetically, constructive feedback can be uncomfortable to receive. Get your message across, make sure there are no hard feelings, and move on.

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                      One exception? If the feedback isn’t understood, make clear that you have plenty of time for questions. Rushing through what’s clearly an open conversation is disrespectful and discouraging.

                      15. Follow Up

                      Not all lessons are learned immediately. After giving a member of your team constructive feedback, follow it up with an email. Make sure you’re just as respectful and helpful in your written feedback as you are on your verbal communication.

                      You could say:

                      • “I wanted to recap . . .”
                      • “Thanks for chatting with me about . . .”
                      • “Did that make sense?”

                      16. Expect Improvement

                      Although you should always deliver constructive feedback in a supportive manner, you should also expect to see it implemented. If it’s a long-term issue, set milestones.

                      By what date would you like to see what sort of improvement? How will you measure that improvement?

                      You could say:

                      • “I’d like to see you . . .”
                      • “Let’s check back in after . . .”
                      • “I’m expecting you to . . .”
                      • “Let’s make a dent in that by . . .”

                      17. Give Second Chances

                      Giving feedback, no matter how constructive, is a waste of time if you don’t provide an opportunity to implement it. Don’t set up a “gotcha” moment, but do tap the recipient of your feedback next time a similar task comes up.

                      You could say:

                      • “I know you’ll rock it next time.”
                      • “I’d love to see you try again.”
                      • “Let’s give it another go.”

                      Final Thoughts

                      Constructive feedback is not an easy nut to crack. If you don’t give it well, then maybe it’s time to get some. Never be afraid to ask.

                      More on Constructive Feedback

                      Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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