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15 Reasons To Send Your High School Besties A Thank You Card

15 Reasons To Send Your High School Besties A Thank You Card

There are some friendships that crash and burn from your high school years – and then there are some that you hold near and dear to your heart forever. They have accepted you for who you are after the many phases you’ve been through. They have endured the mundane moments of your shared history and have learned the lessons of life at almost the same exact pace as you. Here are fifteen different reasons you need to send your high school friends a thank you card.

1. They were your friends before you got your life together…

Before you got your jobs, fancy or not-so-fancy cars, and an ID card stating that you’re over the age of 21 – you had your friends. Your friends in high school were okay with simply hanging out. They didn’t mind taking the bus to the mall and window shopping or hanging out at the park. They were friends with you because they liked who you were as a person and loved your company.

2. And if it still isn’t, they understand

If you don’t have your life together, it’s okay with them. Why? Because more than likely, they don’t have it completely together, either. They are right there with you to enjoy the ups and downs of growing up. They are learning the same lessons with you: that not everyone’s path is paved perfectly.

3. They understand each and every emotion you go through when scrolling through your news feed

You all have to be honest with yourselves here with this one. When you go through your news feed and read through the latest drama, or see that the one couple you went to high school with finally got married, you know exactly who to text. They will understand completely how you feel and more than likely, they are with you (on your couch!) reading it.

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4. They are there through your new beginnings and heartbreaks

They were there when you still hoped dating would be easy… and that means they were there when you found out the hard way that relationships take work. They never judged you for it though, they were there to listen – with eggs in hand to throw at your ex’s car.

5. They were there to share car rides with you

After one of you got a car, your bus riding days were long gone! You drove everywhere together. They were with you on the way to school, back home, to the mall, to the movies, and anywhere else you could think of to drive. Sure, carpooling can become mundane and passé as you get older, but they made carpooling cool with the windows down and the music turned all the way up.

6. They were there to witness or experience your first taste of real life responsibility

They were there around the time when you got your first job, and more than likely they were in the same boat as you. You found out together that earning money at an actual job and earning money at home doing chores are two different things. You learned together that your parents were being nice by not taking taxes out of your allowance. You were also together when you got your first paychecks and blew it all the very next day!

7. They are the reason you have a second family

Growing up, you had more than one home, more than one parent watching out for you, and more than one car to get around in. You may have been a bit annoyed when their parents called you out on some things, but they made up for it with the free food in their fridge.

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8. They were there in a heartbeat to get rid of the bad day blues

During the days where you’re just burnt out from your really hard life, your friends have been there to pick you up for a quick meal or a drive. When you weren’t allowed to take the car anywhere and needed to get away, they were parked in your driveway waiting. Most of the time, a quick milkshake or burger at your local diner was enough to make your day.

9. Lyrics, emojis, and photos can be a two hour conversation – and neither of you have a problem with that

It doesn’t matter if its the lyrics to your favorite Pitch Perfect mash-up or memes about leg day, this can go on for hours. Some people don’t understand it but that’s okay.

10. They are okay with your binge eating (no judgment here)

Sometimes we have days where the stomach can be a black hole. It doesn’t matter if you have already eaten 14 tacos, 2 pancakes, and are going in for a burger, they are okay with you doing so. In fact, they are more than likely at 16 tacos, 3 pancakes, and have already finished their burger.

11. They taught you to work and play

You all remember telling your parents you were going over to your friend’s house to do “homework,” when your time was actually spent watching TV, swimming, or at the mall hanging out. If you were actually doing homework, you were probably cramming it all together within the last hour of the four you spent at their house.

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12. They taught you to appreciate every moment you are given

Remember when you were given a curfew and you had to cram all those activities planned into a three hour time frame? They were there with you during the days where you needed to make every minute count. Even on the days out that your parents weren’t aware of, you found the time to grab ice cream, cruise the mall and still be back in time to be home “after school”. This tended to happen especially when you were grounded.

13. They taught you to be okay with the camera and love your selfies.

Most of your profile pictures from MySpace and Facebook were the outcome of times spent in photo booths and testing your new phone’s camera. They taught you to love your photos and how you look.

14. They were there to celebrate the first big step in your life: graduation

Though this seems like a small celebration now that you have your busy adult lives to worry about, it was the first step to the rest of your lives. They were there to share it with you, walk across that stage, move their tassel and throw their hats with you. They celebrated with you before with your families, and after with your friends. They cried with you during the speeches and jumped for joy when they announced your class.

15. They make sure you never feel alone.

It doesn’t matter if you are going to school across the world from each other or are going to the same school for the same major, they are there for you. They are there to make sure everything is still okay in your life and that you’re not on the verge of a mental breakdown. You can call them at 4am and cry about how you wasted several years of you life on something stupid or text them for a quick beer and wings date. They will be there.

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Even though high school was a small portion of your long life, you ended up with at least one friend you can send a thank you card to for being so awesome. That one friend, in my opinion, is better than many acquaintances.

Featured photo credit: Dan Anderson via flickr.com

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Margielyn Musser

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Last Updated on August 12, 2020

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

When Should You Trust Your Gut and How?

Learning how to trust your gut, otherwise known as your intuition, can keep you safe. Your gut can guide you and help you build your confidence and resilience. My own gut instinct has saved me on more than one occasion. It has also guided me into making sound career choices and other exciting, big decisions. I’m also aware of the times when I’ve gone against my instincts and really regretted it later, wondering why I didn’t tune in to that valuable internal voice that we all have within us.

In this article, we’re going to explore why and how you should listen to your gut, as well as some concrete tips on how to make sure you’re making the most out of your gut instincts.

How to Listen to Your Gut

The key when making any big decision is to always take a minute to listen well to yourself and your inner compass. If you hear your actual voice saying yes while inside you’re silently screaming no, my advice is to ask for some time to think, or simply take a breath and pause before the yes or no escapes your mouth.

Use that moment to breathe, check in with yourself, and give the answer that feels congruent with who you are and what you want, not the one that always involves following the herd. Trusting your gut means having the courage to not simply go with the majority. It can be about holding your own. Here’s how to hone that skill for yourself and reap the rewards.

1. Tune Into Your Body

Your body gives you clues when you’re faced with a big decision. There are many visible and obvious symptoms that we feel in uncomfortable situations. Our body’s reaction is often something that we might try to hide, for example, blushing, being lost for words, or shaking. There are things we might do to try and hide that physical reaction, whether it’s wearing makeup, having a glass of wine or coffee to perk us up a bit, or learning to control our nerves.

However, paying attention to your body when you experience these feelings of anxiety can teach you so much and help you to make sound choices. Some people will experience an actual “gut” feeling of stomach ache or indigestion in an uncomfortable situation.

Ask yourself what’s really going on here, and explore what is happening behind your body’s response to the situation. What can your reaction or instinct teach you? Understanding that can be a clue and can help you either learn something about yourself, the situation, or other people. The answers are often within us.

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Sometimes we’ll get this “something’s not right here” feeling and cannot quite put our finger on it or explain it. That can still be incredibly useful and really guide us away from danger, even if we don’t know the reason.

In his book, Blink, Malcolm Gladwell also argues this, making the point that sometimes our subconscious is better at processing the answer we need, and that we don’t necessarily need to take time to collect hours and hours of information to come to a reliable conclusion[1].

2. Ensure Your Head Is Clear Before Making a Decision

Energy, sleep, and good nutrition are so vital to nourishing our minds, as well as our bodies. There are times when your instinct could lead you astray, and one of these is when you are hungry, “hangry” (angry because you’re hungry!), tired, or anxious. If this is the case–and it may sound obvious–do consider sleeping or eating on it before making an important choice.

There is, in fact, a connection between our gut and our brain[2], which is where terms like “butterflies in the stomach” and “gut-wrenching” originate from. Stress and emotions can cause physical feelings, and ignoring them might do more harm than good.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Say What You Think and Feel

Listening to your gut and really paying attention to it might involve standing up and being counted, calling something out, or taking a stand. As someone who works for myself, I’ve become used to following the less-travelled road, and that’s given me the chance to strike out on my own in other ways, too.

As they tell you in the planes, “put your own oxygen mask on first,” and part of that self-reliance is knowing what you really want and like and what is safe and good for you, including what resonates with your personal and business values. Making good decisions with this in mind means making choices that do not go against your own beliefs, even when it may mean taking a stand. This is part of trusting yourself and trusting your instincts.

This does not always mean taking the “safe” option, although keeping ourselves safe is an important part of the process. This is how we learn and grow, by following our own inner compass. When you do take risks, go outside of your comfort zone, or choose the less popular option, spending some time researching the facts can stand us in good stead, too.

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4. Do Your Research If Something Feels Off

As well as listening to our instincts, we can also back up the evidence for our chosen course of action before taking the leap. I had a gut feeling about the need for a learning and development network when I noticed my clients getting stuck with the same problems. I set up and now run such a network, but instead of simply going for it, without evidence, I followed up on my instinct with research.

Having confidence in your gut instinct through these kinds of tests can help to minimize your risks, as well as spur you on. It will encourage you to trust your gut again in the future and trust that you are an expert with foresight and experience. You are!

5. Challenge Your Assumptions

When you look at the assumptions your making, this could be the clue to mistakes you are making.

In order to check that our instincts are wise, we need to ask ourselves what blanks we might be filling in, either consciously or unconsciously. This is true not just when it comes to our own decision-making. It’s also true when we are listening to someone explain a problem or situation, and we’re about to jump in and give some advice. If we can learn to be aware of our own assumptions, we can become better listeners and better decision makers, too.

A useful tool to become more aware of your assumptions before making a final decision is simply to ask yourself, “What assumptions am I making about this situation or person?”

6. Educate Yourself on Unconscious Bias

Unconscious bias is something we all have, and it can trip us up big time!

There is a vital caveat to bear in mind when wondering about whether you can trust your gut and the feelings your body gives you, and that’s having an awareness of your unconscious bias. Understanding your own bias–which is hard to do because it literally does happen in our subconscious–can help you to make stronger, better, decisions instead of re-confirming your view of the world over and over again.

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Bias exists, and it’s part of the human condition. All of us have it, and it colors our decisions and can impact on our performance without us realizing.

Unconscious bias happens at a subconscious level in our brains. Our subconscious brain processes information so much faster than our conscious brain. Quick decisions we make in our subconscious are based on both our societal conditioning and how our families raised us.

Our brains process hundreds of thousands of pieces of information daily. We unconsciously categorize and format that information into patterns that feel familiar to us. Aspects such as gender, disability, class, sexuality, body shape and size, ethnicity, and what someone does for a job can all quickly influence decisions we make about people and the relationships we choose to form. Our unconscious bias can be very subtle and go unnoticed..

We naturally tend to gravitate towards people similar to ourselves, favoring people who we see as belonging to the same “group” as us. Being able to make a quick decision about whether someone is part of your group and distinguish friend from foe was what helped early humans to survive. Conversely, we don’t automatically favor people who we don’t immediately relate to or easily connect with.

The downside of that human instinct to seek out similar people is the potential for prejudice, which seems to be hard-wired into human cognition, no matter how open-minded we believe ourselves to be. And these stereotypes we create can be wrong. If we only spend our time with and employ people similar to ourselves, it can create prejudices, as well as stifle fresh thinking and innovation.

We may feel more natural or comfortable working with other people who share our own background and/or opinions than collaborating with people who don’t look, talk, or think like us. However, diversity is not just morally right; having a mix of different people and perspectives that can be genuinely heard is also a valuable way to counter groupthink. Diversity stretches us to think more critically and creatively.

7. Trust Yourself

It is possible to learn how to truly trust yourself[3]. Like any talent or skill, practicing trusting your gut is the best way to get really good at it. When people talk about having great intuition or being good decision-makers, it’s because they’ve worked at honing those skills, made mistakes, learned from them, and tried again.

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Looking back at decisions you’ve made, what you did, what the outcome was, and what you’ve learned can help you become a stronger decision maker and develop solid self-trust and resilience. Making a mistake does not mean you are not great at decision-making; it’s a chance to grow and learn, and the only mistake is to ignore the lesson in that experience.

If you are in the habit of asking others for their input, then the trick here is to choose your inner circle wisely. Having a sounding board of people who have your best interests at heart is a valuable asset, and, combined with your own excellent instincts, can make you a champion decision maker.

The Bottom Line

The above tips are all actionable and easy to start immediately. It’s simply about switching your thinking around, slowing down, and taking great care of this amazing machine that is your body and mind!

Learning how to trust your gut is one of the most fundamental ways to make decisions that will help you lead the life you want and need. Tune into what your body is telling you and start making good decisions today.

More Tips on How to Trust Your Gut

Featured photo credit: Acy Varlan via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Science of People: Learn to Trust Your Gut Instincts: The Science Behind Thin-slicing
[2] Harvard Health Publishing: The gut-brain connection
[3] Psych Central: 3 Ways to Develop Self-Trust

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