Cut them and enjoy happier interactions.

A black man in a black top and a black cap
A black man in a black top and a black cap
Photo by Andre Hunter on Unsplash

Many people have lost friendships and relationships at the hands of silly questions. Countless others have lost big deals for asking the wrong question. Or the right one at the wrong time.

Some questions are so blatantly wrong any reasonable person will avoid them.

But the subtle ones we often overlook can also wreak havoc. They may paint an inaccurate picture of your personality; they may taint your image in the eyes of others.

Here are five of the most common questions that can quickly downgrade your status from an interesting person to a jerk.

Do you know who I am?

If only ego had a…

Don’t just sit back and curse

A girl whispering to her sister
A girl whispering to her sister
Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

The web is the fiercest fighting ring, similar to the most dangerous WWE cage.

Yes, the cage in which unlimited amounts of content wrestle for readers’ limited attention. Can you smell the blood already?

If you’re a regular reader of gossip, self-help, or even sports articles, many writers have tried to bait you like a mouse. And you’ve probably been hooked by the meat in those baits.

By hooked, I mean you’ve likely clicked on a few enticing headlines of articles that promised much but delivered little.

After making those disappointing trips, some readers are quick to vent their frustrations…

Recognize them, renounce them, to maintain good relationships

An artwork of a black lady with a yellow cap and thick black hair.
An artwork of a black lady with a yellow cap and thick black hair.
Photo by Osman Yunus Bekcan on Unsplash

Good relationships keep us healthier and happier.

That’s the key finding of the popular 75-year-long Harvard research that tracked subjects for decades and documented what made them happy.

But good relationships aren’t cooked up overnight; they’re nurtured over years, sometimes a lifetime. Good relationships don’t crumble in a fortnight; they withstand years of trials.

That’s why we work hard to cultivate meaningful relationships with friends, colleagues, neighbors, relatives, and partners.That’s why we FaceTime friends, laugh and cry at the movies together, take trips with the family, and exchange birthday cards to mark special days.

While these gestures can help us…

Lots of lessons, massive transformation

A MacBook with the words “JOIN US ONLINE.” in red on a white screen
A MacBook with the words “JOIN US ONLINE.” in red on a white screen
Photo by Samantha Borges on Unsplash

I’m not one of those writers that had a writing epiphany at the age of six.

Instead, I first dipped a toe in the writing waters a few years back and have been learning ever since.

In 2019, it was a WordPress blog. But since I had no editorial input or oversight, my writing was all over the place. The blog soon died.

In 2020, I pitched a few publications. From some of the feedback, I knew there was more to writing than zero typos. It was up to me to find out what more there was.

Since I already…

They work well, but not for me.

Photo by Yuiizaa September on Unsplash

I miss the fireflies and crickets in my pre-teen years in rural Ghana.

On most nights, the fireflies gave off sparks of little green light in the darkness, while the cricket choir blurted out tune after tune of their favorite songs.

I thought those lovely creatures put on a show to rival any show that aired on our luxurious 14-inch black-and-white TV set most nights. Until the best of Nollywood — the Nigerian movie industry — took over the screens.

In their typical traditional settings, the starring elders spared no opportunity to code their messages, their nuggets of wisdom, in…

There’s so much noise out there

A black diary, a glass of tea, and a flower on a table.
A black diary, a glass of tea, and a flower on a table.
Photo by Fauzan Ardhi on Unsplash

Time management, an offshoot of the productivity branch of the self-help tree, has gotten a lot of stick recently.

Maybe it’s because one too many self-anointed gurus have waded into those sacred waters and further muddied those waters.

This sad turn of events has left many of their followers with no choice but to drink from the murky waters flowing downstream.

But time management should neither be a scary subject nor an obscure topic. It’s all about managing your time right.

Proper time management doesn’t overwhelm you with too many tips and tools. No, no. …

Talk of the one book every new writer ought to read

A kid, sitting in a twilight and staring into an open book
A kid, sitting in a twilight and staring into an open book
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

There may be no free lunch, but there sure are many free books.

Some free items I got were low on quality, but this book is one of the highest quality free resources I ever received.

To think a free book could help me achieve some modest level of success as a writer — way more success than I ever dreamt when I started — I couldn’t be more effusive in my praise.

How I Got It

Thanks to worldwide lockdowns, the good folks at Coursera discounted some courses to make our mandatory stay-at-home months less boring.

Desperate to improve my writing, I enrolled…

It’s time to give yourself more credit for the little things.

A bald, elderly man trying to high five a kid
A bald, elderly man trying to high five a kid
Photo by Gita Krishnamurti on Unsplash

Some people dream of touching thousands of lives with their contributions — but many of us already do that unawares in small ways.

You probably don’t keep score, but some of the tiny gestures you discount as nothing end up making tremendous impacts on the lives of others.

Modesty is good, but so is giving yourself credit

While modesty is an excellent trait , it’s just as important to give yourself due credit for some qualities you possess.

Tony Robbins says: “By giving yourself credit, you actually instil confidence, self-compassion and self-love that will take you to greater and greater achievements.”

Life is not a comparison game, but when…

Maybe it’s time for a different route to the top

Photo by jose aljovin on Unsplash

Many people say you’ll only get better if you take sufficient umbrage at the writer you were last year. But I couldn’t disagree more.

Going crazy about the dismal results of yesteryear without the proper context serves no noble purpose.

Here’s why you may have to spare yourself the frowns and heartbreaks from cringing at the writer you were last year.

You can’t change what already happened, but you can control some of what lies ahead

Okay, what exactly could cause you to cringe at the writer you were a year ago? Your “lack of success,” maybe?

By what objective metric would you measure your lack of success? …

Make a mental note of these little points for a happier brain

An elderly man clutching his head, face in hands.
An elderly man clutching his head, face in hands.
Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

If there were ever a list of the seven wonders of the human body, the three-pound phenom would headline that shortlist.

It helps us see, hear, talk, remember, walk, and think. It also communicates hunger, thirst, and touch. The brain is so invaluable it deserves round-the-clock protection and care.

Thankfully, for protection, the brain is housed in a reinforced structure called the skull, somewhat reducing the risk of harm from the outside. At least compared with some other organs like the mouth, the ears, and the eyes.

That said, the brain still remains vulnerable to several factors that not only…

Boateng Sekyere

Valuer | Photographer | Writer. Grab a free guide on how to write more engaging articles here:

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