You spend more time with your eyes on your phone than on the people you love. Save your relationships for living creatures.

I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her. The anticipation lasted months, and finally, she was on her way. Now, I had to be patient, and that was the difficult part. Her timing was unpredictable, through no fault of her own.

Not knowing the precise time she’d show up at my door, I was practically quivering. This was to be our first encounter, and all I could do was wait. My last one was no longer satisfying me, so I couldn’t wait for the future to arrive.

The doorbell rang, and I rushed to greet her. Grabbing her, I tossed her into my apartment, while being careful not to inflict any damage. With the door closed behind us, she was finally all mine.

I grinned.

I opened her right there in the living room, and finally held her in my arms. She was beautiful, and she would be constantly with me from that moment forward. My hands would remain on her throughout most of the day, every day. Every night she would be beside me.

And that’s how my Samsung Nexus 6P and I became an inseparable couple.

My girlfriend’s not happy about this new relationship. “Nexy” does get in the way. Often.

But my human companion has her own device she fondles as well, so this is a two-sided problem. Here’s what we’re going to do about it.

My partner noticed recently that when I’m writing or reading, my hands are usually on my device. Even if I’m not actively looking at the phone, I’ve got it in my hands, or it’s in my pocket. It’s touching me every waking hour of my life.

Maybe it’s the tactile warmth of active electronics that activated the pleasure receptors in my brain, or maybe it’s the security of holding onto something, anything. I am sure the manufacturers know all about the physical connection between a man or woman and his or her device, because they keep designing phones that are sleeker, more comfortable to touch, and more beautiful at which to longingly stare.

It’s almost as if they’re trying to sell even more of these devices. Don’t fall for that trick. Any relationship is sure to cost you money, but woo your lover, not your phone.

You have a stronger connection with your phone than you do with your partner because you see it more, touch it more, and interact with it more. Some devices even talk back to you with a “personality” all their own. (Siri’s creepy, right?)

So let’s get back to the point where our hours of staring, our longing gazes are for our intended, not our internet. Welcome to your new cellular plan.

Set aside time each day for purposeful disconnection. Thirty minutes a day away from the Internet is a good start until you alleviate the separation anxiety and don’t freak out from being out of touch for a very small time frame.

In this time, do something that doesn’t require technology on your part. Read a book! Write a story. Draw a picture. Think about your life.

Increase your separation time gradually. Eventually, see if you can go half your waking hours without your phone. Suddenly, the world is new! Nature once again exists, you can observe it with your eyes in person, and you can enjoy it.

Go see your friends. Socialization happens when everyone is actively involved in connecting — also known as talking and listening — with each other. Observe your friends. Count how many times each caresses his or her phone-companion.

Get some. Can you put the phone down long enough to have some extended physical and emotional time with your lover or anyone else? Forget the fact that you’re only together because you were both bored on your phones using Tinder. See if you can take your relationship to the next level — the “we don’t have to spend our limited time together sitting on the couch looking at nothing but our phones” level.

Look at each other! Touch each other! It’s so much more exciting than the boring comfort of holding your own device. Now you can explore each others’ devices.

If you know what I mean.

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Being alone doesn’t mean you have to be lonely. Learn to love yourself.

We’re taught to fear being alone, but it’s actually healthy adult behavior to enjoy some down time without others around.

However, there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. If you want to enjoy being alone, it’s important to get to know yourself — and find worthwhile activities to fill the hours.

In this episode we’ll talk about how to learn to enjoy being alone, and how to balance that with the need for social interaction.

Listen for the Do Nows that will help you find alone time no matter how busy you are, as well as help you figure out what you like about yourself.

Concepts

  • What is the difference between being lonely and being alone?
  • Is it possible to enjoy being alone?
  • How can you get to know and life yourself better?
  • What activities are best for when you’re alone?
  • How do you balance alone time with social obligations?

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Resources

Psychology TodayThe importance of being alone and learning to love yourself
PsychCentralHow you can enjoy being alone without feeling lonely

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Once you start learning to adult, holidays can be a time of stress. Here’s how to set healthy boundaries.

Too often, the holidays turn into a time of stress as we try to live up to expectations from family and friends.

While it’s preferable to avoid a holiday showdown, sometimes it can’t be avoided. In this episode, we talk about how to figure out what matters this holiday season, as well as how to set boundaries.

How much is too much this holiday season? And can you draw the line without it turning into a holiday showdown? Our Do Nows help you learn how to set healthy boundaries, as well as identify the biggest stressors that could be dragging you down.

Concepts

  • Reasons the holidays can be very stressful.
  • What are some of things we do to satisfy others during the holidays?
  • What things are likely to result in a holiday showdown?
  • How to prioritize holiday gatherings.
  • Tips for setting healthy boundaries — and respecting others’ boundaries.
  • Handling gifts and exchanges.

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Resources

ReutersUnderstanding and dealing with family relationships during the holiday season
PsychCentralTips for building and preserving better boundaries

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The holidays are different for adults than they are for kids. You can still have a great season, but cut the holiday hijinks.

As a kid, the holidays are a time of fun. After all, you get presents, candy, and time off school. Holiday hijinks are a part of growing up.

Adults, though, need to learn how to change their view of the holidays. The things that were funny when you’re a kid are no longer in force. Plus no one thinks it’s fun to buy you presents anymore.

You can still enjoy the holiday season as an adult, but you do need to adjust your expectations.

Use our Do Nows to help you evaluate what you want out of the holidays, as well as learn strategies for putting together a budget-friendly gift exchange.

Concepts

  • Just because we’re asked to find the child within during the holidays doesn’t mean you should act like a child.
  • What are some of the holiday hijinks you should avoid as an adult?
  • What are some of the things adults are expected to do during the holidays?
  • How to handle gift exchanges with family and with coworkers.
  • Why it’s important to determine what the holidays mean to you so you can set boundaries.

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Social media isn’t just harmless fun. It’s how people — from employers to potential partners — judge the type of person you are.

We like to think of social media as harmless fun — a way to be ourselves. Unfortunately, those youthful indiscretions, put on the Internet, can haunt us as adults.

With recruiters increasingly interested in social media profiles and companies worried that you will ruin their reputation, what you say on social media matters. No matter your privacy settings, there’s almost always a way for someone else to access the content you don’t want them to see.

We talk about how social media can ruin your job prospects and strain relationships with people you love.

Listen to the Do Nows, which focus on steps you can take to clean up your social media accounts, change your privacy settings, and focus on becoming a more thoughtful user.

Concepts

  • The real impact of using social media.
  • An increasing number of companies use social media as part of background checks.
  • Which types of posts are most likely to turn potential employers off?
  • How vaguebooking can strain relationships.
  • How to decide what you plan to use social media for.
  • Tips for smart social media use.

Video Clips

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Resources

Rolling StoneHistory of people fired due to stupid social media use
The New York TimesStory of how a single tweet ruined one woman’s career
CareerBuilderStudy pointing to the types of posts employers worry about

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People are an everyday reality. As much as you’d like to be a hermit sometimes, that’s not how it works.

Learning how to deal with people is an essential skill associated with adulthood. In this episode, we talk about how you can develop empathy with others, as well as establish rapport when you are willing to be vulnerable.

From being polite in the workplace to treating others with respect, the way you deal with people is an important step to becoming a grownup member of society.

Be sure to listen for our rundown of actions you can Do Now to improve your interpersonal relationships.

Concepts

  • How to prepare yourself to meet new people and develop relationships.
  • The importance of developing empathy and learning how to imagine yourself in someone else’s shoes.
  • How you can be vulnerable and “real” and connect better with others.
  • Why you should learn how to admit mistakes and apologize.
  • How humor can be used as a tool to connect with others.
  • Tell-tale signs that someone is acting insincerely.

Video Clips

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Resources

CNNCNN report on how rudeness in the workplace rubs off on others
Psychology TodayArticle from Psychology Today discussing reasons it’s hard for us to apologize
tedTED talk on vulnerability by Brené Brown

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