Here's a simple and effective test to figure out how you really feel about someone
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The average American knows 600 people, according to a recent study by The New York Times. Now, you may have 900 "friends" on Facebook, but you probably don't "know" all of them.

Another study found that the average American adult has 16 friends. They have "three friends for life, five people they really like and would hang out with one-on-one, and eight people they like but don't spend time with one-on-one or seek out."

Now, there are all different kinds of friends. There are those that you see just to have a good time. There are those that you go out with on couples' dates. And there are those you may share a hobby or interest with, but the relationship doesn't go much further than that.


What sets acquaintances, friends, and best friends apart is how comfortable we feel around them. Two ways to judge how they make you feel is whether you spending a lot of time together and if they can be trusted.

Author Ross McCammon created a simple test to gain some clarity about the level of comfort he feels about someone, he calls it the "Two Beers and a Puppy Test."

The test is: To find out how you actually feel about someone, ask yourself: "Would I have two beers with this person?" And: "Would I allow this person to look after my puppy over a weekend?"

Some people are no and no. These people are to be avoided at all costs. Some people are yes and no. These people are to be cautiously trusted. Some people are no and yes. These people are no fun but they make the world a better place — for puppies, especially. And some people are yes and yes. These people are wonderful people and your life and work are better for having them in your life. Seek them out. Collaborate with them. Enjoy their company.

No, No — This is probably someone who shouldn't be in your life. You don't enjoy their company and they're not someone that you can rely on when you need someone to lend a hand.

No, Yes — Unfortunately, this person isn't that great of a hang, but they can be relied upon in a pinch. These are great people to have as neighbors.

Yes, No — These people are a lot of fun, but you can't depend on them to be there when you really need them. These are like drinking buddies.

Yes, Yes — These are the golden people that you should work to keep in your life.

The test is a great way to evaluate people in your life but it's also a way to look at ourselves. How would you rate yourself as a friend?

via Wikimedia Commons

Another fun way to evaluate people is a test I developed based on a quote by Oscar Wilde, the legendary 19th-century Irish poet, playwright, and author of "The Picture of Dorian Gray."

"It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious," Wilde once said.

Now, this test is more for those who aren't shopping around from someone to watch their puppy but want to find people who are the most enjoyable to spend time around. I picture it as a spectrum with charming on one side and tedious on the other.

Charming < ------------------------- > Tedious

Someone can have a great sense of humor and make you laugh (charming) but at the same time like to complain a whole lot (tedious). So they'd fall in the middle.

There are others who are nothing but a joy to be around and are self-aware enough not to impose their drama or neurotic tendencies on you. These people would fall on the charming end of the spectrum.

Then they are those people who bring little to the table in terms of good humor and likeability but have a whole lot of baggage. These people would be ranked further down the tedious scale.

To put things even more simply, as Wilde once said, "Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go."

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

Amazon

In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Even as millions of Americans celebrated the inauguration of President Joe Biden this week, the nation also mourned the fact that, for the first time in modern history, the United States did not have a peaceful transition of power.

With the violent attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6, when pro-Trump insurrectionists attempted to stop the constitutional process of counting electoral votes and where terrorists threatened to kill lawmakers and the vice president for not keeping Trump in power, our long and proud tradition was broken. And although presidential power was ultimately transferred without incident on January 20, the presence of 20,000 National Guard troops around the Capitol reminded us of the threat that still lingers.

First Lady Jill Biden showed up today with cookies in hand for a group of National Guard troops at the Capitol to thank them for keeping her family safe. The homemade chocolate chip cookies were a small token of appreciation, but one that came from the heart of a mother whose son had served as well.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Welcometoterranova and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Welcometoterranova-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.