12 Things every woman should know how to do...
You're probably running for cover following the reams of well-meaning advice you have recently received or read on how to diet and become thinner and healthier for the 12 months ahead.
Yet tips or hints on how to live with the least amount of hassle are more interesting and more durable in the lifestyle stakes than losing a pound or walking an extra half mile -- even if these achievements are never to be scoffed at.
1 Take nothing personally
Believe it or not your ex didn't do it to hurt you. Humans are self-obsessed, and he did what he did because he fancied another woman, wanted to move on or didn't want to settle down.
The same with your former boss who was thinking of their own ambition, and your former best friend who simply found someone she clicked with more. Be hurt or angry, but don't beat yourself up, it's never about you.
2 Lie convincingly
Few things are more insulting than being lied to by a bad liar -- it is clear that they don't think enough of you to make a lie convincing. So, maintain eye contact and act confident and relaxed when lying, because we do all lie. A few details and emotional responses make a lie real, yet include nothing which your victim can check up on because, while you may be a liar, there is no excuse for hurting someone's feelings.
3 Complain effectively
Become aggressive when complaining and you lose. You look like a stressed-out mess, and not a reasonable member of society who is very annoyed. Stress the facts as you know them, and mention salient points which back up your viewpoint that some aspect of a service/purchase was below standard. Let them make things right, and if they don't, calmly ask for the person who has the power to make things right. Jennifer Lopez once complained that people don't take her seriously.
The Monster-In-Law actress, who is married to music star Marc Anthony, said that people misunderstand her because she's always having fun, and that she wants to be taken more seriously.
4 Get angry without crying
There is nothing pretty about anger or crying, and they look pretty sad when done together. Take deep and even breaths, because as soon as your body senses you becoming agitated it panics and releases adrenalin and you risk becoming overwhelmed, and beginning to blubber. Actress Julianne Moore cries in more than half the movies she appears in, including Magnolia and Nine Months, but she looks beautiful crying.
5 Accept you can't do something
If you have trouble accepting that you will not be getting all the things you want, or some of the things other people have, then you will have to learn to hide your jealousy. Hopefully you will reach this level of acceptance before you need therapy. Remember, it is okay to not make as much as a friend, or marry the man who has it all, or be anything better than mediocre at something you really enjoy doing.
6 Learn to say 'no'
How does one little skinny word carry so much guilt? It is not your job to please everyone all the time, be it family, friends or colleagues. Say 'no' firmly but nicely and explain why you can't do something in terms which show you are not open to negotiation.
7 Be alone
We come into the world alone and we go out of it alone, so you would think being alone would come naturally. However, take a look at the things we do to not be alone -- pitch and putt, hillwalking, ping pong (Susan Sarandon is a fan apparently) and knitting circles. Stop panicking and use the time to relax and unwind before the next game of table tennis.
8 Trust your instinct
How to annoy a man; tell him you 'just know'. However, everyone understands what is meant by a mother's instinct. Your instinct is your subconscious taking in the small but vital details your conscious mind hasn't had time to process. If your gut feeling is telling you something, listen to it.
9 Feel confident naked
Make the lighting more flattering. Get a bit more fit and toned -- seriously, if you are too lazy to exercise, stop moaning about wanting to look better. If he says anything negative, and you're still too lazy to try to look like Eva Mendes, he's not the one for you, or you're not the one for him.
It only counts if you do it voluntarily and if you are sincere, and it has extra impact if you get in there first and look holier than thou.
11 Withhold information
This is not lying, it is withholding information from someone because you can, because it makes you feel good to know more, because the nugget gives you power, or because you are a good person and can keep a secret. The urge to blab makes you look unreliable and untrustworthy as well.
12 Be yourself not your money
Money is emotional, and we gain confidence by how much money we have. Using credit cards to fake how successful we are only builds debt and guilt.
However, it is because money is so emotional that it can be hard to get our heads around the fact that how much money we have is not a reflection of who we are. If you have gambled away all your dosh, then you are a gambler. But if you are in negative equity, you are not a waster but someone who trusted in the property market. A willingness to trust is human.