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I bark that man there, he bites!
You have got seconds to create an impression

Though it happened a few years ago, the memory is as fresh as a slap across the face. I was introduced by a mutual friend to a girl named Ridma, who was visiting from out of town. Wanting to make a positive impression on her, I spent a few minutes chatting her up. I was having a good time. I thought I was being funny. That's why I was so surprised when she gave me the cold shoulder.

I am a type of person who doesn't care too much about creating an impression. But that day after knowing that she wasn't at all impressed by me, I gave it a thought. For the first time in my life I wanted people to like me.

It's hard for friends to be brutally honest but I insisted them to tell the truth. Here it is:” You looked like an arrogant, self-centered guy who doesn't care much about the world and its contents.” said one of my friends. Yes, I knew I am bad at communicating with others but still it stunned me. So there I was going through books and talking to other people for help. That is when I learned few simple tricks to increase my odds of making a first good impression. Here's how, it is done.

Big brother style:
Make eye contact at least half to two-thirds of the time (any more than this and you may come on too strong). And pay attention to your body language. Lean towards others when they speak (do not lean too much).Nod every now and then. Give a hug or tap their shoulder gently to show empathy or sympathy when they are down.

Laughter is the best medicine:
Smile, even if you aren't in the mood. If needed, try to fake it. It's like a gift of social generosity, with a pay-back. One research says- just going through the motions of showing some may make you- and others- feel better.

Don't get connected too much:
Be careful about “over sharing” i.e. disclosing too much personal information about you. Keep it light. Keep it positive. No one- repeat- no one will be interested in your misery.

Be a groveller:
Try a little flattery. People warm to others who pay them compliments even if they know they are false, studies show. But try to do it sincerely.

Direct action:
Got a prepared opening line as an ice-breaker? Ditch it or you risk coming across as shallow, aggressive and calculating.

Mood dude:
Think a neutral, inscrutable style makes you appear thoughtful, deep or cool? Forget it. Aloof behavior like crossing your arms or showing zero emotion makes you look bored or arrogant.

After all this I think the core of a first impression is at once simple and tricky: making the other person feel comfortable. The more you listen and connect, the more likely it is that others will return that attention. To sum up, here is the ultimate tip: be a good listener.

Reference- First impressions by Ann Demarais
And Valerie White.

By Adnan Quadri

Jealousy's venom stings more than anaconda's!

Every human has a flaw in their character. Some are bossy, some are nosy but there’s one flaw that’s common in every human being- Jealousy.

Jealousy is a curse that no human can escape from and we’ll all admit that, at least once in our lives, we suffered from it.

It is like cancer slowly diminishing every existing cell in our body causing our mind to get poisoned by its deadly venom. Shakespeare was right when he said that of all the torments which afflict the mind of man, the pains of jealousy were the most intolerable and had the sorest sting. The word jealousy stems from the French sanassa, formed from jaloux (jealous), and further from Low Latin zelosus (full of zeal), and from the Greek word for "ardour, zeal" (with a root connoting "to boil, ferment"; or "yeast")

Jealousy surely boils us when it attacks and it also doesn’t fail to leave marks on us either! Jealousy is very common in our every day life. We often start getting jealous of our best friends and even our family members. I mean think people do we lose our senses then? How can we be jealous of our best friends? The friend that always stands up for us, the friend that always makes us smile? We even don't hesitate to envy our own brothers and sisters! It's not rare to find that a younger sister is jealous of her elder sister. In fact I had a friend who had a problem like this and later ended up regretting every thing she did to her. Why are we like this? Why do the little things in life affect us so much? I guess there is no answer to these questions but that doesn't mean that we cannot improve ourselves.

So next time you feel the slightest hint of jealousy creeping in to your heart when you are talking to your friend or your sister/brother think about all the happy times you shared with them. Whatever plan the jealousy has to destroy you will surely get crushed!

By Mashiat Rabbani

Why does time hate us?

They say the hands of time never stop ticking. I beg to differ, not because I like to beg, but because that's a figure of speech. What isn't a figure of speech, you ask? A tree isn't a figure of speech, it's just a tree. All that has nothing to do with the topic, so let me get to the point. I hate time. Time makes me really mad and like every other thing, time is a pain in the neck. Time freezes and then time passes, faster then the blink of an eye. Time is evil and time hates us all. The preceding statement, I will now explain in greater detail.

Where did the time go?
Ever done something that you really enjoyed doing? Of course you did, if you haven't then you are probably very boring. Well, whenever you do something you totally love, time starts to tick away really fast. Hell, even lightning bows down to the speed of time, because time becomes so fast.

Every time I chose to play a game or talk on the phone, time gains super-sonic speed. 30 minutes pass off in 10 minutes. Even at times, time passes just to make us cry. Like 3 months before your exam, you know you have 3 months to prepare. You go to sleep and it's only 2 months left. You relax and go to bed and wake up to see that you have your examinations the next day. I mean, that just proves that time really hates our guts. It can't stand us having fun for too long and it won't even let us kick back for a while.

Every time I tried to do my homework at the last moment, time would shift to its highest gear. Time is a crook in disguise. Even during my examinations, when I didn't look at the clock, the seconds hand moved, skipping numbers for e.g. it went from 5 to 7, in one second. I was paranoid and couldn't take my eyes off the clock and thus I failed. I never did catch it red-handed.

Time waits for none eh? Yeah, right!
Sitting back in my boring literature class, time refused to pass. I mean, I could literally see the second hand stuck to its position. I was shocked and in due time realized that the clock wasn't working, but time does stop when we don't look. Remember those boring lectures? They took longer then planned, because time stopped! One time, I waited for my results as usual and they wouldn't come because time froze and thus so did the delivery of my results. Time hates us, I tell you.

Once, I felt like throwing the geography book at the clock, because I had to study for 1 hour and I studied for 2 hours, but time refused to testify, as it had stopped. Whenever, I turned away from the clock it stopped moving. Therefore I had to keep a constant eye on it and thus I couldn't study anything and as usual, I failed. All my bad grades and failures are a result of time's constant urge to hate me. I hate you too, time.

Until the last moment
Don't even dare give me that “figure of speech”. I never waited till the last moment, I only waited for the right time and being as evil as time is, it never presented me with that moment. Therefore, I have ended up being all paranoid and disoriented. Time hates us all and I cannot tell you why.

By Osama Rahman

I am me! You are you! So be it!

There was a point in my life when there were constant naggings and fights with my parents. It seemed like they even hated even the way I breathed.

My elders constantly compared me with others, like my cousins who were established and “successful”, as my parents termed them. They sometimes even compared me with my own friends. I don't know from when but I started to follow them. The way they were. I was horrified to be me. I could not trust myself, as if, I could do nothing right.

During exams even when I knew I did give the right answers I always had to confirm it with my friends. It's like I believed I can't do any thing on my own.

Until one day, when this everyday's bickering of my parents got to the maximum I realized. My parents were scolding me like hell. I was so upset and broken that at a point I unknowingly shouted out, “Mom I can't be someone else. Love me for who I am!”

There was silence then. They did not shout back at me. I think they realized how miserable I felt. I did not get out of my room that day. I wept and wept. My mom did come to soothe me but I not did open the door. At a point I realized crying won't help. I stood in front of the mirror. I rubbed my tears. I looked at myself up and down. I wasn't that bad at things. I needed to work on things. I realized I have to trust my self. I have to believe in myself.

Next morning, I went to the class. We were having an exam. I finished my paper confidently. I knew I gave a good exam. For the first time I did not confirm my answers with my friends. When I was about to submit, one of my friends looked at me slightly surprised and said “Naima won't you check your answers with us?!”

“No! I think I had all my answers correct.” I replied.
“Yeah! Right!” she let out a giggle.

I wanted to smack her on her face. But, then, I realized that it's me who made them say things like that. I, me did not believe in myself. How could I expect others to?

I don't know where I got that much confidence and why I said that but I did.

I said “You want to bet 500 bucks on me. If I did poorly in the exam the money is yours and if I did well, it's mine. Deal?!”

“Deal!” she let out another giggle. “Don't blame me if you lose because you are going to.”

I did lose the bet. And that failure increased my confidence even more. And I bet again for 1000 bucks. I worked my ass out. The money did not matter to me. What mattered to me was my self-esteem, which gradually started to grow in me. And this time I won. I won.

I tasted victory.
I realized all these days I tried to be someone else but me. I caged my own self. I cared too much about people's opinion on me. Yes I want people to like me but not to change me. I realized sometimes it's better to go with my instincts.

So go for your instincts, do what your heart says. Don't be scared to experiment. Believe in yourself. Go and chase your dreams. Sometimes rub out the boundaries. Conquer all your fears. Win hearts. Trust your fate. Raise your voice. Never forfeit. Be you. That's what makes you stand out.

By Naima Nuren Khan




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