HOW TO NAIL A 5-MINUTE ELEVATOR PITCH

Consider this your crash course in lady bragging.

You may think that elevator pitches are just for aspiring authors desperate to get their manuscripts to the top of an editor’s pile, but they’re actually useful for just about any career or aspiration out there. Yours included. You absolutely need a short speech about yourself that you could reel off in the elevator at every stage of your career, even if you don’t think you have much to brag about.

Everybody has a backstory. Everybody has an inspiration— perhaps it’s your favorite college professor to the female exec at your company whose career you hope to someday emulate. If you know where you’d like to get, all the better. Work it into your speech!

Nerdy confession: I love to read Career Contessa. It makes me feel like a girl boss. In fact, when I was in the seventh grade, I dreamed of being a high-powered lady lawyer who’d have a closet full of pastel-colored suits and heels that clacked when I walked through the courthouse. Legally Blonde only exacerbated this dream, of course.

The boardroom dream is becoming a more common goal for women everywhere, and making an elevator pitch is an absolute must-do!

Remember, there will always be multiple people who qualify for a particular job, but no one could do a job the way you could— and this is what your elevator pitch can let people know.

TELL YOUR STORY

Let people know where you’ve been and what you’ve done, but make it an enjoyable narrative. You know that cringeworthy feeling you used to get at parties when some random guy awkwardly asked you what your major was because he couldn’t think of any other way to make conversation with you? Don’t let your elevator pitch start off with that inauthentic feeling. Include the basics, but elaborate in an interesting way. For example, if you’re looking for a job in finance, include the fact that you love reading finance books and started your own lemonade stand business in the third grade. These kinds of relevant details make you endearing and show off your personality.

KEEP IT CONCISE

Once you write the first draft of your elevator pitch, cut it in half— that’s a good rule of thumb for how long it should be. Unless you’re literally as charismatic as JFK, it’ll be hard to keep a stranger’s attention for much more than a few minutes.

SHARE THE HIGHLIGHTS

There’s no need to recap the day-to-day at your last job. Focus instead on what you accomplished there— maybe you made a particular process faster and simpler or you spearheaded a project on your own. People want to help and hire achievers, not just doers. Positioning yourself in this light will set you up for even more success.

PRACTICE

Even though your elevator pitch is a pre-written speech, it shouldn’t sound that way. Once you know your speech like the back of your hand, you can start to customize it for each situation at hand.

LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

You’ll most likely be using your elevator pitch for different purposes. Once you’re done giving insight about you, consider how this person you’re presenting to can help you, and guide the conversation in that direction. If you’re speaking to someone who works for a company you like but in an entirely different department, ask them if they know anyone in the department you’d like to work for. If this person knows someone you admire, ask for an introduction so you can get in touch to request an informational interview. If the person themselves is hiring for a role, get their contact information so that you are in the position to take the initiative and reach out to them.

Need more inspiration? Here are 41 elevator pitches to get you started.

Let us know some of your favorite elevator pitch strategies! Make sure to download Hey! VINA to meet other career-powered ladies!

(Featured image via Quiet Revolution)

CAREER ADVICE: HOW TO WRITE A COLD EMAIL THAT WILL GET YOU A RESPONSE

When I look back on them, I realize that I’ve gotten some really great opportunities as a result of cold emails I’ve sent. There was a paid writing gig, a string of coffee dates with women whose careers I admired, and the chance to interview Jamie Derringer, founder of the popular blog, Design Milk.

I recently spoke to a few conference organizers who managed to book the founders of Classpass, Poshmark, Grammarly, and Away for their event, and they told me they accomplished it all through cold emails. So you see, in spite of the hangups you may have about reaching out to a perfect stranger, there’s a lot to be gained from it.

The person who really encouraged me to be fearless (but not reckless) about sending out cold emails was Jaime Petkanics of The Prepary. Jaime is a career coach and former recruiter for Tory Burch and J.P. Morgan. She reminded me that the worst thing that can happen is that someone may not respond to my emails. Important people don’t have the time to write the scathing responses you may imagine, so put those fears out of your head now. After all, fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick you into living a boring life.

Jaclyn Johnson is the organizer of Create + Cultivate, a conference for women that has lined up speakers like Jessica Alba, Rachel Zoe and Gloria Steinem. She once said of a cold email to Garace Doré that resulted in a surprising but happy response, “You never know what you’re going to get if you don’t put it out in the universe.”

Here’s how to write a cold email that will get you a response:

USE A HOOK FOR THE SUBJECT LINE

Professional email marketers are constantly testing subject lines, and you could take a note out of their book by putting a little extra thought into yours. It’ll give your email a higher chance of being opened.

KEEP IT SHORT 

This one is pretty clear— despite how much you may want to wax poetic about how you admire someone’s work, if they open your email and see six long paragraphs, their eyes will likely glaze over. Throw in a dash of flattery, but save your story for later down the line. A good rule of thumb is to keep it short enough that someone wouldn’t have to scroll down if they were reading on a smartphone.

Here’s a great quote on this from Aaron Friedman:

“Be direct, quick, and enthusiastic. Nobody wants their time wasted. Everyone wants as much info as possible. Nobody will respond to you if you don’t excite them. If you can keep it under six sentences, that’s good.” 

AT FIRST, MAKE MINIMAL REQUESTS 

Start small. You never know what it can lead to. If you chat with someone on the phone for five minutes and that turns into fifteen, that’s great. If that fifteen turns into a lunch date, even better.

BE STRAIGHTFORWARD 

If you leave your email open-ended and ambiguous, your recipient may not be sure quite what to make of it. If you want then minutes on the phone with them, say so. If you want them to forward your resume to a hiring manager, say so. Be clear about your wishes and the actions you’d like them to take.

FOLLOW UP, BUT WITHOUT BEING ANNOYING 

Repeat after me: there is absolutely no shame in following up. But know how to take a hint if you’re not getting anywhere after one to two attempts. Busy people always have overflowing inboxes. It’s completely plausible that they might see and open your email, make a note to respond, and then forget to. This is how a follow-up can keep you from slipping through the cracks.

Let us know in the comments how your cold email attempts went. And don’t forget to download Hey! VINA to share your advice with friends!

7 BOOKS THAT ALL #BOSSBABES SHOULD READ THIS SUMMER

We know, you probably read Lean In or #Girlboss and thought you’d soaked up all the female entrepreneurial advice there is to read. More vinas than ever are starting businesses and it’s an amazing thing that there are so many #girlboss voices out there sharing their stories!

From Diane von Fustenberg’s 1970s climb to the top of the fashion food chain to Juicy madness in the early 2000s, we’ve compiled a fun list of books written by the female heads of some of our favorite companies, past and present.

Check them out, and let us know you’re thoughts in the comments below!

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I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This, Kate White 

There’s a reason this book is at the top of the list—because if there was just one that I’d want you to pick, it would be this one at the very top of the pile. Kate White was a #girlboss before Sophia Amoruso could even pronounce the word. She speaks openly and candidly about her transformation from pushover to unstoppable editor-in-chief at Cosmopolitan, where she stayed for 14 years. Order your copy here.

Power Your Happy, Lisa Sugarpower you happy

Lisa Sugar is a woman whose secret to success seems simple—she knew what she liked, turned it into a hobby and kept going until it was a business. You may know Popsugar for their engrossing articles and handy craft ideas. Back in the day, it was just a blog, albeit one that she poured her heart and soul into. It’s hard not to be a little envious of her success because she loves the same things so many of us do: pop culture, entertainment news and maybe a dash of gossip, but she’s literally built an empire out of it! Purchase here.

The Woman I Wanted To Be, Diane von Furstenberg 

Before she was 30, Diane von Furstenberg had been both a princess through marriage and a businesswoman featured in the Wall Street Journal … and there would be much more where that came from. Her wrap dress captivated the fashion world and turned it into a craze that eventually died out, but she simply moved onto other creative endeavors.

Lately, she’s been named one of Forbes‘ Most Powerful Women and is president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. If anything, her story is a moving testament to the impact any woman can have at any age. Check out her story here.

by invitation only

By Invitation Only: How We Built Gilt, Alexis Maybank and Alexandra Wilkis Wilson 

It’s hard to imagine a time when people thought online shopping was a bad idea, but the women who founded Gilt lived through those times. In their book, these two Harvard blondes dish on how they encountered sexist venture capitalists who looked down on their flash sale-driven business model, started a company, traveled the world, learned Japanese and figured out how to get a few breaths in between. Purchase here.

In My Shoes: A Memoir, Tamara Mellon

Anyone who believes in a woman’s right to shoes has probably enjoyed at least a brief love affair with a pair of Jimmy Choos. Tamara Mellon was a coke-addicted socialite who’d been fired from Vogue when she got the idea to partner up with Jimmy Choo, a cobbler who was London society’s best-kept secret. Princess Diana was one of his clients.

She describes the mad dash to supply the Hollywood elite by setting up a showroom in a hotel pre-Oscar night, all the way to the eventual unraveling of her part in the company by the financiers. Find it here.

The Glitter Plan, Pamela Skaist-Levy and Gela Nash-Taylor

This book is an adorable fish-out-of-water memoir reminiscent of Legally Blonde. Two perky, candy-loving LA friends start a T-shirt line…that turns into the velour tracksuit movement of the early 2000s. Juicy Couture took over the world and appeared all over our T.V. screens, and stores couldn’t keep enough in stock. Hear firsthand from the founders how the brand evolved and the fun they had riding that wave of success. Order it here.

find your extraordinary

 

Find Your Extraordinary, Jessica DiLullo Herrin

Jessica DiLullo Herrin, co-founder of direct sales jewelry company Stella & Dot, begins her memoir with a mildly relatable parable: when a high school teacher angrily called her a waste of potential, she abandoned her class-cutting high school habits and dedicated her energy to a university transfer. With her eye on the prize (Stanford), she pulled off the transfer, graduated, fielded the corporate career path for a few years, then decided to start her own company.

Herrin’s transparency about what makes a driven career woman tick is one of the things I liked most about her book. She admits that you can’t have it all—ballet recitals and board meetings will have to be decided between. It takes a village to keep it together, in spite of what modern folklore wants us to believe. Outsource the little tasks in order to make way for the big ones, stay true to the vision you’ve set for your career path, and there should be little that stands between you and your dreams. Get it here. 

Want to form a #bossbabe book club? Start swiping for new vinas here!

FIGHT LIKE A LADY: 5 COMMUNICATION TRAPS YOU NEED TO AVOID

In a perfect world, we’d never fight with our friends. Unfortunately, conflict comes with just about any sort of relationship. It’s not even necessarily a bad thing! Anyone who gets along perfectly with another person is likely either codependent, suppresses their own thoughts, needs and opinions, or is not getting close in your relationships.

While fighting is natural on occasion, chronic fighting could be an indicator of a toxic friendship. Let’s talk about some of the ways we typically fight unfairly with our friends… or even your parents and significant others.

AVOIDING DIRECT CONFLICT

The silent treatment, waiting three days to text back to prove a point, one-word answers to drop the hint that you’re upset – many of us have done it at some point, but that behavior belongs back in the third grade.

The most mature way to let someone know you’re unhappy with something they’ve done is to just tell them. Telling them doesn’t have to be a dramatic explosion of a confrontation. Just be honest and vulnerable about your feelings. If the other person responds immaturely (or not at all), then understand that behavior is a reflection of their maturity level.

BRINGING UP IRRELEVANT PAST ISSUES

If it’s relevant, by all means bring it up. If it’s not, leave it in the past where it belongs. Someone refusing to share their fries with you “that one time” does not make them a bad person and isn’t worth mentioning if you’re upset that they made out with their crush. If they’ve done the same thing before, that’s a different story.

SAYING “ALWAYS” OR “NEVER” 

Overgeneralizing is also unfair. We all make mistakes. If someone is late to a friend date sometimes, that doesn’t mean they’re late every time. This distinction may not sound like a huge deal, but it’s an unfair method of arguing if it’s not true.

INVOLVING OTHER FRIENDS 

Asking friends to take sides is unfair to the friend you’re quarreling with, and it’s unfair to the others in your friendship circle. A fight between two people does not have to turn into a fight between eight people. In addition, you may find yourself holding it against other friends who’ve sided against you, damaging more friendship than necessary. It’s one thing to vent to another friend and another to ask them to turn against someone in supporting you.

ASSUMING THEY WILL (AND SHOULD) APOLOGIZE FIRST

It’s easy to wait it out, stewing in anger and assuring yourself that the other person should make the first move toward amending your friendship after a fight. It’s entirely possible that your friend feels the same way. Isn’t it better to figure out if your friendship will be revived rather than letting it die by default? The truth is, there are many benefits to friendships and many different kinds of friendships. Therefore, there’s no honor lost in being the first to extend an olive branch if you miss someone.

So, next time you hit a conflict with your friends, check yourself before you wreak yourself (and your friendship). Have advice for friend fights? Share it in the comments below!

Feature image via Jenavieve

HOW TO START A BUSINESS WITH YOUR BESTIE

Interested in starting a business with your bestie? Sounds fun (and potentially very lucrative). Before you embark on this adventure, we thought we’d share some tips for you. After all, businesses can be stressful and a dear friendships should never be destroyed for money. To save you from a failed startup and a broken friendship, some tips below.

Know each others’ strengths and weaknesses

The honest truth is that we only see what people allow us to see. What makes a great friend doesn’t always make a great business partner. This is why that taking an assessment test could be a great activity before you kick off your business. After all, you’re both experts at taking Buzzfeed quizzes, right?

Find out your Meyers-Briggs type or use a system like Matrix Insights to find out what you’re strongest at on a team and what you could use some work on. The more you know about yourself and your bestie-turned-business partner, the fewer problems you’re likely to run into down the road.

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Amazon.com

Define the roles you’ll have 

For example, Alexis Maybank of Gilt Groupe was founding CEO but also in charge of customer support. Her bestie and business partner, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, was head of merchandising but also responsible for picking up the phone. No matter how many hats you find yourself wearing, don’t wait until the phone rings to decide who’s supposed to pick it up.

Talk values and vision, often and early 

Sometimes we assume we already know the values of our best friend. I mean, they’re our best friends, right? Of course they have a shared value system. But we suggest having conversations about value and company vision right from the start. Ideally, you should spend time talking about what’s important to you in the day-to-day, but also in the long term should your company really take off.  We suggest you both the time to fill out these Vision, Mission, and Values worksheet. Trust us.

Talk about exit strategies 

It’s an icky subject, but if you’ve seen The Social Network you know that getting into business with your friends doesn’t always have a happy ending. Knowing who’s entitled to what if the business is successful and someone wants out later on will avoid a lot of crossed swords.

If you do these these things and feel alignment, you’re good to go. Good luck raising your first round!

 

3 THEORIES WHY YOUR FRIEND GHOSTED YOU

It’s never fun when you’re totally vibing with a new friend and she stops responding, out of nowhere. Ghosting is a woefully common millennial phenomenon that’s often an avoidance tactic – when it’s done intentionally.

Many of us deal with enough ghosting in the dating world, so it can be extra disappointing to encounter it in a friendly situation. Friends are supposed to be the ones we count on, after all.

Regardless of why a vina has ghosted on you, acknowledge that it may hurt a little and has nothing to do with you. It’s more a reflection of her issues, and there are plenty of potential besties out there! Try your best not to let it overwhelm you.

But if you’re wondering, these are 3 likely theories why your friend may have ghosted you.

SHE’S DISORGANIZED

You never know how many other people a person might be talking to. Maybe you were one of twenty other vinas she was chatting with and she just had trouble keeping her conversations straight. Chances are, she needs to get her life together a little better before she can be the reliable friend you deserve.

SHE HATES CONFLICT

Don’t beat yourself up too much over the likelihood of this, but it is possible that she’s upset with you and doesn’t know how to express herself, so she’s chosen silence. If you think that might be what’s going on, reach out and address it in a diplomatic way. If she doesn’t respond, move on – you deserve a friend who has the capacity to resolve issues that come up in your relationship.

SHE’S BUSY AF

Not saying this is a good excuse, but it’s certainly one that happens. Hectic jobs, new romances, catching the wanderlust bug – there are a number of things she could be preoccupied with. It’s hard to pinpoint someone’s day-to-day when they’re not sharing it with us. If this is the case, she’ll come back and initiate catch up time with you when the dust has settled for her. True friends don’t let time, distance, or major life events get between a friendship.

TBH, we hate ghosting – it’s always better to tell the truth than to leave someone hanging in our opinion. Have you ever been ghosted? Tell us about it in the comments!

(Featured image via @urbanoutfitters)

HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF SOUND AWESOME WITH A 5-MINUTE ELEVATOR PITCH

Consider this your crash course in lady bragging.

You may think that elevator pitches are just for aspiring authors desperate to get their manuscripts to the top of an editor’s pile, but they’re actually useful for just about any career or aspiration out there. Yours included. You absolutely need a short speech about yourself that you could reel off in the elevator at every stage of your career, even if you don’t think you have much to brag about.

Everybody has a backstory. Everybody has an inspiration— perhaps it’s your favorite college professor to the female exec at your company whose career you hope to someday emulate. If you know where you’d like to get, all the better. Work it into your speech!

Nerdy confession: I love to read Career Contessa. It makes me feel like a girl boss. In fact, when I was in the seventh grade, I dreamed of being a high-powered lady lawyer who’d have a closet full of pastel colored suits and heels that clacked when I walked through the courthouse. Legally Blonde only exacerbated this dream, of course.

The boardroom dream is becoming a more common goal for women everywhere, and making an elevator pitch is an absolute must-do!

Remember, there will always be multiple people who qualify for a particular job, but no one could do a job the way you could— and this is what your elevator pitch can let people know.

TELL YOUR STORY

Let people know where you’ve been and what you’ve done, but make it an enjoyable narrative. You know that cringeworthy feeling you used to get at parties when some random guy awkwardly asked you what your major was because he couldn’t think of any other way to make conversation with you? Don’t let your elevator pitch start off with that inauthentic feeling. Include the basics, but elaborate in an interesting way. For example, if you’re looking for a job in finance, include the fact that you love reading finance books and started your own lemonade stand business in the third grade. These kinds of relevant details make you endearing and show off your personality.

KEEP IT CONCISE

Once you write the first draft of your elevator pitch, cut it in half— that’s a good rule of thumb for how long it should be. Unless you’re literally as charismatic as JFK, it’ll be hard to keep a stranger’s attention for much more than a few minutes.

SHARE THE HIGHLIGHTS

There’s no need to recap the day-to-day at your last job. Focus instead on what you accomplished there— maybe you made a particular process faster and simpler or you spearheaded a project on your own. People want to help and hire achievers, not just doers. Positioning yourself in this light will set you up for even more success.

PRACTICE

Even though your elevator pitch is a pre-written speech, it shouldn’t sound that way. Once you know your speech like the back of your hand, you can start to customize it for each situation at hand.

LET PEOPLE KNOW WHAT YOU WANT

You’ll most likely be using your elevator pitch for different purposes. Once you’re done giving insight about you, consider how this person you’re presenting to can help you, and guide the conversation in that direction. If you’re speaking to someone who works for a company you like but in an entirely different department, ask them if they know anyone in the department you’d like to work for. If this person knows someone you admire, ask for an introduction so you can get in touch to request an informational interview. If the person themselves is hiring for a role, get their contact information so that you are in the position to take the initiative and reach out to them.

Need more inspiration? Here are 41 elevator pitches to get you started.

Let us know some of your favorite elevator pitch strategies! Make sure to download Hey! VINA to meet other career-powered ladies!

(Featured image via Quiet Revolution)

IS GOLFING JUST FOR OLD WHITE DUDES? WE INVESTIGATE

For 90% of people I know, the only things that come to mind when they hear the word golf are Tiger Woods or Caddyshack. And that’s fair— it’s not exactly the choice pastime of the millennial set, though that may change come 2050.

Being born into a family of golfers or having buddies who like to take a six-pack to the driving range every once in a while are generally the most common prerequisites for getting into it golf. I fall into neither of those categories. I simply registered for golf through my local rec center, having no idea how I’d feel about it. The reason? My Saturday morning tennis lessons were canceled and I needed motivation to get out of bed and start my weekends on an active note. Plus, I do love my short skirt sports.

I remember once watching an episode of Malcolm in the Middle in which it was said that the only thing worse than no TV is golf on TV. It’s kind of true. But now that I’ve taken a few weeks of golf lessons I can say that playing it is actually way more fun than watching it.

For starters, there aren’t many people I know who don’t think golf carts are fun AF. Throw in the fact that a little wine spritzer on the course isn’t exactly frowned upon and you could be looking at a few glorious weekend hours spending quality time with friends. Consider the fact that 15 of the last 18 presidents have been golfers and Richard Nixon didn’t even start to golf until the age of 39. If you take your first golf lesson now, you’ll be setting yourself up for a lifetime of bragging rights at your future retirement community.

Another thing worth addressing is the cost of equipment and playing. Once I registered for my second set of lessons and decided it was something I wanted to commit to, I found that buying used golf equipment is surprisingly easy and affordable. My instructor told me what I needed to know to buy a good set of clubs, and I was able to snag some for $50 on Craigslist. Poshmark has since helped me land a $15 pair of lightly used Adidas golf shoes and a Stella McCartney skirt. That’s less than the cost of a spa treatment! So here’s my rule of thumb: stick to Craigslist for the clubs and Poshmark for the fashion. There’s an unbelievable range of cute clothes on there for the course from Lacoste, lululemon, Adidas and Nike.

My instructor lets me play on the driving range with free golf ball rentals anytime I want to during the week, as long as I’m enrolled in class, which is the perfect 40-minute break in the middle of a work week. As for the lessons themselves, they pretty much went like this: two weeks practicing putting and chipping and then open season on the driving range. The driving range works wonders if you’re stressed about something— just give it a try!

Stepping on the course for the first time was a lot of fun, and I’ve become pretty intrigued by the number of golf courses both around me and spread throughout the world— from Cabo to Maui and beyond!

Now all I have to do is get some girlfriends on board so I don’t have to rely on lessons to make sure I hit the course on a weekly basis. But that’s what vinas are for, right?

Are you into golfing? Download Hey! VINA to meet up with fellow golfers who you’d like to hit the course with!

(Featured image via @fit_with_wit)

3 REASONS WHY DATING YOURSELF WILL BE THE BEST THING YOU DO THIS YEAR

The idea of “dating yourself” may sound like some sort of obscure, new-agey advice that would come from that eccentric barista who works at your local coffee shop, but it could actually be one of the most liberating things you do for yourself this year.

If you step back and think about it, dating yourself contains all the fun that goes into an enjoyable date – without the pressure of wondering how it was for the other person or whether you’ll ever hear from them again.

TRYING SOMETHING NEW

One of the biggest perks of dating is discovering new activities. You can’t really know if you like something until you try it.

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via flickr

It may not always be the easiest thing to go somewhere new and try something different all by yourself; but who was it that said “do one thing every day that scares you?” I think it was Eleanor Rosevelt. So, drive to that ski resort and give it a go all on your own! Make a list of things you’ve always dreamed of trying but you never thought to try alone, like sailing lessons or a paint night. And sign yourself up.

If it’s a class, that’s becomes a weekly date with yourself. You’ll probably learn to appreciate the consistency and reliability, and it will be something to look forward to. And who knows, when that perfect date comes along you just might be able to introduce them to your latest hobby!

TREAT YOURSELF

Is your skin dry? Has it been forever (and a day) since you last got a haircut? Do you wish you had a bigger botty? Set some dates to pamper yourself. Whether it’s by starting a new squat series at the gym or getting a steamer and doing mini-facials at home. Listen to your favorite music and wear something that makes you feel good while you’re doing it. A “date” with yourself can really can be this simple.

If there’s a new restaurant in town that’s blowing up Yelp and all your girlfriends are being flaky about going, take yourself! There’s a good chance that your fears of being spotted dining alone by someone you know are way less likely to happen than you think. Plus, it can’t hurt to be the first of your friends to Instagram their famous lavender custard, right?

GET BACK TO THE BASICS

Another thing you could do is get back in touch with the things you used to love. If you played soccer as a kid but haven’t kicked around a ball in what feels like centuries,  go buy a new pair of cleats and find an intramural team to play with! You never know how well your old skills will kick in again (pun intended).

Like anything else in life, dating is a process of trial and error. By learning what you love to do most, you’re setting yourself up for dating success in the future. And doing what you love is fun – remember that!

Dating yourself teaches you to be good at being on your own. And in turn, when you love/like yourself, you’re more ready to love/like someone else. So get out there and explore yourself and the world.

Then when you are good and ready, go find a friend to date before you start actually dating. Download the Hey! VINA app and see who’s out there.

(Feature image via Garnet News)

WORRYING ABOUT POPULARITY IS RUINING YOUR HEALTH

Question: when the word “popular” comes to mind, do you feel warm fuzzy vibes or some variation of Mean Girls hell from the hallways of high school? If your answer is the latter, don’t feel bad – movies and pop culture condition us to think that way.

As it turns out, there’s a vast difference between status and likeability. More people confuse status with popularity. They chase it, worry about it and often suffer because of it.

LIKABILITY

It’s essentially to living to know that we’re liked, trusted and a desirable person to spend time with. Likeability is beneficial in our lives in both childhood and adulthood. But it only takes a few people to like us in order to boost our confidence. If you have a couple solid vinas to hang with and there is a mutual like/adoration involved, you’re set!

STATUS

Status reflects visibility, influence, and power. But it’s more likely to lead to despair and friendship problems. Mitch Prinstein, director of clinical psychology at the University of Carolina at Chapel Hill, says, “It’s a way of dominating others, of trying to feel somehow superior or more influential or visible.”

Consider status-rich figures like Regina George of Mean Girls, Blair Waldorf of Gossip Girl and Hilly Holbrook of The Help. They all had beauty, friends (or so it seemed), and material wealth but all have been portrayed as being somehow unhappy with their lives. All of their friends were just surface level friendships and mostly toxic anyways, not true vinas. Isn’t it better to have a few really deep connections, rather than a bunch of people thinking you’re “cool.”

The goal of attaining status is to seem better than others rather to join others and enjoy life as part of a group. Pursuing status is an easy trap to fall into because there never seems to be enough of it. Once you hit 100,000 Instagram followers you’re bound to want 200,000. If you’re elected class president, you’ll quickly set your sights on the crown at prom. It’s perpetually unfulfilling.

An increasingly common, modern trap is the way we use social media these days. If you look to social media as a means of comparing yourself to others, based on likes and follows, your risk for depression increases.

Even in adulthood, many people wish they had been popular in high school largely because they have a biased idea of what that would have been like. They don’t see the potential for loneliness and the inability to be themselves that comes with status seeking.

What’s important to focus on is the fact that we all have the opportunity moving forward to become likable, and therefore, happier.

30% of people who had “status” in high school were also well-liked.  What do you think of that statistic? Does it surprise you, or is it similar to what you expected? Comment below. And download the Hey! VINA app to make some deep connection with gals like you.

(Feature image via flickr)