CNBC make it 2024-02-10 20:50:59

Here’s the No. 1 phrase I’ve seen ‘destroy’ relationships, says Harvard-trained psychologist of 20 years

So many unhealthy relationship dynamics are fueled by poor communication skills.

As a Harvard-trained psychologist who has spent 20 years working with couples, I’ve found that the most damaging way to communicate with your partner is with contempt.

Contempt is the belief that a person is beneath you, worthless, or deserving of scorn and ridicule. When someone feels contempt for their partner, they feel justified in humiliating, embarrassing, or hurting them.

One phrase that reflects contempt, and that I’ve seen destroy relationships the most, is: “I wish we’d never met.”

Here are some other phrases that contempt might show up in:

  • “You’ve ruined my life.”
  • “You’re a nuisance.”
  • “I don’t care about what you think or how you feel.”
  • “You’re pathetic.”
  • “You’re not worth my time.”
  • “You owe me. I’ve put up with you for years.”
  • “If we didn’t have kids, I would have left you by now.”
  • “You disgust me.”
  • “No one else would want you.” 

Contempt can also be communicated through non-verbal gestures, like dismissive body language or dramatic eye-rolls.

All of this serves to demean the other person and create a power discrepancy. It can ultimately ruin the foundation of a healthy romantic connection and lead to lower relationship satisfaction.

How to create healthier relationship dynamics

If you find that you feel some contempt for your partner, there are ways to fight it so that it doesn’t hurt your relationship:

  1. Pause. When you’re feeling triggered or emotionally upset, take a moment before you say anything. Choose your words carefully and aim to communicate with respect and kindness, not harm.
  2. Take responsibility. This includes acknowledging your choices, your patterns, and your engagement in dysfunction.
  3. Apologize. Sincerely say you’re sorry when you do something hurtful or mean-spirited.
  4. Learn to argue productively. You and your partner are a team. The goal is to communicate in ways that acknowledge your commitment, desire to connect, and mutual respect for one another.
  5. Tap into your love for your partner. When you want to criticize or change them, remember why you got together in the first place before giving constructive feedback.

The biggest piece of advice I give to people is to try to find gratitude. There is always something to be learned from discord in our relationships. Look for something positive that you can take away from every interaction, even if the process is unsettling. 

Dr. Cortney S. Warren, PhD, is a board-certified psychologist and author of “Letting Go of Your Ex.” She specializes in love addition and breakups, and received her clinical training at Harvard Medical School. She has written almost 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and delivered more than 75 presentations on the psychology of relationships. Follow her on Instagram @DrCortneyWarren.

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The No. 1 resume mistake, says ex-Amazon recruiter: You see it ‘all the way up to the C-suite’

Lindsay Mustain has looked at a lot of resumes in her more than a decade in talent acquisition.

“Literally a million,” she says. The former Amazon recruiter is now the CEO of career coaching company Talent Paradigm and has seen candidates include some mind-boggling elements to their resumes — like stickers and a picture of themselves holding a shotgun.

But there’s one mistake she sees jobseekers make over and over again, what she calls giving “Miss America answers,” or ones she’d imagine hearing in a pageant. These are simple statements that don’t give much insight into what candidates actually accomplished on the job.

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It’s happening from the junior level “all the way up to the C-suite,” she says, and it’s preventing jobseekers from standing out.

Here’s what Miss America answers are and how to avoid writing them.

Don’t write ‘a glorified job description’

When it comes to your resume, you want to mirror the language of the job description to the extent that it portrays your experience accurately. As you do, however, avoid general statements about the tasks you took on.

“I had stakeholder meetings with people” is an example of a Miss America answer, says Mustain. These kinds of descriptions don’t give a concrete sense of how you were able to move your team forward. They’re “like a glorified job description,” she says, adding that, “you just look like somebody who’s filling a seat.”

Instead of listing the tasks you were given, quantify and list your accomplishments.

“If somebody is fixing tickets on a help desk,” says Mustain, as an example, “I’ve solved 30 customers’ problems a day” is a good metric to start with. You can take it even further, though, and think about what you were able to accomplish in a year. Thirty problems a day, 20 days a month, 12 months per year is 7,200 problems solved altogether.

The “more metrics and analytics you can add to your resume, the more impressive,” she says.

‘Your eyes go straight to the numbers’

Quantifying your accomplishments is not just a matter of looking impressive.

Recruiters only have a few seconds to dedicate to your resume. They’re likely “handling somewhere between 15 to 25” job openings at once, says Mustain. “The average applicants per job is 250, which means they’re dealing with tens of thousands of applicants.”

The benefit of quantifying your accomplishments is that recruiters’ eyes “go straight to the numbers when we’re reviewing,” Mustain says. They’ll know how much value you added to your previous employers immediately.

Bottom line, if you want to move forward in the interview process, your resume has “got to be results-based,” she says.

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Patrick Mahomes will fly the Chiefs to Las Vegas if the team wins Super Bowl 58

Move over Disney World, there’s a new celebration destination for one of this year’s Super Bowl hopefuls.

Although the big game is being held in Las Vegas — a city famous for its clubs, restaurants and shows — players won’t be partaking in the festivities ahead of Sunday night’s matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers.

Indeed, Chiefs quarterback and reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes made clear that he expects his team to be focused on the game instead of the temptations of Sin City.

“This is a business trip,” he told NFL Network’s James Palmer.

If the Chiefs come out on top and help Mahomes earn his third ring, the 28-year-old said he’ll make sure the team gets to experience Vegas properly.

“I told the guys that if we win, I’ll bring everyone back to Vegas to celebrate,” he said.

It’s an expensive proposition — the Chiefs’ full Super Bowl roster is 53 players — but Mahomes can afford it. The quarterback has already earned more than $120 million in his career, and has more than $300 million in earnings ahead of him thanks to the 10-year, $450 million contract he signed in 2020.

It’s not the first time Mahomes has been generous with his teammates. Last Christmas, he gifted each member of the Chiefs offensive line electric golf carts customized with their name and number.

 “They do a lot for me,” he said at the time. “So I’m gonna take care of them as well.”

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

I quit my dream job at 32 and spent $34,000 to travel the world—here are my 4 biggest regrets

I was 28 years old when I landed my dream video producer job at CNBC. I would throw off the covers every morning, excited to dive into the work I felt I was born to do. I flew through the days, but often woke up in the dead of the night with a creeping sense of dread. 

I imagined time racing by at warp speed until I suddenly woke up at age 80, regretting that I lived to work, instead of working to live. After all, I’d spent most of my adult life focused on the future. Burned out and chronically anxious, I’d lost my ability to live in the present. 

So I quit my job at 32, bought a one-way ticket to Peru, and spent a year and a half — and $34,000 — exploring 18 countries across South America and Asia. Every day was a “choose your own adventure,” involving choices good and bad. I learned lessons the hard way about balancing preparation, productivity and play. 

Here are the regrets that taught me when to prioritize happiness in the moment, and when to sacrifice it for a better future. 

1. I worried about money so much, I missed out on once-in-a-lifetime experiences 

When I landed in Rio De Janeiro in December 2022, I immediately didn’t want to be there. I wished I were still in Buenos Aires, celebrating Argentina’s World Cup victory in the streets with my friends.

Instead, I sat alone in my Airbnb watching Instagram Stories with a pit in my stomach, because I’d booked my flight from Argentina to Brazil weeks in advance, for fear of prices going up. 

As soon as I arrived in Rio, I booked the cheapest flight to Bogotá, Colombia. That meant I left Brazil on my birthday, three days before Rio’s famous New Year’s festivities, and watched my new friends partying lavishly via Instagram Stories while alone in my hotel.

I was so obsessed with planning ahead to feel in control that I missed out on major life experiences.

From that point on, I kept plans open-ended, allowing new connections and discoveries to determine how long I wanted to stay. Now I start each day with a loose vision for what I’d like to accomplish and flexibility to pivot in response to the unexpected. I learned to live my life guided by joy rather than anxiety.

2. I spent a lot of my life savings, delaying other goals  

The $34,000 I spent on my sabbatical was a significant portion of my life savings. Now, at 34, I have very little saved for retirement, I’m far from a down payment on a house in my hometown of Los Angeles, and I’m not ready to have kids.

While I don’t regret my sabbatical or even how much I spent on it, I do regret that a lack of preparation in my young adulthood landed me in the position of having to choose between personal fulfillment and financial security.

By the time I graduated from UCLA, I could decode Shakespeare but had no idea how to pay my bills. I spent much of my 20s either unemployed or working low-wage internships, and suffered anxiety and burnout trying to catch up.

Had I studied personal finance and started saving, investing and career planning in high school, I believe I could’ve taken my sabbatical without significantly delaying other life goals. 

3. I stopped investing completely  

I began investing in stocks in 2020, exuberant as the market hit one high after another. But after the market declined in 2022 and I lost all my gains, I was scared to lose more. 

I stopped contributing to my Roth IRA and my brokerage account as soon as I quit my job in August 2022, and missed out on an opportunity to build wealth.

I wish I’d continued investing throughout my travels, putting $200 each month into a large-cap index fund. I could have afforded it, since I had enough savings left over after my sabbatical. But to ease my fears of running out of money, I also could have spent less on nice restaurants, clothing, daily lattes and cocktails.

4. I was careless with my belongings

At the lowest moment of my trip, I was crying hysterically on the side of a busy road in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Two minutes earlier, I’d been walking through a touristy area with my phone in my back pocket, lost in the music I was listening to, feeling carefree and on top of the world. 

Suddenly, I felt a hand reach into my pocket and snatch my two-month-old iPhone 13. The culprit fled on a motorbike and chasing it proved futile. I broke down, feeling helpless, alone and scared without my phone in a foreign country. I lost all my photos. The next day, I paid nearly $800 for a new phone.

I lost my belongings on more than one occasion, and it cost me a lot of money, time and energy. While I was meticulous about my to-do lists and flights, I was sometimes careless in other contexts.

The mistakes I made while traveling taught me when to let go, but also when to be more in control.

Helen Zhao is a former video producer and writer at CNBC. Before joining CNBC as a news associate, she covered residential real estate for the LA Business Journal. She’s a California native and a proud USC Trojan and UCLA Bruin. 

Want to land your dream job in 2024? Take CNBC’s new online course How to Ace Your Job Interview to learn what hiring managers are really looking for, body language techniques, what to say and not to say, and the best way to talk about pay.

Bill Gates: Here’s the 1 question I’d ask a time traveler about the future

If Bill Gates met a time traveler from the year 2100, his first question wouldn’t be about his family, or Microsoft’s stock price.

Instead, he’d ask: Are humans thriving? “In the end, it’s all measured through human welfare,” Gates said on the most recent episode of his podcast, “Unconfuse Me.”

In the episode, the billionaire Microsoft co-founder interviewed University of Oxford data scientist Hannah Ritchie, whose book “Not the End of the World” offers an optimistic take on how the world can win its battle against climate change.

Gates asked Ritchie for her “top questions” to ask a time traveler from the future. Her response: What percentage of the world’s population can live on up to $20 a day in 2100? The answer would reveal quite a bit about poverty rates in the future, and whether “we have made progress on health, agriculture, poverty,” Ritchie said.

Currently, more than 9% of the world — over 700 million people — has to subsist on less than $2.15 per day, a level that indicates extreme poverty, according to the World Bank. If a significant portion of people are living on closer to $20 a day by 2100, especially in lower income countries, that “would be an amazing achievement,” said Ritchie — and a sign that humanity likely made progress in mitigating climate change.

“My assumption would be that climate change hadn’t had extremely devastating impacts, where agriculture was ruined and health outcomes were really poor, and people were plunged into poverty,” Ritchie said.

At first, Gates said he’d prefer to inquire about energy production and artificial intelligence. “How are you generating energy? Is it fusion or fission or some unexpected thing?” he asked. “And then understand how the AI was either helping them come together … or how they dealt with that challenge.”

Fusion and fission are types of nuclear energy. Gates has touted both as promising clean energy sources — co-founding nuclear energy startup TerraPower in 2006 — that can help fight climate change.

Gates has also pushed back on various doomsday scenarios around the advancement of AI, saying the technology can eventually help the world solve global challenges in areas like health and education. He still serves as an advisor to Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in AI research startup OpenAI, after leaving its board of directors in 2020.

But upon reflection, despite his personal interests in energy and AI, Gates changed his mind and aligned his response more closely with Ritchie’s question. The best inquiry would be one that reveals the general well-being of humans across the globe, he said.

“You’re right,” said Gates. “The report card isn’t the tactics. It’s the quality of life.”

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