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30 revealing ideas from social psychology that can help us to appreciate people and our lives

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Below are interesting points (sometimes with some of personal thoughts & reflections) that I have learned from a course on social psychology taught by Professor Scott Plous of Wesleyan College.

@~@ Know yourself. Seach inside yourself.
LaoZi : "He who knows others is learned. He who knows himself is enlightened."
Benjamin Franklin : "There are three things extremely hard: steel, a diamond, and to know one’s self"
Daniel Gilbert : "We seem to know less about the worlds inside our heads that about the world our heads are inside."

@~@ People often MISWANT.
Blueroselady :
How to overcome the challenge that we are remarkably bad at predicting of what will make us happy?
This question is very important because many of life’s big decisions involve predicting our future feelings.
Examples of life’s big decisions : marriage, career / profession, migration, vacation.
Funny real-life example : a friend J told me that her husband fluctuates between praising-in-the-form of question and complaining:
(1) "why a such a smart woman like you wanted to marry a jerk and stayed on?"
(2) "It’s a nightmare to be with you for the rest of your life, I was enticed by your physical attractions"

@~@ Most people are too preoccupied with themselves to notice our shortcomings (e.g. your pimple, your spiky hair because of having no time to comb your hair because of waking up late).

@~@ "Research has found that audiences can’t pick up on your anxiety as well as you might expect …
Other people are noticing less than you might suppose."
Blueroselady: The next time you have to deliver a public talk / give a company presentation / make a sales pitch, do not worry. Just do it!

@~@ Susan Andersen & Serena Chen, 2002: In our varied relationships, we have varying selves.

@~@ Much of our behavior is not consciously controlled but automatic and unself-conscious.
Blueroselady: Be mindful. We can choose to practice mindfulness.
Mindful breathing… Mindful eating… Mindful doing…

@~@ self-schema vs possible selves
self-schema = beliefs about self that organize & guide the procession of self-relevant information.
possible selves = images of what we dream of or dread becoming in the future.
self-schema strongly affect how we see / perceive, remember, evaluate other people & ourselves.

@~@ major negative events vs minor irritations
major negative events activate our psychological defense.
minor irritations do not activate our psychological immunity.

@~@ Role playing becomes reality.
As we enact a new role, e.g. college student, parent. salesperson, we initially feel self-conscious.
Progressively, the role playing becomes reality.
This reminds me on the message that Amy Cuddy wants us to remember in her TED talk on body language.
Fake it till you make it.
Fake it till you become it.

@~@ How do we decide if we are rich, smart, or tall?
The answer is social comparison (Festinger, 1954) in affluence, status, achievement.
Blueroselady: Many things in life (that I know of) are relative, particularly those that are measurable.
A reader’s question: "I have made a living comparing data in my job / career. Comparing has become my second nature. How can I stop comparing in life?"
Blueroselady suggestions:
# Gratitude exercises.
# Detachment exercises : Detach your emotions from the outcome of your comparisons. I hear you, it is easy to say, but challenging to do, that is why detachment is an art; for the sake of our happiness, we must practice the art of detachment.
# Mindfulness exercises : Remember that (1) social comparisons can decrease our life satisfaction. (2) 人比人气死人 (3) "There is nothing noble in being superior to some other person. The true nobility is in being superior to your previous self."
# Kindness exercises : Be kind & compassionate to yourself, leave behind comparisons with others.
# Affirmations e.g. It is better to be a first rate version of yourself than a second rate version of someone else.

@~@ Children whom other people label as as gifted, hardworking or helpful tend to incorporate such ideas into their self-concepts & behavior.

@~@ Self-reliance
Self-reliant individual is celebrated in Western literature, e.g. The Iliad, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

@~@ Classifying / pigeonholing / labeling cultures as solely individualist or collectivist oversimplifies.
The oversimplification is because within any culture, individualism varies from person to person (Oyserman et al, 2002).
Blueroselady: Remember not to do hasty generalization.

@~@ Interdependent self
# has a greater sense of belonging.
# is defined by social connections with family, colleagues, loyal friends.
# has many selves: self-with-parents, self-at-work, self-with-friends.
# disapproves egotism, whereas independent self disapproves conformity.
# e.g. collectivistic Asian & Third World cultures.
# persists more on tasks when they are failing because wants to meet others’ expectations (e.g Japanese)
# prioritizes WE over ME

@~@ "So far, most of psychology has been produced by psychologists in middle-class White American settings studying middle-class White American respondents."
However, there are ways of life beyond the one that each of us knows best.
Blueroselady: In other space & time context (e.g. sociocultural context), there can be different ideas & practices about how to live a meaningful life.

@~@ Tips: eat before shopping.
Gilbert & Wilson (2000) showed that hungry shoppers do more impulse buying

@~@ Why is your friend’s success can be more threatening that that of strangers?
According to Zuckerman & Jost (2001), you feel that your self-esteem is threatened.
How do people react to self-esteem threat?
High self-esteem people blame others or try harder next time.
Low self-esteem people blame themselves or give up.
According to Roy Baumeister, folks with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, & to talk at people rather than to talk with people.
Bonus: It is useful for parents to know that
# among sibling relationships, the threat to self-esteem is greates for an older chld with a highly capable younger brother / sister.
# many people could not escape their tough childhoods, which is a cause of low self-esteem.

@~@ Secure self-esteem
# is rooted more in feeling good about who one is than in grades, looks, affluence / money, others’ approval.
# is essential for long-term well-being.
# Blueroselady views secure self-esteem neither as high nor low self-esteem, but self-esteem in equilibrium / in balance.

@~@ self-esteem vs self-efficacy
self-esteem = if you like yourself overall
Self-efficacy = if you believe you can do something

@~@ How to be less intimated (by others) & less gullible?
# remember that personal testimonies are powerfully persuasive but they may also be wrong.

@~@ Self-serving bias?
# attribute positive outcomes to oneself (e.g. own managerial skill)
# attribute negative outcomes to other factors (e.g. a down economy)

@~@ Examples of self-serving bias
# Group members’ estimates of how much they contribute to a join task typically sum to more than 100%. For instance, husband & wife are members of a group.
# most business people see themselves as more ethical than the average business people.
# Pronin & Ross (2006) reported that we see ourselves as objective & everyone else as biased. No wonder we fight!

@~@ Feedback is best when it is TRUE & SPECIFIC.
Specific feedback e.g. You are good at maths.
General feedback e.g. You are great.
To encourage someone (e.g. children, mentees, students, subordinates), remember that specific feedback is more effective than general feedback.

@~@ To improve performance, give self-efficacy feedback instead of self-esteem feedback.
e.g. of self-efficacy feedback : You tried really hard.
e.g. of self-esteem feedback : You are really smart.

@~@ When to listen to criticism & not to listen?
David Dunning’s gentle rule: "if two people independently give you the same piece of negative feedback, you should at least consider the possibility that it might be true"

@~@ Terror management theory by Jeff Greenberg: the reality of our own death motivates us to gain recognition from our work & values, but not everyone can achieve such recognition.

@~@ Competence + perseverance = success

@~@ Success requires enough optimism to sustain hope and enough pessimism to motivate concern.

@~@ According to Jule Norem (2000), defensive pessimism can sometimes save us from the perils of unrealistic optimism.
Blueroselady: Negative emotions such as anger and pessimism are not entirely bad, we just need healthy ways to deal with them.
Tips: Whenever you feel angry, remember that the person you are hurting is yourself.

@~@ Tyranny of freedom? too many choices can lead to paralysis.
According to Barry Schwartz, individualistic modern cultures have an excess of freedom which leads to the tyranny of freedom.
# Choice may enhance regret.
# People have expressed greater satisfaction with irrevocable choices than with reversible choices. This is because when people can undo their decisions they tend to consider both the positive & negative features of the decisions they had made. When they could not undo their decisions, people tend to concentrate on the positive features & ignore the negative features. For example, people expressed more satisfaction with their marriages several decades ago when marriage was more irrevocable.

@~@ Love causes marriage, but marriage would also causes love.
Blueroselady: This hypothesis may explain why arranged marriages (in some cultures) have successfully worked and survived.

@~@ The 5:1 ratio of positive:negative activities
To sustain important relationships such as marriage and parental relationships, ensure that you strive to increase the ratio of positive to negative activities by at least 5 fold.
e.g. of positive activities : holding hands, giving a hug, lending a listening ear.
e.g. of negative activities : arguing, complaining.

More
# Book: Social Psychology. Chapter 2. DG Myers. 2012.
# Notes at the end of email

Written by blueroselady

December 26, 2013 at 3:55 am

Family friendly malls in Singapore

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Desirable criteria:
diaper-changing stations
kids’s urinals
hot water dispenser
nursing rooms (where mothers can breastfeed)
resting seats
power points (if need to use breast pump)

Additional desirable criteria:
groceries (Giant / NTUC Fairprice / Cold Storage)
baby shops (Kiddy Palace)
libraries

@~@ Causeway Point

@~@ City Square Mall
easily accessible from Farrer Park MRT Station (NE line).
offers compliment use of kiddy cabs and baby prams (ask from customer service).

@~@ Nex
rooftop water playground
small Serangoon Public Library in the mall

@~@ Plaza Singapura
Dhobby Ghaut MRT

@~@ Tangs

@~@ United Square
complimentary diapers, milk sachets, magazines are provided.
can loan pram.
Novena MRT

@~@ VivoCity

Below are ok lah …
@~@ Junction 8

@~@ Northpoint

Written by blueroselady

March 6, 2013 at 2:07 pm

Posted in lifestyle

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Miscellaneous in April 2012

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@~@
Scotch double sided tape is useless. I cannot remove the adhesive part.
It is better to use single sided tape and fold it.

@~@
I want to buy a pair of black formal shoes that cover my toes.
I like Everest brand, soft leather $80 -15%.

@~@
April 29, 2012: I do not like my eggplant cooking. Do not buy raw eggplant anymore!

@~@
Read Escape from Camp 14.
Love is very important.
Shin betrayed her mother and brother for survival and as a result of his brainwashing (he was raised by the guard to be a snitch).
Shin father was sorry for bringing him to this world.
Though my religion teaching is supporting procreation, but in some circumstances like Shin’s earlier life conditions, living a dignified human life can be very difficult. There are so many Shin-alikes, but only 1 Shin had succeeded to escape.
Reading this book makes me feel sorry for everyone described in the book.
It seems that everyone in the book is a victim of victims.

Written by blueroselady

April 30, 2012 at 8:28 am

Happy shopping and staying at home

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Today is my window shopping day on the 2nd weekend of February 2012.
A ferrari driver drove madly @ crowded street. Pedestrians beware. Do not stand too close to the street.
The driver did so because wants to feel important, but @ the great risk of other lives. Dislike!

Prioritization:
I don’t mind to spend more on food.
But not clothes, bra (can cost more than $100! Though they are sexy and nice), toys, accessories.
I am grateful for the only diamond ring that was given by my lover.

Even if I have grown up, I always love chidren section, from creative toys to princess dress up.
Harumika.com is quite fun, like a fashion designer.

I like to see cupcakes, but not so much eating it.
I sampled Master Mi (from Taiwan), Bankaku shrimp cracker (taste normal).

Lunch: Yonehachi
The idea is similar to my kitchen fav: rice with ingredients like what I cook for my lover.
My lover & I love Japanese food for the VARIETY in a meal (color, cooking method). I am happy that I can exchange salad with sesame french bean.
Tips: it is better to shop with full stomach, we will not be tempted so much.

I bought Royce chocolate GIANDUJA for Valentine 2012. It has almond and hazelnut flavor, my lover’s favorite.

I tried Loccitane lavender. Rich lotion on skin, but too lavender in smell.

In the end, I am quite tired as I could not find some things that I need. Go back to recharge as more people start to over crowd. I prefer to shop when there are less people.

I cooked a soup with vermicelli for dinner.
Ingredients:
pork ribs + red dates + wolfberries + danshen + carrot + beet root + mushroom.

My lover showed me a bit of Jeremy Lin in action.
He is so fast.
I am proud of him!

Glorious sunset framed by tree branches, viewed from the window of our living room. The intense color of sunset!

Written by blueroselady

February 11, 2012 at 11:56 am

Posted in fun

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Istanbul, we learn about you before we visit you

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Still so much more to learn …
99% of Turkish are Muslims.

Islamic Etiquette:
SHOES – Remove our shoes before entering a mosque / a Turkish home.
MEN and WOMEN – A man should not touch a woman (other than family), even to shake hands, unless the woman proffers her hand / cheek first.
NO LEFT HAND – Never eat or pass something to a person with our left hand (traditionally used for wiping ourselves).
PORK and ALCOHOL – Though many people in Turkey do drink alcohol, we should never offer alcohol or pork to a Muslim.
DRESS – Dress modestly, no bare knees, shoulders or midriffs (for either sex).
COVER HEAD – It is considered polite for a woman to cover her head when entering a mosque.
RAMAZAN – No eating and drinking in public during daylight hours.
SIGHTSEEING – DO not go sightseeing in mosque at prayer times (particularly noon on Fridays).
LOVERS – Avoid public displays of affection btween couples.
NO JOKE – DO not joke about any religion.

SHOPAHOLICS
I want to buy Blue beads for Mum (she has been wanting it for few months and I am so lucky to go Istanbul to buy it for her),
Turkish delight (I ate it before in Cyprus), almonds, hazelnuts, honey. I also want silk scarves for myself.
The blue bead is actually a charm to ward off the “evil eye”.
If you buy saffron spices, check it is the real think – there is a cheaper alternative (safflower) on sale.
Souvenirs for friends: pointed slippers or a sparkly belly-dancing outfit.

STREET-SMART
It is illegal to be out in public without photo ID.
Western women are seen as free and easy – Turkish men will flirt and younger women will be hassled, stop it with a POLITE but FIRM response.

Unscrupulous cab driver: Most cab drivers are fine, but some, particularly in the old city (near Grand Bazaar), charge 3x. They may try to cheat on payment. E.g. 50 YTL note we gave, they will say 5 YTL. Inspect every note and say what it is out loud as we hand it over. Keep small notes at all times, the drivers will rarely have change.

Written by blueroselady

August 20, 2010 at 4:27 pm

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Our family in summer 2010

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Dad loves to wear sleeveless T-shirts now. He looks like a martial art teacher from Shaolin school.
Dad is very patient. On Friday night, he went to the airport to pick me up. On Saturday afternoon, he goes to the airport to pick up my sister from Australia. Two days later, he has to go to the airport to send my sister and I off, we are taking early morning flight.
Mum is grateful. She only has less than 48 hours for her family to be physically united in her home, but she is happy and satisfied.
Mum is a woman without worry, I must learn from her.
Mum is a liberal woman, she does not mind change clothes in front of us, except our brother.
Mum told me that a Shanghai guy fancies my sis, now I understand why mum wants me to be a protector, they agree to meet in Shanghai this month, and I am supposed to be the eyes and ears of mum, if necessary, her hands to protect or to bless.
Correction: that guy is her boyfriend, he has asked her to be his girlfriend. They are going to meet in Shanghai and he does not want to see me. What?!
When sis saw me, she said “you are so slim, I am fat” I guess girls are very concerned on their appearances. She said I am like a tweety bird, big head and small body.
Well, I think I prefers Pullip doll. Pullip has an oversized head on a jointed plastic body, with eyes that can change positions and wink.
Sis is 5 cm taller and 10 kg heavier than me. She gained 5 kg in Australia.
My brother has grown up. His legs are as muscular as a footballer. His shoulder is as wide as a body builder. Only his baby face reminds us that he is still our baby brother. I love seeing him wearing T-shirt with a big word of Stanford.
On the night of sis return, we savoured kangoroo meat, bbq-ed by sis. Mum said it tasted like beef.
On our last supper this summer, we have foie grass given by Dad friend. My brother is against it as he thinks it is very cruel to treat the goose, well he is missing one of life delicacy. Probably, he has never experienced life difficulties like us.
Dad fancies our return and family gathering because he can only enjoy delicacies when all his children are at home. Mum will find excuses not to have feast when their children are not around.
Dad told me that when I was a kid, probably around 3 years old, he loves to bring me to buy stuff for his shop. First, I do not have many toys nor any playmates as I am his first kid, I enjoyed the shopping so much. Second, I did not ask him to buy toys even if I liked them, my sister would do that, that is why Dad found it was more stressful and less fun to bring her shopping. Dad would tie me behind the Vespa (yes Italian Vespa), for worrying that I might fall down due to falling asleep. That was a bit of experience that I remember from my earlier childhood, it was fun looking at many stuff and Dad would treat me cold local drink after he finished shopping.
This weekend, I had tight schedule. Went to have a hair cut, saw a traditional medical check-up, made a video of home, saw a dentist, went shopping for a luggage.
I did not mind going to a cheap hairdresser, the cost was only less than USD 2. My sister chose a better hairdresser, her cost was 5x mine. Her new hairstyle is Cleopatra alike.
Why did I make a video of home? First, it is for memory because Dad is thinking to sell his house and travel around. We used to sleep in the same room as our parents, because we were less prosperous than now. Second, it serves for insurance evidence, the insurance book that I read advices people to keep a video of properties if keeping receipts of all valuables within house too troublesome to do. Perhaps, you could do that too.
Like Darling, I have become workaholic, I could study sitting outside fitting room while waiting for Mum and Sis.

Written by blueroselady

July 5, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Posted in family, food, travel

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My first SLR

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I am so happy for my first ever SLR after years of humbly learning and taking photos. Thanks Darling for accompanying me and cheering my days. I am a professional photographer now ready to accept assignment(s) and of course I am constantly learning to provide the best results.

Personally, I do have aspirations for my Nikon. I call her Nikon from now onwards.
I aspire to take at least one good shot for my Happy Project. Happy Project is a series of photographs taken monthly with my beloved ones, especially my Darling. I visualize that Happy Project to continue until the end of 2010. For each month Happy Project, I wear new outfit. They are mostly my sister outfits, which are still very new but she could not wear them for too many times for ‘face’ (celebrities don’t wear the same outfit more than 3x), and I don’t mind wearing hers. Besides outfit, I also experiment with MAKE-UP and HAIRSTYLE and PROPS to create the atmosphere. I have used PROPS from umbrella to toys.

Today is probably my highest spending on shopping of the year, excluding the day when I need to purchase trans-ocean air tickets.

God I am so grateful to you. We went to the Sunday homily. The story started when a stranger knocked the door of a rich man who collected paintings of reknown painters. The stranger said that he was in the same unit as the rich man’s son, and the son has saved the stranger and many others. Unfortunately, the son died. The stranger told the rich man that the son shared about the rich man’s interests in paintings to the stranger. Therefore, the stranger, who is a also a painter, wants to give the rich man a portrait of the son which the stranger has painted. The painting captures the personalities of the son, and the rich man always introduces the painting on the son before showing his other collectible paintings by other reknown artist. After the rich man passed away, an auction is held. People come to buy the paintings byreknown artists. The first painting to be auctioned is the painting on the son. However, nobody wants to buy the painting on the son except the family gardener who offers to pay $10, because that is what he has. Then, it is announced that there is a secret condition of the auction, whoever bought the son painting, will inherit all the paintings collected by the rich man. Do you get what the priest mean? The son is Jesus.

Written by blueroselady

March 13, 2010 at 3:30 pm

Posted in photogprahy

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