Asking for help can deepen a relationship if you do it right

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The first time I had to install an air conditioner in my apartment, I spent the early weeks of summer stewing in sweaty anxiety. I hated the stress of hoisting an unwieldy hunk of metal into my third-floor window, directly above a well-trafficked sidewalk. But I also hated the idea of asking any of my friends for help. Surely they all had better things to do on an evening or weekend than schlep to my place to perform manual labor.

And what if they said no? I already felt needy for being unable to handle the job myself. …


I’m that person and I’m not sorry

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Smartphones are the worst, right? They’re addictive, rotting our brains, skewing our memories, and killing the art of casual conversation. As if relying on our phones to fill every idle moment isn’t bad enough, going out in public to stare at a screen — especially at a place like a bar that’s built for socializing — surely signals the decline of our civilization.

Except I do it, and you probably do, too.

I recently spent an entire evening at my neighborhood bar, carrying on five text conversations simultaneously while drinking frosty margaritas in IRL silence. …


Going on a trip can exacerbate your symptoms, but these strategies can help

Photo by Bambi Corro on Unsplash

When Mechi Annaís Estévez Cruz gets on a plane to leave her home in Cabarete, a small town in the Dominican Republic where she runs a Spanish-language school, she immediately begins “catastrophizing.” Reflexively, she imagines all the different things that could go wrong. Maybe a tire will blow out on her way to the airport. Maybe a bird will fly into the aircraft’s engine and bring the plane down.

Estévez Cruz, who was in New York on 9/11 and has post-traumatic stress disorder and generalized anxiety, knows the actual chance of being in a plane crash is low. Still, she…


Turns out the thrill of exploring a new place alone doesn’t negate how difficult it can be

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Last December, I embarked on a month-long solo trip to Eastern Europe. I’d been feeling a bit stalled personally and professionally, and I thought a big adventure would help me get unstuck. I booked a flight to Estonia, reserved a few nights in an Airbnb, and planned to figure out the rest when I got there — after all, everything was up to me.

It was a thrilling thought: I was exploring a foreign country entirely on my own, with no one else’s schedule, wants, or needs to consider. I wandered the charming cobbled streets of Tallinn, the capital city…

Susie Armitage

freelance journalist with bylines at BuzzFeed News, Business Insider, Atlas Obscura, Curbed, Vox, Slate, NPR & others | susie.space

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