Social media allows us to share some of the deepest and most polarizing opinions with the push of a button. The ease of challenging others or upholding values while masked by an online identity is convenient, but such an environment could also lead us to miscommunicate, dehumanize others, or come across more harshly than we mean to. That’s why we need to ask the question: can our preference for online communicating hinder us when it comes to engaging in person on hotly-debated topics?

Having a round table discussion may prove as a more worthy and personal way of discussing differing opinions. For topics warranting more time and care, round tables remind us that behind every opinion is a human with feelings, a face with a background, and a soul worth listening to.

Participating in these personal, sometimes confrontational, discussions can be difficult, especially when we can anticipate that we’ll be met with someone who doesn’t agree with us or holds a stance that is opposite of ours. We may not prefer situations like this for a few reasons: if we need extra time to process, if we sort thoughts better by writing, or if the thought of intentionally approaching someone with whom we disagree brings on anxiety. On top of all of that, physical distance can make having an in-person discussion near impossible in some cases.

However, which better helps us grow and widen our horizons — continuing to be affirmed by people who always agree with us, or offering to be challenged and questioned by people who don’t?

She is a mystery. Her only companion a cup of coffee and a copy of her favorite book. Though she sits alone at this sidewalk café, she savors the moment. She quietly delights in the sights and sounds of the scene unfolding before her. She has nowhere to be. No one is waiting for her elsewhere. She will stay as long as she likes. And only leave when she is ready. Who is this woman?

She leaves us wanting to know more.

In an age of social media, over-sharing has become an unfortunate by-product. But maintaining a mysterious element about oneself can leave people wanting more. Not to be mistaken with being stand-offish or aloof, cultivating one’s allure–when done with kindness, grace and authenticity–is an empowering way to keep the people you meet fascinated by the person you are inside.

Cozy up (even when it’s warm!) with your favorite glass of red wine and this vegan Italian “lasagna” bake. We all love a good Italian meal, especially one that’s satiating without all of the empty carbohydrates. This butter bean bake is a great option for vegans looking for creative ways to add protein to their diet. Comfort food is made easy with this fifteen-minute dinner.