20 things every girl should know

There are some things that absolutely every girl needs to know how to do perfectly! If you're looking to bag yourself the style and grace to deal with any situation, look no further than Cosmo's ultimate how to guide... from break-up tips to scoring that big pay rise you've always wanted, we've got everything covered!

1. How to take a compliment

You look absolutely amazing. And yet, like many others, when somebody throws a compliment your way you'll have absolutely no idea what to do with it. Why are you putting yourself down? Don’t deflect the compliment to someone else and don’t point out your weaknesses. The minute you start undermining yourself, others will too. If it helps, try thinking about it as a gift that somebody has put a lot of thought into and accept it in the same gracious manner.

2. How to defend yourself

It's a sad but true fact that a woman aged 21 has a 1 in 4 chance of experiencing a violent crime in her lifetime.

Experts have proven that it's virtually always better to fight back, particularly if you are trained in a particular form of self-defence, as women who fight back are injured less often, are more successful in stopping the attack and feel better about themselves afterwards.

Check your local area for a self-defence class and sign up. Not only will it keep you in great shape, but it may just save your life someday.

3. How to check for breast cancer

It's a scary fact that 1 in 9 women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives; early diagnosis is vital for good recovery, which is why every woman should check her breasts once a month. It is easiest to check your breasts in the shower or bath. Run a soapy hand over each breast and up under your arm. You are checking for changes to the size, shape or feel of your breast.

The NHS breast awareness five point code says:
1.) Know what is normal for you
2.) Look and feel
3.) Know what changes to look for
4.) Report any changes without delay
5.) Attend breast screening if you are aged 50 or over

4. How to walk away from a bad relationship

There are so many reasons why a relationship can be bad for you. If you feel trapped, undermined, anxious, in danger or just plain unhappy, it's having a negative effect on your life and you need to walk away. Who really wants to spend their life with someone who causes them continual frustration? It's time to break things off, fast, before it becomes too difficult. Surrounding yourself with compassionate, loving friends and family will help you see yourself as a worthwhile, worthy person again, and you'll find it easier to get steady on your feet with your loved ones around you so that you can make your break up process easy.

5. How and when to ask for a pay rise

Do you feel you're worth more than you're paid? When you’ve had a great performance review, completed a successful project or been praised for your efforts, that’s the best time to ask for more cash. Avoid approaching your boss in busy periods. Instead, arrange for a time to meet that suits both of you.

Name your price, without falling back on an ultimatum, and make sure you justify why you're worth it; compile a summary of your skills, strengths and contributions to any recent projects. It also helps to have an idea of what your role is worth in other companies, so do your research first. If things don't go as planned, don't be disheartened.

Ask for tips on how to improve your performance and ask for a payment review in three to six months. If you handle things coolly and professionally, your boss won’t fail to be impressed!

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