If you haven’t noticed already, we live in world where many people believe that they only way to succeed is to be pretty, witty, rich and slim. Without these things they think it will be next to impossible to find the perfect spouse, the perfect job, a dreamy, trouble free life.
Now of course, having all those things certainly don’t hurt but you still need to keep growing and learning. Someone once said, when we are green, we are growing, when we are ripe, we rot. There’s a lot of truth in that statement. But what makes the biggest difference between people who are happy and successful and those who aren’t?
It’s their vibration! That certain something which you can’t put your finger on but makes them so attractive, you can’t help but want to be near them.
How do you get to be one of those people? It’s not something you are born with, but rather it’s something you can learn. Take a look at the top 5 things you can do to be the kind of people that everyone wants to hang around with. It all starts with you, my friend.
1. Keep a record of your victories
Of course, not every day is a blue ribbon day by any means. However, just because we may fail every now and then it certainly doesn’t mean that we are failures! When a plan just doesn’t go the way you had hoped, don’t beat yourself up, just tell yourself something like “Well, that didn’t go as planned.”, then get right back on the horse, so to speak.
Keep a journal and write down every single thing that you can do the things you know, as well as all the successful projects you have achieved already. See yourself through someone else’s eyes and realize that you are an amazing person exactly the way you are. Read 10 tips to make it easy to meditate every day.
2. Think about all the things you like about yourself
Don’t be shy and don’t think that noticing all the good things about you means that you are arrogant or have a big head. No one wants to be around a person with no self-esteem who talks crap about themselves all the time. Write a list about all the things you like about yourself. You don’t have to show it to anyone so be brutally honest. Don’t write what others have told you; write what you see about yourself. Are you a good listener? A good friend? Are you super good with computer programs? Maybe you have a way with animals or you are a super good cook. You might be surprised at all the things you are really good at! Read this list every few days and add to it if you find you have forgotten a few things.
3. Define your ultimate goal in life
You know that old saying, if you do the same old things, you will get the same old results? It’s absolutely true. Don’t be afraid to try a different approach in life. Do you know what your ultimate goal is? How can you reach it if you don’t know exactly what that is?
Think about it and be very specific. “I want to retire early”, is too vague. “I want to have two million dollars by the time I’m 60 so I can retire and start my own petting zoo”, is much more appropriate.
4. Now break down that goal into realistic steps
Thinking about your ultimate goal, break that goal down into baby steps. Begin with next week, then next month, three months from now, 1 year from now, etc. Ask yourself about each goal, “On a scale of one to 10, how doable is this?” If you can’t answer 8 or above, then maybe you need to either rethink the goal or break it down even further. As you complete each goal, don’t forget to add them to your journal of “victories” from step one. Read also about habits of the super organized.
5. Practice visualization, it works!
Whatever goal it is that you want to achieve, you should visualize it vividly every day. Begin your day by thinking about how great everything would be, and how you are going to achieve everything you need to do that day. You can even imagine getting a great parking space! And before you go to bed at night, be thankful for the great day you had and, again, really picture how the next day is going to be. You might feel silly doing this at first, but after a while, you will see how all those things you imagined in your mind begin to become your reality.
Kelsie is a journalist and writer who shares about productivity and money tips on Lifehack. Read full profile
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If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.
Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.
So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.
Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.
2. Ask Open-Ended Questions
Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”
“Why do you want to do that?”
“What makes you so excited about it?”
“How long has that been your dream?”
You need this information the help you with the following steps.
This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”
4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be
After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.
This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.
6. Ask How You Can Help
Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.
7. Follow Up
Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.
By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …
Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!
Employees Need to Believe They Can Trust Their Leader
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Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources.
Leaders are hard to find—at any level of your organization. Leaders exhibit a unique blend of charisma, vision, and character traits that attract people to follow them. They exhibit the other nine characteristics around which this article series was developed as well.
But, mostly, as they exhibit these leadership traits and characteristics, they become the person that other people want to follow—even choose to follow given the opportunity.
What Respected Leaders Know
Respected leaders know that they can’t just walk into a room and say, “Hey I’m the leader. Follow me.” If you’re the boss, you can get away with this attitude to a certain degree, but the followers you attract will be compulsory and not following you by their own choice.
They will heed your advice and obey your commands, but it is involuntary followership based on your organizational hierarchy to a large degree.
Leaders understand that to actually lead most effectively and successfully, they need to attract people who want to follow them.
How Leaders Attract Followers
Leaders recognize their need to attract followers. Followership is the key to understanding leadership. To follow, people must feel confident in the direction in which the leader is headed. To have this level of confidence, the leader must have clearly communicated the overall direction, the key outcomes desired, and the principal strategies agreed upon to reach the outcomes.
Then, employees are enabled and empowered to do their part in accomplishing the stated objectives. They have the framework that they need to guide their own actions. And, empowered employees do want to guide their own actions. You will fail as a leader to your best employees if you ever forget this fact.
Employees Need to Trust Leaders
One of the key factors in whether an employee stays with their current employer is that the employee has confidence and trust that the leaders know what they are doing. This confidence gives employees the control they need for their livelihood and supporting their families.
Further, leaders people follow are accountable and trustworthy. If progress towards accomplishing the goals ceases, the leader takes responsibility to analyze the problem—they don’t search for people to blame.
Consequently, people can have confidence that their leader won’t punish them for their efforts if they take reasonable and responsible risks that are well thought out and well-founded. They are accountable and responsible to deserve their leader’s confidence and trust.
Leaders Should Recognize and Reward Success
Followers need to believe that, at the end of the journey, their leader will recognize and reward them for their contribution. The leader must help followers answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” Successful leaders are honest about the potential risks inherent in the chosen path as well as the potential rewards.
They communicate, not just the overall direction, but any information their followers need to successfully and skillfully carry out their responsibilities. They recognize that for their followers to perform most effectively they need to understand the big picture.
They also know that their job is to remove barriers that may have a negative impact on the employees’ success—not to micromanage how the employees accomplish their work.
Employees Need Information
They need to know why the organization is pursuing the current strategies. They need their leader for guidance and to help remove any barriers they may experience along the way. Mostly, they need the assurance that their leader has confidence in their ability to perform and produce the desired outcomes.
If any of these factors are missing, leaders will have a tough time attracting followers. At the end of the day, it is the entwining of the relationship of the leader with the followers that makes their organization or portion of the organization succeed.
When the Leader Is Also the Boss
Occasionally, the leader is the person who is in charge, the founder of the business, the CEO, the president, or department head. Leadership qualities combined with positional power magnify the ability of an individual to attract and retain the all-important followers.
In fact, business owners can count on a certain amount of respect and followership based on their ownership and title. Longevity, too, plays a role in attracting and retaining followers. People who have followed the leader for ten years are likely to continue to follow unless they lose trust in the leader’s direction.
But, never forget, no matter what your position is in the organization, even if your current job is a valued contributor, you can become a leader that other employees want to follow.
In fact, in organizations, one of the reasons employees are promoted to positions such as team leader, supervisor, or department manager, is that they have demonstrated over time that people will follow them.
Characteristics of a Successful Leadership Style
Much is written about what makes successful leaders. This series will focus on the characteristics, traits, and actions that many leaders believe are key.
This post is in partnership with Inc., which offers useful advice, resources and insights to entrepreneurs and business owners. The article below was originally published atInc.com.
Have you noticed there are people who always seem to be more likable?
In a recent episode of the new ABC drama Mind Games, one of the characters mentions an interesting personality trait that defines the most popular people: they more readily admit their weaknesses rather than waiting for them to be revealed over time. The show is about using cunning tricks to manipulate others and ensure a positive outcome, so it’s a bit ridiculous, but there’s truth in the observation.
In the office, it’s possible to exhibit traits that help you to be more likable. In my years as a corporate manager and developing my writing career, I’ve noticed when people appear more likable and I’ve tried to develop these traits myself. Here’s a few to cultivate.
1. Ask questions.
I’ve noticed people who ask questions are often well-liked. It’s human nature to be helpful and we all have a great desire to share what we know. When someone appears to need our help, we tend to like them more because we like being the one who provides the answers.
2. Talk more, not less.
A friend of mine is a small business owner and he is extremely well liked. One of his strongest traits is that he tends to talk constantly. You never have to guess what he’s thinking. He’s not blunt or rude, but he explains things in detail. (Being an introvert, I need to develop this trait more in myself–and use texting and e-mail a little less often.)
3. Give your time…gratis.
A no-strings-attached approach to helping others also makes you more likable. Think of the person you like the most–usually, it’s someone who will help you with the copier machine or is willing to read through your business proposal in a pinch. Of course, those who help just to be liked always reveal a manipulative trait, so make sure you’re genuine.
4. Listen better.
I mentioned how talkers tend to be more likable, and that’s true. Sometimes, over-communicating puts people at ease. But it’s also important to pause once in a while and listen. Good communicators take a breath once in a while! Likable people are always listeners who are curious to (genuinely) learn new things. The best communicators talk and talk–and then listen for a response. That makes them an office favorite.
5. Really and truly care.
How do you develop the personality trait of caring? It can be difficult, especially in an age of social media where everyone is dangerously close to being a narcissist. Caring is an act of setting aside your own interests and ambitions for a while and helping others. It requires effort. You have to consciously decide you are going to care about someone else. When you do, and you are genuine about it, you’ll find that more people will like you.
6. Admit it, you don’t know everything.
We all know how important it is to steer clear of the office know-it-all. Why is that? Part of the reason is we know that person won’t ask for our help, and we like to be helpful. More importantly, those who have all of the answers are usually pushing their own agenda. In their conceited attitude, they exhibit a sense of pride that’s not attractive to anyone.
7. Go for the laugh, every time.
It’s hard to hate a jokester or someone who has a carefree approach to life. Usually, the most-liked people are those that can fill a room with laughter. It might not be in your nature to joke around, and that’s okay. Just make sure you are ready to see the humor in something. Be someone who can laugh easily and smile often. You’ll win people over.
8. Lighten up.
I will admit to struggling with this one. I’m a serious person with serious concerns! (Most of the time.) But it’s better to see the big picture in life. Really serious people are essentially acting selfish because they focus too much on their personal issues. Highly likable people at work are those who can set aside their concerns and go with the flow. They’re selfless.
9. Don’t be pushy.
Here’s an interesting one–and difficult trait to master. I went on a road trip with someone a few years ago, and I remember how he told me he doesn’t have highly distinct tastes. What does that really mean? For starters, he’s not that selfish and won’t push his preferences–he’ll go to lunch at any restaurant and listen to any form of music. He’s flexible. That makes him likable because he will adjust to the situation.
10. Admit your weaknesses.
That character on the show Mind Games is right: Admitting weaknesses makes you more likable. People figure them out on their own anyway. Of course, it’s important not to act like a victim or share your problems with everyone you meet. At work, it’s okay to go into a meeting and lead with the challenges you face. People are more likely to suggest a few solutions, come to your aid, and even pat you on the back.
How you treat others is how you invite them to treat you.
If you want to know how others treat you, the best starting place is to look at how you treat others.
And if you don’t like the way you’re treated, there’s only one course of action–to change your own behavior, because you can’t change anyone else’s.
Relationships function like a mirror–eventually that change will reflect back onto how you are treated.
Here are nine important principles to remember about how to treat others:
1. Instead of judging people by their past, stand by them and help them build their future. Everyone has a past. Some are a source of pride, and others are best left behind. But whatever their past, people do change and grow, so instead of judging, stand by and support them as they move toward their future. Treat them with respect and make their journey your own.
2. Listen with curiosity, speak with candor, and act with integrity. Listening and curiosity allow relationships to thrive. Speaking your truth allows people to be honest with themselves and with you, and acting with integrity keeps relationships on a high standard. Relationships need curiosity to grow, candor to deepen, and integrity to continue.
3. Treat everyone with kindness–not because they are kindhearted, but because you are. One of the greatest gifts we can give another is kindness. If someone is in need, lend a helping hand. Don’t do it only for the people you like and respect–that’s easy–but also for the ones who drive you crazy and those you don’t even know. True kindness lies in the act of giving without the expectation of getting something in return.
4. Don’t try to make yourself great by making someone else look small. The moment you think you have the right to belittle others because you are better than they are is the moment you prove you have no power. People tend to make others feel how they themselves feel, whether it’s great or small. If you can’t offer help, support, or love, at least do everything in your power not to hurt them or make them feel small. Treat everyone you meet with honor.
5. Remember, everyone has a story. It may be something they’ve gone through in the past or something they’re still dealing with, but remember that behavior doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Everyone has inner battles and issues. Withhold judgment and instead offer the consideration you’d like to receive.
6. We don’t meet people by accident. Every person you meet will have a role in your life, be it big or small. Some will help you grow, some will hurt you, some will inspire you to do better. At the same time, you are playing some role in their lives as well. Know that paths cross for a reason and treat people with significance.
7. The best teachers are those who don’t tell you how to get there but show the way. There is no better joy then helping people see a vision for themselves, seeing them go to levels higher than they ever would have imagined on their own. But that doesn’t mean you have to fix them or enable them; instead, guide them to the source of their own power. Offer them support and motivation as they find their own way and show you what they’re capable of. All you have to do is believe in them.
8. Never look down on someone unless you are helping them up. We like to think of life as a meritocracy, so it’s easy to look down on someone who isn’t as successful or accomplished or well educated as you are. But you have no idea how far that person has already climbed or where they will end up. Time could easily reverse your positions, so be sure you treat everyone with dignity.
9. Appreciate those who have supported you, forgive those who have hurt you, help those who need you. Business is complicated, life is complex, and leadership is difficult. Treat all people–including yourself–with love and compassion, and you can’t go wrong.
Treat people the way you want to be treated and life will instantly get better.
Expert advice for people-pleasers looking for a new approach.
This blog curates the voices of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39) of the American Psychological Association. Dana Charatan, Psy.D., licensed psychologist in Boulder, Colorado submits this post.
I can’t tell you how many times a new client has walked into my office and told me, “I don’t understand why I am so lonely. I bend over backwards to make everyone else happy. Why is it that no one seems to care how I feel?” It is a common phenomenon in which, in order to feel safe and secure in our relationships, we can easily stop focusing on our own needs and wishes and put all of our energy into accommodating everyone else’s.
The problem: Most of the time, this strategy backfires on us.
Logically, the behavior makes a lot of sense: If we can prove to others that we are willing to make them our priority, our hope is that they will in turn appreciate our efforts, bask in the glow of our love, and give that love back to us.
Taking a step back to childhood and even infancy, it is essential for our survival to do whatever we can to get in the good graces of our caregivers. As children who cannot fend for ourselves, we need to be assured that our caretakers will take good care of us. Part of ensuring that we are fed, cleaned, and cuddled happens through taking stock of our caretakers’ moods and cues and learning what activities are most likely to be rewarded. For example, smiling is a good way to show one’s adorableness as an infant, and therefore receive praise, attention, and coddling. Babies learn to recognize emotional states and can demonstrate these feelings from a very young age, far earlier than their ability to use language through thought or speech. Many of us learn through years of practice that the best way to receive love is to give it.
There is nothing wrong with this idea, and the most rewarding, mutual relationships are comprised of spontaneous gestures of kindness, love, support, and acts of service. Things tend to go south, though, when one person finds himself or herself continuously giving much more than they receive. This pattern can unfold in any kind of relationship—not just romantic partnerships but friendships, office relationships, within families, and so on. In fact, the more strongly we feel pushed to act out a particular pattern in a relationship, the more likely we are to stick to these patterns in multiple relationships, as opposed to feeling able to choose which style is most likely to work to our benefit.
Procedural memory, the same idea that explains how once you learn how to ride a bike you will always remember, applies just as much to our understanding of the world and relationships as it does to riding a two-wheeler. Once we learn how to secure love in our childhood environment, those lessons stick with us as we get older, even if they are no longer are our best option. Another way of saying this is that when people come to therapy, they tend to feel “stuck” in a certain pattern of feeling or relating, even if they know that these old ways no longer work; they just can’t quite articulate why or how to make change.
To use the example from the beginning of this article, most adults don’t like being around people whom they experience as pushovers. There are many reasons this is true; even if at first it feels nice to have someone going out of their way for you, it often feels insincere or creates feelings of guilt for taking advantage of that person. Some people become angry because they think something is expected of them in return, while others would just rather be around someone who seems to be more secure in themselves.
Ultimately, I have discovered after much work with accommodators that they wouldn’t want to spend time with someone who acted like them, either. It takes time and effort, but once we can trace back how people-pleasing behavior developed; respect that at one point in time it was likely a brilliant strategy for feeling loved and safe in the world; and figure out other ways of feeling securely attached that are better suited for late adolescence and adulthood, letting go of the need to put everyone else first becomes much easier. Relationships start to feel more mutual and satisfying. Other negative emotions ease up. Individuals can start to feel more assertive and voice their needs to others—and they are more likely to feel heard. Being a people-pleaser at that point starts to feel like a choice and not a chore.
Ultimately, I know my job is done when people start to see themselves as free agents in the world, and not as indentured servants!
People with positive “affective presence” are easy to be around and oil the gears of social interactions.
Some people can walk into a room and instantly put everyone at ease. Others seem to make teeth clench and eyes roll no matter what they do. A small body of psychology research supports the idea that the way a person tends to make others feel is a consistent and measurable part of his personality. Researchers call it “affective presence.”
This concept was first described nearly 10 years ago in a study by Noah Eisenkraft and Hillary Anger Elfenbein. They put business-school students into groups, had them enroll in all the same classes for a semester, and do every group project together. Then the members of each group rated how much every other member made them feel eight different emotions: stressed, bored, angry, sad, calm, relaxed, happy, and enthusiastic. The researchers found that a significant portion of group members’ emotions could be accounted for by the affective presence of their peers.
It seems that “our own way of being has an emotional signature,” says Elfenbein, a business professor at Washington University in St. Louis.
It’s been known for some time that emotions are contagious: If one person feels angry, she may well infect her neighbor with that anger. But affective presence is an effect one has regardless of one’s own feelings—those with positive affective presence make other people feel good, even if they personally are anxious or sad, and the opposite is true for those with negative affective presence.
“To use common, everyday words, some people are just annoying. It doesn’t mean they’re annoyed all the time,” Elfenbein says. “They may be content because they’re always getting their way. Some people bring out great things in others while they’re themselves quite depressed.”
Unsurprisingly, people who consistently make others feel good are more central to their social networks—in Elfenbein’s study, more of their classmates considered them to be friends. They also got more romantic interest from others in a separate speed-dating study.
Hector Madrid, an organizational-behavior professor at the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, has taken a particular interest in how the affective presence of leaders in the workplace can influence their teams’ performance. He and his collaborators have found that leaders who make other people feel good by their very presence have teams that are better at sharing information, which leads to more innovation. Subordinates are more likely to voice their ideas, too, to a leader with positive affective presence.
“When you propose novel ideas, that is in some way dangerous, because you are challenging the status quo,” Madrid says. “People are not necessarily open to novel ideas, so in order to speak your ideas, you need to feel safe. Positive emotions are important for that.”
Exactly what people are doing that sets others at ease or puts them off hasn’t yet been studied. It may have to do with body language, or tone of voice, or being a good listener. Madrid suggests that further research might also find that some people have a strong affective presence (whether positive or negative), while others’ affective presence is weaker. But both Madrid and Elfenbein suggest that a big part of affective presence may be how people regulate emotions—those of others and their own.
Throughout the day, one experiences emotional “blips” as Elfenbein puts it—blips of annoyance or excitement or sadness. The question is, “Can you regulate yourself so those blips don’t infect other people?” she asks. “Can you smooth over the noise in your life so other people aren’t affected by it?”
This “smoothing over”—or emotional regulation—could take the form of finding the positive in a bad situation, which can be healthy. But it could also take the form of suppressing one’s own emotions just to keep other people comfortable, which is less so.
Elfenbein notes that positive affective presence isn’t inherently good, either for the person themselves, or for their relationships with others. Psychopaths are notoriously charming, and may well use their positive affective presence for manipulative ends. Neither is negative affective presence necessarily always a bad thing in a leader—think of a football coach yelling at the team at halftime, motivating them to make a comeback. Elfenbein suspects that affective presence is closely related to emotional intelligence. And, she says, “You can use your intelligence to cure cancer, but you can also use it to be a criminal mastermind.”
There’s a subtle tactic to make things go your way in your career, love life, and social world — one that has nothing to do with effort or luck. It’s called priming. Research shows that by exposing people to specific words, body language, and symbols, they can be affected in a way that benefits you without their even realizing what’s going on. Here’s how to use subliminal moves to get an edge.
What you want: To seem like a team player
How to get it: Put up a picture of your dog (or even of a friend’s pup) in your workspace.
Why it works: When people look at shots of a pet dog, they not only tend to presume you’re loyal, but they may also act more loyal toward you. But don’t paper your cube with canines. Research shows that too many personal shots make other perceive you as a less professional worker.
What you want: To appear more powerful in the office hierarchy
How to get it: Wear a chic all-black outfit to work, and don’t smile as often as you’re inclined.
Why it works: You’ll be seen as assertive and directed. Studies have found that people in black uniforms (like sports teams) are viewed as more dominant figures, while the act of keeping a neutral face is associated with higher status and power in a work environment.
What you want: To bond with the boss
How to get it: Offer to get her a hot cup of coffee — even if you’re not her assistant — and chat her up as she’s drinking it.
Why it works: A recent study showed that just by holding the high-temp liquid, she’ll implicitly assume you’re an emotionally warm person — someone very likable. Just don’t hand her an iced latte or you could trigger a frosty reception.
With a Man
What you want: To seem more alluring when you meet a guy
How to get it: Talk about a beach vacation you took using sensual terms (e.g., “The sun felt so fabulously warm against my skin”) to paint a mental picture about the climate.
Why it works: According to psychologists, this seductive I-feel-like-I’m-there speech will make him associate your personality with the lush sensations you’re describing.
What you want: Your crush to fall for you on a dinner date
How to get it: Subtly touch the back of his hand as you’re reaching across the table for bread.
Why it works: It’s a proven way to win someone’s affection: Libraries and car dealerships have higher customer-satisfaction ratings when workers imperceptibly touch their clients. Touch activates the human desire to bond.
What you want: To have The Talk without his flipping out
How to get it: Take him to a restaurant that has soft, feminine colors and furniture with few angular lines.
Why it works: Researchers think that simply being in this kind of an environment can influence a person to behave in terms of communicating. That means that he’ll be more likely to be open and disclose his true feelings to you.
In Social Settings
What you want: To impress your guy’s parents the first time you meet
How to get it: Casually praise someone whom you’re certain his mom or dad holds high esteem, such as a political figure, author, or celebrity.
Why it works: Experts say that as you talk about their hero in a positive light, your targets start to think about all the qualities they admire in that person. And because they’re looking at you, they’ll subconsciously link you with that person’s positive traits.
What you want: To make a friend out of an acquaintance
How to get it: Start mirroring her behavioral tics, like touching your hair when she touches hers.
Why it works: We like to see ourselves in other people. Researchers at New York University found that when you’re sitting across from someone who’s unconsciously shaking his foot, if you start moving yours in a similar but unobtrusive way, then the person feels more positive toward you.
What you want: Your slob roomie to clean up after herself more often
How to get it: Spray a bit of liquid all-purpose cleaner in the air right before she enters the skanky spot in question.
Why it works: A Dutch study recently proved that the faint smell of a cleaning product will spur people to start picking up the area around them. You can also prime her by squirting a little fluid in the bathroom sink before she goes in to use it.
Some people are thoughtful and charming and genuine. Others are not.
Some people are remarkably likable. (See if anyone you know has these qualities.)
Other people, unfortunately, are not — and that might include you.
Can that impact your chances for success? Probably so: Research shows ” popular workers were seen as trustworthy, motivated, serious, decisive, and hardworking. and their less-liked colleagues were perceived as arrogant, conniving and manipulative.”
If any of the following apply to you, decide you’ll make some changes, if only because that will also make you a lot happier.
1. You control.
Yeah, you’re the boss. Yeah, you’re the titan of industry. Yeah, you’re the small tail that wags a huge dog.
Still, the only thing you really control is you. If you find yourself trying hard to control other people, you’ve decided that you, your goals, your dreams, or even just your opinions are more important than theirs.
Plus, control is short term at best, because it often requires force, or fear, or authority, or some form of pressure–none of those let you feel good about yourself.
Find people who want to go where you’re going. They’ll work harder, have more fun, and create better business and personal relationships.
And all of you will be happier.
2. You blame.
People make mistakes. Employees don’t meet your expectations. Vendors don’t deliver on time.
So you blame them for your problems.
But you’re also to blame. Maybe you didn’t provide enough training. Maybe you didn’t build in enough of a buffer. Maybe you asked too much, too soon.
Taking responsibility when things go wrong instead of blaming others isn’t masochistic; it’s empowering, because then you focus on doing things better or smarter next time.
And when you get better or smarter, you also get happier.
3. You try to impress.
No one likes you for your clothes, your car, your possessions, your title, or your accomplishments. Those are all “things.” People may like your things, but that doesn’t mean they like you.
Sure, superficially they might seem to, but superficial is also insubstantial, and a relationship that is not based on substance is not a real relationship.
Genuine relationships make you happier, and you’ll form genuine relationships only when you stop trying to impress and start trying to just be yourself.
4. You cling.
When you’re afraid or insecure, you hold on tightly to what you know, even if what you know isn’t particularly good for you.
An absence of fear or insecurity isn’t happiness: It’s just an absence of fear or insecurity.
Holding on to what you think you need won’t make you happier; letting go so you can reach for and try to earn what you want will.
Even if you don’t succeed in earning what you want, the act of trying alone will make you feel better about yourself.
5. You interrupt.
Interrupting isn’t just rude. When you interrupt someone, what you’re really saying is, “I’m not listening to you so I can understand what you’re saying; I’m listening to you so I can decide what I want to say.”
Want people to like you? Listen to what they say. Focus on what they say. Ask questions to make sure you understand what they say.
They’ll love you for it–and you’ll love how that makes you feel.
6. You whine.
Your words have power, especially over you. Whining about your problems makes you feel worse, not better.
If something is wrong, don’t waste time complaining. Put that effort into making the situation better. Unless you want to whine about it forever, eventually you’ll have to do that. So why waste time? Fix it now.
Don’t talk about what’s wrong. Talk about how you’ll make things better, even if that conversation is only with yourself.
And do the same with your friends or colleagues. Don’t be just the shoulder they cry on.
Friends don’t let friends whine. Friends help friends make their lives better.
7. You criticize.
Yeah, you’re more educated. Yeah, you’re more experienced. Yeah, you’ve been around more blocks and climbed more mountains and slayed more dragons.
That doesn’t make you smarter, or better, or more insightful.
That just makes you you: unique, matchless, one of a kind–but in the end, just you.
Just like everyone else, including your employees.
Everyone is different: not better, not worse, just different. Appreciate the differences instead of the shortcomings and you’ll see people–and yourself–in a better light.
8. You preach.
Criticizing has a brother. His name is Preaching. They share the same father: Judging.
The higher you rise and the more you accomplish, the more likely you are to think you know everything and to tell people everything you think you know.
When you speak with more finality than foundation, people may hear you but they don’t listen. Few things are sadder and leave you feeling less happy.
9. You dwell.
The past is valuable. Learn from your mistakes. Learn from the mistakes of others.
Easier said than done? (Even Troy Aikman struggles with this, but in a really good way.) It depends on your focus. When something bad happens to you, see that as a chance to learn something you didn’t know. When another person makes a mistake, see that as an opportunity to be kind, forgiving, and understanding.
The past is just training; it doesn’t define you. Think about what went wrong, but only in terms of how you will make sure that, next time, you and the people around you will know how to make sure it goes right.
10. You fear.
We’re all afraid, of what might or might not happen, of what we can’t change, or what we won’t be able to do, or how other people might perceive us.
So it’s easier to hesitate, to wait for the right moment, to decide we need to think a little longer or do some more research or explore a few more alternatives.
Meanwhile days, weeks, months, and even years pass us by.
And so do our dreams.
Don’t let your fears hold you back. Whatever you’ve been planning, whatever you’ve imagined, whatever you’ve dreamed of, get started on it today.
If you want to start a business, take the first step. If you want to change careers, take the first step. If you want to expand or enter a new market or offer new products or services, take the first step.
Put your fears aside and get started. Do something. Do anything.
Otherwise, today is gone. Once tomorrow comes, today is lost forever.
Today is the most precious asset you own-and is the one thing you should truly fear wasting.
Recently I sat down with a new friend I met for dinner. We talked about what it takes to achieve the goals you want to achieve in life. My friend is already a very accomplished marketing professional. And yet, there was lots more she wanted to do. One conclusion I kept coming back to in this talk is that a large amount of how successful you will be in life comes down to the people you spend time with.
‘You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.’ Jim Rohn
This quote is one of the most powerful ones that I keep reminding myself over and over again. I am the average of the five people I spend the most time with. Others around myself determine how I think, how I act, and ultimately how successful I will be.
Fighting your way through the law of average: The sower and the reaper
This video from Jim Rohn is amazing. In short: You’ll face many struggles along the way if you are seeking success and happiness. If you are the sower, your seeds will get picked up by the birds first and won’t give a return. Then they will fall on shallow ground, leaving you with nothing again. Then they will fall on thorny ground and the sun will shine so hot that your small plant will die after the first day. No return either.
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Then, one day, the seeds will fall on good ground and finally give you the expected return and success. The only way you can make sure that you will fight your way through this hardship is with the right people by your side.
Who are the people you spend time with?
It doesn’t matter how smart you are. It doesn’t matter how talented you are, which skills you have, where you are born, or which family you came from. All that counts if you want to be successful in life is the people you surround yourself with.
It’s a notion so simple, yet so difficult to get started with. Something I tried to do very specifically is this exercise:
- Who are the 5 people in your life that you spend time with? As in, if your day has 24 hours, how many of those hours are spent with which people. (I’m guessing amongst people will be some members of your family, your spouse, co-workers and some close friends.) Write those 5 people on a piece of paper. (It’s ok if they are less than 5.)
- Once you have a list of those 3-5 people, ask yourself this: Who are they? What do they do with their lives? How ambitious are they, how successful have they been, how happy, optimistic, and enthusiastic are they?
- Evaluate carefully if those people will really be those that will help you get to the next level you want to get to. Do they push you forward when you come to them with new ideas, no matter what? Or do they tell you that what you have in mind won’t work? Will they keep you going once the birds pick up your seeds, once your seeds fall on shallow or thorny ground?
- Make a choice of who in your list you want to continue spending time with. Don’t be afraid if none or only 1 or 2 amongst your 5 people today meet the standard of excellence you want to set for yourself. Keep going, decrease the time you spend, and increase the amount of time you keep your eyes looking for people that you want to have as one of your 5 closest people.
It’s ok to end up with this:
“Since last you heard from me, I lost some friends, well, heh, me and Snoop we’re dippin’ again.”
Where there is great admiration there is always great character and success.
It’s important to have someone you look up to, but don’t forget the other side of the coin. Wherever you are, you have a sphere of influence–a group of people who are influenced by the things you say and do. How does your life hold up?
The core of an admirable life is respect. When you respect yourself and others, you behave in a way that sets a high standard. You’ll do things you can be proud of and inspire others to do the same.
Here are 11 tangible steps you can take toward living a more admirable life:
1. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin.
The real purpose of your life is to evolve and grow into the whole person you are capable of being. It’s easy to get off the path and spend your time trying to be someone you think you’re supposed to be, but any effort to changing yourself for other people is bound to be hollow. The best you can do is be your true self.
2. Choose simplicity over complication.
So much of what we do makes things more complicated than they has to be. But when things get complicated it’s easy to become confused and lose your way. You’ll live a better life when you’re able to keep things easygoing and straightforward.
3. Don’t dream your life; live your dreams.
Never put off or give up on your dreams. You are powerful when you believe in yourself – when you know that you are capable of anything you put your mind to. When you finally decide just to be yourself, you can make your life look any way you want it to look. Go after your dream, no matter how unattainable others think it is.
4. Stop pleasing others despite yourself.
How many wasted years, months, days have you spent trying to please others? Making everybody happy is never your responsibility–if they like you for who you are, good, and if not, it’s not your problem. Do more of what makes you happy, and in turn you will make others around you happy, too.
5. Live fully and dare greatly.
Take risks and be bold. If you win, you win; if you lose you’ll still be wiser. Try new things and take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way, because every risk, every dare, is a victory over fear.
6. Don’t worry what other people think.
When you let go of worrying about the expectations and opinions of others, you can start standing out from the crowd and working on what’s important to you.
7. Embrace integrity– always.
Integrity is central to any admirable life. It’s about making sure your words are consistent with the way you behave, and that you’re willing to live up to what you expect from others.
8. Treat confidence as a superpower.
Confidence allows you to take on any challenges that are thrown at you and shows what you are made of. It’s impossible not to admire those who have been through a lot and can still keep moving forward.
9. Be interested to be interesting.
The most interesting people in the world are those who demonstrate authentic curiosity toward the world and people around them. Look around. Pay attention. Ask people to tell you their stories and listen.
10. Treat yourself as you treat others.
People who live to help and serve others sometimes forget to extend those principles to themselves. You can’t truly appreciate or care for anyone else if you don’t first appreciate and care for yourself.
11. Stop pretending or faking it.
You don’t have to pretend or fake it to have a flawless life to live admirable. Allowing yourself to be yourself in all your flawed human glory is ultimately the most admirable thing you can do–and life gets so much easier when you stop pretending and you stop faking.
In the end, if you can become a person you admire, you will be able to help others bring out their best as well.
A way to look inward for answers, without turning on yourself.
So many things bother us—people, mostly. But pretty much everything has the power to upset our basic sense of well-being. Our tendency, when things bother us, is to blame the other person or situation for getting it wrong and thus causing our suffering. Once we have identified what we consider the cause of our disturbance, we usually set out to try and fix it. We attempt to change the other person’s behavior or the situation into something we consider right, or at least something that will not bother us.
There is no doubt that people and situations can be the cause of our discontent. If someone swings a baseball bat into my knee, the pain I feel is directly caused by that action. If a friend speaks unkindly to me, I feel hurt, a direct result of his choice of words. We impact one another; there are people and situations—infinite ones it seems—that can cause our suffering. That said, there is nothing wrong with trying to change a situation that we don’t like or that makes us unhappy. Such efforts are wise and adaptive and a way of taking agency in our lives. We need to try to change what’s not working, if we can. But this is not a post about how to more skillfully change those around us so that they can better fit into how we want them to be. This is about what happens when we are not successful at changing those around us, and cannot change the situation that is causing us pain.
I guess you could call it Plan B.
When we cannot change the cause of our suffering, many of us continue to blame the other person or situation. This may provide us with some relief, at least for a while. But what happens when trying to change the other has failed and continuing to blame is not actually making us feel better either?
Where do we go when we have run out of moves?
Freedom from the whole blaming/fixing cycle, ironically, comes from moving our attention away from the other person/problem that is to blame/fix, and turning that attention onto ourselves. When you hear that it’s time to look into yourself, you may assume (as most people do) that someone is telling you to discover how you are also to blame for the suffering you are experiencing.
This assumption would be false.
I am not suggesting that you are to blame for anything, nor am I suggesting that you search yourself for fault. This step in the process—self-investigation, the step that creates real freedom from suffering—has nothing to do with blame.
To turn your attention into yourself is to ask the question: What does this situation or person’s behavior trigger in me? What pain is generated in me when I am confronted with this behavior or reality?
I was in a relationship with a blamer for years. The problems in his life were always someone or something else’s fault and the dialogue never moved much further than that. For years I tried to change him, encouraging him to be curious and use the situations that caused suffering as opportunities to bring some light to what the real suffering was about. Through the process, sadly, I too became entrenched in blame. I blamed his blaming for my own suffering; if only he weren’t a blamer, I wouldn’t be in pain. But in the end, he didn’t change, I didn’t change, and the situation didn’t change.
And then I started thinking that probably I should take my own advice: Take the focus off the other and get curious about my own experience. Not what I was also doing (wrong) to cause the situation, but rather, what experiences, feelings, memories, beliefs, etc., were his blaming behavior really triggering in ?
What was I experiencing that made the blaming so hard to bear?
What I discovered was simple but profound—and profoundly healing. I found the center of my own truth, what I was really in contact with inside myself in relation to the blaming. Interestingly, naming what I was experiencing and what made the blaming so painful for me did not change my partner’s behavior, nor did it make the experience that arose in me disappear. What it did, however, was ease the excruciating suffering that existed for me in the situation. Rather than the blaming setting off a screeching fire alarm inside me—a code-red emergency—I could witness the blaming behavior, know what it put me in touch with, and stay calm and non-reactive. I didn’t need to change the behavior so that I could get away from some unknowable, but unbearable experience inside myself. I could say to myself (with kindness), “Oh right, this blaming triggers this such and such in me, which has a history of its own and is understandable. That’s what’s here now.” And then, oddly, the whole thing is kind of done. The experience that was so threatening, and the cause of so much pain, is deactivated. Its wires are cut. The emergency of making the situation or behavior stop eases when the inarguable truth of what is happening inside us is clear. The suffering doesn’t need much more than that.
As we all know, we can’t control anyone else’s behavior, and we can’t make another person want to or be able to change. But we can always make the choice to shift our attention inward, to focus the lens of curiosity onto ourselves. And remember, by investigating our own experience, we are not condoning the behavior that triggers our suffering, nor are we assuming responsibility for having caused it. Getting curious about what is happening inside us in a particular situation, naming it, understanding it, unpacking its history, and bringing compassion to it—this the surest path to freeing oneself from the cycle of blame and the need to change what we don’t like. Ultimately, self-awareness is the most powerful and profound antidote to suffering.
“The way to gain a good reputation is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
When I started Tiny Buddha, my main goal was to make a positive difference. I think that’s a goal many of us share.
I’ve stumbled upon countless blog and books written by people who say their purpose in life is to help people.
I suspect it’s how most of us infuse our lives with meaning: trying to somehow leave the world a better place than we found it.
I recently read a somewhat old blog post by ex-Microsoft employee Scott Berkun that got me thinking about this collective fascination with making a difference in the world. He wrote:
“We rarely need big things. As soon as someone starts talking about changing the world or radically reinventing something odds are good he’s talking from his ego, not his heart. Unless he’s working on bringing safety to the scared, health to the sick, or opportunity to the poor, the reinvention serves a want (or an ego), not a need.”
He went to explain how on his last day at Microsoft, he gave a lecture and one of his colleagues thanked him for the first time, saying he’d never expressed his admiration before because he assumed it was apparent. According to Scott:
“…it takes a better man to acknowledge goodness in others than it does to merely be good oneself. Anyone can criticize or accept praise, but initiating a positive exchange is a hallmark of a difference maker.”
What a beautiful idea. I couldn’t agree more.
Still, I don’t know if it’s possible to completely relinquish the ego, and I also don’t know if that’s a bad thing. I suspect some of the people who invented or reinvented “big things” to bring safety to the scared, health to the sick, or opportunity to the poor were, at least on some level, driven by the desire to be remembered for making a difference.
It’s human nature to want to create some type of legacy—to not just do good things but also be known for them. There’s no need to vilify that type of desire when you consider it’s primal in all of us.
So much is uncertain in life, particularly what happens after we die. We can’t understand or control where we’re going, but we can influence what we leave behind. Why feel guilty for natural human instincts when those same instincts contribute to a lot of the good in the world?
That being said, we can simultaneously make major contributions to society—both to help other people and feel good about our choices—while making a difference in our everyday lives. We can do things both large and small, for others and ourselves, every day if we choose to.
With that in mind, I recently asked on the Tiny Buddha Facebook page. Some of my favorite responses include:
1. Wake up.
Karen Maezen Miller
2. Make a difference in yourself, for the better. Such an inward difference always has rippling outward benefits.
3. Remember there are three poisons: greed, anger, and ignorance. Do not deny their existence but turn them around and you have generosity, compassion, and wisdom.
4. Make it a habit to respect everyone.
5. Consider the people you see each day. Sometimes I get wrapped up in things I am working on— fundraisers etc. But the coworker, family member, pet right next to you are the people you can truly reach and touch.
6. Operate from a place of love.
7. Be kind to others. In this busy world people become self consumed and forget that kindness goes a long way.
8. Acknowledge the light within myself and in others. Not always easy to do but feels so powerful when I am able to do so.
9. Talk to someone that you think might be in distress. You may make the difference of a lifetime.
Alexander De Raadt St.James
10. Simply show up. Just put your soul into it. If you show up physically with the soles of your feet, the heart, mind, and soul will have a chance to follow or catch up. You may not want to be there in the beginning, but showing up allows a committed chance at making a difference everyday for the people you love, the people you will meet, and the eventual person you will become. Show up.
12. Be more involved in the world. You can’t be spectator forever.
13. Be the change you wish to see in the world!
April Spears paraphrasing Gandhi
14. Be gentle and practice sympathetic joy.
15. Start really listening to the people around you. Your family for example. People crave for attention. People feel loved when given attention.. Give love. And listening is an act of love.
Leoni Erica Tayamen
16. Listen. Give. Do.
17. Teach your kids by example; be caring, open minded, have good manners and remember to smile.
18. Look into your child’s eyes. Stop what you are doing, sit down, and just look into them. Do that every day and you will change the world.
19. Be a true you…positive energy attracts.
21. I quote the great Horatio Lee Jenkins: “Don’t worry—everything is going to be awesome!”
22. Find someone that needs a smile and give them that smile, once a day for the rest of your life, and like a ripple in a pond it will be carried onwards.
23. Speak without saying a word. A lot can be said without words.
24. Learn to be aware of all the wonder we have around us, let the past be in the past and not part of the future. Choose life every day, be grateful for whatever you have, and most important share, share, share—spread as much love as you can.
25. Hakuna mattata, one love, pay it forward.
How are you making a difference in the world?
About Lori Deschene
Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, Tiny Buddha’s Worry Journal, and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
From the lack of privacy to the public struggles, these stars are telling it like it is
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Amanda Seyfried: Anxiety & Panic Attacks Caused by Fame Feels Like ‘Life or Death’
Although she’s been acting for over two decades, Seyfried still struggles with the pressures of being in the spotlight.
“It feels like life or death,” she told Willie Geist on The Today Show of her anxiety.
“That’s what a panic attack is, really,” Seyfried continued. “Your body just goes into fight or flight. The endorphin rush and the dump that happens after the panic attack is so extraordinary. You just feel so relieved and your body is just kind of recovered in a way. It’s so bizarre because it’s physiological, but it starts in your head.”
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Daniel Radcliffe: People Will Boo You, Even if You’re a Child
“Crazy s— happened to us as a family very young,” Radcliffe said of his childhood Harry Potter days in a new episode of Off Camera with Sam Jones. During one scary incident in particular, the actor and his parents arrived in Japan to find thousands of fans waiting for them at the airport with only about 100 security guards there for protection.
“There were highly trained security guards being pushed around by, like, 6-year-old girls to 80-year-old women,” he said.
Despite never feeling like he was actually in danger, Radcliffe found it excruciating to deal with being harassed by photographers. “As a kid, the thing that sucked, and the thing that did, you know, burrow it’s way in there and was really unpleasant was getting booed. If you would be going into an event and the professional autograph hunters … There are some people who can do it and they go about it in a way that is okay, and they’re not d—- about it and they’re fine. But there are also some people that will boo and shout at a child,” he said. “If you just hear people booing and shouting stuff at you and about you, that, as a kid, sucked. I do remember that being very disheartening.”
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Daniel Radcliffe: It’s Tempting to Turn to Alcohol to Cope With Scrutiny
During his sitdown with Sam Jones, the Miracle Workers star also opened up about using alcohol to cope with fame when he was a teen. “The quickest way to forget about the fact that you were being watched was to get very drunk,” he said about trying to enjoy nights out. “Then as you get very drunk, you become aware, ‘Oh, people are watching more now because now I’m getting very drunk, so I should probably drink more to ignore that more.'”
“Part of the thing is the expectation that you should just be delighted all the time,” Radcliffe continued. “You have a great job, you’re wealthy, you don’t have a right to not be excited about the thing all the time. I think that’s a pressure as well. You suddenly start to feel, ‘Man, if I am just feeling some human emotion of sadness, does that mean I’m doing this wrong? Am I not good at being famous?'”
The star’s own unique experience helps him empathize with others who dealt with growing up in the spotlight. “There is no blueprint for starting young and working stuff out,” he said. “That’s why whenever people are having a go at Justin Bieber drag racing cars or whatever, I’m always like, ‘Yeah, but you never know. Stuff could be super crazy for him right now.'”
By Iona Yeung — Written on Dec 02, 2021
When it comes to dating and relationships, most women want to fall in love with a man who makes them feel “safe.”
It’s not that we’re damsels in distress, it’s more that we want to feel cared for, physically and emotionally.
We don’t need “rescuing” per se, but it would be nice to know the option is there and that the man we love — our boyfriend, our husband or our life partner — is willing to do what’s required of him should the need for him to protect us arise.
According to the hierarchy outlined in Maslow’s “Theory of Human Motivation,” safety is the second most fundamental of the six basic human needs.
And yet, while we often do think of security as something women want and expect in romantic relationships with men, we too often forget the flip side of that same coin.
If a woman wants to know how to make a guy fall in love, she needs to start by making sure he feels emotionally safe with her as well.
Men want and need to feel safe with the women they love as well, and they simply will not commit to women they don’t feel safe with — nor should they.
It’s not that they’re looking for someone to rescue them, it’s more about how a woman makes them feel. It’s about emotional safety.
Making a guy feel emotionally safe falling in love with you basically comes down to three simple little things, yet many women are unaware of what they are.
If you want to make a man fall in love with you, here are the 3 things you must do to make him feel emotionally safe and attached.
1. Show him trust and respect
The quickest way to create emotional safety in any relationship is to show that you trust your partner and respect their needs.
Trust and respect must always go both ways. If he has a few close girlfriends he likes to talk to and hang out with, let him know you trust him and his judgment, while also showing that you can be trusted with your guy friends.
Far too many men and women use jealousy to manipulate their partners, either flirt with other people to get attention or wielding suspicions to start fights they will allow to end if their partner offer them enough validation, and neither is acceptable behavior.
2. Make sure he feels heard
Allowing each other to feel heard is critical in relationships.
Active listening can be hard when you’re distracted by other thoughts, anxiously waiting to butt into the conversation with your own thoughts, or overly excited about your turn to speak. These kinds of interruptions don’t come from ill intentions, they come from passion, but when you allow your passion to outweigh the other person’s need to feel heard, they begin feeling as though you don’t value them in your relationship.
If your partner is telling you how miserable his day was at work, or how much it bothers him when you don’t do your share of the housework, listen to what he has to say. All of it. Instead of trying to think of a advice or a comeback, learn to switch your opinions off and focus on all aspects of what he’s saying.
3. Love him for who he is, not for his potential
You’ve probably heard at least one of your friends, or perhaps even yourself, make statements like these:
Your haircut looks great. Your speech was so moving. You are a really good friend; I can’t tell you how great it was to talk last week when I was upset.
Compliments make us feel good — both giving and receiving them.
Feeling valued and appreciated are basic human needs, explains Marcia Naomi Berger, a licensed clinical social worker and psychotherapist in San Rafael, California, and author of “Marriage Meetings for Lasting Love: 30 Minutes a Week to the Relationship You’ve Always Wanted”.
Appreciation is also foundational in relationships, both those with our partners and spouses and with our friends, Berger adds. It’s part of what makes us want to cooperate and collaborate with those around us. And if you come to a challenge, knowing that you’re appreciated helps you want to work through and overcome that challenge.
Compliments help us communicate that appreciation we feel toward one another. “I would define a compliment as any sort of sincere appreciation of a trait in someone or a behavior or an appearance,” Berger says.
And that makes us feel good. Scientists have found that being paid a compliment actually lights up the same parts of your brain that get activated when you get paid a monetary award. Other research (from the same group of researchers) suggests compliments and praise may help us when it comes to learning new motor skills and behaviors.
Being in the habit of giving compliments helps us notice and appreciate what’s good and what we like in those around us.
Compliments also help us like one another, Berger adds. “Behaviors that get rewarded are likely to be repeated. So, if you tell someone how much you like how he smiled when you greeted each other, he’s likely to smile again on seeing you.”
Paying someone a compliment can also be a good conversation starter — or a good way to get over an awkward bump in a conversation — whether it’s a conversation with someone you know or have just met.
In this way and others it’s not just the receiver who walks away better off. Compliments benefit the giver, too. Being in the habit of giving compliments helps us notice and appreciate what’s good and what we like in those around us. “So being complimentary helps us create an optimistic, happier outlook,” Berger says.
Successful people are choosy about who they spend time with. Here’s how you can do the same.
Do the people around you drag you down? Do they make you doubt your abilities? Or do they always agree with your ideas. and never seem to have new ones?
Then it’s possible you’re surrounded with people who will not help you become successful.
You need to spend more time with people who will lift you up because, as Jim Rohn said, “you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”
So hang out with people who inspire you to be better, either through their example, or because you want to be an inspiration and model to them.
Surround yourself with people who give you concrete benchmarks for success. They show you new heights, and they believe you can reach them.
Be with people who raise the bar on your thinking.
If you look around you and don’t find many–or any–of these people, then it’s most likely because you haven’t been seeking them out and intentionally spending more time with them. (Here’s more on how to network more intentionally)
Two Criteria for Choosing Peers, Advisers, and Mentors
When choosing the people you spend time with, I suggest two criteria: values match and gravitas.
The first quality you want to look for is a values match. Seek people whose values resonate with yours.
The second criterion, gravitas, refers to having greater skill, cognitive ability, experience, or talent in an area you’re working on.
Not only are they better than you in this area, but they’re also confident enough that they won’t tear you down to make themselves look and feel better.
Being the “smartest” person in the room is gratifying to the ego, but it’s not conducive to growth.
This is why Richard Tirendi, CEO and Co-founder of VisionQuest, says “If you’re the smartest one in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”
Finding the “Right” People: They’re Closer Than You Think
The people who can help you succeed may already be around you.
Michael Dell, CEO and Founder of Dell Inc., gives this advice about finding people who are smarter than you: “In professional circles it’s called networking. In organizations it’s called team building. And in life it’s called family, friends, and community.”
Begin your search in your existing networks and the people closest to you: your family, friends, and community.
Look at the people you work with, your team members, co-managers, other leaders, and even your customers.
And then look for experts and successful people, those who’ve achieved the goals you want to accomplish.
Once you’ve identified the people who can help you succeed, how do you actually spend more time with them?
You Know Who You Want. Now What?
Start small, and start simple.
Maybe you have a successful uncle you respect and would like to learn from. Invite him to lunch or a game of golf to catch up.
Organize informal gatherings. I used to host monthly dinners to get interesting people together and have a deeper conversation with them.
Jayson Gaignard built a thriving business around this concept, and he wrote about it in his book, Mastermind Dinners: Build Lifelong Relationships by Connecting Experts, Influencers, and Linchpins.
If you have a blog or podcast, a good way to start a relationship with an expert is by interviewing them. Do your research, prepare good questions, and make a good impression. If you help them spread their message, they’ll remember you.
And then, of course, join appropriate networking events and mastermind groups.
A Better Network In 3 Easy Steps
List the five specific people you want to spend more time with. Try Dan Sullivan’s stuff-to-energy transfer technique to free up time to spend with people who light a fire inside you.
Next, brainstorm up to three activities that will allow you to interact with them, and go do them.
Finally, remember to follow up and reconnect afterwards.
You don’t get to choose your relatives, but you can choose everyone else. Choose wisely.
Clinical Psychologist, Author and Radio Host
Being nice is an essential quality necessary for success. It is a quality that sustains relationships and makes you someone others want to be around. However, there is a fine line between being nice and being a pushover. When you are too nice you make your way through life by placating, making you vulnerable to being dismissed by others. When you fear that you will be seen as overbearing, domineering or bitchy by having your own opinion and a clear sense of direction you shrink from your value and lose your belief in what you are capable of achieving.
The following are some of the most commonly used behaviors of people pleasers.
1. Pleasing: Pleasing occurs when who you consistently soften or change your position because you fear your natural thoughts will not be well received or supported by others. To be successful you must be strong in what you believe and you must be able to communicate your opinions clearly and effectively.
Instead of pleasing to gain approval, simply expect to be treated with respect. Educate yourself to become the best in your field of knowledge so you have a well-developed place of confidence to come from when you communicate.
2. Neediness: Your needs for approval eventually drain other people. Other people cannot fill you up and give you the inner worth you are seeking. There is no path to success through coat-tailing other people. The real path to success can only come through your belief in yourself and your willingness to go at it with a true commitment.
Replace what you feel you need from others with learning to ask for what you want. What you want is important to you and if what you want inconveniences someone else then, oh well. The only way to get what you want in life, is to say what you want and go after it.
3. Insincerity: One the greatest indicators of insecurity is over complimenting people. If you start off or end every conversation with a compliment people will likely see this as manipulative. These compliments are often not sincere as much as they are a way to handle your sense of insecurity by making another person feel good. When you make others feel good you get the false sense that you have secured their approval.
Success only comes through self-confidence which you garner through risk taking not people pleasing.
4. Defensive: Defensiveness is seen by others as weakness. People are going to disagree with you in business. If you cannot function without feeling wrecked, upset, or anxious there will be no path to your success. You must develop the resilience to accept feedback or criticism without completely fracturing or becoming pathetic. People aren’t going help you up the ladder of success through feeling sorry for you.
Learn to grow from feedback rather than shrink from it.
5. Lying: People pleasing creates dishonesty by default. To please people you express agreement even when you do not agree. No one can really know you, your ideas or your value if you are a parrot of other people. Fear is what causes this type of lying and it is driven by the need to fit in.
Stand out successes, however, aren’t “fit-in” people, they are those who are confident enough in themselves to rock the boat and lose relationships through brutal honesty when necessary.
6. Over-functioning: Over-functioning comes from desperation. It’s the overworking you do to prove your worth. In this crazy hoop-jumping attitude that causes you to end up doing things you don’t want to do because you are too afraid of being judged for not doing it. When others sense you are desperate to prove yourself they lose respect for you. Relax and do your part but let others carry their own weight. You cannot climb Mount Everest on your own.
Say no without feeling guilty. There is no need to do or participate in anything that you do not want to or believe in. Your “nos” define your likes and dislikes which make you distinct as a person to other people. This way people know where you stop and they start. If people do not know these boundaries you will get pushed over.
7. Withholding: Whenever you fail to express your true thoughts and opinions, like when you interact with someone who was clearly offensive to you, you cannot become a person who is seen as having value, causing you to get looked-over. Never withhold your truth.
To be successful you have to realize that conflict is a part of it. Learn to be bold and state your opinions. You have the right to express your opinions. If you cower in a situation or are afraid someone will reject your opinion, there is no way for anyone to really know you or your preferences. Do not look for agreement. Simply state what opinion is correct for you.
8. Uncertainty: People pleasers have a habit of asking permission in situations where needing permission is not required. This is often done as attempt to look polite and respectful to others. Unfortunately, you end up looking unintelligent and mousey, as if you cannot even make the simplest decisions on your own.
Learn to be bold and lead the way with your decisions, even when you are uncertain. People fall in line with an attitude of boldness. The quickest way to overcome uncertainty is to commit to what you believe in and to speak on it.
9. Over-apologetic: Starting every sentence with “I’m sorry” says a lot to others about your idea of your self-worth. You don’t need to apologize for your existence. When you begin every sentence with “I’m sorry but. ” you are communicating you expect disapproval before you have even communicated your need, opinion or idea. Learn to start each sentence with “listen. “
Be bold enough to make mistakes. Why use disappearing and pleasing to look perfect to others? When you are doing this you are being fake. Real people make mistakes and are not perfect so there is no need to apologize. Your mistakes are your greatest teachers, so mistake-away and learn to recover.
10. Timid: Being timid will trump motivation as your fear will get in the way of you pursuing your passions and happiness. You are not going to get anywhere being timid and fearful. The business world is not sensitive and being timid will allow others, who may be less talented, to surpass you.
Find the confidence to pursue your happiness. You have a unique path in life. Being timid makes you an unanchored boat floating aimlessly in the water just trying to stay safe and out of the way. Happiness and success can only be achieved if it is deliberately pursued. Commit to your path.
The greatest irony with people pleasing is that it almost always produces the exact opposite results of those which are intended.
To be successful in any capacity you have to be confident in who you are and in your own opinions and beliefs. Instead of living in doubt and seeking approval, educate yourself. Work hard to know what you need to do know in order to be successful. You have to get to the point where you believe you are entitled to have your own opinions and can still respect when others don’t view things the same way you do. It doesn’t mean they are right and you are wrong. It is through embracing differences that success becomes exciting and dynamic. It is through the rubbing against your differences with others that real growth happens. Great ideas come from great debate, innovation and differences between people.
Sherapy Advice: The world is not black and white so remember the next time you want to shrink that the need for approval is a success killer.
32 Ways to Make Someone Happy Today
Just thought I’d give all of you a nice list of things to think about. This isn’t an in-depth post, but more of a thought for the day — is there someone you’d like to make happy today?
Making others happy is one of the best ways to have a great day yourself. It can brighten the world around you.
This list is just to spark some ideas, and please note that not every item on this list is appropriate for every person in your life. I trust you to figure out which actions go with which people.
Make someone happy today!
- Help them carry something.
- Send a thank-you email.
- Call just to see how they’re doing.
- Pick them flowers.
- Cook them a nice meal.
- Tell a joke and laugh your butts off.
- Write a love letter to a loved one.
- Give them a cherished book.
- Bake cookies.
- Praise them publicly.
- Thank them for a job well done.
- Be there when they’re in need.
- Give a free hug.
- Spend time with them, having fun.
- Do errands or chores for them.
- Say I love you.
- Help them get ahead.
- Be proud of them.
- Babysit if they need it.
- House sit if they need it.
- Buy them movie tickets.
- Create a care package.
- Coffee. Mmmm.
- List the things you love about them.
- Secretly leave them thank you notes.
- Give a back rub when appropriate.
- Deliver a nice lunch to them when they’re having a rough day.
- Love them, completely.
- Be happy yourself.
Any ideas on how to make people happy? Add them in the comments!
6 steps great leaders use to inspire anyone
If you’re wondering how to motivate others , you’re well aware of the challenges. You need solutions. The good news is that great leaders are made, not born . You can learn how to develop the skills that will allow you to inspire others – and help them achieve more than they ever dreamed.
Live your values
If you’re wondering how to motivate others , look no further than your own example. Great leaders take to heart the quote, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” Oprah built an empire on positivity and celebrating the successes of others. Jeff Bezos’ bold, visionary insights are legendary. Bill Gates is known as one of the hardest workers in tech.
All of these great leaders were fueled by their own unwavering belief in themselves. They knew what they wanted, and they set out to achieve it. People are attracted to certainty . When you discover your passion in life and let it fuel your inner fire, motivating others comes more naturally because they will be attracted to your passion.
How do you motivate others without listening to them? The truth is that you’ll never be able to inspire others to action if you’re the one talking all the time. Listening is essential. It shows that you’re interested in what others have to say and you care about their lives. It also allows you to uncover their passions, which you can use to motivate them.
Deep listening is more than just “hearing” someone. It’s an active state that requires concentration and effort. Put your phone away and step away from your computer to give the person your full attention. Maintain good eye contact and practice mirroring to make them feel safe and understood. Give both verbal and nonverbal feedback. You cannot learn how to motivate others until you learn how to be a good listener.
Ask the right questions
Tony says that “Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers.” Giving the right feedback is just as important as deep listening. When you ask the right questions , you’re able to create a connection and uncover someone’s innermost dreams and desires – and ultimately figure out how to motivate others .
Show an interest in the person’s life. Ask about their family, their partner or their weekend plans. These questions will often show you what matters most to them . Find out if they volunteer, play sports or love to get into a good book. Recreational activities reveal traits like compassion, competitiveness and desire to learn new things – and you can leverage these traits to inspire others.
Adapt your leadership style
People inherently respond differently to different motivators. People also have different communication styles, or metaprograms , such as internal and external frames of reference and tendencies to look for similarities or for differences. Motivating others is about adapting your leadership style to fit different personalities and communication styles.
But you must start with determining your natural leadership style. Take the DISC assessment to see what type of leader you are. Then work on building up your areas of weakness, such as your coaching skills or your use of praise and encouragement. When you can change your leadership style at will, you’ll discover how to motivate others no matter who they are.
It seems contradictory, but assigning responsibility is key to how to motivate others . It shows that you trust them and believe they have the skills to get the job done – and that in turn makes them want to live up to your expectations. As with anything else involving leadership, effective communication is essential to making sure you get the result you want.
Set clear goals that are a little bit of a “stretch,” but are attainable based on the person’s skill set and experience. Goals that are too easy won’t push them to improve, but goals that are too hard may frustrate them and actually cause them to lose motivation. The right goals provide just the push they need to be their best selves.
Motivating others isn’t just about giving inspiring speeches or writing an amazing company vision statement . It’s about following up and providing the support people need to achieve their goals. It means providing the physical tools and programs they need to succeed, but also providing emotional support. Ask them how you can help. Let them know you’re there for them. And always follow up and keep them on track for success.
When people achieve goals, they gain confidence . When they gain confidence, they begin to believe in themselves – and they feel inspired to achieve even more. Great leaders are the catalyst that sparks the passion within. Then they use that flame to illuminate the right path. Ultimately, they inspire others to become leaders themselves, passing the flame along to help even more people.
Tony Robbins is an entrepreneur, bestselling author, philanthropist and the nation’s #1 Life and Business Strategist. Author of five internationally bestselling books, including the recent New York Times #1 best-seller UNSHAKEABLE, Mr. Robbins has empowered more than 50 million people from 100 countries through his audio, video and life training programs. He created the #1 personal and professional development program of all time, and more than 4 million people have attended his live seminars.
There’s something wrong
Some of our habits and behaviors can be obnoxious enough to make our company undesirable. Actions that appear normal to us can be viewed as repulsive and abhorrent by our friends and acquaintances. This means that we inadvertently make people uncomfortable around us. But who can be blamed? Some habits are inherent so we have little control over them. Plus, we don’t even know which of our traits makes others dislike us, let alone try to work on it.
Studies conducted on social groups reveal what causes individuals to dislike someone. A large number of people present at a social gathering were asked about detestable traits in others. Surprisingly, the answers did not show variation and were very different from the expected ones. People said that they were not bothered by a person’s foul breath, malodorous clothes, or other signs of no personal hygiene. They didn’t even mind if the person swore a lot during conversations and used profanities. It was unanimously agreed that unkempt appearance and lack of personal care weren’t repulsive enough to make further conversation impossible. Moreover, a few people said that they could even tolerate another person yakking about ideas that contradicted their beliefs. They said it’s just a matter of a few hours, so listen to the other person but don’t let their nonsense get to your head. Why make contradictory beliefs a reason to bicker in social gatherings?
Then what made people uncomfortable? It was the other person’s intolerance to their ideas. If an individual openly criticized them, deemed their ideologies flawed and warped, and snubbed them, they were certain they could no longer be within 10 feet of that person. When an idea is openly expressed among a group of friends, and an intolerant individual immediately expresses contempt and tries to override the person speaking then that individual is deemed despicable by others. This means that people can absolutely not tolerate a person who makes weak efforts to conceal their derision. We all have conflicting views and why shouldn’t we? Every human, whether parochial or perceptive, has the right to be opinionated. And it’s a good thing because if we all were staunch followers of a specific ideology, then the need for discussion and cognition would never arise. We all would be like one giant army saluting a common centaur. Differences of opinion lead to a better understanding of our whirlpool of thoughts and ideas.
Sometimes we don’t like what other people say. But does that mean we blatantly start criticizing the other person? No, it is wrong. It is not only socially undesirable but you also lose the moral high ground. Keep your opinions to yourself, and exert self-control when you’re about to go ballistic. Don’t react in a way that makes other people unappreciative of your presence. No may make people uncomfortable to an extent where they never want to see you again.
Author, Podcast Host: The Dr. Karin Show, Intuitive Therapist, Inspirational Speaker
Did you know that the way people treat you is a statement about them, not about you? When we stop taking things personally, we boost our happiness, confidence and overall well-being. Let’s help you understand how people’s words, beliefs and actions are a direct mirror of how they truly feel about themselves. Let’s look at why and how to take your power back.
In psychology, we call this behavior ‘projection.’ That is, when a person unconsciously places unwanted feelings, motives or beliefs about the self onto another person. By doing this, the person is using a coping mechanism that deflects dealing with hidden emotions, instead putting the shame of them onto someone else.
An example of this can come from a person who knows (consciously or sub-consciously) that they are often deceitful with others. When threatened in a relationship – even mildly – this person might immediately assume that the other person is lying and then project accusations of deceit. The pot calling the kettle black. This, of course, prevents the projector from seizing the opportunity to recognize what is truly happening in their own psyche and grow from increased reflection and awareness.
This can be very painful for the innocent party on many levels, and I want to explain why.
So, there you are in the middle of a healthy disagreement, when you feel a shift in the energy. You realize you are being accused of being someone you are not. In fact, the accusation is the exact trait that you clearly see in the person pointing a finger at you.
If they are really masters at this tactic, they become mental magicians at trying to convince you that you are the unstable one. YOU are the one that needs help. In your gut, you are feeling sick and want to scream “No!” That is your true self trying to be heard.
You know the truth is being twisted, but it is likely that attempts to defend yourself are unsuccessful and even used against you. The stress hormone, cortisol starts coursing through your veins.
You feel adrenaline rise out of your gut, into your chest and onto your shoulders. This is your body’s chemical reaction to stress. Your sympathetic nervous system sends signals of danger throughout your body, commanding a release of substances to protect itself. These physical sensations create a mental reaction that makes you want to defend yourself, cueing an emotional reaction of internal disharmony.
On a deeper level, these internal signs are lining up with the soul part of you that is called to honor your truth. Your systems are reacting with fervor because your reality is being turned upside-down. You are being dishonored.
Your mind/body/spirit – through all of your body’s sensations – is trying to telling you that what is happening is completely out of alignment with who you truly are. The Human Self wants to defend your truth, the Higher Self wants to dismiss you from the experience, while the Emotional Self wants to find a way to feel better. I say, be purposeful and revere all parts of you.
To honor your whole being, create a space where you speak your truth, remove yourself from the negative experience and restore harmony in your body. You are not there to change the other person – because you cannot. You are not there to take on the negative beliefs of the other person – because they are not yours. You are there to remain a self-preserving, valuable human being, standing in your own truth and self-worth.
Do not return the pain by flipping the projection around, further engaging in the insanity. This only makes you just like them.
Speak your truth with an insult-free ‘I statement,’ avoiding the word ‘you’ as much as possible. For example, “I am an honest person. I know who I am, and what is being said about me here is incorrect.” This type of ‘I response’ diffuses confrontation because it is a statement about your own feelings, not an attack on the other person.
Calmly and respectfully remove yourself from the situation. By refusing to engage in the battle, you are not only diffusing emotion and taking the high road, but you are honoring yourself by not allowing the negativity to inform your self-worth. It is now up to them what they will do with themselves – not you.
Take deep breaths, inhaling in positive reminders of your true worth. Make internal statement that build you up from the heart, such as “I am proud of myself for keeping my boundaries and staying authentic. I refused to get into that negative cycle and I am changing things for me.” Stay grounded in the foundation of your own strength and truth.
Maintain power over your own self-worth. See yourself as resilient and covered in Teflon – with useless words sliding right off you. Refuse to give someone else the power over the way you define yourself. It is the positive light that is within you that is supposed to be in charge of that.
Now go shine brightly and show the world who you really are.
There’s a difference between being liked and being respected. Ideally, you’ll be both.
But according to Lynn Taylor, a national workplace expert and the author of “Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job,” being respected is at least partly about being “steadfast in your convictions.” That means you “don’t always need to please everyone” with your decisions.
We asked Taylor and Michael Kerr, an international business speaker and author of “The Humor Advantage,” about the best — and quickest — ways to earn respect at work. Read on for their top tips.
Give respect to other people
Kerr called it a “chicken-and-egg relationship”: If you respect other people, they’ll be more inclined to respect you, and so on.
Taylor emphasized the importance of treating everyone with equal respect, whether they’re above or below you in the corporate hierarchy.
Consistently keep your promises
“As soon as we become known as a person who can’t be trusted to keep their word, it’s one of the quickest ways to lose respect,” Kerr said.
Taylor recommended trying not only to meet your deadlines, but to beat them whenever possible. “Other people are counting on you,” she said.
Let your actions speak louder than your words
One great way to lose people’s respect? Walk around telling them “how great you are,” Kerr said.
Don’t let your ego get in the way, he added — be confident that if you’re doing a good job, your coworkers will notice.
Help others when they need it
Let’s say you know a coworker is having a hard time finishing a particular project. Taylor said you might recommend that they talk to someone in another department with the appropriate skill set.
“Going out of your way a little bit is the right thing to do,” Taylor said. “And it also, not so surprisingly, comes back to you in more ways than you can imagine.”
That said, Taylor added that people will respect you even more if you set some reasonable boundaries when it comes to helping others: “Don’t be a doormat.”
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, we all have those days where we don’t want to be sociable, but we’re thrown into a social situation. Surviving those moments when you’re thrown to the wolves is tough—but if you can figure out why you don’t feel like socializing, it’s possible to overcome that feeling.
Not wanting to socialize comes from all sorts of reasons, and countering that is the only way to survive the experience. To that end, let’s look at a few reasons why you might not be in the mood to hit up a social event, and deal with them accordingly.
You’re Tired and Don’t Feel Up to It
From my own perspective, “being tired and not feeling up to it” are the two most commons reasons why I don’t like to go out—and it’s easily the most common thing I hear from friends. Sometimes you don’t have a choice though, and you have to get out and socialize regardless.
In this case, the trick is in forcing yourself to wake up a little in hopes that you’ll be up to socialize when you’re awake. As ridiculous as it sounds, a short bout of exercise is a simple way to get a little energy, and a quick walk around the block might restore your energy .
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Caffeine, of course, does the trick, but has its share of downsides . If you don’t want to resort to caffeine, it might be best to hit your bodies other fuel source: food. As WebMD points out , certain complex carbs found in whole-grain foods are a great way to get a quick energy boost when you need it. Oftentimes, you just need to get a little extra fuel in your system and you’ll be good to walk into any social situation with your head high and your brain tuned for conversation. Photo by Andy .
What Caffeine Actually Does to Your Brain
For all of its wild popularity, caffeine is one seriously misunderstood substance. It’s not a…
There Will Be People There You Don’t Like
So, your main cause for concern is that your arch-enemy is going to be there. It’s okay, we’ve all been there, and it’s a perfectly reasonable excuse not to go somewhere. But you don’t have to let it stop you being sociable.
The easiest way around this is to try and time your entrance or exit so you don’t actually run into the people you don’t like, but that’s not always a possibility. Sometimes you have to face up to them.
In most cases, running into someone at a social function who you don’t like is no different than working with someone you don’t like. You can deal with the situation the same way. As we’ve talked about before, you might have to dig deep and figure out why you don’t like a person . Perhaps, once you figure out the why, you can move on and have a perfectly good time.
What to Do When You Work With Someone You Don’t Like
We all have to deal with unpleasant coworkers. Maybe their habits annoy you, they’re lazy, or they…
Of course, that’s not always the case. Sometimes you just don’t like people. If it’s a big problem, it might be time to step up and tell someone you don’t like them . It’s not an easy task, and half the battle is preparing yourself to deal with the conversation. Just remember, we all have people in our lives we don’t like—before you go confronting someone ask yourself, “What’s my objective in telling someone I don’t like them?” If you don’t have a good reason, it’s probably best to just avoid them. Photo by Deborah Austin .
How to Tell Someone You Don’t Like Them (Without Being an Asshole)
It would be fantastic if we could all just get along, but if you’ve met a handful of people in your
You Hate Small Talk
The majority of people out there don’t like small talk, but we all do it. Thankfully, you have a ton of tactics to make small talk bearable.
One of the best ways to deal with small talk is to turn it into an actual conversation . You can do this pretty easily by mentioning small details until something sticks , or even just by learning the right questions to ask . If you’re struggling to think of questions questions, the FORD technique (family, occupation, recreation, dreams) is a simple way to come up with interesting topics.
How Can I Turn Small Talk Into a Conversation?
Dear Lifehacker, I hate small talk. I never know how in-depth I should go into a conversation and…
Once you find that question, it’s time to listen. One thing I’ve learned over the years from being horribly awkward at small talk is that people love to talk about themselves, and the more you allow them to do so, the more they’ll like you. The trick, in this case, is all about finding that middle ground where you’re both interested in something, and then just letting them talk about it while listening intently. Not only do you walk away with a whole new perspective of the world, you also make a new friend who you won’t have to have small talk with anymore. Photo by Dirk Baranek .
You’re Stressed Out or Preoccupied with Something Else
Stress can wreck havoc on your body , and if you’re stressed, going out and socializing is likely the last thing you want to do.
What Stress Actually Does to You and What You Can Do About It
Stress is an unpleasant fact of life. We all experience it for various reasons, and we all try to…
The problem is that dealing with stress depends a lot on where it’s coming from. The best ways to deal with acute stress are to relax, give yourself some time, and talk it out with those around you. If you’re stressed about the social obligation itself, it’s not a bad idea to change your expectations , try and stop stress before it starts , and remember that sometimes the best way to deal with it is to do something unusual . Perhaps being sociable is exactly what you need. Photo by artethgray .
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Feeling stressed? As strategic advisor Peter Bregman explains, it’s probably stemming from…
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In This Article
Marriage is not for everyone. Today, plenty of people choose to have long-term partnerships and never tie the knot or they live happily single with a strong group of friends and family members around them. So if you are wondering if marriage is right for you, you are not alone.
Marriage is a deeply personal decision, and it will vary based on personality and lifestyle aspirations. Besides, what really makes someone want to get married? That’s why we turned to dating expert Barbie Adler to answer that question and more. Ahead, she explains the most popular reasons for marriage, how to know if your partner is ready, and what to do if marriage isn’t for you.
Meet the Expert
Barbie Adler is a national dating expert and founder of matchmaking company Selective Search.
Reasons Why People Want to Get Married
“There is something to be said about a true union,” says Adler. “Marriage is the ultimate commitment.” Even if you are in the most committed, long-term relationship, there are legal, emotional, and financial benefits to making it official. Here are a few:
A Heightened Sense of Security
There are couples who have lived together for a decade who still feel different once they are married. Even after they’ve known each other for so long, they say they feel more at ease once they said their vows. For many, marriage brings a sense of security, a grounding they can’t get any other way.
Many of Adler’s clients are accomplished people. They have successful professions, a solid group of family and friends, hobbies, a life full of travel and joy. But the one thing they are missing, something marriage gives, is constant companionship. “They know who they are, what they want, and are ready to share their life with someone special,” she shares. They want someone who will be their best friend and their partner in crime not just now, but as they grow old as well.
Affirmation of Mutual Love
In her line of work, Adler sees how powerful it can be for couples to stand up in front of their family and friends and declare their love for one another. It’s a way to bring your partner into your family officially and tie your two worlds together.
To Start a Family
Sure, in some religions and communities it is frowned upon to have a child without being married. But even if you come from a more progressive world, a lot of people want to be married before having a child. There is stability that comes with having a legally-defined family.
If a break-up does happen down the line, marriage is the only way to make sure there is child support and custody arrangements.
It may seem unromantic to discuss money when looking at the reasons to get married, but marriage is as much of a business transaction as it is a spiritual and emotional one. In the past, families would marry their children to solidify financial and political arrangements. Today, getting married allows you to share your income, your property, your assets, and in many situations, it also means tax benefits. The state literally rewards couples who chose marriage.
When you get married you vow to stick together in sickness and in health. It’s also true that you can share medical benefits with your spouse. Perhaps only one person works or one partner has better medical insurance—if you’re married, you get to share it.
How to Know If Your Partner Wants to Marry You
Do you think you want to get married, but you aren’t sure if your partner feels the same way? Here are some indicators to look for:
There is open communication in your relationship.
“The primary indicator of a relationship that is ready for marriage is healthy, open communication,” explains Adler. “You want your communication to be transparent as opposed to opaque.” Have you openly talked about your life goals? Does it feel safe to bring up these conversations? Has he or she brought it up as well?
If you can’t have comfortable conversations about your long-term aspirations with your partner, you might not be ready for a lifelong commitment.
You are included in big decisions.
“Another gauge is being included and valued when it comes to making big decisions,” Adler adds. Did your partner consult you when buying a new car, taking a new job offer, or moving into a new apartment?
You’ve met their family.
Your partner might be ready for marriage if he or she has proactively introduced you to the keystone people in their life, including family members, close friends, and mentors. It’s a step forward in the merging of two worlds, which is what happens when you are married.
They have emotional intelligence.
“Take stock of your partner’s emotional intelligence or EQ,” says Adler. Questions to ask yourself include: Are they invested in your overall happiness? Are they vulnerable with you? Do they share their failures as well as successes? Are they willing to put in the work when conflict bubbles up?
Why Someone Might Not Be Ready for Marriage
Adler admits there are a few reasons why someone might not be ready for marriage. The most obvious is that they haven’t met the right person yet. “They may engage in relationships where there is chemistry in the moment, but no long-term potential. I advise singles to not settle or stay in relationships out of convenience. It’s a lose-lose scenario for both parties.”
In other instances, individuals might be scared of the commitment or struggle with it in some way. She reveals, “This fear can come in the form of not feeling ‘good enough’ or that they don’t deserve to be happy. It also could stem from going through a toxic relationship or witness a toxic relationship as a child. I always encourage everyone to examine their past relationships to identify what went wrong, and make it a point to evolve from those life lessons.”
Pay less attention to them and more attention to your values.
If you want to be your best and perform at a high level, fear of people’s opinions may be holding you back.
Our fear of other people’s opinions, or FOPO, has become an irrational and unproductive obsession in the modern world, and its negative effects reach far beyond performance. If you start paying less and less attention to what makes you you—your talents, beliefs, and values—and start conforming to what others may or may not think, you’ll harm your potential.
If you really want to conquer FOPO, you’ll need to cultivate more self-awareness. Most of us go through life with a general sense of who we are, and, in a lot of circumstances, that’s enough. We get by. But if you want to be your best while being less fearful of people’s opinions, you need to develop a stronger and deeper sense of who you are.
You can start by developing a personal philosophy—a word or phrase that expresses your basic beliefs and values. This philosophy isn’t a platitude or slogan; rather, it’s a compass, guiding your actions, thoughts, and decisions.
Pay less attention to them and more attention to your values.
If you want to be your best and perform at a high level, fear of people’s opinions may be holding you back.
Think about a time when you were extremely anxious — say, before standing up to publicly speak, raising your hand in a big meeting, or even walking through a room of strangers. The reason you felt small and scared and tense is you were worried about social disapproval.
Our fear of other people’s opinions, or FOPO as I call it, has become an irrational and unproductive obsession in the modern world, and its negative effects reach far beyond performance.
If you start paying less and less attention to what makes you you — your talents, beliefs, and values — and start conforming to what others may or may not think, you’ll harm your potential. You’ll start playing it safe because you’re afraid of what will happen on the other side of the critique. You’ll fear being ridiculed or rejected. When challenged, you’ll surrender your viewpoint. You won’t raise your hand when you can’t control the outcome. You won’t go for that promotion because you won’t think you’re qualified.
Unfortunately, FOPO is part of the human condition since we’re operating with an ancient brain. A craving for social approval made our ancestors cautious and savvy; thousands of years ago, if the responsibility for the failed hunt fell on your shoulders, your place in the tribe could be threatened. The desire to fit in and the paralyzing fear of being disliked undermine our ability to pursue the lives we want to create.
This underscores why we need to train and condition our mind — so the tail is not wagging the dog.
If you find yourself experiencing FOPO, there are ways to dampen the intensity of your stress responses. Once you’re aware of your thoughts, guide yourself toward confidence-building statements (I am a good public speaker, I’ve put in the work so that I can trust my abilities, I have a lot of great things to say, I’m completely prepared for this promotion). These statements will help you focus on your skills and abilities rather than others’ opinions. Take deep breaths, too. This will signal to your brain that you’re not in immediate danger.
But, if you really want to conquer FOPO, you’ll need to cultivate more self-awareness. Most of us go through life with a general sense of who we are, and, in a lot of circumstances, that’s enough. We get by. But if you want to be your best while being less fearful of people’s opinions, you need to develop a stronger and much deeper sense of who you are.
You can start by developing a personal philosophy — a word or phrase that expresses your basic beliefs and values. The personal philosophy of Pete Carroll, my business partner and head coach of the Seattle Seahawks, is “always compete.” For Coach Carroll, always competing means spending every day working hard to get better and reach his fullest potential. This philosophy isn’t a platitude or slogan; rather, it’s his compass, guiding his actions, thoughts, and decisions. As a coach. A father. A friend. In every area of life.
When coming up with a personal philosophy, ask yourself a series of questions:
When I’m at my best, what beliefs lie just beneath the surface of my thoughts and actions?
Who are people that demonstrate characteristics and qualities that are in alignment with mine?
What are those qualities?
What are your favorite quotes? Your favorite words?
Once you’ve answered these questions, circle the words that stand out to you and cross out the ones that don’t. After studying what’s left, try to come up with a phrase or sentence that lines up with exactly who you are and how you want to live your life. Share the draft with a loved one, ask for input, and fine-tune your philosophy from there. Then commit it to memory and return to it daily.
Crafting a personal philosophy can be an eye-opening and powerful exercise. When I coach teams of executives, I often ask them to write down their personal philosophy and share it with the group. I’ll never forget the time a senior executive wowed everyone in the room. As tears welled up in his eyes, he straightened his back, held his head high, and said, “My philosophy is to walk worthy.” He told his colleagues that his parents were immigrants who had persevered through challenging circumstances to ensure he had better opportunities. Because of his parents’ hard work and sacrifice, he considered it his duty to live life as if his family crest were emblazoned across his chest. Every day, he tries to be worthy of their good deeds, and to be a great role model for the next generation.
I can’t overstate how important a personal philosophy is. Working with NFL players and coaches, extreme-sport athletes, and senior leaders at Fortune 50 companies, I’ve noticed that, beyond a relentless pursuit of being their best, what makes these high performers great is their clear sense of the principles that guide them. Because of their clarity, they’re more willing to push themselves, learn more, and embrace discomfort. They can shut out the noise and opinions of fans and media and listen to their own well-calibrated, internal compass.
Once you’ve developed your own personal philosophy, commit yourself to live in accordance with its tenets. Start at home. Tell that person you love them. Dance at a wedding. Take risks. Be respectfully weird. (That probably means, be you.) Then try it at work. Give a presentation. Go for that promotion. Do things that will engender the opinions of others. When you feel the power of FOPO holding you back, simply acknowledge it, and re-connect to your philosophy and the larger objective at hand.
Moving forward, solicit feedback from a short list of people who matter to you. Honest reflection is a vital component of mastery. During an episode of my podcast, “Finding Mastery,” Brené Brown, a renowned researcher and author of Dare to Lead, suggested that the names of those people should fit on a 1×1 inch index card. I add a second condition. The people on your card should have a great sense of the person you are and the person you’re working to become. Hold their views in high regard, letting the noise from the crowd fade away. Calibrate their feedback with your experience.
Most of all, remember that growth and learning take place when you’re operating at the edge of your capacity. Like blowing up a nearly inflated balloon, living in accordance with your personal philosophy will require more effort and power, but, the result, which is to authentically and artistically express who you are, will push you to live and work with more purpose and meaning.