Unless it’s a revelation for you that “communication is the key” to relationships of any kind, it’s not useful without context on how to communicate in a healthy way.
Here are details on just a few things I’ve learned from my personal communication failures:
- Fear of consequences or aversion to uncomfortable conversations has led to worse consequences than the discomfort I thought I was protecting (one of my most glaring deficiencies).
- Body language, tone, and attitude (HOW you say what you say) are as important as the message itself (WHAT you say).
- A conversation at a time when one or both parties are not the best versions of themselves could be the difference between understanding/growth and a relationship-damaging outcome
- l must be able to articulate your argument or feelings in a way that makes you feel heard. If I don’t, you’re not ready to hear what I have to say. The reverse is also true.
It’s impossible to have a view of the value of something without comparison. Is $5,000 expensive? For a house in Austin? No. For a pack of Juicyfruit gum? Probably.
Make sure that whatever you’re evaluating is 1) of value to you – an even trade of money for what you want, and 2) compared to the right things.
Most English speakers use roughly 1,000 of the 250,000 English words in the dictionary. Knowing that a tiny fraction of words will immediately allow you to have functional fluency makes learning English less daunting.
Here are a couple of other examples:
Learning to play just four chords on the guitar or piano will allow you to play hundreds of songs
Of the thousands of exercises and fitness routines, pushing, pulling, and squatting your body weight a few days per week will allow you to strengthen your body and gain muscle/lose fat faster.
What are the few most critical things you can learn/develop to leverage 80% of the results you seek?
In her moving Ted Talk, Susan Cain outlines how social interactions by default tend to be structured by and for extroverts and why it’s important to respect and value the many introverts.
A humble brag about my sister, who initiated new “normal” activities for elementary school children who felt left out at recess for not embracing sports as their mode of play. Now, groups of people can work on art, read, or do other activities of their choice, either in relative isolation or quietly within a group.
We should know by now that leveraging people’s natural strengths and preferences produces more creativity, motivation, and, best of all, more fulfilled humans.
Sometimes needing a vacation means freedom from our daily habits and responsibilities. This happens more reliably when we change our location and environment. It’s also possible to recharge by taking short daily breaks to connect with friends, watch comedy, or dedicate “me time.” Essentially, do some things that are want-to’s and not have-to’s.
I love to travel and will always want to do that. But my ultimate goal is to architect a life from which I don’t feel a need to escape or go on vacation.
Many wise sayings (as well as research) promote the importance of quality over quantity of friends, but we’re left to define the word “friend” in our own way.
I’m grateful for the handful of non-relatives whose homes I have access to, who would trust me with their social security numbers, and whom I can trust with my insecurities or my life itself. Our lives should be noticeably better, mutually, because of our friendship than they would be otherwise.
Whatever your definition, remember the importance of seeing others this way and being this friend as well.
There is a strong correlation between heavy social media use and loneliness. FOMO (fear of missing out) is real. Overusing social media leads to sacrificing genuine human connection, an essential ingredient for a gratifying life.
Technology is helpful, miraculous even, in connecting us to those we may never otherwise connect. But let’s make sure we use it responsibly, as a tool, rather than a replacement for human connection.
David Burns’ insightful book “Feeling Good” reminds us that labeling ourselves is both self-defeating and irrational. We are complex, constantly changing organisms that will never fully fit one label – and even if we do that would soon change.
A useful analogy is to think of ourselves more like flowing rivers than statues.
The trouble with much of our public discourse is that even people with good intentions don’t see the difference in one important distinction: Wanting to be right, vs. wanting to know IF you’re right.
One is for truth-seekers (whatever “truth” you’re seeking). The other is for those who are absolutely certain that there is no way of viewing the world other than the way that they’ve decided is correct.
Anchoring or focalism is a cognitive bias that describes the common human tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information offered (the “anchor”) when making decisions. During decision-making, anchoring occurs when individuals use an initial piece of information to make subsequent judgments.
How to use: be mindful of the FIRST thing you say/do when meeting someone, in job interviews, in sales pitches, etc.
“I’m Steve and I’m sometimes hard to get along with but I love all people” can be effectively heard as “I’m sometimes hard to get along with blah blah blah.”