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20 Ways To Help You See Your Best Friend In A Whole New Light

20 Ways To Help You See Your Best Friend In A Whole New Light

We’ve all got that bestie for the restie. You know each other’s sleeping patterns (because you’re messaging each other every waking hour), you know each other’s allergies, and you’re the only person who knows the full story about the broken curtain on the gym shower (and the resulting indecent exposure).

But what don’t you know? What secret traits and unseen sides lie hidden beneath that persona that you know so well? Here are 20 things that will help you find out – there may be even more reasons than you realize to love your best friend.

1. Visit your best friend at work

You’re used to seeing them in leggings or sweats, with cookie crumbs on their face. But what about in a tie and white button-down, laying down the law and being all serious and powerful? It might just take you aback.

20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

    2. Live together for an extended period of time

    Leave dirty dishes around the house, use the last of the shampoo, draw a territorial line on the carpet – living together will push you two to your breaking points. You’ll see those snappy red-mist moments in each other like never before. And your friendship will be the stronger for it.

    20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

      3. Visit a place neither of you have ever been

      Time to whack out the rucksacks, the cameras, and the sunglasses and discover a new part of the world together. Expand your horizons as one and discover a new way to hang out. And of course, no trip is complete without an obnoxious picture posted on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

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      20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

        4. Try the Insanity workout program together

        This task comes with some fine print: You have to vow to stay by each other’s side (it may be the most difficult mission of your life). Because suffering together always brings people closer.

        20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

          5. Share tapas in a public place

          When you can negotiate meals and swap and share your dishes, you know you have found a true friend. Because most people are like Joey. And Joey doesn’t share food.

          20 ways to see your best friend in a whole new light. Lifehack

            6. Be the big spoon after a night on the town

            There’s nothing like a platonic cuddle to get you to sleep after a night of shots, tall drinks, shots, dancing, and shots. And it’s a plus to have your friend on hand for when your hair needs holding back in the toilet in the morning…

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              7. Attempt the impossible together

              Whether this means climbing a mountain, starting a business together, or simply finishing the whole rack of ribs in TGIF, you’ll find new strengths, new weaknesses, and new glue to keep you stuck.

              20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                8. Confront your worst fears as a team

                Whether your bestie drops hot tea all over their lap, or calmly finds a book heavy enough to squash the eight-eyed monster gatecrashing your evening, you’re sure to find out about the real them during times of such extreme stress.

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                20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                  9. Get lost on a road trip

                  Roof down, music up, wind in your hair – hell, this one’s just an excuse for a holiday! And getting lost is the best part, so go off-road and find new paths in each other.

                  20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                    10. Go clubbing together stone cold sober

                    Do you both still bust out those moves and drop it like it’s hot in the middle of the dance floor when you haven’t knocked back a single stiff one? Only one way to find out…

                    20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                      11. Double date

                      When you’re vetting the new lad or lady on the scene, why not vet each other while you’re at it? Does your bestie act differently on a date? Do they nibble their lettuce leaves instead of tucking into that pork pie?

                      20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                        12. Start a club together

                        Dancing, life drawing, archery – whatever floats your boat. How is your bestie with an arrow? How are they when they lose? Meet the sweaty, tackling, red-faced version of your best friend and learn a hell of a lot about their competitive streak.

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                        20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                          13. No texting for a week

                          Can you make it through? It might be worth it to see your friend in the real rather than the virtual. See how excited you are when you meet up and have ALL of the things to talk about!

                          20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                            14. Buy a pet together

                            Whether it’s a fish or a donkey, enjoy mothering something cute and fluffy and watch the parental urges come to the fore.

                            20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                              15. Spend a night in jail together

                              Inadvisable, but definitely perspective-changing.

                              20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                16. Write a song together

                                Get those creative juices flowing and who knows where they could take you – record deals, overnight fame, or perhaps just to a better understanding of each others’ sensitive souls.

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                                20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                  17. Write a book together

                                  You really want to know those deep, dark, weird spaces of your best friend’s mind? Brainstorm the perfect story and watch it wind out of control as you create your masterpiece together.

                                  20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                    18. Have that raging argument that’s been building for weeks

                                    Let off some steam and let it all out in the open – you’ll both feel the better for it, and you’ll unleash some tensions while resolving some issues. And of course you’ll bounce right back.

                                    20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                      19. Witness your best friend brush their teeth

                                      You’ll never look at them the same way again. It’s an intimate moment – all that frothing and spitting. And it’s a great look into the domestic life of your bestie.

                                      20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                        20. Be there to watch them grow up and grow old

                                        You’re best friends. You’ve seen it all. You’ve been there for each other. So stay there. Right to the end.

                                        20 things that will cast your best friend in a whole new light, Lifehack

                                          Featured photo credit: Lauren Rushing via flickr.com

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                                          Last Updated on January 15, 2019

                                          What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                                          What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

                                          When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

                                          Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

                                          It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

                                          While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

                                          Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

                                          What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

                                          How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

                                          It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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                                          People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

                                          “A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

                                          In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

                                          Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

                                          As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

                                          When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

                                          It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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                                          What are Interpersonal Skills?

                                          Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

                                          In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

                                          From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

                                          For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

                                          Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

                                          How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

                                          There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

                                          There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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                                          Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

                                          I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

                                          Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

                                          “That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

                                          Don’t overlook introspection.

                                          While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

                                          Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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                                          When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

                                          Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

                                          “Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

                                          The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

                                          The Bottom Line

                                          You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

                                          Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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