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15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

15 Things Mentally Strong Women Understand

Whether you’re 14 years old or 94, there’s something in this article for all women. This piece was written to encourage and empower women everywhere and from all walks of life to pursue their dreams and make a positive difference in the world.

1. It’s okay to be successful

You have as much right as anybody else in the world to thrive, succeed, and be happy. Never apologize for being successful. Rather, you should embrace your successes–every single one of them–and know that you’re doing the world a favor by being the successful, thriving woman you were always meant to be. So what does it mean to be successful? That’s completely up to you.

2. Don’t compare yourself to other women

I’ll admit, it’s not easy not to compare yourself to other women, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or a woman in the workforce. The dangerous downside to asking yourself who’s better than who is that it inevitably promotes a what-I-don’t-have mentality, rather than a what-I-do-have way of thinking. On the flip side, you should ask yourself, which of this person’s positive qualities can I develop to make myself a better person?

3. Because it’s all right to be different

Besides, what’s the fun in being a cookie-cutter wannabe?

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4. Don’t be afraid to express your feelings and emotions

By opening up emotionally, you become happier and live longer; even scientific studies say so. While this is a well-known fact, in Western societies, especially in the United States, being openly expressive is still often seen as a sign of weakness, for women as well as for men, when in reality it can be a sign of confidence and emotional strength and stability.

5. But don’t let your emotions govern your actions

While it’s okay to be emotionally expressive, being in control of those emotions is equally important. Emotions are a powerful human mechanism that, if left uncontrolled, can overpower a person to the point of completely governing their actions, more often than not with very negative consequences. While keeping one’s emotions in check can be more difficult for some than others, this is an ability that anyone can develop and use to prevent a lot of future problems and heartache.

6. Being strong and independent means not relying on a relationship to make you happy

Ever heard of the “overly attached girlfriend”? That’s the exact epitome of what you shouldn’t be. In a relationship, the two people are meant to complement each other, not define one another. If you’re one of those people who have yet to find that special someone, don’t fret. Just focus on being the best version of yourself, and everything that’s meant to be will be.

7. It also means not asking permission to do what you want to do

It’s your life. You do what you like (so long as you’re considerate of other people!). While some, if not many, people will disapprove of what you do and perhaps even try to discourage you, it’s not they who own you! (It’s you, in fact.)

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8. Stand up for yourself

It goes without saying that in order to overcome the skeptics, the discouragers, the haters, etc. you must first learn to stand up for yourself. Oftentimes, your parents or your closest friends won’t be there to hold your hand. Therefore, you must learn to hold your own (pun intended, maybe).

Maybe you’re not as naturally thick skinned as other women. The good news is that any woman can build and develop her self-confidence, although it may take quite a bit of time and effort. If you want to know more about developing your self-confidence here’s an article you should read.

9. But help other women too

So now that you’ve learned to stand up for yourself, now the hard part: learn to stand up for other women too. There’s nothing that shows self-confidence better than offering another woman a helping hand (when you more easily could’ve dragged her down), and there’s nothing like building a bridge, when you’ve helped a fellow woman, that you know you can always cross over when you yourself need help.

10. And uplift them

Be a mentor. Show them their potential. Let them know they’re invaluable. Let them know they can do anything they put their heart into. You get the gist.

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11. Be educated

And no, I don’t mean go to college. While a bachelor’s degree can nicely decorate your resume, it’s not the golden ticket to success (and this is coming from a current college student!). Just be knowledgeable about your stuff, whatever that may be, so that you can work effectively and, just as importantly, be taken seriously.

12. Stay physically healthy

Good physical health almost always correlates with good mental health, and with a strong and healthy mind, you’re bound to do many great things in life.

13. Be financially independent

What if, for example, the person you’re financially reliant on gets sick or dies unexpectedly? Well, I guess you always could ask someone else for money (which, of course, I don’t mean seriously!).

14. We still live in a male-dominated society

Unfortunately, despite having more college degrees than men, women still earn significantly less–78 cents for every dollar a man earns–and frequently face gender discrimination. Fortunately, however, we are a far cry from where we were decades ago and are succeeding every day in making the world a better place for women, albeit just a little slowly.

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15. For that reason, we need mentally strong women like you

After all, there’s only one of you, which means the world doesn’t have enough of you. Make yourself count, and remember, it’s okay to be successful.

Featured photo credit: Politically Incorrect via img.4plebs.org

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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