Advertising
Advertising

7 Reasons Bilinguals Are Always Likeable

7 Reasons Bilinguals Are Always Likeable

In every language you will find traces of the people who use it and of when they used it. That is why Australian English differs from American English for example.

Bilinguals therefore don’t just know 2 or more languages, they also know as many cultures. Since each culture comes with its own world view, a typical bilingual has many, many world views.

That’s what makes them so special. Likeable, you’d say. From their different ways of saying je t’aime to their many ways of making peace, something about bilinguals just keeps pulling in those who get to know them.

Here is a portrait of these people.

Advertising

1. They Have Great Intuition

Many researches indicate that bilingualism can greatly improve one’s cognitive abilities, among other brain functions. One of these cognitive abilities is intuition, as bilinguals often have to juggle between multiple meanings for the same words and gestures, depending on who they meet.

Just like a trained muscle will develop more mass, juggling between contexts leaves bilinguals with greater intuitive skills.

2. They Are Open Minded

While monolinguals tend to believe that there is one right way of doing things, research shows that people raised as bilinguals understand that most things in life are subjective. They are rarely ever phased by difference or afraid of the new because at one point in life, the new was them.

3. They Are Uniquely Creative

If you’ve ever tried translating a joke from one language to another without killing its essence, then you know what I mean. Operating in the bilingual universe requires some serious out-of-the-boxeness.

Advertising

Look at it this way. Creativity is the measure how proficiently one can shuffle through old information, make working combinations and produce viable results. Bilinguals are forced to do lots of that. They pick a word from one language, dip it in another, slap onto it the right context reinforcer, test to see if the essence is intact and voila. A delicious phrase is born.

Because of the constant pull on their creative resources, bilinguals tend to develop great problem solving skills, which you can always put to use if you hang around them.

4. They Are Young At Heart

According to scientific research, bilinguals show signs of brain ageing and cognitive related diseases like Alzeimers and dementia far later in life than their monolingual counterparts. Let me explain.

Your white brain matter contains nerves, and those nerves are surrounded by myelin. When that myelin is in good health, the risk of losing information during transmission is reduced. In a typical bilingual, myelin is more developed than in a monolingual.  Which is why bilinguals tend to stay sharper, hence younger at heart, longer than monolinguals.

Advertising

5. They Are Powerful Connectors

Who would better introduce a german to a colombian than a spanish-speaking german? Bilinguals have the advantage of being brothers to everyone, which makes them effective social bridges. If you genuinely wish to understand a foreign colleague or acquaintance but don’t know how to approach them, start with a bilingual.

6. They Have A Rich Emotional IQ

Although love is a universal language, something about French love makes it different from Dutch love. To be able to express and receive love in many languages, requires you to be different people in one, to be triggered yet turned off by the same sentence depending on the accent in which it is said. The array of emotions a bilingual can understand, but most importantly express, is bounded by love itself. Which makes them unique leaders and lovers.

7. They Are A Reminder Of Home

When you feel disconnected in a foreign land, a simple conversation in your native tongue is sometimes all it takes to feel better. And because bilinguals offer expatriates the unique ability to describe their fears and joys in the language in which they are deepest, the two often form a unique bond. As a bilingual, I have seen the face of many people light up as I talk to them in the language they grew up with. To them I an not just whoever I am, I am a reminder of home.

In closing,

If you are not a bilingual yet, you’re not a lost case. All the benefits listed above apply to early bilinguals as well as late bilinguals.

Advertising

Only 300 words make up about 65% of all written English material and it is almost the same for other languages. You don’t need to know it all. Since there is no expiry date on your first step, today would be an awesome start. 1 word today, 2 tomorrow and through commitment  you’ll get there.

Du courage!

More by this author

6 Characteristics of Successful People That Make Them Outstanding 10 Signs Of Truly Confident People 7 Reasons Bilinguals Are Always Likeable 8 Reasons You Don’t Have To Read Relationship Advice Shoes These Shoes Will Grow and Surely Change the Lives of Many Children

Trending in Communication

1 19 Golden Pieces of Relationship Advice From the Experts 2 Signs Of Low Self-Esteem And The Root Causes You Might Not Know 3 How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship 4 How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future 5 This Is What Happens When You Move Out Of the Comfort Zone

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

More Articles About Effective Communication

Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next