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8 Things You Can Only Learn By Turning 40

8 Things You Can Only Learn By Turning 40

mistake any people in our society fear turning 40, because of the huge pressure on both men and women to stay young-looking. Our society is still very youth oriented. Age and wisdom aren’t valued in the same way as they are in some cultures. Women; especially, are surrounded by messages from the media that a woman should stay young and beautiful, so getting older can symbolize a loss of their attractiveness . However, those who have passed the 40 mark can tell you that it’s not something to be afraid of. It’s something to celebrate!

This list shows some of the most important things learned by people who have said hello to 40.

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1. Age is Just a Mindset

How you live determines how old you feel. You’ve probably seen 30-year-olds who look like they’re 50. They mope around like life has beaten them down, and there’s nothing left but to shrivel up and die. By contrast, there are plenty of examples of vibrant 50 and 60 year olds who glow with joy and enthusiasm about life. 40 year olds who have lived to tell about it will say that 40 is just the beginning!

 2. The Gift of Confidence

Let’s face it. Most people spend their twenties trying to figure out who they are and where they belong, while falling down and making plenty of mistakes in the process. By the time you’re 40, all of that is behind you. You’ve learned from your mistakes, found your niche, and you’ve got the experience and confidence that you learned from surviving the tough decades of the 20s and 30s. .

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3. Your Wild and Crazy Days Are Over

You’ve done your share of hanging out in bars till 3 a.m (and struggling through work next day with the hangover), standing in line to see the latest trendy band, and chasing excitement with your posse of cool friends. Following trends is a thing of the past. As a mature adult, you lead a balanced life that doesn’t include weekday hangovers. Been there, done that, bought the T-shirt.

4. Goodbye to Drama and the People Who Create it

By the time you’re 40, you’ve figured out the people who are basically toxic, and who you need to avoid. The friend who has her nineteenth nervous breakdown when the married man she’s been dating off and on for three years finally calls it quits. You listen to her for hours, but she never takes responsibility or tries to change. Or the neighbor who does nothing but complain. According to her, she is a victim of fate, and she too will talk endlessly about her problems without stopping to ask how your day is going. By the time you are 40 or beyond, you know how to recognize the people who are like a vortex of negativity — and now you know how to avoid them.

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5. You Don’t Change Yourself to Be Liked

When you are younger, you’re willing to go along with the crowd. Fitting in and being liked used to be more important than expressing your true self. Now you have confidence that you are okay just the way you are. The people who matter appreciate you for who you are.

6. You’ve Learned That “No” Is a Complete Sentence

You may have put up with mistreatment from significant others while you were still learning. Sometimes being in a relationship meant letting people walk all over you. Sometimes it meant spending time with people who criticized you, and took advantage of your generosity. It made you comfortable when they used you for your willingness to accommodate requests. Now you know that you are allowed to set boundaries, not waste your time, and protect your self-esteem.

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7. You’re Comfortable in Your Own Skin

You have the wisdom to ignore magazines and images in the media that try to tell you who you should be. You’ve made yourself into the best you can be. You are full of your own inner beauty and confidence.

8. The Best Years Are Ahead of You

Who ever said that 40 was old? This is the best time of your life. You’ve got confidence, wisdom, and experience. You’ve found your niche in the world, and you aren’t afraid to try new things. You know that the world is full of new adventures, and you’re excited to see what the years ahead have in store for you!

Featured photo credit: Deposit Photos via depositphotos.com

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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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