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10 Signs You Care Too Much About How Others See You

10 Signs You Care Too Much About How Others See You

If you’re even a half-way decent human being, you undoubtedly care what others think about you. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to project a good self-image to the world, but when you become preoccupied with what others think of you, you distort your own image of yourself. The only person who should be able to define yourself is you. If you find yourself in any of the following situations, you should think about changing up your mindset before you stop living for yourself, and end up living for everyone else.

1. You evaluate yourself through other people’s eyes

At the end of a hard day’s work, you should be able to reflect on your efforts, accomplishments, and shortcomings. However, you should only think about these things in relation to how you performed the previous day. Don’t worry about how others may have judged you throughout the day. For one thing, they most likely didn’t take any of their time to evaluate you. Secondly, doing so will make you paranoid that people are always judging you, and your performance will ultimately suffer.

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2. You give others’ behavior too much meaning

If you’re socially anxious, you probably spend a lot of time wondering “What did he mean when he gave that compliment?” or “Was he being sarcastic when he said I did a good job back there?” That’s fairly natural, and it takes work to get over it. However, it must be done if you want to truly feel success. Worrying about what others may or may not have been thinking simply wastes time that could have been spent improving your life in some way.

3. You let feedback stop you

I struggled with this for a while, especially when I started writing for the vast Internet audience. Don’t let criticism stop you from trying. People would only offer feedback if they saw talent in you that they knew could be unleashed with some tweaks. Rather than shutting down when someone offers criticism of your work, listen to what they have to say. Keep their words in mind the next time you start a task, and focus on that specific area in order to improve your overall performance.

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4. You’re preoccupied with always saying the right things

Nobody wants to appear socially awkward. Ironically, the people who are most preoccupied with not looking silly in their interactions are the ones who are obsessed with trying not to look silly. Everyone’s said “You too!” to their waiter when he said “Enjoy your meal!” and realized how ridiculous they sounded afterwards. Don’t let that kind of gaffe stick with you. Do you really think the waiter is going to the back room and telling his colleagues “Ha! The guy at table 2 said ‘You too’ when I told him to enjoy his meal! What a loser!” Seriously, nobody has time for that. And you’re not the first person to do it. Just let your interactions with others flow, and you won’t be so intimidated by everyday interactions.

5. You try to please everyone

Those who care too much about what others think will spend way too much time trying to please everyone. The problem with this is when you do something for one person, and then another, and another, you’ll start a chain of events in which you’re looking out for everyone else’s well-being at the expense of your own health. I’m not saying you should be completely selfish throughout your life, but you need to know when you’re burning yourself out because you’ve spent too much time worrying about other people.

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6. You don’t put yourself first

This goes along with the last point. If you’re constantly trying to please everyone, you won’t spend enough time on yourself. When others thank you for your help, you often say it was “no big deal,” even if it was exhausting work that set you back on completing your own obligations. When you don’t put yourself first, you’re subconsciously telling yourself that everyone else matters more than you do. That’s simply not true. Put other people’s needs to the side, and enjoy some “me” time for once.

7. You have a hard time saying “no”

If you’re eager to please everyone all the time, you’ll end up taking on much more than you’re capable of doing. Most people want to prove themselves, especially in a new job in which their hard work can lead to a promotion. But if you take on too much, your work will suffer. Which will impress your boss more: Taking on so many responsibilities that you’re up all night every day during the week and have to call in sick on Friday, or taking on a few tasks at a time and completing them exactly as needed? Sometimes, saying “no” can do much more for your career than you’d imagine.

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8. You don’t give yourself enough credit

You most likely have one or two interests for which you are incredibly passionate, and you consider yourself an expert in these areas. However, when in a group of people, you tend to downplay these strengths, and act self-conscious about the knowledge you have about these subjects. You might be intimidated by other specialists, and would rather listen than take the chance of sounding stupid. But the worst that can happen is you’ll get feedback from others, which, as we discussed before, can be used to better yourself in the future. Put yourself out there, and you’ll be surprised by how far it takes you.

9. You feel ashamed about your hobbies

Along with the last point, you often degrade yourself when talking about the things you’re really interested in. I write for a video game-related website, and love doing it. I’d never be able to do that if I had a problem with people considering me a “video game nerd.” Why should I care what others think of my hobbies? They’re mine to enjoy. Honestly, it took me a long time to get over the idea that I don’t have to be interested in what’s “cool” or “in.” Now, I use my expertise to report news and discuss current events about an industry that actually interests me, and I enjoy every minute of it.

10. You’re trapped in an unfulfilled life

If you’re always worried about what others think, you end up letting them dictate how you live your life. You’ll give up hobbies that others think are “stupid,” and you’ll end up spending all your time running some errand for other people who, in the long run, don’t matter in your life. When your life becomes a repetitive grind, and there’s no difference between Monday and Friday, you need to step back and take some time to figure out what you want out of life, regardless of what others think you should want.

Featured photo credit: Flickrr via farm1.staticflickr.com

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Matt Duczeminski

A passionate writer who shares lifestlye tips on Lifehack

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Published on September 23, 2020

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

6 Effective Negotiation Skills to Master

I don’t know about you, but many times when I hear the word negotiate I think of lawyers working out a business deal or having to do battle with a car salesman to try to get a lower price. Since I am in recruiting, the term “negotiation” comes up when someone is attempting to get a higher compensation package.

If we think about it, we tend to negotiate almost every day in a wide variety of things we do. Getting a handle on the important negotiation skills can be incredibly beneficial in many parts of our lives. Let’s take a look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

What is Negotiation?

First, let’s take a look at what negotiation is. Put simply, negotiation is a method by which people settle their differences. It is a process in which compromise or agreement can be reached without argument or dispute.

Anytime two people or sides disagree on something, they are almost always looking for the best possible outcome for their side. This could be from an individual’s perspective or someone representing an organization.

In reality, it’s rare that one side gets everything they want and the other side gets nothing that they are seeking. Seeking to reach a common ground of sorts where both sides feel like they are getting most of what they want is the key to being successful and maintaining the relationship.

Places We Negotiate

I’ve mentioned that we negotiate in just about all phases of our life. For those of you who are shaking your head no, I invite you to think about the following:

1. Work/Business

This one is the most obvious and it’s what naturally comes to mind when we think of the word “negotiate”.

When you first started at your current job, you might have asked for a higher salary. It could be that you delivered a huge new client to your company and used this as leverage in your most recent evaluation for more compensation. If you work with vendors (and just about every company does), maybe you worked them to a lower price or better contract terms.

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In recruiting, I negotiate with candidates and hiring managers all the time to land the best talent I can find. It’s very common to accept additional work with the (sometimes spoken, sometimes unspoken) agreement that it will benefit your career in the future.

Recently, I took over a project that was my boss was working on so that I would be able to attend a conference later in the year. And so it goes, we do this all day long at work.

2. Personal

I don’t know about you, but I negotiate with my spouse all the time. I’ll cook dinner with the understanding that she does the dishes. Who wants to mow the lawn and who wants to vacuum and dust the house?

I think we should save 10% for retirement, but she thinks 5% is plenty. Therefore, we save 8%. And don’t even get me started with my kids. My older daughter can borrow my car as soon as she finishes her chores. My younger daughter can go hang out with her friends when her homework is done.

Then, there are all those interactions in our personal lives outside our homes. The carpenter wants to charge me $12,000 to build a new deck. I think $10,000 is plenty so we agree on $11,000. I ask my neighbor if I can borrow his snowblower in the winter if I invite him over the next time I grill steak. And so on.

3. Ourselves

You didn’t expect this one, did you? We negotiate with ourselves all day long.

I’ll make sure I don’t skip my workout tomorrow since I’m going to have that extra piece of pizza. My spouse has been quiet the last few days, is it worth me asking her about, or should I leave it alone? I think the car place charged me for some repairs that weren’t needed, should I say something or just let it go? I know my friend has been having some personal challenges, should I check in with him? We’ve been friends for a long time, I’m sure he’d come to me if he needed help. I’ve got the #4 pick in this year’s Fantasy Football draft, should I choose a running back or a wide receiver?

Think about that non-stop voice inside your head. It always seems to be chattering away about something and many times, it’s us negotiating with ourselves. I’ll finish up that report that the boss needs before I turn on the football game.

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Why Negotiation Skills Are So Important

Put simply, negotiation skills are important because we all interact with other people, and not only other people but other organizations and groups of people as well.

We all rarely want the same thing or outcome. Most of the time a vendor is looking at getting you to pay a higher price for something than you want to spend. Therefore, it’s important to negotiate to some middle ground that works well for both sides.

My wife and I disagree on how much to save for retirement. If we weren’t married it wouldn’t be an issue. We’d each contribute how much we wanted to on our retirement funds. We choose to be married, so we have to come to some agreement that we both feel comfortable with. We have to compromise. Therefore, we have to negotiate.

If we each lived on a planet by ourselves, we would be free to do just about anything we wanted to. We wouldn’t have to compromise with anyone because we wouldn’t interact with anyone. We would make every choice unilaterally the way we wanted to.

As we all know, this isn’t how things are. We are constantly interacting with other people and organizations, each one with their own agenda’s, viewpoints, and opinions. Therefore, we have to be able to work together.

6 Negotiation Skills to Master

Having strong negotiation skills helps us create win-win situations with others, allowing us to get most of what we want in conjunction with others around us.

Now, let’s look at 6 effective negotiation skills to master.

1. Preparation

Preparation is a key place to start with when getting ready to negotiate. Being prepared means having a clear vision of what you want and how you’d go about achieving it. It means knowing what the end goal looks like and also what you are willing to give to get it.

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It also means knowing who you are negotiating with and what areas they might be willing to compromise on. You should also know what your “bottom line” is. By “bottom line” I mean what is the most you are willing to give up to get what you want.

For instance, several years ago, I decided it was time to get a newer car. I say newer because I wanted a “new to me” car, not a brand new car. I did my research and figured out what type of car I wanted. I decided on what must-have items on the car I wanted, the highest amount of miles that would already be on it, the colors I was willing to get it in, and the highest amount of money I was willing to pay.

After visiting numerous car dealerships I was able to negotiate buying a car. I knew what I was willing to give up (amount of money) and what I was willing to accept, things like the color, amount of miles, etc. I came prepared. This is critical.

2. Clear Communication

The next key skill you need to be an effective negotiator is clear communication. You have to be able to clearly articulate what you want to the other party. This means both clear verbal and written communication.

If you can’t clearly tell the other person what you want, how do you expect to get it? Have you ever worked through something with a vendor or someone else only to learn of a surprise right at the end that wasn’t talked about before? This is not what you would call clear communication. It’s essential to be able to share a coherent and logical vision with the person you are working with.

3. Active Listening

Let’s do a quick review of active listening. This is when you are completely focused on the speaker, understand their message, comprehend the information, and respond appropriately. This is a necessary ingredient to be able to negotiate successfully. You must be able to fully focus on the other person’s wants to completely understand them.

If you aren’t giving them your full attention, you may miss some major points or details. This leads to frustration down the road on both sides. Ensure you are employing your active listening skills when in arbitration mode.

4. Teamwork and Collaboration

To be able to get to a place of common ground and a win-win scenario, you have to have a sense of teamwork and collaboration.

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If you are only thinking about yourself and what you want without giving much care to what the other person is wanting, you are bound to wind up without a solution. The other person may get frustrated and give up if they see you are unwilling to meet them halfway or care little for what they want.

When you collaborate, you are working together to help each other get what is most important to you. The other upside to negotiating with a sense of teamwork and collaboration is that it helps create a sense of trust, which, in turn, helps provide positive energy for working to a successful conclusion.

5. Problem Solving

Problem-solving is another key negotiation skill. When you are working with the other person to get the deal done many times you’ll face new challenges along the way.

Maybe you want a new vendor to provide training on the software they are selling you but they say it’s going to cost an additional $20,000 to provide this service. If you don’t have the additional $20,000 in the budget to spend on the software but you feel the training is critical, how are you going to solve that problem?

From what I’ve seen, most vendors aren’t willing to provide additional services without getting paid for them. This is where problem-solving skills will help continue the discussions. You might suggest to the vendor that your company will also be looking to replace their financial software next year, and you’d be happy to ensure they get one of the first seats at the table when the time comes if they could perhaps lower the pricing on their training.

There’s a solution to most challenges, but it takes problem-solving skills to work through them effectively.

6. Decision-Making Ability

Finally, having strong decision-making ability will help you seal the deal when you get to a place where everyone feels like they are getting what works for them. Each step of the way you can cross off the list when you get what you are looking for and decide to move onto the next item. Then, once you have all of your must-have boxes checked and the other side feels good about things, it’s time to shake hands and sign on the dotted line. Powerful decision-making ability will help you get to the finish line together.

Conclusion

There you have it, 6 effective negotiation skills to master to lead a more fulfilling life. Once we realize that we negotiate in one form or another almost every day in every phase of our lives, we realize how critical a skill it is.

Possessing strong negotiation skills will help you in nearly every one of your relationships at both the workplace and in your personal life. If you feel your arbitration tools could use some sharpening, try some of the 6 effective negotiation skills to master that we’ve talked about.

More Tips to Improve Your Negotiation Skills

Featured photo credit: Windows via unsplash.com

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