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20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One

20 Little Signs You’ve Found The One

Whenever a couple that has been married for a long time tell the story of how they met, they can always pinpoint the moment in which they knew they found “the one.” Though there definitely is that moment of clarity in which you realize you would rather be with this person than anyone else in the world, there are also many small moments leading up to such an incredibly epiphany. If any of the following apply to you, you might want to start thinking about taking your relationship to the next level.

1. Seeing them makes everything better

Everyone has awful days where they just want to crawl into bed and never come out. But the right partner will erase all of the pain you’ve gone through all day, and make you realize just how lucky you are. The instant you see their face, you’re able to remember why you put up with the garbage you deal with at work all day: because you want to make a better life for them, and for your future together.

2. You can share your hopes and dreams with them

When you’ve found the one, you want them to know everything you want out of life. You share with them even the most farfetched dreams you’ve ever had, because with them by your side, you actually feel like you might accomplish all of your goals. Even your silly childhood dreams become a tangible possibility when you have someone to support you on your journey.

3. You can admit when you’ve made a mistake

I’ve seen so many relationships around me fall apart simply because both parties failed to be able to admit they messed up. When you find the one, you feel comfortable admitting mistakes because you know your better half won’t hold it against you in the long run. You can trust that they’ll accept your honesty and you’ll be able to work toward a better relationship in the future.

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4. You want to make their life better and easier

When you’ve found the one, you start living for someone other than yourself. You sacrifice every fiber of your being to make sure they have an easy go of it. Even if you’ve had a long day, you’ll come home and want to immediately start cleaning the house and cooking dinner for them, so they can relax for a bit. If they forgot to get something at the store, you’ll gladly hop in the car and go get it, even if it means missing out on your favorite show. For that one person, putting their comfort ahead of your own is of utmost importance.

5. You don’t do certain things without them

If you have made it a habit to watch a certain show together every week, you would never watch it without them. If going to Rita’s for a gelati is something you only do with them, you don’t go without them by your side (unless you’re picking something up for them!). If they’re on a diet, you won’t bring home Chick-Fil-A for yourself. When certain things become your “couple” things, you know you’ve found someone special.

6. You argue seldom but passionately

Everyone argues once in a while, but like I said before, you don’t harp on insignificant moments just to prove “I’m right.” You let most things go, but when you do have an argument, you aren’t insulting or rude. You simply show your passion for whatever it is you’re arguing about, and you also listen to what the other person has to say. Again, these arguments aren’t about getting your way, but more about finding a common ground on which you both can build.

7. You resolve arguments amicably

Like I said, when you’ve found the one, you don’t care who’s right or wrong in an argument; you just want to improve your relationship. When you’ve found a person who you actually like more after an argument, you can be pretty sure you’ve found a good one.

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8. You’re upfront when something bothers you

From the moment we started getting serious, my wife and I started living by one rule: If it bugs you, sleep on it, and if it’s still bugging you, bring it up. This has worked wonders for us, and it’s part of the reason we rarely get into fights. By the next morning, we’ve had time to put things in perspective, and more often than not we realize what was bothering us the night before isn’t that big of a deal (especially if it’s not a chronic habit). If it is worth bringing up, well, see number 7 above.

9. You love getting random texts from them

Everyone knows the feeling of getting butterflies early on in a relationship. Not everyone knows the feeling of getting butterflies in a relationship that’s been going strong for years. I’ve been with my wife for almost seven years, and I still smile every time I get a text from her. It shows that, even when she has work and school on her plate, she still has me on her mind in some way. And we both still find little ways to keep our relationship fresh, even after all this time.

10. They know what to order for you

Scenario: You’re waiting to be seated at a restaurant, and you have to use the bathroom. You come back to find your table ready, and the waitress has already brought over a cold glass of your favorite beer. I’m pretty sure all men can agree that a woman who knows what beer to get you has found the most direct pathway to your heart. As for what women want…? Okay, I’ve been with one for seven years, and sometimes I still struggle a bit with this!

11. You pick up each other’s signs in social settings

As an introvert, I can only handle being out so long. Same with my wife. We both reach a point where we are ready to go, but aren’t in a position in which we can be rude about it. Knowing your significant other well enough to know when they’ve had enough and are ready to go home is a sure sign that you care deeply for them.

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12. You know when to leave them alone

No one said you have to spend every moment of every day together. Sometimes, even if you want to be right next to them, they’ll want some space. I know my wife needs a few minutes to herself after a long day of work, so during that time I’ll get dinner started or pick up a little around the house. By the time we sit down for dinner, I know she’ll be ready to share her day with me, regardless of how good or bad it went.

13. You encourage each other

This goes along with the earlier entry about sharing hopes and dreams. When you’ve found the one, you want all of their dreams to come true. It could be supporting them on a diet or pushing them to go back to school to further their career. You simply want to see them succeed, and will be there to help every step of the way.

14. You know how to cheer them up

When they’re in a funk, you know exactly what to do to make things a bit better. You know them better than most anyone else does, and you also will go to greater lengths to make them happy than anyone else would. Even on their worst day, you that picking up her favorite flowers, or his favorite flavor of ice cream, will make them smile. You might not be able to fix the problem right away, but you can make facing it just that much easier.

15. You listen to the same story over and over

I’m guilty as sin of this one. I tell the same stories about my younger days constantly, and instead of cutting me off, my wife humors me, lets me laugh about it, and ends up laughing along with me. I mean, you get to a point when you know everything about each other, so you’re bound to run out of stories to tell. That doesn’t mean you can’t take a trip down memory lane every once in a while.

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16. You can make anything fun with them

Grocery shopping alone is the most boring (and frustrating) errand in the world, as far as I’m concerned. However, going to Giant with my wife is simply another moment in which to make a memory. When you have as many inside jokes as we do, the grocery store is full of endless comedic material. When you’ve found someone who can make shopping for frozen vegetables entertaining, you’ve definitely found the one.

17. You’re cheesy as heck around them

You have a completely different sense of humor when you’re around the one you love. You can make the corniest, silliest jokes possible, and know that you’ll both crack up about it. You don’t feel the need to “be cool” around them, and you can let yourself go.

18. You put effort into gifts for them

Like many guys, I’m not the best gift-giver. My family would rather spend money on experiences than material things, so I grew up not being “gifted” (sorry for the pun) with the ability to pick out good presents. That changed when I met my wife. Whenever a special occasion comes around, I go out of my way to find something special, and even go as far as making something for her that shows just how much I care. I knew she was the one when I actually felt like being crafty just for her. If you’ve ever gone shopping for yourself, and ended up finding something special for your significant other instead, you’ve probably found the one.

19. You’re intimidated by how you feel for them

Being in loooove is definitely a scary proposition. When you’re just starting to get the feeling that “this is it,” you’re actually scared of the feelings you’ve been having. That’s simply because you’ve never felt that way before. You might even push her away at first, which I unfortunately did for a while. Don’t fight it. The rest of your life will be so much easier having the one you love by your side throughout it all.

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20. You wouldn’t trade them for the world

Along with being intimated by how you feel for them, you might be hesitant to give up “the single life.” Sure, settling down means you probably won’t have those late nights with your friends for much longer, and you’ll have to make decisions as a couple instead of independently…but who says these are bad things? When you settle down with the one you love, you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time at the bar in your younger days, and you’ll wish you had gotten on track a bit sooner. When you find the one, your life will change immensely. But you’ll be totally okay with that.

Featured photo credit: Flickr 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 May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

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