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12 Important Things You Learn From A Younger Sister

12 Important Things You Learn From A Younger Sister

Having a younger sister means that you always have someone to look up to you. It also means that you are always protective of your younger sister and you make sure that you are there for her when she needs you most.

Here are some of the most important things that you can learn from your younger sis.

1. They teach you how to be compassionate

Having a younger sister has taught you about a whole new level of love. She has taught you about how important it is to show her that you care- whether she’s recovering from a skinned knee or a broken heart.

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2. They teach you how to be a leader

Being an older sister means that you have learned from an early stage to take a leadership role in your relationship with your younger sister. You are careful to make sure that your actions impact positively on her and that she sees you making good decisions in everything from your career to romantic relationships.

3. They teach you the power of forgiveness

No one is perfect and no matter how hard you try there will always be times when you slip up in front of your little sister. One of the most important lessons she had taught you is that no one is perfect and that she still looks up to you, even when you falter.

4. They teach you the importance of being patient

Having a younger sister is one of the best ways to practice the art of being patient. From teaching her how to tie her shoes to teaching her to drive a car, you are not only her older sister, but also her teacher.

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5. They teach you that imitation is the best form of flattery

When you were younger, you would often get annoyed when your little sister would copy everything that you did. Now that you are older you realize that this was the highest compliment you could have received from her.

6. They teach you about your maternal instincts

Sometimes when you were younger you would babysit your little sister and these experiences helped you to realize that you do have a soft, maternal side. Whether you were helping her to brush her teeth or read her favorite book before she went to sleep, your maternal instincts helped to make sure she was cared for and felt safe.

7. They teach you how to stand up for them

Whether you protected her against the mean girls at school or helped your parents to see her side in a disagreement, you have learned to be her biggest advocate. She knows that you will always have her back and help her through any difficult situations that she encounters in life.

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8. They teach you the importance of selflessness

From the moment that your baby sister was born, you began to learn the importance of sharing. From sharing toys to sharing clothes, it hasn’t always been easy. But through these experiences you realized the importance of being selfless and it strengthened your bond.

9. They teach you to live in the moment

In a blink of an eye, your younger sister went from being a child to a grown woman. Through your relationship with her you’ve realized how quickly time flies and that it’s important to live in the moment. Life is to short not to spend your time with her in this way.

10. They teach you the importance of good communication

Having a younger sister means learning to work out your differences and learning to compromise on many different issues. You many not always see eye-to-eye, but you’ve learned to be respectful of her opinions.

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11. They teach you that you matter

Whether you’re having a bad day or going through a rough period in your life, your little sister will be right by your side to lift your spirits. You were there for her when she was younger and now she’s happy to take on the role of your biggest cheerleader.

12. They teach you that being a bully is not cool

You might have picked on your little sister when you were younger, but as you grew older you realized how much harm bullying can do to a person. You realized that it’s important to be on the same team and that there are enough difficult people in her life for her to deal with, without you being one of them.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.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

Reference

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