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20 Things Only People Who Were Raised by Nervous Parents Will Understand

20 Things Only People Who Were Raised by Nervous Parents Will Understand

You love your parents. And there’s nothing you’d change about how you were brought up … or at least, almost nothing. But let’s be real: being raised by nervous parents was almost a career in itself. And it has certainly equipped you for life in quite a, er, different manner than your peers.

From always knowing the best possible escape routes, through to being extremely aware of other people’s emotions, and knowing just how to calm a flustered adult, you’ve pretty much grown up to become a hybrid Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Sheldon Cooper/Oprah-esque superhero. And while this list is by no means exhaustive, it does cover some of the ways your nervous parents have ensured that you’ve developed a unique set of skills.

1. You appreciate the healing power of a good hug and are more than willing to say “I love you.”

… while your mother slides a shifty glance at your father and whispers: “Who knows if this will be our last special moment?”

2. You make sure that you never go to bed mad at someone.

There’s a part of you that just can’t take that risk.

3. You’ve never learned to cook because the sight of you approaching a kitchen knife sent your parents into hysterics.

Ditto with boiling water, ovens, and frying pans. In fact, the entire kitchen was pretty much a no-go zone.

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4. You do know how to live off an emergency survival bag of canned beans, though.

You know, just in case.

5. You’ve learned to add an extra five-minutes to any schedule.

… so your nervous parents can check, and re-check that the house/car/oreos has been locked up.

6. Your least favorite phrase is: “Did you know that …”

This sentence never ends well. And most of the time you really didn’t want to know about the ten possible diseases you could catch by accidentally touching the escalator hand rest.

7. Your next least favorite phrase is: “Are you sure …”

Because this is usually followed by something like: “You have your scarf/parka/ski jacket?” Even though it’s summer, and, you know, ridiculously hot.

8. You were the only kid in school with two full-size luggage bags for a weekend camping trip.

That was being hosted at the school gym. You still find it extremely hard to pack light and envy people who can do carry-on only.

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9. You never had a pet.

The reasons why are too endless to list in just one article, let alone one point.

10. Your parents constantly reinforced the need to lock your door as soon as you hopped into the car.

Because as your dad told you: “Somebody might steal you, possum.”

11. And let’s be real; you’re still worried about that today.

You’re 28.

12. You’re fully aware of the stop-drop-and-roll strategy and know where the fire exit is at all times.

You also know how to perform CPR and have a working first aid kit on your keychain.

13. You’re used to your parents calling you (or worse, your school/friends/colleagues/partner) at all times of the day just to “check in”.

It’s been an hour since they last spoke to you – anything could have happened!

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14. You were always liked by parents (other people’s parents, that is).

Probably because watching you send out smoke signals every hour on the hour made them feel pretty darn good about their own parenting style.

15. You could be hired, in an instant, as a diplomat.

Calming people down and reaching mutually beneficial agreements is kind of your specialty. A just-in-case check-up with your GP in exchange for a whole weekend at your friend’s place? You’ve got yourself a deal.

16. You never got to choose which languages you learned.

So naturally, Italian and French didn’t make the nervous parenting education list. But you are fluent in Mandarin, Spanish, and Hindi.

17. You have to force yourself to keep your mouth shut when someone says, “What’s the worst that could happen?”

Because the truth is that you can already think of 21 possible ways the current situation could lead to destruction, chaos, and the loss of a body part.

18. You never had a curfew.

Your nervous parents just stalked you and/or followed you around (being sure to stay a few cars/people behind you at all times).

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19. You’re an awesome sleeper.

Probably because you’re used to waking up with your mother’s ear pressed to your chest while she shrieked, “Oh my god, Stan, I can’t hear her breathing!”

20. You know that your future can go either way.

You’ll either become the most relaxed, easy-going person ever, or you’ll have your books organised by genre, last name, relevance, and first letter of the last paragraph on page 15.

Featured photo credit: Womans hands connected With Tangled String via media.lifehack.org

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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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